After having a very abasing experience today at work, I know I need to SOUNDOFF about this issue in an affirmative way. I can easily do what I know and TAKE IT TO THE STREETS, but why? I’ve grown too old for that. I’m old enough and smart enough to know that fuming or physically violating about it isn’t going to change the issue at hand. I decided to do what I do best and write it out. Hopefully someone out there will feel my words.

I entitled this post, “Plight of a Starving Artist at the Workplace”   My job is not glamorous even though aesthetically, it appears to be. I work at a very well established fine dining  restaurant In Atlanta’s Hartsfield- Jackson Airport. We have the best food in the airport, period, and our desserts are a HOTT Commodity. A lot of travelers are attracted to the restaurant’s European flare. The atmosphere is very soothing. The dimly lit crystal chandelier’s always makes the restaurant’s patrons say “woooooooooooow”. This restaurant is actually part of a small but popular chain started in Atlanta in 1979.  A lot of Atlantan’s frequent the 31 year old chain often amazed that there is one in Atlanta’s airport.

One thing I love about this franchise is, it’s literally the setting of a love story for so many people.  So many people have met their spouses and gotten engaged here. Whenever I think about my job, I think love an New beginnings. Even though working at this place has nothing to do with my future aspirations, I am happy to attach my name to such a romantic place.

I work in the kitchen.  Everything about my workplace is top notch. Our salads aren’t like the “thrown together” fast food salads. They are a work of edible art. In fine dining presentation is everything. I know that and I make sure that I present all of my work neatly and creatively.Today, one of the owner’s came to the restaurant. They drop in every now and then unannounced. I mean, why would they tell us they’re coming, it’s their establishment? Anywho, I am never nervous or on pens and needles whenever they drop by, even if the rest of the restaurant is. I simply keep my head down and keep working. Today, this owner, came into the kitchen and screamed, “Who working on salads?” The whole kitchen stopped and looked in her direction. I replied that I was. She immediately screamed that they looked horrible.  Whenever the salads look “horrible” that simply means that they need to be replenished. It’s very rare that they even look horrible on my shift. It was 12:30. In my normal routine, I replenish the salads around 1:30 or 2:00 every day. If the restaurant is busy and salads are in demand, I will check them earlier and replenish them as needed. On this particular day, business was slow.  Whenever business is as slow as it was on this day, the salads are normally good and in tact. If the day is busier and the salad move faster, someone from the front of the house will notify me that more salad is needed.

She further went on to have me follow her to the front (as if I needed to) to look at the salads. Mind you, she  just said if the salads look “horrible”. They needed to be replenished. I obliged and followed to see the salads. When I went to grab one of the trays, I apologized and proceed to tell her that I was not aware of the state of the salads and that I normally replace them around 2:00. Her response was something like, “yea,  uh- huh, okay”. SHE SHUSHED THE HELL OUT OF ME.

I understand being an owner of an establishment and walking in and seeing an unappealing sight and not being happy about it. My problem isn’t with that nor, do I have an issue doing my job. I’VE BEEN DOING IT WITH NO PROBLEM. My issue is with the level in which the situation was handled. The fact that the owner came in yelling and in front of everyone was NOT COOL. I would have appreciated her coming to me and saying that instead of yelling at me like I’m 2 years old. I have one mother and she lives in Texas… I was further humiliated when she basically shushed me in the front of the house in front of a customer. I did not deserve that…

In this day in age jobs flip flop. You aren’t guaranteed a job, let alone one with benefits.  But what’s the price, being subjected to being humiliated by a woman who doesn’t even know your name? this whole situation makes me reevaluate so much. I have never been in a work situation where a higher up screams at me and handles a situation so tacky. I know my worth. I deserve better….

–Starving Artist

Picture Source

http://chicagoist.com/2009/01/05/recession_biting_artists_in_the_can.php