December 11, 2013


For a while I have been contemplating whether a person's bad behavior could be excusable due to their circumstances, or if there really is no excuse for bad behavior?

During my career search in the summer I found myself serving at two different restaurants to make ends meet. When I got my full time job I continued working at one restaurant, in which I still work there now on weekends.

I chose staying in this restaurant because the manager is nice and very flexible with the schedule, and I chose to continue working because it's a fast way to make some extra cash to buy wonderful unnecessary things. I get along with everyone, other servers, managers, bartenders, kitchen staff, except for the chef.

Like every chef in the restaurant business he is constantly stressed, and he takes it out on the servers. Hard.

This chef is verbally abusive. He constantly yells at servers, amplify their small mistakes and calling them incompetent in front of the entire kitchen staff. Whenever servers miss something small and insignificant, he takes that opportunity and publicly taunt and shame them. Whenever servers ask him a question he sarcastically answers or turns it into something condensing. He makes people feel small.

Everyone is aware of his bad temper. But everyone lets him get away with it. He's the chef of the restaurant. Everyone else can be replaced.

And so his ego gets bigger, he becomes more vulgar with his insults and more condensing with his replies.

This chef is not like that to all servers, though. He's dating one of the server and so he spares her the yelling. As for me, I am one of his 'chosen' ones that he channel all his aggression and anger on. I'm his verbal shitbucket.

Let's say his past situation involved him on a path to get a honors degree in math at the University of Waterloo. He even had a job lined up with NASA. And since life is never how we plan and for whatever reason, he never finished his degree and instead became a chef. Working in the kitchen is a hard job. It's physically demanding, some customers make difficult requests, and the hours are shitty. Let's say that this made him resentful towards others with career jobs with the freedom to work a side serving job in his kitchen. And whenever this chef sees people who have taken the path he thought he would have, he sees what his life could have been and he gets bitter.

This past weekend I got yelled at for something that wasn't even a mistake or a big deal at all. The customer wanted the egg in her sandwich to be poached instead of fried. This chef called me stupid because "how can you close a sandwich with a poached egg?!" in which I asked "can't we just have it an open faced sandwich?". That got him even more angry, in which he started his public shaming of saying things such as how he 'could easily do my job', in front of the whole kitchen and the manager.

We all have our breaking points. Every weekend it becomes more dreading to work at the restaurant knowing my shift solely depend on the chef's mood. I have envisioned many times where I give him a piece of my mind and a lecture on how how he ought to treat others. Everyone is stressed in some ways, but stress doesn't give some people the rights to take it out on others.

There is no excuse for bad behavior.

As humans we are programmed to be forgiving. When someone wrongs us under certain circumstances we forgive them, but when someone starts abusing others' forgiving nature then perhaps we need to draw a line. Sometimes by letting people get away with their bad behaviors we actually empower them with that behavior, such as this case.

Financially I don't need this job, but I do have reasons why I've kept it for now. I don't know how much longer I will be working there. But I do know that once people start identifying other people's bad behavior as a part of their personality, getting out of that shameful label isn't easy.


  1. No, there is no excuse for bad behaviour, especially, if the person does not apologise. You can forgive provided you know that the person knows he is acting inappropriately.

  2. You should give lessons in time management, Julie. Seriously. I'm constantly in awe of all you do and balance so gracefully.

  3. Poor conduct in others - a very delicate matter - which requires sometimes even more than five sides to the story, however, there is no excuse indeed for treating others poorly.

  4. I agree there is never an excuse for bad behavior esp in the work place (no matter WHERE you work). Whether it's a small mistake or a huge one no one should ever be put down, shamed, or name called.Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone's jobs gets stressful. And you know what though if he doesn't want to be a chef anymore he doesn't have to be, ya know. Like sure this is the path you took for now but no one ever says you have to stay on it. He needs to stop being bitter and take a seat.

    Hope things get better there...=\


  5. Lovely post and fab pictures!

  6. oh that chef needs someone to give him a piece of him mind. And he can be replaced too. He shouldn't treat people like that and if he doesn't like his job he can always go back to school and finish. sigh. I'm sorry you were yelled at, no one deserves that!!

  7. I dont care what has brought you to your current circumstance but there is NO EXCUSE for his behavior and acting this way toward people will only bring more negativity and miserableness to his life. Its the law of attraction. And is management aware of this? Why isnt he fired?

  8. There is no excuse for bad behavior... he will have to live with his actions... I am glad I am not him...

  9. I've worked with my share of difficult coworkers, and the one thing I've learned is to never just let it be. Often times, management will get on board (sometimes it also needs to be brought to their attention first) and help resolve these workplace issues. Other times, I've found that confronting the individual in private helps, too. Explain to them how their behaviour towards you affects your work and morale, and hope that they can understand that their attitude negatively affects the whole team. If you make a sincere attempt to try and work things out with them, I think it will help to improve your relationship at work.

    Best of luck! Nobody deserves to feel like they're less than anyone else at their workplace. :)

  10. "Everyone is stressed in some ways, but stress doesn't give some people the rights to take it out on others.

    There is no excuse for bad behavior.

    As humans we are programmed to be forgiving. When someone wrongs us under certain circumstances we forgive them, but when someone starts abusing others' forgiving nature then perhaps we need to draw a line."

    Totally agree with this Miss PopChampagne. Just because he is the boss, that does not give him an unbridled discretion to just insult anyone in public or at the kitchen. I hope he will learn about his bad attitude. Don't let him stress you out Miss PopChampagne. :)

    Ericka of

  11. I admire you being strong in such situation. I didn't see anything bad about your (sandwich) suggestion. It's him who has problems. He needs to learn something about this whole situation. Keep it up! You're doing a great job :)

  12. I love the way you're talking about this here, with so much grace and all. The chef clearly has issues, I respect you so much for having the patience to put up with him. ♥ Have a lovely weekend, girl! xx

  13. It amazes me that people can get away with that kind of behaviour in the workplace. I guess I am used to working in government / the public service where that kind of thing would lead to union grievances and such. I admit I wouldn't want to continue working in that environment, even if I liked everyone else.

  14. I hate people who have bad behaviors as well. Hope that when you leave, you give the chef a piece of your mind.

  15. I read this the day you posted it and it totally pissed me off! I have sympathy for what other people have had to deal with in their lives. But the sympathy runs out when they start making other people miserable....hurting other people. So I agree with you, no excuse for that bad behavior. I hate people like that. I've been lucky. The jerks I've worked with/for didn't object when I reflected their bad manners back at them. In my youth I had it in my head that it was my job to give jerks a taste of their own medicine. As I got older I realized it never worked. I got to blow off steam, but the people never changed. So in the end all I did was make myself look like one of them.