An Open Letter to Yet Another Disappointing Restaurant Man

Hi.

You don’t know me, but unfortunately I’ve met too many men like you.

My gut decision to leave what is now your restaurant could have been immediate.

I had never met our general manager before working at this restaurant, but for the past nine months I came to know an incredibly hard-working, driven yet empathetic person who kept our whole team running despite so many obstacles set by our owner. When she was fired without notice, severance or humanity by that owner — after I witnessed months of him issuing harassment and threats, refusing to listen to our needs, and so much more — it seemed pretty simple to walk away. When he also told our chef that we would have to fully re-direct the menu, stop ordering from any respectable vendors, and fire all of our hourly staff within a week, it seemed even simpler.

Still, my real decision to leave was made more slowly. I have never been fired from a job, nor have I ever quit with less than a few weeks’ notice. This has been the case even at places where I was mistreated, or verbally and physically abused — I was always able to stay professional enough to ride it out with dignity.

I was your employee for a full three days along with a handful of others. Not once did you attempt to reach out to me, my fellow sous chef or any of the cooks to learn who we were or what support was needed after you were brought in to a restaurant you now had to run. In fact, I would not have even known she was fired since neither you nor the owner even attempted to tell me so. Your owner has my number — I know that for sure now because two days after the fact he began to harass me via text.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to be treated this way by you. He never treated me like I existed except to make vague threats, tell me and my coworkers we were idiotic and ask me if I needed the reasonable salary I requested ‘to pay off my ex-husband’.

A day after handing in my resignation, I learned that instead of paying any attention to a blindsided team whose support had been removed, you had used all of your energy to direct a vitriolic email message to the woman you had replaced but never met. I’d love to address this message point by point, but since I honestly don’t see you having read this far without your big man anger taking over and making it impossible for you to process information, I’ll make it simple.

When someone is fired and you are hired for the same position, you are responsible for their employees. They owe you nothing. Your implication that we were led astray by her speaks to the way you conduct business — with an old-school lackey, macho, competitive attitude that is slowly not being tolerated.

The rest of us who left are adults who each made their own decision. You’d think seeing this group of adults with 40+ years of restaurant experience between them all decide to leave a business so quickly would make you question the nature of the owner of that business. Instead, you stood by your fellow bully, painted him as the victim and warned us not to burn your ‘giant bridges’.

Oh I almost forgot! Within three days, you both also went on record holding our paychecks hostage — paychecks we are still owed as of the posting of this letter for work done before any of this even began. That exchange must have taken a lot out of you. I hope your day off in the middle of all this gave you enough time to recover.

So I quit.

Tell me, why would I have stayed? For your bridges? I don’t need your stinking bridges.

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