“She totally reminds me of Benny Hill running around like a chicken with its head cut off---look at her!” I said, laughing at Katie, the bartender at our favorite restaurant. She was filling up a million drinks and shaking martinis by the second. She was incredible to watch. This woman had talent. Madelene and I were the only ones sitting at this huge bar. There were a few parties going on at this restaurant, so our bartender was extremely busy making drinks for tons of people other than her own bar.
“Whatsa’ matta witchoo? You gonna work here, you needa’to be a fasta! You dink’it’s busy now? Wait until a’Christmas, wait until a’New Year’s—you see---you need to be fasta’!!!” Tony, the owner yelled out from the kitchen doors with his thick Italian accent.
Katie started fumbling. The pressure was on. She needed to be much faster than a Benny Hill episode on crack. Katie started dropping glasses. She cut herself in the process.
“Katie? Are you okay?” I asked.
“Uhhh…He’s relentless, Deb. I can’t do this any faster. I’ve been a bartender for years, and he expects me to do everything without a bar back.” Katie said, almost about to cry.
“Want me to talk to him? I’ve known him for years; I’ll give him my two cents.”
“No, Deb—thanks though. He’s always like this.” Katie says, as she started pouring Jack Daniels into her cup full of soda.
“Whaddya doing now? For the love of God—you can’t a’be talking while da’people need’a drinks! You’re goofin’ off while a’people are a’waiting for dare’drinks a’Katie!”
Katie starts making more drinks; her face red with embarrassment due to Tony yelling louder, making people turn around to stare.
“This is the way he treats his employees? Is this the way he wants his customers to know how he really acts?” I said, loudly, so it would flow into Tony’s ears.
Tony walks across the restaurant. From afar, he looks at me, and kicks up his one leg, and points to me. I guess he wants to kick my butt for siding with Katie. Then he walks over to the far end of the bar and brushes his hand under his chin, as an Italian gesture to f*ck off. Lovely.
“Come here, Tony---let’s take this outside you big bully!” I said, chuckling, because Tony and I have known each other for years. We never bickered about anything other than the horrible steaks that were always burned beyond belief.
“You gotta’problem wit’me? You don’t a’know what I go through! She’s gotta a’be fasta!” He yelled, throwing his hands in the air, walking over towards me.
I put my arm around him, and told him how hard she has been working to please all the waitresses as well as serve us dinner and drinks. If she went any faster, she’d pass out.
“Do you realize she cut her hand on a broken piece of glass, because she got nervous?”
“She a’needs to be a’more careful!”
“No! You need to be more patient with her. She’s the best you got. Treat her like that!”
Katie heard Tony and me arguing over his treatment of his employees. She then realized that he was laughing and joking---and it eased the tension between them.
”Yeah Tony! You need to calm down!” She said; brave enough now to stick up for herself-- since she knew I was in the middle of this all.
Then Tony confessed…
“I haven’t a’gotten any sleep because of da’baby. I’m a’so tired, Debbie!”
He recently had a baby, and the stress level made him agitated. I always heard Tony was a tyrant to work for, but this was beyond reprimanding your employee, it was embarrassing her in front of the customers.
Sometimes we act out when we’re stressed about something in our lives. We lash out at our loved ones, we yell at our employees, and then regret it afterwards. Even if you have a boss that’s hard to deal with, remember, it may not be ‘you’. He/she may be dealing with other issues in their lives, causing them to be aggressive.
I used to take things so personally when a boss or a superior would yell at me for something. There are tactful and more effective ways to go about treating people who work under you---or anyone for that matter. Sometimes we’re pushed beyond our limits which lead us into having some sort of major tantrum. I’m no stranger to that, believe me.
1. How would you handle your employee if he/she were a bit too slow for you liking?
2. How would you handle an overbearing Italian 'know it all' boss that is constantly breathing down your back?
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