Getting motivated for moving on

So, Alexanders is in the rear view mirror and I am not heading anywhere yet. I am very bummed out that this did not give me any space to spread my wings. I worked for someone who rather sit on how miserable she thought I and other were instead of trying to make the situation better.
She was a fairly talented pastry chef, but a horrible leader. At this stage I am seriously considering that the cooking life might not be what I need for my life right now. I want to work somewhere that has a Hello Kitty dessertgood atmosphere and I can produce lovely work. Not artsy shit like they had at Alexanders… one dessert really looked like Hello Kitty blew her brains out on a plate.
She made a dish once that  – not kidding – looked like a crap on a plate. I posted pictures of all these and more on my food site (Facebook) if you want to see. I do not think I got the poop plate pic… but damn it was a bad joke.
So whatever happens moving forward we shall see. A new day comes tomorrow. And today I got some sun and am looking kissed by the sun!

my last note to Alexanders

I want to thank Erin and Sean for your incredible empathy during this crazy time. When I came by the restaurant yesterday I was able to remember how much I really appreciate this group of people I worked with.
I also told Sean a story that for me is the premise of my departure. I was upset and a little demoralized over the name calling stuff, but the impact was the real lack of healthy communication between Gail and I.
I tried on several occasions to build a communicative bridge with Gail and requested conversations that never resulted in anything positive.

  • I had a review at 30 days that rated me at “average” but the feedback I got was widely negative. I was gobsmacked and the conversation was one direction; even sections reserved for me to fill out on the form were filled out by Gail.
  • I tried again before the 90 day period was up. I got an email from Gail where she told me “It’s my job to help you succeed” but that never happened. It was before her vacation and I am certain the motivation was just to keep things steady in the department.
  • At the beginning of January I heard her say, a couple times over, “I have to work with that I got” and it seemed to be directed at us as a team; as if she was stuck with us.
  • I talked to her about increasing my pay once and she said I had to wait for 1 year before that happen. In the scope of that conversation there was no discussion about her concerns that I recall.

In fairness Gail did voice complaints about some of my processes and I tried to address them and make corrections. Unfortunately there was as if always something wrong but I worked really hard to demonstrate my passion and commitment and it never made an impact which led to this point right now. There was never a positive comment.
I was dismissed by Gail early on, but I was a warm body. The only thing I could think of as the foundation of our problems was my age over her 20 something other employees and a complete lack of interest by Gail to build a positive working relationship.
I love the ideas she had with food. She was incredibly creative in her menu presentations. I learned a lot in spite of the circumstances and am appreciative of all my other coworkers.

my resignation @ Alexanders Steakhouse

Below is an email I began writing to Gail this morning with the anticipation we could make a new path toward moving into the future that I did not send, but after our conversation at the Brannan Street location today it was clear that it was time to move on. I resigned with Sean and Rahmen today and will bring my uniforms in on Monday. I hope to receive my final check and leave on as positive note as possible.
There was no communication between Gail and I in the 8 or so months that I was there and I have to assert that my desire to succeed was unseen by Gail and for whatever folly with that there was no reason to continue on. She told me she did not see my passion and even when I tried giving her examples they went over as well as most of our conversations.
While I feel misunderstood and misrepresented I made an honest effort and was willing to go stronger. But, without communication and feedback even when asked for it there was no where to go. I learned a lot while with Alexander’s and wish the future would have been brighter.
After last night I took some time to do some thinking and am writing this having considered a lot of things.
You were right about what was going on. Those souffles just cannot sit and they faded as they aged. Your name is on that menu – bottom line – and I respect that 1000%.
That being said – I want to tell you that I very nearly walked in and turned in my uniforms last week because I have been working very hard to show you my commitment level and you have given no indication that it has been visible. I had hoped that after all these months that the work and commitment I have tried to bring would resonate on any level.

  • I come in early every day and get to work without a huge amount of chatter
  • I bring my own tools and make sure I am ready to work
  • I have been there and not only producing but creating and trying to contribute
  • I tackle as much production as I can especially when it might be needed during immediate service

No other employee can say the same thing. I have been there to perform every day with the exception of days you have given me off on time or early.
I’m not a bozo and I am not scumbag and I am not retarded. We all actually joke about your go-to word calling us ‘retards’ or ‘retarded’.

  • I am a U.S. Veteran who served 6 years
  • I am a community leader and activist
  • I am a soldier in my heart still and willing to take on tasks
  • I am a patriot and I am a person who is very loyal

You say no one tells you things. These things are important. But I can fully understand that you and I are boss and employee. In spite of me feeling like you talked to me like I was – basically an idiot. I worked hard to show you I was committed and want top quality coming from our team. I do… but I am just gobsmacked about my ability to continue and being treated like a I less than human.
I get along with everyone … EVERYONE and I care about my work. I am thick skinned enough not to have complained. I have sought advice. This is a tricky business when it comes to human relations. Somehow I hoped that the superior standard Alexanders gives to their guests might apply to relations with staff as well.
Given that, it seems that is applies to some staff and not all. You do not talk to me the way you engage other people in the department. I struggled to figure out what it was and it seems like this is an issue with my age. I am twice as old as any other member on the team and if your expectations are different for me because of that then mine are of you as well because I give you every level of respect no matter what. I do try and stand up for myself but when you are right – like last night – you are right.
Why do I suspect agism? I have eliminated everything I can think of. I am there daily giving 150% and am open to any procedural changes you want me to take – because I am also here to learn a new method, procedure, idea, concept… I have absorbed so much on a level above where I came from. Yet, the negativity is just starting to feel overwhelming.
Certainly it may carry in my persona at this point because as you get ready to leave for the Los Angeles store you want to leave a legacy behind that helps you move forward to a whole new creative adventure. I want the same thing for myself… not L.A. though… I am saying I am here to better myself through this role for my own future endeavors whatever that might be.