Working for a company that you love does not trump working with an a—hole. Pulling on apron strings, throwing an arm around shoulders, tickling, not cutting a server so that s/he will be forced to hang out around the restaurant.
Driving down I-35W, I would hope for my car to find itself in an accident. I didn’t want injuries—just an excuse to not have to deal with him that day. I found myself questioning what year it was, because this guy obviously hadn’t gotten the memo that women in the workplace have the right to not be harassed. Despite how much I believed in what this restaurant was trying to accomplish, and how much I enjoyed my coworkers, I reached the point where I had to leave because of that one manager.
Getting along with management can be a struggle in any profession. In 2009 I was working at a restaurant in Minneapolis that I loved. It was my first serving job after my stint in corporate America. My coworkers were lovely, back of house and front of house included. There was one manager that I did not get along with—and it made my life hell. My love for this place was eventually trumped by my inability to watch someone treat others so disrespectfully. It is very simple: as a server or bartender, you work for the manager on duty. While you may be working for a company that you love, it is all predicated on the relationship that exists with the management.
There are countless fellow service industry workers that I know who have left a job that they loved solely because of an issue with one—count it—one manager. Mark Netsch, Founder of PerformanceScope has seen it many times, “management teams have a profound impact on the culture of a restaurant. Some bring positivity and can-do attitudes, leading by example. Other managers act like a cancer, bringing down morale until the good employees have left to find better jobs leaving the malignant management team in place. Owners wonder why sales are down 20%, and may blame it on the economy or other factors. The truth is, sometimes it is someone in-house driving away dependable, highly trained and caring employees.”
It might seem easier to replace a server here or there who leaves because of issues with a manager. Perhaps you are cutting the wrong strings. And if several people are having issues with that one person—it might be time for that one person to go.