When I was a teenager and walked through the back door of the hotel for the first time, I received a very big wake up call and understood extremely quickly that that you learned something every day or you were punished.
A good kick in the back side, pastry cream rubbed all over my face, name calling, intimidation, a hit on the elbow with a hot sauced ladle maybe, a bath in a huge pot of dirty water or even threats of “Saxon, you will never make a chef as long as you have a hole in your arse!” would be the standing order of the day.
How I ever stayed in this business is beyond me, I used to think to myself that it did not deserve me, but what could a teenager do, I just wanted, no dreamed of being a chef.
I have witnessed it all, but I am still here, still plodding on and still ensuring every day that all those idiots are proved wrong.
I am lucky enough to have been taught by my mother & father the difference between right and wrong, so I do not and will not ever make the same mistakes as others and in doing so betray my colleagues trust with humiliation tactics.
Today I walk around the pot washing area, not as a toe rag as I was treat 30 years ago but as General Manager of one of the best hotels in Asia. In doing so I shake the hands of the people whom wash the pots knowing that If they are not taken care of and they resign and leave their posts I may have to wash the pots myself and I know how hard that is being as I have “been there and done that”
So here we are, its 2010 and we have finally arrived in a modern working environment where people skills have become our most important and prized asset, without such motivational skills, you cannot be any where near as successful as you had earlier dreamt.
It is quite amazing really that there are still people out there whom believe others can be beaten into submission, intimidated & threatened thereby being forced to learn only to then turn around and demand to be thanked for the privilege to have studied under them.
The plain truth is that we must ensure our junior colleagues want to work for, or even better work with us due to respect and not fear, only then will they deliver their total worth, contribute their entire mind heart & soul and in doing so ensure that as a manager, you look far better than what you actually are.
We must understand that we are only as good as the people around us and with a happy, healthy team built on foundations of mutual respect, physical & mental support and yes a little bit of emotion who knows what may happen.
Although there are still some lunatics out there that still practice the ways of the big stick, they are in fact the remnants of a dieing breed, their days are numbered and the clock is ticking slowly but ever so surely to the big day when we can say goodbye to the intimidation culture.
Ladies and gentleman, right here and right now I put my hand on my heart and solemnly swear that for me, this time can’t come soon enough.