Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Can't stand the heat? Get out of the kitchen.

It is an interesting time for me, right now. At home, my son and I are alone until next Saturday night, when my wife returns from her jaunt to Europe. I have been cooking, washing, ironing, and all of the other usual domestic stuff, and my son has been mostly helpful and co-operative. It has been a good experience for us.

During business hours, I am spending a lot of time working on things related to our residential development in Rovira Arriba, Panama. It is both fun and frustrating. Mostly fun.

My son and I watched Hell's Kitchen last night. You know, that show where foul-mouthed master chef Gordon Ramsey bullies a bunch of wannabe chefs while they compete to be 'executive chef in a million dollar restaurant in a billion dollar resort.' We both found the show interesting, but probably for somewhat different reasons.

I found it interesting that the chef hopefuls would subject themselves to so much verbal abuse. I found it interesting that Gordon Ramsey couldn't seem to put together a coherent sentence without it being peppered with expletives. I found it interesting that the Ramsey's 'management style' was one of directed anger and ridicule.

My son found the show interesting because of the conflict it portrays. Teenage boys seem to thrive on conflict.

I tried to use the show as a teaching opportunity about management, specifically how not to manage. I know that this is a television show and that everything is exaggerated to create drama and tension, but in the real world there are business owners and managers who manage their employees in precisely this fashion. Bullying and ridicule substitute for motivation and leadership. I don't get it. I don't understand the need to bully, any more than I understand why people put up with it.

My son and I both agreed on one thing: neither of us would want to work as a chef. I truly appreciate the skill involved, but the thought of juggling pots and pans in a hot and hectic kitchen doesn't appeal to either of us.

I have done enough cooking in the past 10 or so days to last me for a while. When my wife gets back, I'll be very happy to surrender most of my cooking responsibilities. I'll just go back to cooking crepes or waffles for Sunday breakfasts again. That's enough for me.


  1. I love cooking, of course, this is the prejudice of a single man who cherishes his liberty.
    Have worked for @$$hats just like the one portrayed on that show, doing those "jobs Americans don't want" our OMFR, C-average President's telling everyone about as an excuse to import slaves from Mexico.
    The only thing WORSE than working with inbred redneck KKKrap is working for it. Or possibly, having it in the Oval Office...jury's still out!
    Seriously Sieg, I had to leave this company I was working for, because I kept finding my mind pondering over ways to get rid of Boss Johnny-Reb and make it look like an on-the-job accident. Came down to a choice between looking for a better job, or preparing to spend the rest of my life at "the brown-bar Hilton" as Tonga Muhammad's boyfriend.
    The better job was the course I set!

  2. Sometimes the detours we take because of bumps in the road take us to better places! Sounds like that is what happened to you. Good stuff.