|Cloudy skies abound.|
How do you tell someone that their negativity is always going to hold them back? I don't think it's an age thing at all. Because the three people that I know, who's negativity holds them back are nowhere near each others age.
I worked with a lesbian that was so negative that it stopped her most things correctly. She was in her middle 50's. She left a career in graphic arts to pursue a career in culinary arts. She sucks. No. She just is not that good a cook. And on top of that, she is always critical of everything she works on. Why do we not add more lemon to the hummus? Why would you marinate the shrimp that long? Why do we use these environmentally-unfriendly platters? And so on and so forth. It's gotten so bad that people refuse to work around her.
Then there's a young head chef in his late 20's. Who is super-talented. Who at times is very nurturing. Who has vision that many more seasoned chefs won't ever have. But his need for perfection leads him to doubt his work. It leads him to constantly think negative things are going to happen during events. And inevitably leads him to sulk while cooking. I have noticed that when he is surrounded by people who don't feed his negativity, he actually does calm down and appreciates the work that is done. But when he is surrounded by anyone who feeds that negativity, it becomes a shit storm. It's only a matter of time before people begin to not want to work with him. And the first people to leave are always the talent.
Speaking of negativity, there is a catering cook who's lack of self-confidence renders her utterly useless. She often "bites off more than she can chew." And while in the midst of doing things that are basic knowledge to most cooks, her self-doubt kicks in and she begins asking questions that make me think she really has no idea what she is doing. What do you mean you just want me to grill these for color? Should I add more salt to this? When is this salmon done? How do you want us to make that thing we have done a million times?
I just don't get it. I work one way. I review the menu. Ask questions about how the food is to be cooked, seasoned, finished, and presented. And get it done. When I get to the point of finishing the food, I ask the chef to taste it. Adjust it as needed. And send it out. Done. If I don't do it correctly, I take a deep breath, fix it, and move on. I certainly do not dwell on it at all.
This is probably why I have always been successful. Negativity and drama roots people. It forces them to take their focus away on what they should do and place it squarely on what they didn't, effectively causing them to perform poorly, leading to more mistakes. I just don't have to time or energy to do that. Nor do I have the desire to tell most of them. Not that I think telling them will work. Later.
Labels: Cooking, negativity, Work