Thursday, November 8, 2012

A growing service industry problem

Not that long ago I posted two separate stories concerning unhelpfulness and bullying. Today I read a story that brought both together. 

I think this the perfect time to revisit these two subjects in one post. Please keep in mind as you read this that these are my thoughts on the subject as they currently stand.

Yesterday an amateur blogger and foodie, much like myself, was targeted and abused by chefs and self-important people. Let me say that again in case you didn't get the point. A CUTOMER was abused verbally online by SERVICE INDUSTRY PEOPLE. Service being the effective word here.

My anger has grown from the fact that this type of behavior has become systemic. It was once only reserved stereotypically for women trying to get automotive service or men trying to pick out proper gifts for wives, girlfriends or even Mom. The point is, it was not unheard of. It was, however, restricted to those locations where it was either not noticed or easily handled. Let me be clear again, I DO NOT like stereotypes. I also DON'T like bullies. Some of my best friends are female automotive enthusiasts and male perfumists. Yes, I actually know more than one. I also include both sexes as chefs in my listing of known acquaintances.

Now to the backstory. James Isherwood strikes me as an everyman with a love of food. He has a blog  where he discusses his experiences. More importantly, he is entitled to his opinion. A listing of supposed superstars in cooking have taken issue with a review he made of Hibiscus in London. Here I must admit that the review appeared to me to be open and honest. He described the one plate that didn't satisfy and some behaviors that were strange and extreme. The post was not, in any way I could see, an attack on either the chef or the establishment. It seems the Chef begged to differ.

In what can only be described as an all out attack, Mr Isherwood was bullied on twitter by at least eight different chefs. I am not including food reviewers or what I would categorize as hangers-on. The scene only succeeded in showing that self-important people don't accept even the slightest criticism. As I stated earlier, I have friends in the food industry. I hold them to a high standard of behavior and ability, and they have never let me down. They have taken and given criticism and have always acted with the gravity that I have come to expect from them. That said, everyone has a bad day.

Even with the previous statement, I stand in awe of the childish behavior being shown by these people. I've made a list of the names seen in this debacle and I list them here for your perusal and comment. Please agree, disagree or rant as you like on the list I have made:

Jim Lawson
Claude Bosi
Tom Kerridge
Sat Bains
Adrian Margots
Tristan Welch
David Anderson
Jon Mahoney

The above were all of the people I gleaned from the twitter conversations with James. Below are restaurants they are involved with that I know of.

Hand and Flowers
Restaurant Sat Bains
Margot's Padstow
Launceston Place

Once again, I am not advocating not eating at these establishments, nor do I think you need to feel any certain way about their behavior or reasoning for their statements. I just want to make a full accounting of what I have seen.

What I can tell you is that I will have serious reservations eating at an establishment that these folks work at.

Something seen from the person attacked:

Sorry if anyone witnessed the whole saga.... Just one of those things. I'm still learning about this business...none of us are faultless.

I've seen nothing similar from any of the above attackers, just a lot of deleted tweets.

Hit me in the comments. I can take it.


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