Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Geldings

From Wikipedia:

A gelding is a castrated animal—in English, a castrated male horse. The word comes from the Old Norse geldr ("barren"). A horse is usually gelded to make him more placid, making him easier to control. Geldings were once prized by classical steppe warriors for their silence.

Red Lobster more and more is in the practice of hiring people for their management teams who are geldings. The less personality you have the better. The further you are willing to stick your head up the corporate ass the further you will go. I understand being a company man, when that company is a good company that will stick by your side through thick and thin. But Red Lobster/Darden does not meet that qualification. I've seen idiot managers shown the door for a lot of good reasons, but I've also seen some great people come and go for reasons that are absolutely absurd. Petty things, things that were I to explain you'd be left scratching your head too.

If you aren't one of the gelded managers, your life quickly becomes a corporate game of whack-a-mole. If you don't watch out, the Darden hammer will smack you back down into your place. And worse, your fellow managers who no longer have their own balls are watching you, waiting for you to screw up. Not a positive work environment. I appreciate my current management team for the most part (we have one manager who would buy dehydrated water if Red Lobster said they were selling it that I could probably live without). But I am tired of the turnover. Having to continually learn a new managers peccadillo's every few months is very tiresome. It's bad enough to have a staff turnover of 50-70% to deal with on an annual basis.

Red Lobster spends a lot of time, money and effort to train people, but they haven't yet figured out how to retain the good ones. At the end of the day, if the leadership - local on up - reach their bonuses, they don't really care about how it impacts us as a staff. Red Lobster has potential. It was once a great company. But it is going to take someone with some huevos to take us there, and I don't honestly think that person exists in our current system. So we are relegated to continuing on down a bland path, with uninspiring leadership. We will continue to be led by drones who huddle around restaurant magazines celebrating a 1% gain in market share. We will continue to be guided by the bottom line with no consideration for the impact on the average employee. We will continue to be treated in ways which remind us at every opportunity that we are all replaceable. And we will continue to just get by, which in my books is not the right way to run a business of any size.

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6 comments:

briliantdonkey said...

Such is the life in the cooporate world. Being in it in the restaurant biz is no different. If anything I would say it is worse. I kind of liken it to politics. As much as I despise politicians, I think that every once in a while surely SURELY a new politician HAS to come along that really does want to do the right thing and go about it in the right way. It is only a matter of time before said hero gets beaten down by the masses who refuse to do so and eventually falls into the 'if you can't beat em join em' way of doing things. Hate to say it, but it will never change, so if you dislike it that much my only suggestion would be to get out now. Being in a smaller much less cooperate company is far from perfect but I personally like it a lot better.

BD

Eric said...

I read your blog on a regular basis and I do enjoy it. but I have to ask, If RL sucks so hard why dont you leave? Find a nice smallish fine dining establishment and take that next career step.

Lobster Boy said...

I have tried that route Eric. Last Spring I interviewed and was hired at a local high-end restaurant. They unfortunately went out of business before I was able to even make it through training. It was a quick and catastrophic to a well known and much beloved French restaurant. I've been looking to move out of the restaurant industry, and a lateral move doesn't interest me. We'll see what the next few months brings. But until something better comes along, I'll be here.

Lobster Boy

Jeremy said...

Now i do have to agree with you "lobster boy", this job does suck sometimes, i work at a Red Lobster in Waco texas, and i can tell you, Water with Lemon and Endless Soup and Salad always makes my day just a little bit dimmer. We actually have a Manager just like the one that you described. The main reason that i stay around is, The Red Lobster Employees. There is every kind of person, in every shape and every form. And a new one of that person every 2 weeks or so. I can't get enough of it. I have thought many times of moving to a different job to pay the bills untill my Fiancé gets out of college. But i don't think there is a better one for me out there. Now i may quit in a week, don't get me wrong. But i can deal with the rediclious "seik Hile DARDEN" managment untill my time comes. I freaking love your blogg. Keep it up dude. Oh yea and i have some amazing stories to tell you. Peace

riva0060 said...

okay it's 2am I came home from work and discovered your blog, and have commented on nearly every one of your posts, I'm now drunk and have come to your last one about management. All I have to say is, "management, DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THAT ONE!!!" I'd elaborate but my nazi ass, dumb fuck, college dropout, asshole, manager (who is three years my junior by the way) probably moniters these blogs (ya know he wanted to write me up for keeping a cup of coffee in the guests view, he literally yells at me for nothing less)...

Lobster Boy said...

I know the type Tim R. The young and dumb new manager who thinks they are going to become GM in the next 18 months by making everyone else around them experience living hell. Often it is just a little too Hitler like of a power trip of enforcing inane rules. They of course walk in lock-step with corporate policy. These are the kind of mindless drones who measure earrings to make sure they fit within standard, and they also run around checking for belts if you pants have belt loops.

Ugh.

Lobster Boy