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In the Weeds: Special Edition

June 5, 2009


For the last three years, I have worked at a job that I love.  Quite unexpectedly, I was hired to work at one of the best restaurants in Kansas City without much serving experience.  I convinced a skeptical manager that my background as a concierge and my passion for service and high-end hospitality would fit right in with what he was looking for in a team member.  They took a chance on me and over the next three years, I built a good following of regulars, routinely did well on secret shopper reports, and was asked to be a trainer.  But the two best things about my job were bonding with the guests that I served and the amazing friends that I made.

Okay (insert needle scratching a record sound here) that’s enough of that hazy “Dreamweaver” moment.  I was fired on Wednesday for writing my weekly column.  ”In The Weeds” has been a fun, sarcastic and anonymous look at my experiences in the restaurant industry.  It will continue to be fun and sarcastic.  It will no longer be anonymous.  I will continue to post on on Tuesdays so please visit often for real stories from my years at The Capital Grille.
Teaser for Tuesday: A look inside the little shoe box that serves as both manager office and execution chamber. 



18 Responses to “ In the Weeds: Special Edition ”

  1. anne almirall on June 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Oh, it’s on now. Those bastards.

  2. jane on June 5, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    I would like to add, “Now you fucked up, you fucked up now, now you fucked up” to those bastards.

  3. Canned Class of '07 on June 5, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    CJ, I was sorry to hear the news. The Mayor strikes again. Ironically, I only heard about your blog because you were fired for it. I would’ve emailed my sentiments to you directly, but I’ve lost your address since my days of emailing the weekly server schedules.

  4. Still there... on June 5, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    UMMMM…bonding with the guests and people you also made fun of?????

  5. Left BEFORE they could fire me on June 6, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Completely unreal. I love CG, but its Russian Roulette approach to termination really brings the place down. Hang in there…

  6. yellowcat on June 6, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    That is crazy and I’m not sure it’s legal. Chin up, tits out. They will be sorry.

  7. frothy fan on June 6, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Take the gloves off!

    Stupid, stupid move on CG’s part. Since management clearly wasn’t quite aware of this tiny little cultural phenomenon call social networking…they’ll get schooled fast on this one.

  8. loubies on June 6, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Oh no!!!! I worked at Longhorn for three years (sister restaurant) and the crap that Rare Hospitality allows to happen (from the management staff) is freaking ridiculous and they fired YOU over this??? I know they are owned by Darden now but still. Here are some examples of the behavior from managers at Loho:

    one manager (after i jokingly asked did they plan that when she and another manager wore the same outfit) said “no. Did ou plan on coming to work looking like a slut today? Probably so.” i was in my loho uniform.

    That same manager told another server, IN FRONT OF HIS GUESTS, that he was a fucking moron.

    Another manager (known coke head and the reason the bar numbers were off every week) cussed us out on a regular basis, called us every name in the book, threw things at us, it was ridiculous. and yes formal complaints were filed but as usual they never got past the gm.

  9. Homo say what?? on June 6, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Loubies…too funny! Dressed like a slut in your uniform?? I’m dying laughing.

    If I’m not mistaken (and I know I’m not), you are spot on with your manager vs. employee analysis. I was told this particular Capital Grille has a GM who began having an affair with the marketing manager, a direct report, and kept his job but keeps firing other people. Insane!!

  10. old-timer on June 6, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    be care babe, it’s a small, vindictive “good ol’ boys” restaurant world we live in.

  11. old-timer on June 6, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    case of old-timers disease. Thats “be Careful”

  12. Sommelier on June 8, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Sorry but not surprised, my almost 8 yr. tenure there was abruptly terminated without so much a warning, the draconian management style is typical of mary simpson and the gm, finally the chickens have come home to shit all over the CG.
    So if you love sending your dinning dollars out of town and paying 35 dollars for “choice” grade steaks please reward these North Korean schooled managers by continuing to patronize this establishment. I hope it goes out of business.

  13. Shannon on June 8, 2009 at 8:15 am

    You reap what you sow, a fact that seems to elude many boss types. This story will have legs because it has universal appeal. Regardless of whether one has waited tables, everyone can relate.

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  15. David on May 30, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I work under the dome up the street. As soon as I started my blog, I was warned by two mutual friends and two local reporters of your story. It fits everything I have heard about that place and is the reason I would work at Denny’s before I put an application in there.

  16. Shannon on May 30, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Hey David, I am obviously not Charity (I’m the editor), but I was really disappointed in the way she was treated. Before we started her blog, we consulted a lawyer,and went over her handbook. She did not do anything wrong. We never named the restaurant, and never even named what type of food she served (until her firing.) We followed the rules, they did not.

  17. David on June 22, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    That is a little chilling. My content is pretty inoffensive to my employers. It’s a short leash, but for my intent it covers a lot of ground. I am trying to avoid all egos, because all too often bruising those are what gets the paperwork filled out.

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