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In the Weeds: Yummy Yummy Jager

July 14, 2009
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in-the-weed-photo4I was really ready to move on from the entire Capital Grille debacle, but I have one more little nugget to share with you.   And as nuggets go, it is a golden, luscious, deep-fried morsel.  Oh, the scrumptiousness!

As a super long, one-sentence recap for those readers recently joining us:  I was told by the managing partner of The Capital Grille in Kansas City (a.k.a The KC Steinbrenner) in June that I was being fired  for writing this blog despite the fact that it was anonymous and despite the fact that I was by all accounts a server with table performances ranging competent to rock-star and despite the fact that the manager’s office is entirely too small of an area for three people to gather, especially when the news is so grave that the distressed individual risks bodily injury if she were to thrash about upon hearing it.  Okay, you’re all caught up now.   But now that I think about it, they do need to pad that little office or go back to the old standard of doing the firings at Latte Land across the street.  At least the coffee shop provides some space to gain speed before hurling yourself through the plate glass windows.

So my little birdies, open wide, because mama has a juicy worm for you.  Now, granted, this is probably only juicy for those who have worked for The KC Steinbrenner or for those of you who have endured nit-picky criticisms from a restaurant manager, which would include anyone and everyone who has ever worked at a restaurant.  It’s a very specific personality type that becomes a restaurant manager.  As a general rule, they usually thrive on managing by fear and will make sure to question your ethics, your competence, your punctuality, your knowledge, and your shoes as often as possible and especially in front of colleagues.  In short, they love them some squirmy servers mmmmm hmmmm.

So when I received this photo recently, I must admit, I dropped my jaw and then laughed and rubbed my hands together in villain fashion.  I have no idea who took this or who sent it to me.  But here is what I do know.  This photo looks to be The KC Steinbrenner drinking from a bottle of Jagermeister, wearing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers shirt (who knew Steinbrenner’s loyalties extended beyond New York?), and standing in a dining room at The Capital Grille.  The sender only says it was taken during a Fantasy Football party attended by Steinbrenner and several employees.

IMG00049Now. So what?  Who cares?  So the guy appears to be drinking while clearly not working in his official role as general manager?  Exactly.  I don’t care.  If anything, it only proves that he is indeed a normal guy who likes to have a good time once in awhile like we all do.  This is only juicy for one reason.  I hear all the time that Steinbrenner has a reputation for firing people for much milder offenses with no warning.  And that  it stings the entire staff each time it happens.  So to see him apparently engaging in an activity that we know is so highly disapproved of by the corporate office is quite satisfying.   The way I read it, fraternizing with employees is not allowed and fraternizing with employees while drinking is especially not allowed.  Even the staff holiday party is alcohol free to avoid any impropriety.  I mean, have you ever even heard of an accounting office having a dry Christmas party?  But these are the rules of Darden, Inc.  In fact, I hear that Darden recently fired another Capital Grille general manager in another Midwest city for leaving tickets for an employee at the will call window of a baseball game.  They are not messing around people!  So in the long human tradition of petty vengeance, this photo warms my heart like a cup of chamomile.  I doubt by any means that it reveals all of the fraternizing that Steinbrenner has been up to, but it looks like the best example to date caught on camera.

After consideration and at CJ’s request, we are disabling comments for this week’s column.  The personal attacks and back and forths between individuals has escalated beyond the subject of the written piece.  CJ only took issue with the handling of her firing and those involved, namely herself and the GM, and chose to write about it with humor as is her style.  She does not wish to see other people unrelated to the event affected by any comments on our site.  Thank you.

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