Former boss badmouthing me... not sure what (if anything) to do...

Joined Aug 21, 2009
So you all know my story... I left my job as AKM to be KM at a small place.  It was a bad career move and I pretty much smartened up to that after a month and gave my notice.  I was professional (save for not having the key there on time) and in all of the interviews I have had since then I have owned up to my mistake and that hasn't seemed to be a barrier for people hiring me.  No one is perfect and we all make mistakes in our journey in this business. 

Anyway I ran into one of the cooks from the diner and he was telling me that the boss lady badmouthed me from the day I quit, telling them that she fired me because I am useless and cannot cook and that I was costing her all sorts of money and my menus were s***.  I quit because I could not handle the stress... when I am having near panic attacks just on the way to the place, that for me was a sign to get out asap. 

Why on earth would an owner badmouth someone?  I gave them 150% when I was there as I do wherever I work and that is just me.  If I am so bad why did I get two glowing references from my former KM from Cora's and my former boss from the cafe when the shelter contacted them??   Is she mad that I told her that the diner was not for me?? 

I do have a bit of a case with them.... It has been six weeks since I quit/was fired/whatever and I still do not have my record of employement from them and from what I know it needs to be issued within five days of an employee's last shift.  I was also shorted eight hours and I am sure she is using the day I was sick as a dog to cover that.  I more than made up those eight hours that I was off sick but being on salary it is a he said/she said thing so I will just have to suck it up on that. 

Thanks for letting me  vent and any advice/comments/etc is much appreciated!
Joined Mar 18, 2011

I'm sorry to hear you are having such a problem with your old boss. As for why they are badmouthing you, my guess can only be something to the affect that they don't want to look bad by admitting to having made a mistake, and are doing whatever possible to make it look like YOUR fault.

My husband and I worked in a hotel for a woman where we lived on site. We worked 24/7 for this woman for a year straight. No days off. Literally 24/7. She then decided that for some reason, we were stealing from her. Then someone told her I called her a "stupid b***h". Which I never did (at least not to anyone other then my husband - because, well, she was!). So her emotions got the better of  her, and she fired us and tried to kick us out of our apartment all in one day, which she legally could not do (we were residents, and she would have to go through the standard eviction process). She swore up and down that we stole from her. We never did and she had no proof. She fought our unemployment claiming we stole. With no proof, we were granted the unemployment. It took us almost 3 months, but we got it. Now we're in the process of suing her for wrongful termination. 

This happened almost a year ago, and recently I heard from someone that she still, to this day, claims we were horrible stealing people who did nothing but lie, cheat, and rob her. When really, she let her emotions get the best of her and fired us, because someone 'claimed' I called her a name. She made a bad business decision based on emotions, and is trying to save face. 

I'm not sure if this old boss of yours did something similar, but it sounds like it to me. Thankfully we ended up moving 1000 miles away, so I don't ever have to worry about this old boss of mine ever again. I'm also not sure of the laws in your area, but I would call a labor department or whatever the equal there and ask them about the money/information owed to you. They will be your best source of information. 

Good luck! (Sorry this was a lot longer then I intended!)
Joined Aug 21, 2004
Don't worry about her bad mouthing you, it only shows on her not you. A wise man once told me not to get into a heated exchange with an idiot, they will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.
Joined May 13, 2011
Leeniek, this is unfortunate. Not much you can do about her bad-mouthing you (well, you could sue for defamation of character - good luck with that one!), but as far as your ROE goes, I would contact your labor relations board (Don't know how this works in Ontario, but I'm sure it's the same as BC) They are usually more inclined to help the employee than the employer (IMO). Yes, you are entitled to your ROE within four business days if you QUIT, 48 hours if you are terminated. As far as your overtime goes, if you are on salary, you should keep an overtime bank which the employer is supposed to sign off on, and you should get paid out or get paid time off. Problem is, most places work on the honor system - which always works in favour of the employer - and they don't track overtime officially. Been there...

If it's any consolation, any good manager will take any sort of gossip about a prospective employee with a grain of salt. There are always two sides to a story, and you never know the moivation behind someone's comments, good or bad - again, been there...

Good luck!
Joined Jun 14, 2002
I'm going to play devil's advocate.

1) She's got a legitimate reason to be angry. Making a bad hire sucks and it costs much money and time.

2) If you're getting panic attacks from work, I think it's a safe bet that your performance is suffering.

3) The key thing.

On the whole, I'd not be too bothered by it. You weren't at that job long enough to put it on your CV so the chances that prospective employers will hear from her are small. And as they say, blood will out.
Joined Aug 21, 2009
Tincook, you have some good points there.  I agree that a bad hire is a pain in the rear end and a complete waste of money so that I can see from her perspective.   I'm sure my performance suffered because of the stress level and well, it was a learning experience. 

Interestingly enough, there are only two cooks left there from when I was there... all have left because of stress or working conditions, or the fact that they do not pay overtime even though they are required to by law. 
Joined Aug 21, 2009
Thanks, Steelbanger.   She can say what she wants and I really shouldn't be surprised because I have heard her refer to former staff as "d*****bags" or "a******'s" among other nasty names. 

I'm going to take a hit on the 8 hours she shorted me.. for likely $90 (I'm sure she'll try and pay me minimum wage) it's not worth the hassle.  I attempted to contact her once again regarding my ROE and if I do not get a response from her by the end of the day tomorrow I will be taking my concerns to the labour board.  I know I don't qualify for EI because I quit, and I've also found new work so even if I were to make a claim I'd be denied because I found new work during the imposed waiting period.   I just want the record to be complete and not have anything funky turn up in my employment history if anyone goes looking into it.
Joined Aug 21, 2009
Crazy... good thing you and your husband moved away from that woman.. she sounds like a complete nut!! 

I am going to take a hit on the pay that I was shorted but if I do not hear back from her by the end of the day tomorrow I am going to take my concerns to the labour board so at least I can get the information that is mine and owed to me. 
Joined Feb 8, 2009
It doesn't matter what your old boss says about you, it matters what you say about you. You walk the life you live, that person didn't know you long enough to comment........Don't let them drag you down to their level..............your Buddy................ChefBillyB
Last edited:
Joined Apr 3, 2010
She is the stupid one . If you were this and that and could not cook, why would she have let you stay there as long as you did?  Just say to people''whatever she says that coming from her you deem a compliment as she talks worse about other employees, ignorance is bliss.. Realy not much you can do except if someone calls for reference(another employer) and she bad mouths you and you can prove it. You can then sue her for libel and whatever else you can think of. On a reference all she can say is how long you were there, and if she would or would not rehire you and thats it. She can''t go into explanations by law.  You are partially covered under HIPPA laws.
Joined Aug 21, 2009
Thanks Chefedb.....  I'm not going to let her get in the way of my own personal happiness
Joined Sep 18, 2008

Do you know a "friendly lawyer" (I know, I KNOW, that is an oxymoron!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif)?

If you do, perhaps they would write a "cease and desist letter" to your previous employer, that might settle things down.
Last edited:
Joined Jul 10, 2011
Unless she owes you a ton of dough, I would walk away and chalk it up to a learning experience. People like that are poison. The business as you know is stressful enough without dealing with that kind of personalities. Not to mention, now you're taking it home.. close the door behind you and leave it there.

As others have said, there is no need to use her as a reference per se. You can always put a fellow employee as a reference. MOST employers want someone that can work and play with others. Someone that worked elbow to elbow with you would know your daily work ethics more so than the shrew walking through the kitchen on the occassional tirade.

Sadly, her behaviour isn't uncommon either. There are quite a few crazy people in this industry and there are days when I'm sure most all of us feel like 'asshole magnets'
Joined Aug 21, 2009
Well I finally got my record of employment from her so I'm officially done there now.  I think she has to do some looking at how she runs the place as another cook quit.. so now there is no one left there from when I worked there.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
If it really bothers you, grab one of the cooks who told you that she was bad mouthing you and drop in on her for a friendly visit.

All you really have to say is, "I just want this to stop", and walk out.

Maybe she'll catch on, maybe she won't.. 
Joined May 8, 2009

Life's too short.

Let it go.

Move on.

Does this person deserve the level of attention you're giving her?

Is she real enough of a person to warrant the level of attention you're giving her?

Do you really want to exert your energy on this?

It's over.

F*** her and everything she stands for, but

stop wasting time on this.

And I mean that in a caring/helpful way, not in a jerk way./img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
Joined Jul 10, 2011

Not to mention the fact that if the store is going through cooks like water.. other places aren't stupid.. they see the trend, they hear the rumors.. MOST are smart enough to realize that it can't be ALL of her former employees that are the problem. Small world this cooking business

Everyone is right tho, for the short amount of time you were there, I wouldn't wast the air time explaining to anyone on interviews. If you're asked where the time went.. just say you took some time off for personal reasons and move on.
Joined Aug 21, 2009
For sure this business is a small world.  I have been totally honest when asked why I left Cora's and why I left the last place and it didn't seem to stand in the way of my being hired on at new places.  I have a third interview tomorrow for at a production kitchen so I must be doing something right and I have two part time jobs right now.  At my second interview for the shelter I named the place I left Cora's for and that I found it was not what I had expected going in and all I saw were nods around the table.  It seems that alot of people in this busniess in this city have done their time at that place and when I told one of the frontline workers at the shelter that I was there, he said that all he has heard from former staff from that place is bad things and I was the first person so say that they are nice people, but terrible bosses. 
Top Bottom