How to handle meanies?

Joined May 6, 2017
Hey,  I'm new so sorry if this is in the wrong place.

So I started a job at a high-end bakery. Serves as a coffee shop also, has bussers, at least ten people working at a time. My job title is bakers-assistant.

It's a difficult job. I have been told that many people don't come back after the first day. However I've been commended on my work, at the start of the second day my boss told me he "appreciates me." I don't take breaks, visibly sweat when I work -- maybe gross but probably looks good work-ethic wise.

So on my third day I'm pumping, my direct boss (we'll call him baker number one) tells me we need to go as fast as possible (butter can melt, product can be ruined, need to feed related restaurant next door before service). Later we're setting up to put some product on trays. Boss asks me to clean off the trays -- not a big deal, basically whipe the crumbs off of them into the garbage.

**So baker number 2 (villain) says, "here's an easier way to do this." Basically holding it with my right hand and whipe them with my left. I'm going as fast as I can, I try the way he tells me for like five seconds and couldn't get it to work, it's awkward and I'd have to stand shoulder to shoulder with baker number 2 (which he's told me not to do), so I go back to the way I was doing it. Apparently baker number 2 doesn't like this. **

For the rest of the day I can tell baker number two is pissed about this. Later on during down time I ask if there's anything I can do to help him. He says no. There's a sink filled with dishes I know he'll have to wash and I offer to wash them for him and he says no.
I'm going over in my head what to say to handle the situation, I don't want to make a big deal about it in front of people, so I'm trying to think of something general I can say to the two bakers to not call out baker number 2 and make a big show. I think of saying, "I just want to say I really appreciate learning from you guys, and I've been told I have resting asshole face so I just want to say please don't ever hesitate to tell me what to do or boss me around because I'm here to learn, and if I have a bad attitude or something just tell me to shutup." 

So a little less than two hours before the end of my shift I wind up walking somewhere alone with baker number 2. Perfect opportunity. I say, "hey man, I just want to apologize if I'm ever an asshole. You're my boss..." And he cuts me off and says, "it's not about being an asshole it's about doing things inefficiently." And he goes on about how you can't clean off trays the way I was doing it because it's inefficient. The whole cleaning of the trays took less than a minute.

I tried to explain to him that for one reason I couldn't hold them the way he was, because I would have to stand right next to him, which he's told me three or four times to not stand in that area while he's working. But he's just kind of indignant about it.

So now I'm kind of pissed off because I'm dumb. Like, I tried to be humble and bury the hatchet or whatever and it just feels bad to get rebuffed. For the next hour and a half I'm kind of stewing.

And then I left, said have a nice day everyone, and that's that. I come back for more training next week. But, I don't know if I can put the same amount of energy into the work now. I don't feel good about how I was treated because I'm a little princess I guess, but I also don't feel like I can approach baker number 2 to talk about it because the last time I did he was just kind of a dick.

So any advice is good. If you have advice on how to let go of this shitty feeling that would be good. If you have advice on saying something to somebody, or not saying something that's good too. Maybe advice about how to avoid situations like this in the future would be good also.

TLDR: Tried to apologize over nothing to the lowest ranked of my ten bosses but he was a doo doo meany head to me, now not sure how to put the same amount of effort into my job
Joined Aug 21, 2004
So now I'm kind of pissed off because I'm dumb. Like, I tried to be humble and bury the hatchet or whatever and it just feels bad to get rebuffed. For the next hour and a half I'm kind of stewing...

... not sure how to put the same amount of effort into my job
You planned out a scenario in your head about how things would turn out if you apologized. Things didn't turn out the way you had envisioned. Life has a way of doing that. You can let it go and move forward with your life...or you can continue to let the experience rent space in your head, in which case your life is put on hold for the moment.
Joined Oct 31, 2012
Here's some blunt advice. Get over it and get used to it. Like Cheflayne said, let it go and move forward. 

In EVERY SINGLE JOB I have ever had, there's been at least one jerk. Both genders, various ages, various jobs, sometimes coworkers, sometimes supervisors. I really don't know why people can't just come to work and be nice. But they can't. 

So you can't make this guy happy. You aren't supposed to. You show up, do the job and go home. 

Every day you make different adjustments depending on who you meet and interact with. Eventually you leave the job and get another. 

At your new job, you will meet a new jerk, who is a jerk in a different way than the first jerk. 

And just fyi, this is true in every industry. The world is full of jerks. 
Joined May 9, 2017
This is true ^

I am also trying to deal with a difficult co-worker. I know how bad it is for morale, but we have to just deal with them and their quirks.

Yes, there are efficient ways to do things. In a professional kitchen, you have to take as few steps as possible because any additional steps takes longer. Time management is crucial.

On the other hand, there is more than one way to skin a cat. What works for one person, may not work for another. If we all did things the same way all the time, we would never develop new ways of doing things.

I asked a professional chef to show me how to make hash browns perfectly and efficiently because the way they are done on the flat top in our restaurant is grossly inefficient. I showed him photos of our kitchen set up. He suggested using a skillet method on the gas range next to our flat top, and it works great. When it's my kitchen on Tuesday and Thursday, this is how I make hash browns now.

As for the bad attitude, there isn't much you can really do about that. You may never be able to please the villain. It would explain why no one stays in your position for very long.

I mention in my introduction that the lead cook on my day job is a very particular type of person. He wouldn't let me switch days with him so I could be with my daughter for her surgery next week, because, he says, he only changes the oil in the deep fryers on Friday. He could not do it on a Thursday, nor would he allow me to do one of his tasks. He just has to do it himself.

Well, this is a small restaurant and gossip does get around quickly. A co-worker asked how my kid was doing. I said I couldn't go with her on account of work and wont be allowed to switch days with the lead cook. The owner found out about it and is making him do it. Yesterday, she asked what I would do if the lead cook needed to switch days with me. I said I would still do it because that is just the type of person I am.

If you came to work with us in our kitchen, you would be dealing with another villain. Some people are just arrogant and controlling.
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
Some people are just arrogant and controlling.
How true, and if I try to change them, not only is it an exercise in futility; but I am then doing the very thing I don't like about them..trying to control them. If only you were more like me then I wouldn't have to be upset at you right now, so why don't you work at becoming more like I want you to be.
Joined May 6, 2017
Thanks for your advice everyone, I feel kind of dumb for posting this.

I was a barista for a long time and I'm used to working in smaller cafe's where people literally have to get along with one another. The place I'm working now is more like a giant machine where performance is much more important than personal relationships.

He gave me a little fist bump when I next went in to work, though he's still giving me some attitude, which is fine.

He's my boss. He's a baker and I'm a baker's assistant, so I just need to be humble and show with my actions that I respect him and want to learn from him. 
Joined May 9, 2017
Hey, we are all on the same team here.

You just get it off your chest, otherwise it will build up and the next thing you know you're crying in your cupcake batter. 

You are valuable! It costs them time and money to have to replace you.

I had a super s****y day. The owner gave me a hard time via text last night, and I gave it right back to her.

She's really in no position to mess with me. She needs me more than I need her and she knows it!
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
Slightly confusing post for me. Baker 1 is your direct boss, correct? He is speaking to you directly about timing, butter, etc. Your title should represent your job description. Baker 1 is your boss. Unless it states in your job description that baker # 2 is also your direct boss. He or she can give suggestions and such, but you shouldn't feel like you need to comply with whatever is said. I don't know how it works with baristas, but in a kitchen or complete operation with 10 people, there should be only one boss. If you keep this way of thinking, it will result in complete distraction. Do your best, if it's not good enough, the boss will let you know.
If #2 is under #1, then he basically has the same job description as you. Don't get played. Treat him like your direct boss and you give up leverage forever. Your not there to please #2. just my personal felling.

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