Tired of being told you have a big ego?

1,908
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Joined Oct 28, 1999
Why do no-foodies have the annoying habit of consistently telling me I have a big ego? Does this habit fall into the same category as assuming all chefs throw things and yell at everybody?
I just came out of a meeting with my contract administrator and he said something like "we know you have a big ego, but we'll work around it."
I don't walk around the kitchen acting like I can 'do no wrong'. Nor do I talk down to anyone. I have admitted mistakes and defended other staff members in need. It seems like the other chefs I talk to get the same 'ribbing' from other people. What gives? If we pull off a good meal, we can't 'high five'?? We can't relish in the warmth of a job well done?
Well, I'm ranting... but don't we spend as much time in school and interning as a Doctor!!
eek.gif

Any thoughts?
 
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Joined Sep 25, 2000
Man, you got that right! I know my ego gets me in trouble sometimes. It's that thing when "I'm right and your wrong" is torn apart by a chef that's been in the industry 50 years longer then I have. Not knowing that he's a master and I'm just a go-for in his eyes. Now that I'm in charge of my career and I don't have to answer to any body, I see now, that I should have been a little more humble instead of cocky and condesending twords the "cheif" and manegement.
 
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
That may hold some truth. But the fact is, the servers who think you have an ego problem are generally the dummies who need to get set straight. It has less to do with ego than it does with making sure things go out the way they are supposed to.
 
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
I end up with that attitude running the market....many don't understand I have to look out for the city's interest, the total farmers involved as well as the chefs coming in to work. I ask for tons of feedback from all over (different mkt. masters, other farmers, loads of friends that run businesses) when I desiminate the information and come up with a "rule" there are many that want to question it in their context....EGO sure, I'm where the buck stops and I'm the one responsible for having it up and running with a high quality.....

Same runs with my work, I've run in to this also with volunter groups, I've found it best to understand what they want from me,

If I lead I lead, if I'm part of a group I do my portion and follow, But when I'm in charge of a kitchen that's all she wrote, follow or get out....
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Sometime people confuse self-confidence with arrogance, vanity and big ego…
 
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
many times a fine line between them~ though sometimes NOT!!!!

When teaching the only goal I have is for my student to feel comfortable with whatever we're making. Lose inhabitions and start cooking. It's self confidence and sharing...

THEN there are the situations where I'm part of a group and there is no "leader" that's where I crawfish out....there is usually no cohesive direction or theme, I find it way to frustrating....the end product usually shows the process.

Ego is probably when I don't feel I have time to explain the whys...just do as I ask please....and then come back to me if you still need to know.

Competition~oh my how I thrived on it as a child. I still get a kick out of winning mah jong or cribbage. Not so much in the kitchen anymore.... Those I play with get and give respectively and it's not really competitive.
Each has his own style and are on comparable ground.

Rambling sorry, it's just come up alot in the last year and I had to do some introspective diving...
 
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I'm in the midst of reading Soul of a Chef....and realize it's OK to have a strong ego. It's when ego becomes ******* that deliniates "okness"
Great BOOK Michael Ruhlman wrote it and it is incredible you guys won't put it down either.
 
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
its quite funny that you guys should say that, because i actually had a kitchenhand who presented me with a t shirt with "APOS" written in big letters on the front. APOS stood for "Arrogant piece of S".

Later on i sat him down and said, "i absolutely love the shirt, yes i can be that way sometimes. But just remember who you ask for guidance and advice if things arent going right".

Wear that t shirt going out and stuff.
 
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Joined Sep 22, 2000
With all the B.S./ pressure / stress we put up with if we do not have a strong personality, we will go down in flames.

In the same breath, it is go to do a attitude check every now and then, but then again.... what the ****...It is our butt on the line.

D.Lee
 
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Joined Mar 9, 2000
Egos are things that need controlling, we all have to struggle with this. Sometimes if you know something, or do something well, or speak up it can be intimidating to those that may not care or not have a clue. It can be misconstrued as ego, when perhaps it is merely confidence.

If you do something well and excell or even express your viepoint it's not necessarily ego unless it is selfish and what you're really saying is "Hey, look at me." We all like attention but if we think about others first, and the goal of what is trying to be accomplished then the ego gets smaller. I remember Chef Schoenenschmidt of the CIA say,"There is no "I" in the word TEAM." Yes, even if that team has a leader. Hey, your head doesn't berate your little toe because it doesn't do as much as your hand. It's still a cherished member of your body.
 
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
indeed this is turning into quite a complicated thread. Fits and tantrums usually occur as a result of error on someones behalf.

I like compliments because it means something is going right, but however, im more concerned/interested with negative feedback, because it is a directed response and usually more helpful.

I guess my problem is that: "Compliments to the chef" is both nonspecific feedback and a cliche.

I dont believe that iam god because that is definately not true, but by the same token, the amount of time and training that any chef has invested in their trade/craft should be respected as a variable.
 
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Joined Dec 8, 1999
Louder meaning more wrong, I take it? Silly me, I've had it mixed up all this time. I don't yell unless I am without a doubt correct and only in few circumstances.
 
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Funny I had someone tell me it wasn't the project, it was working with people.....guess I put my head down and bulldoze through....interesting concept.
 
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Joined Oct 28, 1999
"Sometime people confuse self-confidence with arrogance"

Sisi... I think you speak volumes in one, short sentence! This is the sentiment I was in search of. It appears that I am not the only one that feels this way. Pity, really, that so many customers/peers/etc can't recognize confidence and make themselves look unintelligent by dismissing a chef's ability and calling him/her an ego-maniac.
 
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