Saturday, October 24, 2009

Crab Soup

I have prepared a wonderful crab and corn soup yesterday. Forget about fake crab, we're talking about the real thing. 'Reminds me, sometimes I watch weird cooking shows on television. Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares would be one instance. Gordon Ramsay has also another popular television show named Hell's Kitchen and its sixth season has recently concluded.

Hell's Kitchen is not exactly what I would call quality programming and it's more entertainment than instructional; but it does not mean there's nothing of interest.

Ramsay's management is definitively noticeable. He yells, verbally abuses, throws food at people, kick garbage cans and whatnot! He is a straight-talker, makes no compromises and rarely compliments his staff. “He is a bad boss,” most people would utter without hesitation nor any further investigation. Ramsay nevertheless claims to have a 85% staff retention rate since 1993 (see here).

Your ideal boss is charming, calm, polite, and tells you that you are the best. He pays you lunch at times and it all makes you feel good. You feel respected. Popularity has a direct correlation with the ability to hide one's true feelings. Basically, it means the better the liar, the more popular.

Such an idealized boss as described above might as well be a psychopath. “Psychopaths are typically very likable”, according to an article entitled “Is Your Boss a Psychopath?” (quiz here). Psychologist Robert Hare thoroughly studied criminal psychopaths and developed a checklist, Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R), that has also been applied to corporate world. Be aware of what you wish, because it might become true (and not exactly what you expect).

I expect from people working for me discipline, honesty and take responsibility for their actions. It's a tough ride on anyone because it is demanding and exhausting. One could say that my personality is mostly being serious. Ramsay would say that I am too soft when it comes to management, even though others would instead say that I am overly demanding. Isn't it a strange world?


  1. My initial article was much longer with more details. I have decided to leave some those details away to allow readers to ponder about the subject.

    Important questions should arise in readers' mind. Why would anyone endure such behaviour? Is Ramsay constructive or destructive? Etc.

    Psychopaths are always destructive. Because they are highly manipulative and successful in their lies, it is extremely difficult to spot them. This is the reason why one should not rush to conclusion with Ramsay or anyone else.

    It requires a thorough investigation. The PCL-R is a great tool to determine whether one is a psychopath or not. The online quiz might give you an insight but it's for fun. One should use the complete PCL-R to further investigate.

    Filling out the test for your favourite (or not so) boss does not guarantee an accurate result because you may be tempted to evaluate your boss based on your feelings rather than the criteria to score on each question. For example, Ramsay would certainly score very high on PCL-R if it would be scored based on one's feelings but is likely to score considerably lower based on defined criteria.

    In a nutshell, my article is food-for-thought. :)

  2. Now, what about sharing this wonderful crap soup with us? :)

  3. I don't know how to prepare crap soup. You must have confused this blog with another one. ;)

  4. I'm just making fun 'with' you :D

    Life is short, we need to smile. It's better than verbally abusing of each other, or throwing food on employees, don't you think?

    On this matter, are you so sure this type of attitude brings positive results?

    Have a good day!