Ask Amy: My co-worker’s annoying habit has me close to exploding

Dear Amy: I am a line cook in a restaurant kitchen. It is a loud, hot and dangerous environment. I like my job, though, and find satisfaction in prepping and preparing food.

Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune) 

I like the owners and all my co-workers except for one. That one person is the chef of the kitchen.

While I could list many reasons why I don’t care for him, I’m actively working on my own reaction to his behavior.

Unfortunately, I am becoming enraged about one of his terrible habits. He whistles all the time. If he’s not talking, he’s singing and if he’s not singing, he’s whistling. Loud, sometimes tuneless, sometimes repetitive, but always whistling.

Once I clocked him whistling one song for 17 minutes. I cannot block it out, it makes me so mad. How can I bring this to his attention?

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We are a privately owned and run store. No HR, owners are there all the time, but I seem to be the only one who is bothered by this.

It’s become a joke among my co-workers, and they will sing or whistle something around the chef to see if it “takes.” Sure enough, he’ll pick it up and whistle away. I don’t think he even realizes it.

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I’m worried I’m going to blow one day and tell him to shut up! I don’t want to get fired. Now is not the time to change jobs.

I think if he knew how annoying it was, he might stop. What can I do?

Line Cook

Dear Line Cook: A person who whistles the same tune for 17 minutes nonstop might not be able to stop without great effort. This compulsive whistling might, in fact, be one behavior that helps to keep your chef focused and on-task in this very busy and dangerous environment. This may be how he quiets his mind, in order to multitask.

One observation is that — these days — whistling while you work seems to be a potentially dangerous virus-spreader.

Assuming that he and the rest of the kitchen staff take necessary precautions, you should work on your own ability to control your reaction to this nuisance.

My own (brief, unsuccessful) career as a waitress (and my many viewings of “Kitchen Nightmares”) gives …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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