Monday, June 20, 2011

Let's Talk About Bullies and Bowls of Cherries

Let's get personal. I love my job, and I love what I do. Making sweet treats for people to love, enjoy and devour is my passion. I have been doing it for long enough to feel confident in my abilities and know that I am successful in getting extra attention in the bakery. It has been a strange transition, coming into this kitchen. As you know from my past posting, I have had some issues with my assistant, and communication with my bosses, but overall, until this morning, I was relatively happy.
But lest go back in time a little bit. When I first started working in this kitchen, little things would get under my skin. I usually brushed them off. Like how my name sounds a lot like "vaca" and if you aren't paying attention, you don't notice that the cooks all call me vaca, instead of Beca. Grown men, thinking it's funny to call a young woman, already concerned about weight and appearance, a cow. Feelings hurt, but persevere, that is what I did. I was annoyed when certain things started showing up missing, but just started making sure that I locked everything up extra safe. (absurd that anything needs to be locked up!) I turned the other cheek when mean notes were written to me on the tops of boxes in my bakery. I just crossed them out, often writing "that's mean" underneath. But now, enough is enough.
Today, some cruel soul smeared chewed bubble gum all over my handmade leather bike seat and ruined it. The seat was a gift from my boyfriend and is one of a kind. It has an anchor engraved on it and I have had it on my bike for years. It's ruined now. I don't know if you have ever tried to get gum off leather, but I spent an hour this afternoon trying to scrape it off, but it has morphed itself into my seat and messed up the leather. I am devastated. Not that Doug can't make me another bike seat. It's just a thing. But it isn't even just that. I am nice to these people. I am kind and helpful. I work hard and I do my job. I don't hurt anyone's feelings, I am friendly and always say thank you when the cooks make me lunch, always say good morning, say bye when I leave. I always say thank you when the dishwasher helps us wash our mixer. I am kind to my assistant, and although we have had to cut our hours, I still try and get her as many hours as I can.

I just don't know what to do. These people are adults. Not adults like you and me, they are grown men and women who have families, grandkids, and have been doing shit like this for years. I've heard stories about the past pastry chefs, also women, who couldn't handle it. I get it, I am a woman, I am young. I don't speak Spanish. I look different. But that is no excuse to be bullied into feeling uncomfortable in my work place. I am, of course, going to talk with my boss first thing in the morning. But this isn't about what will happen. This isn't about that.

I have spent my whole life being bullied. I am standing up and saying I am tired of it. I am too old to allow people to make me feel sad, angry, uncomfortable or inadequate. I am successful, I am loved. I have let people bully me my whole life. I have been weak and I have been sad. But, I am not anymore, and I have a lot of love in my life. And I refuse to be bullied, ever again. I don't know what will happen tomorrow, or the next day, but I know how I am feeling right now and I don't like it.

But, after all is said and done, I will always live by my motto, I work to live, I don't live to work, and I know my own self worth. I know what I am capable of and I know who I am. I will never lose that and I have a lot to be thankful for. I am starting a list of things to be thankful for. Let's start at number 1 and see where it takes us.
1 // Sharing a bowl of cherries with the love of my life.
2 // Presents from friends that seem to turn the whole day sweet.
3 // Discovering a new recipe that I can't wait to try out tomorrow, in a miraculous cupcake form.
4 // Puppy kisses, first thing in the morning, and right before I go to bed, and all day in between.
5 // Riding my bike to work.
6 // Making perfect pink lemonade macarons.
7 // Planning trips to Northern California
8 // Snuggling with 8 week old puppies.
9 // Loving the life I am living and being a strong woman.
10 // Red stained fingertips from said cherries and not ever taking life too seriously.
And for a little musical inspiration, here is why life is like a bowl of cherries.


  1. Wow. I can't believe people are acting like that. It was ridiculous in high school! Why are they not grown up?? I am so sorry :(
    I'm glad you know you rock and are loved.
    And those macaroons look AMAZING.
    Hope things get worked out, one way or the other.

  2. this post hurt my heart...i was bullied in high school...but have not yet experienced it in my adult years. people can be so cruel. i'm sorry. i'm sending you a hug through my laptop screen.

    i hope things change for you at work once you speak to your boss.

  3. sorry to hear you are having such a hard time at work! I would try and confront anyone that gives you trouble in private... a lot of times, the group mentality takes over and individuals act in a way they normally wouldn't. Im sure which ever idiot messed up your bike seat would be incredibly embarrassed to be called out individually about their actions.
    When all else fails, kill them with kindness. If they are acting like children to make you react, don't give them the satisfaction. Keep up the smiles and kind words, and they will see how foolish they are being.
    Stay strong!!

  4. What a bunch of asshats. I hope your boss is able to do something about it. If you do end up leaving, contact BOLI or whatever it's called in your state (I don't know if it's a state or federal thing) and be sure to file a complaint and make sure you get unemployment for leaving because of a hostile work environment. That is completely uncalled for and ridiculous. You should go in when they're all working and say, "which one of you jerks ruined my $700 custom bike seat, I want repayment now." that'd scare 'em. But seriously, I'm really sorry that this is happening to you and I hope your boss can make it right.

  5. I am so sorry about these idiots. You don't deserve it one bit.
    I wish I could give you a big hug

  6. This makes me sick.
    I remember witnessing bullying in school and being so impatient to get older so it would end. But every week I hear about adult bullying, so sad and pathetic!

  7. That is AWFUL!!! You don't deserve one little bit of that and if I was close, I would surely come over there and give them a piece of my own mind. How awful. I don't know you very well, but you are a lovely and beautiful woman with a great personality. You don't deserve that BS!!!

    I have been bullied while working and it isn't fun whatsoever. One place I was "fired" after they made up a reason to let me go because I spoke out on how I felt. Other places teased Jen and I because we refuse to work apart.

    You definitely deserve to stand up for yourself. No one should be allowed to do this to you and get away with it!

  8. thank you all, I didn't know if I wanted to write about it, but it's a part of my life, it's no secret, it isn't something my bosses did to me, its just some person who I work with and it's going to get worked out, one way or another. i appreciate all of your support and kind words!

  9. okay beca, i have a lot to say about this.

    first, let's start with the good stuff!
    1. you make the prettiest macarons i've ever seen, and i'm not just saying that because you're my friend.
    2. i can't even begin to tell you how jealous i am that you get to ride your bike to and from work! my office is about 20 miles away, with lots and lots of hills in between so that would never happen!
    3. there's nothing that a trip to northern california can't cure!

    now, the not so good stuff.
    i can't believe that anyone would EVER treat you like that. not only that, but i can't believe your boss would ever allow anything like that to happen. i know that we don't know each other in person (YET), but that doesn't matter, the fact is, i KNOW that you are a truly, right down to the very core, a kind person; i know that you wouldn't do anything to invite or deserve that sort of behavior, and i'd be lying if i said that i didn't want to cry after reading that you dealt with at work. i'm so sorry that they're treating you that way, and i just hope so badly that it comes to an end SOON. or, you can just show them that bullet and tell them the next one is aimed at them! hahaha!

  10. Wow. I'm too stunned for words! I thought that I had to put up with a lot of petty, stupid people at my job - but nothing like you're going through. I have no kind of advice except I think you are an amazing, incredible person and you're blog always inspires me -- everything you do gives me hope that I can one day make my dreams come true. So hold your head up high - so people will just never grow up!

  11. i am filled with rage. FILLED. WITH. RAGE.
    and i don't even know you. But i think you are amazing and i thank you for writing about your personal experiences. Nothing but support for you!

  12. thank you all!
    Danielle!!! youre the best!!!

  13. I'm sorry to hear what you've been going through. I hope things get better. I don't know you very well but I feel compelled to come visit and kick some ass.

  14. That's horrible what they did and they're adults! I'm sorry some people can just be cruel. I hope talking to the boss resolves the situation or at least begins to fix it. Good luck!

  15. you & I need to talk macarons some day. I haven't tried to make any since december, but mine always either crack, or over bake, and if I cut the baking time they stick to the parchment paper. I just bought a new macaron book with a slightly different approach, I'm hoping it will solve my problems :)