Well, that was quite a day on Monday.
Brian's interview created a veritable firestorm on Facebook, which was certainly exciting for us. We were happy to see our community come out in full force to share their varied perspectives on both the reviewer and Brian's grievances. While I was elated by the level of participation online, I do feel like I have to take our community to task a bit.
Part of our core values here at Tipped Off is focusing on facts about what it's like to work somewhere. You can describe an unpleasant workplace and someone who is difficult to work for without using phrases like "trash human" (yeesh), "blatant asshole" and "super douche". While the server in me appreciates the creativity, I have to say that as someone who wants to improve the restaurant working environment that this is not constructive.
Let's not forget that at the end of the day, these are the people who will be ultimately responsible for making the changes in our workplaces that we all want and deserve. And dismissing them with name-calling is no way to get our voices heard.
That said, there were many people who made thoughtful contributions, pointing out the flawed logic of calling people "untrainable", and also some who praised Brian for at least trying something new.
Everyone had an opinion.
And yet, the attendance at The Tipping Point roundtable was underwhelming as far as attracting bartenders and servers to represent our voice.
We had journalists from the Post Gazette, City Paper, Pittsburgh Magazine, and Northside Chronicle, as well as business owners (including Bar Marco founders Kevin Cox and Bobby Fry) present and ready to share their knowledge as well as hear from our community. But for the most part, we didn't show up.
I love everyone's passion online, but if we want to make real changes, we need to take action beyond comments. We need to get to know and support each other. We must conduct ourselves in a way that earns us respect from industry outsiders.
So write a review. Write a post for us (we pay!). Come to events. Give us feedback. Talk to each other. Talk to your owners and managers if there's a problem. And if they retaliate, we're here for you. Speak up, and don't be afraid. We're going to make real change, in Pittsburgh and beyond. But we have to be respectful, civil, and realize that name-calling isn't going to get a dialogue started. Let's work together to elevate our work culture.