Recently I was sitting in my Business Law class, one of the final classes in my bachelor’s program at school. Our teacher was going over how much things have changed since the old days in the sense that one must always watch what they say, lest they get sued.
“If you say something the wrong way someone could sue you for sexual harassment! People used to say ‘Boys will be boys,’ but not anymore,” he exclaimed.
“Except in the kitchen,” I mumbled, as another student glanced at me and chuckled.
Part of working in a kitchen is the ability to not get easily offended. Currently, I get called a skank on a regular basis from one of the sous chefs (as do all the females). Another chef told me once that he knows I can’t think as well as a man because I’m a woman. Talking shit and getting it back is part of the job – and it’s usually based on gender, sexual orientation, or race.
Right now I also work with the only gay man I’ve ever met in a kitchen – and god knows he must have a thick skin to deal with all the gay impressions he gets on a daily basis, and all the cooks asking him if he has AIDS.
So while I understand that it’s part of the curriculum in any business law class to go over how to not get sued, it is truly situational irony at its finest.