Anger Management Courtesy Of The Wall

by admin on June 3, 2013

This is about the job that never actually happened.

When I was 16, I was offered a job at a bakery my dad and his coffee buddies had started going to in the mornings. The owner was all excited about hiring me because my name was in the name of the shop (Think something like *Annie’s Treats and my name is *Anne) I was very excited as it would be my first job for someone other than my father! We set up a Saturday date and time for me to start about a week or so later. I went home and could hardly wait to start my first-ever real job!

That Saturday morning, when I got up, my mom told me that my dad had called and said that I was not to come to work. I was kind of shocked, but having grown up in a very religious Baptist home, I was taught to always obey commands like that from my dad. I waited for him to get home so I could ask what was up. He got home and told me this story.

Dad had gone to the bakery that morning with his coffee buddies like normal, but while there, the owner had asked my dad if he could do some drywall and paint work for him (Dad was a self-contracting painter, so this was nothing unusual.) Owner guy took Dad into the back room of the bakery and showed him a wall with numerous holes that were different sizes, all over the wall. Dad, being curious and kind of shocked, asked him what had happened. OG told him that he had a bit of a temper, and whenever he got mad at something or somebody, he would come back here and kick and punch the wall. Dad declined the job, left the bakery, and called Mom to tell me to not come in to work. He had to run some errands before he could come home, so he didn’t want me to go to work before he got home to tell me about all this. Needless to say, Dad never went back there for his coffee with his buddies again. Most of them had already started going back to where they used to meet before anyway, so it was no big deal. A few week later, Dad was told by one of his buddies that still went there that OG had gotten mad at some offhand remark buddy had made and OG put salt in his coffee instead of sugar. Annie’s Treats stayed in business for about a year longer, but never seemed to be very busy. I don’t really wonder why!   0531-13

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Dorothy Bruce June 3, 2013 at 9:11 am

It’s nice that your dad was looking out for you. The manager punching out a wall when he got angry was a MAJOR red flag. One day he could have hit you if he couldn’t get to the wall in time.

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Helen June 3, 2013 at 9:26 am

You sound like you have a smart dad, OP. I’m glad he was looking out for you.

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Arrynne June 3, 2013 at 9:53 am

OP, your dad is awesome. I’m sure it was rather confusing to get this seemingly arbitrary command from your father, but in this case father knew best.

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Amber June 3, 2013 at 10:42 am

Good on your dad!

But, what a weird comment about being raised in a Baptist home = obeying commands. Wouldn’t following your dad’s advice not to work at the store have more to do with trusting his judgment than your religion’s tenants on obeying your parents? I’m sure more than one person raised in a religious home steered clear of their parents’ pronouncements because their parents were irrational crazy-pots, and more than one person raised in a different religion/non-religious home trusted their parents’ judgment about certain situations.

Your dad knew what he saw and knew how to react, and you trusted him because he’s a rational, cool-headed guy. Give dad his due for raising you right!

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WildIrishRose June 3, 2013 at 10:43 am

Wow! Definitely not the right job for anyone!

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Ashley June 3, 2013 at 11:00 am

Good thing your dad caught that before you actually started work, I would have hated to go in and discovered that on my first day.

A friend of mine recently started a job and everything looked all rosy from the outside. Then she got there and found out the overwhelming majority of her coworkers are racist, and she’s had to ask the owners several times to get their employees to stop saying the n-word. She wishes someone would have told her about it sooner.

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Lychii June 3, 2013 at 11:00 am

I understand why OP’s dad wouldn’t want her near that kind of temper, but to decline a very temporary job and boycott the establishment is a bit radical, isn’t it?

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Lo June 3, 2013 at 11:02 am

dodged a bullet there…

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Cherry June 3, 2013 at 11:05 am

I’m gonna say that was a good call on behalf of your dad

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Yet Another Laura June 3, 2013 at 11:33 am

You dodged a bullet! Hired for your name (yellow alert) The wall of anger (red alert – run away fast!)

I’ve worked for a company in which the shipping lead had a temper and one day I saw him put his foot through the wall while yelling at one of the shipping clerks. I was so glad I worked in production, not shipping and could stay out of his way. Then it turned out Anger Man was embezzling from the company and when the company went under, they couldn’t afford to pay our last paychecks in full and our 401k plans were toast.

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Seiryuu June 3, 2013 at 11:33 am

Your father is very observant. I don’t even want to think about what would’ve happened if you went…

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Elle June 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Honestly the salt in the coffee is way more of a red flag for me than punching walls. Wall-punching is scary, yes, and I wouldn’t want my kid’s first job to be near someone who did that. But adulterating a customer’s food? 1) That shows a much more calculating meanness. 2) It shows that temper rules over good business sense.

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Nancy June 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Sounds very similar to another bakery that has been in the news. And no, I don’t think going there as a 16 year old would have been a good thing. It’s probably why he wanted to hire a kid; an adult would be more likely to have the wherewithal to realize that they didn’t need to put up with that treatment.

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Jewel June 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Lychii,
Didn’t you read to the end of the OP’s story? Unsavory people like that owner don’t just limit their distasteful behavior to inanimate objects. As the OP wrote, “Dad was told by one of his buddies that still went there that OG had gotten mad at some offhand remark buddy had made and OG put salt in his coffee instead of sugar.” Dad correctly interpreted the “red flag” he saw that day and was smart to boycott the restaurant.

If only all young people took heed of wise advise like the OP did. The son of a family friend is currently pursuing a particular “dime a dozen” summer job despite the fact that the interviewer (who would be his job manager) treated him like dirt during the interview. The kid’s parents are telling him that he’s just letting himself in for more bad treatment if he gets that job and have been giving him other suggestions on where to apply, but he’s not listening. He’ll learn, but the pain he’ll go through to do so is unfortunate.

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VA Lady June 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Lychii, i don’t think not allowing his 16-year-old daughter to take the job was radical in the least. nor was it radical to stop patronizing the shop. there is no knowing what someone will do with such a hair-trigger temper. a fact which was later born out when the owner later put salt instead of sugar in someone’s coffee because he was offended by an offhand remark.

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sv June 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm

You have a pretty good Dad, OP :)

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Cat June 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Your Dad and his buddies were right to boycott the establishment. If the owner would put salt in a man’s coffee over some remark, he may be capable of doing worse things that one might not so easily detect.
When an adult feels the need to punch and kick walls in anger, he’s got problems with which no one needs to deal. If he didn’t like the work your Dad did, who knows what would have happened between them?
I also believe in obeying your parents when you are sixteen in all things, save conscience. My mother wanted me to take birth control pills because she thought all normal girls would want to have sexual relationships as soon as possible. I thought that should be a choice I would make when I had the emotional maturity to engage in such relationship and I told her no.

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Shanie Jernigan June 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm

@ Lychii I don’t think it was “radical” to either boycott or warn his daughter away. The owner was obviously unstable and freely admitted it. The OP was very young and could have easily been taken advantage of, or harmed by the owner. Kudos to the dad for looking out for her, and kudos to her for listening to him.

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Marozia June 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm

You’re lucky your dad warned you off that place. You might have been the next ‘wall’ to be punched.

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Garrett June 3, 2013 at 7:57 pm

I couldn’t tell from the story but was the owner ever notified that the OP wasn’t going to work for him? They definitely made the right call here by not going there but if they didn’t tell him and she just didn’t show, then the OP was being rude. Regardless of the craziness of the guy, she made a commitment and to not notify him is wrong.

Of course maybe the dad told him when he declined the renovation job. Sorry to play devils advocate.

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Brian Katcher June 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm

He couldn’t have punched a bag of flour?

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jessica June 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Lychii- Would you let your teenage daughter spend time with a man who has demonstrated an inability to control his temper? Punching holes in walls at home is not a normal behavior, much LESS punching holes in the walls of your workplace. That sort of behavior would frighten me.

As for boycotting the restaurant, I am free to stop patronizing an establishment for something as minor as a lack of Splenda. If I though the owner was violent and vindictive, you couldn’t pay me to eat there.

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Saucygirl June 4, 2013 at 1:12 am

Lychnis – my initial thought was the same. When I worked in the service industry, the walk in fridge was always the “cool down” room for workers, as well as the food. Working with the general public is hard and venting is necessary. The salt in the coffee would make me boycott though.

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Lex June 4, 2013 at 3:58 am

On the flip side, whilst having ‘Anger Management issues’ sufficiently serious enough to warrant punching a wall is pretty scary and I’m not suggesting that the OP or her father were wrong to figuratively run away from that scenario, give credit where it is due to ‘Owner Guy':

1) He knows and has admitted his anger management issues – so clearly he is aware of his behaviour enough that he makes an active choice to address it away from the source of the anger which suggests that he MAY be receiving treatment – similar to an alcoholic, you can’t expect people struggling with an issue to be perfect all the time and he has made a conscious choice to mitigate his struggles and take out his anger on an inanimate object.

2) Punching the wall is infinitely preferable to punching a person and people are gasping and exclaiming about how the OP might have been next but the OG has already stated that he takes his anger issues away from the source so clearly he is in sufficient control of himself to do this.

My Brother in law once punched a brick wall after a row with my Sister. He broke his finger (which he probably deserved). But he’s not a violent man and I don’t think my sister is ever unsafe with him. I think it is commendable that he chooses to hurt himself rather than her as there are a great many men out there that don’t!

I am not saying that the OG in this story is innocent by any means (salt in coffee – that’s just petty, passive aggressive revenge and he deserves to go out of business if he treats customers that way) I’m just saying that it is worth seeing this from another view point.

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penguin tummy June 4, 2013 at 9:18 am

Punching the wall regularly when you are angry does demonstrate a lack of control or appropriate coping mechanisms. There are lots of credible studies to show that ‘letting your anger out’ is counter productive, as this just reinforces the habit of punching the wall. Doing something calming is better for you. Good dodge! Who knows what other behaviour that manager would do to a young employee?

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Lychii June 4, 2013 at 10:32 am

I wanted to clarify that in my previous comment, I meant that it was a bit radical for Dad to decline the wall-fixing job, not the part where he warned his daughter away.

The salt-in-coffee thing, though? Deducing anything from a fourth-hand account/rumor like that is simply ridiculous.

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alison June 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Amy’s Baking Company? ;)

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The Elf June 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm

While I think your Dad was just looking out for you, and I certainly can’t blame him for that, at age 16 he should have trusted you to make this decision on your own. He should have given you the information and his recommendation, and then (assuming you agreed) had you call and turn down the job. I don’t buy time as the pre-emptive reason as he could have just left a more detailed message with your mother. It’s all part of growing up.

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MichelleP June 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I can’t believe the posters here defending the manager! I’ve worked fast food for years, customer service for longer, including in a manager’s position, and at no time have punched anything at work! NO WAY would I let my kid work there!

@Saucygirl, walking in the cooler is fine. Vandalizing property and contaminating a customer’s food because he couldn’t control his anger is not.

@Lex, just because he wasn’t punching a person doesn’t make it ok to punch a wall. That’s like saying it’s ok to beat someone as long as you don’t kill them. (No, I’m not comparing that to what he did or your brother in law did, but just because someone isn’t worse doesn’t make them good.)

@TheElf, I respectfully disagree with you, although you have a good point, that a 16 year old can make that kind of decision. From what I read of the story, the OP didn’t witness the behavior, and as a kid, wouldn’t be likely to handle that well.

I wish I’d listened to my red flag voice on some jobs I’ve gotten myself into, and I sure wish I’d listened to my parents when I was 16.

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MichelleP June 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm

@Lychii, the salt in coffee was not a rumor or fourth hand information. The OP clearly states that the man that was done to told her father himself. It isn’t “ridiculous” to stop going to a restaurant where a manager has acknowledged tampering with food, and it certainly isn’t “radical” to boycott a restaurant where that and worse has taken place.

If the guy admitted to all this I wonder what he’s done that he hasn’t admitted to?!!

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Goodness June 4, 2013 at 8:01 pm

This story rang bells. While it’s true that someone who knows they’re mightily tempted to hit when angry is wise to got punch something inanimate, I know first hand how terrifying it is when they do — my first husband was like that. We didn’t stay married long.

But it was sometimes funny: he’d scream at me over something completely ridiculous, punch the wall next to me to demonstrate just how angry he was, then grab his hand in pain and give me the hurt puppy look, expecting me to be sympathetic! Being me, I’d just laugh and tell him that’s what you get for being such an idiot.

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LadyPhoenix June 5, 2013 at 12:04 am

I admit that I may have punched a wall once or twice in my life for being so angry.

It is probably much better to punch a pillow instead or just vent with a video game.

But yeah, your dad did a good thing. Just because you’re an older teen does not mean daddy can’t step in and say “absolutely not” when something is most definitely gonna be very dangerous. That guy is obviously very violent and who knows what would have happened if you worked for him. He probably would have taken it out on YOU, thinking you wouldn’t be able to do a thing since he was the boss and you were the “underling”.

And I would deny the wall job. What’s the point in fixing the wall knowing the jerk is gonna punch a hole in it anyways? Ok, it would make you constant money . . . but knowing he’s a raging idiot will probably make you more frustrated than pleased.

You sure this ain’t Amy’s Bakery?

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Lex June 5, 2013 at 3:14 am

@MichelleP:

“@Lex, just because he wasn’t punching a person doesn’t make it ok to punch a wall. That’s like saying it’s ok to beat someone as long as you don’t kill them. (No, I’m not comparing that to what he did or your brother in law did, but just because someone isn’t worse doesn’t make them good.)”

No, no it is not. Not at all in any way. If I had been implying that it was okay to beat someone as long as you don’t kill them then I’d have said so. Choosing to inflict injury on only yourself when dealing with anger management issues is very very different.

For the record, I’m not defending the manager, I’m simply offering another viewpoint that suggests that perhaps he is getting treatment. The fact that he is aware of his problem and admits that he HAS a problem surely counts for something?

If he is getting treatment you can’t expect him to go from full on anger issues to zen-like calm overnight – it is a staged process where he learns to express and deal with his problem in an appropriate way. There is no context in the story to suggest he IS getting treatment, this is conjecture, but he MIGHT be (just the same as he might NOT be) and for you all to discount him and condemn him is, in my opinion, rather unfair.

I certainly think the salt in the coffee thing is inexcusable but perhaps he was having the wall fixed as part of the next stage of his recovery? Again, conjecture. But I don’t think it is fair to assume immediately (as many seem to) that ‘Anger Management issues’ mean ‘Dangerous, violent individual’.

As a sufferer of agitated depression my illness sometimes manifests in outbursts of irrational rage or panic or anxiety attacks that literally end up with me screaming in a corner – does that make me a violent, dangerous individual too?

I am sufficiently in control of myself NOW (and on medication) that I don’t damage things or hurt people but I have done at my lowest point – I’ve damaged tables and thrown chairs. I was very ill and in a dark downward spiral. Are you all going to condemn me too?

I think it is important to at least acknowledge that there may be another side to this otherwise all this site becomes is a glorified online bullying site where people are gossiped about and condemned for their behaviour and posters stand on their moral soapbox and pass judgement on others with very little experience or context regarding the person they are condemning.

I actually think I will stop visiting this site as I am finding more and more that the outpourings of scorn and derision and the drowning out of opposing viewpoints is far too much like bullying for my liking.

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OP June 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Hi All!

Just wanted to answer a couple questions people had.

If I remember correctly (this happened in 1997) my dad did inform OG that I would not be allowed to work there after seeing that wall. He did not want me to have any further contact with OG, even over the phone.

@Lex – if this had been a one time thing, my dad wouldn’t have reacted the way he did. This was multiple holes, of differing sizes and heights. This wasn’t something that happened every so often. Also, OG wasn’t using this as a way to admit that he had a problem. He wanted my dad to fix the wall to cover-up what he’d done. He realized that employees wouldn’t like what that wall said about him personally. The salt in the coffee incident is a way that points out that he wasn’t trying to get help. He didn’t care about his temper problem, just about how he was perceived by his employees. Yes, he told this to my dad. Sorry I wasn’t clear about that in the original post. He was actually proud of himself that he used the wall instead of humans. While that is a good thing, like others have said, what’s to stop him if he can’t get to his wall?

@TheElf – that is why I mentioned growing up in a Baptist home. We are taught that until you either live on your own means or are married (doesn’t matter which) we are to follow our Father’s commands. Yes, as we get older, they aren’t supposed to be the same commands as when we were little, but we still follow them (to specific parameters, like you don’t follow commands that would be against Biblical rules either.) I’m glad he just told the guy I wasn’t coming in…after hearing this story, I didn’t want to see the guy again, much less talk to him again. This is a situation that, imho, you don’t give a young teen a choice. You do what my dad did, just keep the teen from being exposed to it in any way.

No, this wasn’t Amy’s Bakery Co.! ;-)

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MichelleP June 6, 2013 at 1:04 pm

@Lex, I thoroughly read your post and am so thankful that you got help. You seem like an articulate, educated, decent person and I will pray for your continual recovery. I’m sorry you felt like I was “condemning” the manager, I only meant to express that a teenage girl shouldn’t work for someone like that. I respectfully and kindly have to say, however, if you were having by your own account “irrational bursts of rage and panic” and “throwing tables and chairs”, then yes, you were a violent and dangerous person. I am not condemning you, but I stand by what I said that I wouldn’t let my daughter work in that kind of environment. Please don’t feel that I am judging you, on a moral soapbox, I am merely expressing legitimate concern for others. I am glad you are getting help and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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yankeegal77 June 6, 2013 at 7:15 pm

OP, your dad definitely did the right thing. I speak from experience–I once had a boss throw a box at me. Luckily, he had bad aim and it hit my chest, not my face. I have worked in retail and food and anyone angry enough to kick a HOLE THROUGH A WALL and tamper with a customer’s food is not someone you want to work for. Especially an adult who throws these tantrums.

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Michelle C Young June 9, 2013 at 4:07 am

Oh, good for your father! And good for you, as well, for trusting him on this. You really dodged a bullet, there.

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Michelle C Young June 9, 2013 at 4:22 am

Lex has a point – good for OG for finding an outlet, so that he didn’t take the urge to punch out on actual people. Similar to an alcoholic selling his car, and only walking, riding a bike, or taking public transportation. My brother knew someone like that, and we both commended him on his taking responsibility. He did not feel capable of giving up the alcohol, but at least he could assure that he would not be a danger to others.

However, if the anger is that strong that he has to punch things, I would still be alarmed. He’s “controlling” his fists, but what about his tongue? Even if he never harmed a fly, physically, it would probably be at least a very tense place to work, and possibly very upsetting emotionally, if he could not control his speech. Excessive swearing is bad, and saying cruel things in anger is even worse. That is why I believe the wall-punching is a sufficient red-flag for a father not to allow his teenaged daughter to work there. An older person may have enough experience to have learned how to let painful speech simply wash over them. Teenagers are, in general, still very sensitive to that sort of thing. I know I was.

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kingsrings June 9, 2013 at 8:21 pm

People that regularly let their anger out in that manner most definitely have an anger management problem! It is not normal, nor is it acceptable behavior. I would never work at a place like that, nor would I allow my child to. So glad this father looked out for his daughter like that!
This story reminds me of a well-known, popular dessert restaurant/bakery here in town. I think this guy is gone now, but for a long time, they were run by a man who was a lot like the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. Very unpleasant and always seemed to be angry. He got angry at my friend and I one time because as we were waiting, he was behind the counter piddling about, and my friend asked him what a certain dessert was. There were also many online stories about this guy’s shenanigans. He got angry about things like someone calling in to schedule a wedding cake tasting (how dare they think they have to taste the cakes and not just understand how wonderful they are!), he came from behind the counter and bitched out a customer whom he overheard complaining about the place, etc.

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