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YOU SHOULD ALL BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY!!!!!
November 28, 2009 9:03 PM   Subscribe

Vadim Ponorovsky, owner of New York restaurant Paradou, wants his customers emails for his newsletter. When the waitstaff failed to collect them he fired off a nasty email to motivate them.

Somebody sent it Gawker.

Ponorovsky explains what he was thinking to Grubstreet and Black Book Magazine.

The Waiter over at Waiter Rant weighs in.
posted by Bonzai (151 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
please kindly go fuck yourselves or each other

Amen.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:06 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fined $100 a week? Fired in two? He's so fucking stupid he thinks his staff can't just make up emails or find them online.
posted by stavrogin at 9:10 PM on November 28, 2009 [9 favorites]


Let me guess, youre probably sitting there saying "Vadim is such a fucking asshole. How dare he speak to me like this. I dont need this." Youre right, you dont, so why dont you get the fuck out. Any and all of you.

Vadim is such a fucking asshole. How dare he speak to them like this. They dont need this.
posted by mazola at 9:11 PM on November 28, 2009 [6 favorites]


what kind of email do I get if i give him my address?
posted by Hammond Rye at 9:19 PM on November 28, 2009 [8 favorites]


Eck. Restaurants looking to spam their customers are so unclassy. I get a serious bad vibe when a restaurant asks me for my email address. If the waiter were to actually push for it, I'd make something up and not come back.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:20 PM on November 28, 2009 [7 favorites]


Fining employees isn't legal, is it? Maybe he's trying to get out of management and this is just a cry for help.
posted by mullingitover at 9:21 PM on November 28, 2009


In his defense interview he makes a reasonable point: any forthcoming boycott or downturn in his business because of negative publicity will hurt the waitstaff the most.
posted by oddman at 9:24 PM on November 28, 2009


Metafilter: Now please kindly go fuck yourselves or each other
posted by furtive at 9:24 PM on November 28, 2009 [12 favorites]


Restaurants looking to spam their customers are so unclassy. I get a serious bad vibe when a restaurant asks me for my email address.

Agreed.
posted by grouse at 9:28 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Once again, the internet solves every problem.
posted by mikelieman at 9:30 PM on November 28, 2009 [8 favorites]


any forthcoming boycott or downturn in his business because of negative publicity will hurt the waitstaff the most.

The most? I doubt it. They have a skill. What can he do?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:30 PM on November 28, 2009 [11 favorites]


Almost makes me wish I lived in NYC so that I could avoid going to his restaurant. Almost.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:31 PM on November 28, 2009 [3 favorites]



In his defense interview he makes a reasonable point: any forthcoming boycott or downturn in his business because of negative publicity will hurt the waitstaff the most.


He's right. So how do we hurt him the most? Does he have a inbox we can helpfully supply to waitstaff at other restaurants?
posted by stevis23 at 9:31 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's a real Dupont J. Shabagg right there. I'd rather panhandle or give hj's in bus terminals than work for that goddamn nut.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:33 PM on November 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Dear Valued Customer of Paradou:

Thank you for your business. I am sending you this email because when you recently dined with us, you spent about 75 dollars per person on our fine wine, foie gras, and fabulous entrées. Am I writing to thank you? Yes I am. I want to thank you for FUCKING ME IN THE ASS INSTEAD OF BUYING A REGULAR AMOUNT OF FOOD LIKE A FUCKING NON-ANIMAL YOU FUCKING CHEAPSAKE PIECE OF SHIT. Next time you come in I expect you to spend 1. 200 dollars FOR EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN YOUR PARTY. 2. SUCK MY DICK.

Youre probably sitting there saying "How dare he speak to me like this. How dare he not have respect for me". Youre right there, in your chair. I have absolutely no respect for any of you. Why? Because my father never loved me. It's so empty inside, where my heart is, so I fill it with cocaine.

I am SICK OF THIS SHIT. Effective immediately, I will email you 25 TIMES AN HOUR until you come back to my restaurant and LOAN ME 25,000 DOLLARS.

grar,
Vadim
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:33 PM on November 28, 2009 [133 favorites]


Golly, a restaurateur who treats his staff like shit and views his guests as walking wallets. This is my shocked face.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:37 PM on November 28, 2009 [15 favorites]


any forthcoming boycott or downturn in his business because of negative publicity will hurt the waitstaff the most.

Any waitron (is that still the gender-neutral term?) still working there deserves what they get.

I'd be surprised if his threat of "fines" for not collecting email addresses isn't a violation of labor laws.

Keep trying to make the problem go away, buddy. You might even get a call from Barbara Streisand.
posted by Revvy at 9:37 PM on November 28, 2009


What's pathetic is that on Paradou's website, 90% of the customer comments talk about how great the waitstaff is.
posted by olgaps at 9:41 PM on November 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


And plus, their recipe for Lamb Tagine is wrong, wrong, WRONG.

Everyone knows that you don't just throw "a pinch of saffron threads." You pulverize them with the salt in a mortar first. And adding nutmeg, wtf, way too aggressive. Freaking heathens.
posted by HopperFan at 9:45 PM on November 28, 2009 [4 favorites]


I live around the corner from this asshole. Never eaten at his shithole, and now I never will.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:46 PM on November 28, 2009


i think we're being unfair to vadim - i understand the fried asshole is very, very good
posted by pyramid termite at 9:47 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder if he's ever played World of Warcraft?
posted by Revvy at 9:47 PM on November 28, 2009


This is what happens when you fuck a restauranter in the ass.
posted by mannequito at 9:49 PM on November 28, 2009 [11 favorites]


This is giving me flashbacks to the bad old days when you couldn't get out of a Radio Shack store without leaving your mailing address behind for their mailing list.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:50 PM on November 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


Brockman: This reporter suggested "Waitergate," but was shouted down at the press club.
posted by geronimo's folly at 9:52 PM on November 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think the lesson for any prospective customer is ... if someone (a service person) asks you for an email address, you should probably give them a false one rather than giving them nothing at all. They might get punished for not collecting any, but it's likely that a well-formed but invalid one will at least help them meet their quota but prevent you from getting spammed.

That's what I'd do if I were planning on going to any of Mr Ponorovsky's restaurants: if he wants something that looks like an email, give it to him. But it doesn't need to actually be your email.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:56 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some of Paradou's reviews on CitySearch are scorching. And these are from before that email came out:

One of the owners was there, totally drunk, cursing people out. He ended up pushing me and telling me to get the f** out of there...

After a great start to a fun evening, the server (ie. manager) decided to neglect our party of 13 for an hour to have a personal conversation. When we walked over to him to request more beverages, he all but shooed us away


I wrote a review a few months back and I realized that "Vadim" had written a response to my review. There are a few things I must say to this response. How can you accuse me of saying all this that happened is highly unlikely when you were not even present. Second, why would I take my time to actually make an account for citysearch, and then post up a review if this never happened and I was never offended by what you have done to me and my cousin...


And so on. And Vadim responds!

Do we sometimes fail? Of course. We're human. However, its incredibly difficult to believe that the experience happened as stated. None of my staff have been with me for less than one year. My hostess has been with me for almost two years. Nancy is incapable of yelling at a anyone, much less bring anyone to tears. It is very hard to believe that she made a big deal of a guest being 15 mins late. To make a customer pay for food that they did not receive is simply impossible. If this is as it happened, please call me. My number is 917-776-0800. Until then, I find this review highly suspect

Apparently the Bloomin' Asshole's on special.
posted by katillathehun at 10:00 PM on November 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


ip check anyone?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:08 PM on November 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sounds like Ponorovsky went to the Buddy Rich School of Business Management and Employee Relations.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:12 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Effective immediately, any server or host who fails to collect at least 20 emails per week, will be fined $100.

Good luck enforcing that.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:23 PM on November 28, 2009


I've noticed that every restaurant or bar owner, even if they have a staff of people in their late twenties or thirties, treats their staff like they are in high school.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:25 PM on November 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


He's so fucking stupid he thinks his staff can't just make up emails or find them online.

Now that you mention it, I wonder why they weren't smart enough to be doing that in the first place...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:26 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


As long as there were no consequences, they were probably telling him that the customers didn't want to give their email addresses away or that they forgot to ask.
posted by stavrogin at 10:36 PM on November 28, 2009


Some people go into business for themselves to make money. Some do it to pursue a dream, to make something happen that won't happen any other way. And some people go into business because anywhere they didn't actually own the place, they'd be fired in under two weeks.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:36 PM on November 28, 2009 [16 favorites]


Oh, he can enforce it just fine - just take $100 out of their pay check.

I'd wouldn't do this because I'd rather not have to have a retina reattached to the back of my eye after getting beat half to death in he alley behind where I work, but to each their own.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:38 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


a@mailinator.com
b@mailinator.com
c@mailinator.com
d@mailinator.com
e@mailinator.com
f@mailinator.com
.....
posted by mattoxic at 10:57 PM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, a walking argument for syndicalism. How novel.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:58 PM on November 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Vadim.Ponorovsky@christwhatanasshole.com
posted by Space Kitty at 11:01 PM on November 28, 2009


People like him are the reason I'm afraid to give out my email. Good show, jerk.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:18 PM on November 28, 2009


Fining employees isn't legal, is it? Maybe he's trying to get out of management and this is just a cry for help.

What? Of course firing employees is legal. In "Right to work" states you can fire anyone with no reason. New York isn't one, but I'm sure if an employee isn't performing, as you would like, you can fire them. This guy is delusional if he thinks customers are going to be giving up their email addresses, and likewise delusional if he doesn't realize people are just going to start making them up if he incentives them too much

In his defense interview he makes a reasonable point: any forthcoming boycott or downturn in his business because of negative publicity will hurt the waitstaff the most.

How hard is it to get new job as a waiter? They'll all be able to get unemployment while they look for a new job, what is he going to be able to do?

here's an audio interview on Gawker. That guy sounds as crazy on the phone as he does in email.
posted by delmoi at 11:27 PM on November 28, 2009


I've had three excellent meals there...guess there won't be a fourth.
FWIW, 2 out of the 3 times there the waiter asked for my email when presenting the check. He recommended great bottles that were very fairly priced, and paired them with an excellent cheese selection, so I didn't hold it against him.
Little did I know at the time that HE WAS A LAZY MOTHERFUCKING ASSHOLE.
posted by BillBishop at 11:27 PM on November 28, 2009 [10 favorites]


Doesn't everybody make something up when a place of business asks for an email or a phone number, etc.? The ONE time I've given my real email address to a place of business, in exchange for the promise of a printable $10 coupon, I never received the coupon, but I never received any spam either.

As for Ponorovsky: Christ, what an asshole.
posted by amyms at 11:44 PM on November 28, 2009


delmoi, he asked if fining employees was legal.

How hard is it to get new job as a waiter? They'll all be able to get unemployment while they look for a new job, what is he going to be able to do?

Yeah, they can just shake the magical job tree and whatever falls off the branch, they get to keep! Problem solved.
posted by ShawnStruck at 11:46 PM on November 28, 2009 [5 favorites]


To the best of my knowledge, taking money out of a paycheck is illegal. Dunno what the law is. In Minnesota, the employer has a limited time to make amends -- two weeks? A month? Something like that. If they don't, the employee can charge them an additional day's wage for every day the amount is overdue.

I suspect the law is similar in New York. Were I his employee, I would find out, then do everything I could to make sure I got fined. And then I would hope he would fire me in retaliation, because retaliatory firings can also be quite expensive. And I am sure a lawyer would have a field day with whatever emails and letters this asshole would inevitably send.

This guy could find himself out of a restaurant in pretty short order.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:57 PM on November 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


I find myself torn on the issue.

On the one hand, I can understand the employer's frustration that the staff isn't doing what he asked them to do, viz. collecting emails from patrons. He is paying them an (albeit low) hourly wage, on top of which the serving staff likely expects to earn tips on their service, but which are likely also dependent on the cachet of the restaurant's name/cuisine/popularity/whatever.

On the other hand, I expect that most servers in Manhattan probably do better tip-wise by focusing on their service and attending to their customers, rather than by badgering diners for personal contact information, and I expect that a large degree of their failure to comply has to do with their sensitivity to this fact.

To encapsulate, I surmise that Vadim is asking his staff to do something that they in their better judgment are avoiding; lack of compliance is becoming a make-or-break issue for management. While Vadim's language is reprehensible, I think the underlying frustration is valid - if the collection of email addresses is part of the job description, then the failure of his staff to perform is a problem. While I don't think he has any option to "fine," in California, he may have grounds to terminate here; I can't speak for Manhattan. I'm fairly certain that the threat to fine was exaggerated, but he may have alternatives.

While I personally side with the waiters - I get huffy when retail clerks ask me for my ZIP code, and again, the language in the email is uncalled for - at the same time, I can empathize with a business owner who has asked staff to perform a specific task, and whose instructions have been largely or entirely ignored. It sounds like Vadim is truly an asshole, and like his request to collect email addresses is likely result negatively amongst his customers, but in the end, that's up to him as the business owner - it's his risk, his request, and I'd imagine justifiably actionable if any of his staff fails to follow through.
posted by Graygorey at 12:05 AM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Graygorey: On the one hand, I can understand the employer's frustration that the staff isn't doing what he asked them to do, viz. collecting emails from patrons.

Who knows? Maybe they're trying. I know that if anyone asks for my email address at a restaurant, they're not getting it. It wouldn't surprise me if asking 451 patrons really does get you 2 email addresses - people just do not want to be spammed. Plus, it would feel like a totally inappropriate request under the circumstances. Restaurants obviously have no legitimate, non-spam need for your email address under most circumstances.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:23 AM on November 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


delmoi, he asked if fining employees was legal.

Ah, oops.

Doesn't everybody make something up when a place of business asks for an email or a phone number, etc.?

I used to give out random-string@mydomain email addresses, and then used a catch-all email address. I figured if I ever got spam I would know who spammed me. But then some spammer started forging emails from my domain, so I would get tons of bounce messages to random addresses at my domain. So it didn't work out to well. That around 2000 or so, when spam was really going nuts.
posted by delmoi at 12:39 AM on November 29, 2009


Mitrovarr: I get that, and I thought I'd addressed that adequately in my comment. I appreciate the difficulty in getting personal information from a patron. As I said, I'm bothered by clerks asking for such general information as ZIP code.

In a way, that's the point I wanted to address in the context of this post: in places like Manhattan, especially in the current economic circumstances, where potential food-service hires are abundant, can't a restaurateur expect his or her staff to do everything asked of them? And if that staff can't cajole data from their clients, doesn't it follow that surely someone out there can? In other words, if the current employee isn't fulfilling obligations, surely there's someone out there willing to do what this person won't?

I know it sounds harsh, but it seems to me that if employers are able to stipulate that continued employment depends on collection of X number of email addresses per week, and this expectation is memorialized in some part of the employment contract, it's pretty well inescapable, provided that it's reasonable... "reasonable" being up to the courts to decide.
posted by Graygorey at 12:47 AM on November 29, 2009


Waiter Rant's observations jive pretty well with every single service-industry business owner I've run into. At best it's a benevolent dictatorship, at worst it's insults, screaming, persecution complexes, and them asking you to sell rotten meat to customers because they pocketed the insurance money when the freezer died instead of buying new stock.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:47 AM on November 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's so fucking easy to get email addresses as a restaurant owner -- take reservations online only. Require an email address 'for confirmation'.

Done.
posted by empath at 1:02 AM on November 29, 2009 [14 favorites]


And if that staff can't cajole data from their clients, doesn't it follow that surely someone out there can?

I don't see how that follows at all. Pretty well everyone who's posted in this thread has said that they aren't giving their email address to a waiter. I'm not seeing how firing one lot of wait staff and replacing them with another will change that?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:20 AM on November 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


It’s true, the service industry, at bare bones, can be a little grittier than its counterparts in regards to the way in which people are spoken to. (from the BlackBook article)

This is key.

I dunno, those waiters are making helladollaz. Who really cares if your boss acts like a total maniac in this kind of a situation? It's pretty funny that he did this so the wait staff could rat him out on the internets. I bet they are all having a huge laugh about it (at work).
posted by pick_the_flowers at 1:21 AM on November 29, 2009


PeterMcDermott: you're right, I misspoke there - what I meant to say wasn't "if that staff can't cajole data from their clients, doesn't it follow that surely someone out there can?" but more "if that staff can't cajole data from their clients, doesn't it follow that surely someone out there who will ."

Not can, but will.

In other words, if existing staff aren't pushing product hard enough, they can be replaced by staff who will push that product to that level.
posted by Graygorey at 1:32 AM on November 29, 2009


Yeah, but nobody wants it. Alec Baldwin in Glenngary Glenn Ross can't push it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:49 AM on November 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


If I owned a restaurant and wanted to build an email database of customers, I'd print up some cards to slip in with the check that asks for the email, has a brief description why they restaurant wants it, along with a promise not to sell or send inordinate amount so emails.

Or do like a million places I've been to and have the bill have "go to our website blah blah blah and sign up for our newsletter". Customers than want to opt in can.

But I don't own a restaurant since it appears I'm not a world class dick.

The only time the waitstaff should approach me for my email they better be doing it because they find me an attractive interesting person and wants to go out with me.
posted by birdherder at 2:31 AM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Graygorey: I'd have a lot more respect for the guy if he simply fired waiters (or gave bonuses) based on whether they met their spam-harvesting quota, like a car salesman or telemarketer or something.

OTOH, if he does that, he's selecting his waitstaff primarily on whether they can collect addresses, not on whether they're good waitstaff, and I think his customers will notice the decline in service immediately.
posted by hattifattener at 2:37 AM on November 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


Maybe he needs that gmail app1 that won't let you send an email unless you pass a sobriety test.

On the other hand, if this is how he acts all the time, I don't think gmail has a solution yet. His online and phone responses seem to suggest that this is probably the case, since he just seems to be fanning the flames. I wouldn't want to work for a guy like that, but I'd still hate to see the place go out of business if it's otherwise a good restaurant. It seems a steep penalty for having anger management problems. Don't about 80% of restaurateurs have anger management issues?

If I owned a restaurant and wanted to build an email database of customers, I'd print up some cards to slip in with the check that asks for the email, has a brief description why they restaurant wants it, along with a promise not to sell or send inordinate amount so emails.

Yep. I'd tie it to monthly or weekly drawings for a free dinner for two, plus two guests (not counting tax and tip), because if you win "we want you to introduce Paradou to your friends." Or people could just put their business cards in a glass bowl at the maitre d' desk.
posted by taz at 2:50 AM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


"To the best of my knowledge, taking money out of a paycheck is illegal."

I ran into similar situations back in the nineties, looked into it, and discovered, much to my disgust, that it is indeed legal..

I talked to the U.S. Department Of Labor and they told me that an employer can fine an employee (or take money out of his/her paycheck for any other reason), as long as the employee's net pay does not drop below minimum wage. So let's say minimum wage is 7.00 bucks an hour, you're pulling down 7.50, you work thirty five hours a week, and your paycheck is issued once a week. You make 17.50 per week more than minimum wage. The employer can fine you fifteen bucks in one week and there isn't shit you can do about it. If he fines you twenty, you can call the Department Of Labor and get him in trouble.

Now, I speak here of federal laws. There were no relevant state laws here in Alabama at that time. However, it sounds like some states probably do forbid this sort of thing, so ymmv depending on where you live.

And the matter might get more complicated when dealing with wait staff. If a waiter is averaging five dollars worth of tips per hour (x35 hours = 175 dollars) on top of his paycheck I'm sure his employer would be quick to argue that they should be counted as part of his pay. Therefore, he could legally be fined up to 175 dollars. I feel pretty sure the government doesn't see it this way, but I don't know that for a fact.
posted by Clay201 at 3:08 AM on November 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Starting to get some interesting reviews of the restaurant at Citysearch:
* Pros: proximity to other restaurants not owned by pricks
* Cons: prick ownership
posted by memebake at 3:14 AM on November 29, 2009


That pizza oven costs more than your car. I made 970,000 hors d'œuvres last year. How many'd you make? You see pal, that's who I am, and you're nothing. Nice guy? I don't give a shit. Good student? Fuck you! Go home and study your books. You wanna work here - harvest! You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can't take this, how can you take the abuse you get when the steak is overdone? You don't like it, leave. I can go out there tonight with the materials you've got here and get myself 200 emails. Tonight! From brunch until close! Can you? Can YOU? Go and do likewise! You know what it takes to invade people's privacy while they're wiping their mouth with a starched napkin? It takes BRASS BALLS. Email's are out there. You pick them up, they're mine. You don't, I got no sympathy for you. You wanna go out there into that restaurant tonight and harvest, HARVEST. They're mine. If not you're gonna be scraping my plates. And you know what you'll be saying - bunch of losers sittin' around in a bar. 'Oh yeah. I used to be a waiter. It's a tough racket.' These are the new aprons. These are the 1000 thread count aprons. And to you they're gold, and you do not get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away! They're for harvesters. And to answer your question, pal, why did I email you? I emailed you because Justerini & Brooks told me to. Halfway through it gave me a vision. I said the real vision, the real vision is to fire your fucking asses because a loser is a loser.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:28 AM on November 29, 2009 [26 favorites]


any forthcoming boycott or downturn in his business because of negative publicity will hurt the waitstaff the most.

I'm tired of this being used as a get-out-pf-jail-free card by restaurant owners engaging in bad behavior in order to deflect consequences for their behavior.
A local co-owner of a popular pub/restaurant pulled this after he got nabbed engaging in low grade sexual harassment at his other job, bunch of people threatened to boycott his restaurants and this is damn near verbatim what he threw back in their faces.
posted by edgeways at 3:29 AM on November 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


Good waitstaff can get jobs anywhere. Asshole restaurant owners go bankrupt.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:31 AM on November 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


...Ponorovsky says that his background in marketing and advertising...[grubstreet]

This. He's not a restaurant owner who wants to spam. He's a spammer who decided to give running a restaurant a go. Treat him as appropriate.
posted by Vetinari at 4:10 AM on November 29, 2009 [11 favorites]


As I said, I'm bothered by clerks asking for such general information as ZIP code.

Yeah, about that. I work at a museum and often have to ask a visitor for their zip code or visiting country when they arrive. It's not for any evil purposes, it's just so we have stats of where people are coming from and who our core audiences are. You would be shocked at the anger asking for this can produce. I'm baffled. We need this info for grants purposes to keep the place running and cannot possibly bother anyone with this tiny piece of info, and yet, the requests will end people into hysterics. Ranting, screaming, foaming at the mouth, taking out anger on someone who will just be yelled at if they are not collecting enough info. There's just no need. Even though it's maybe one in 10,000 people that you deal with that does it to you, it really sticks with you. That kind of anger is just dehumanizing and unnecessary.

That being said, when someone asks for a full address, you can be damn sure you will be getting mail. That I understand refusing to do.
posted by piratebowling at 4:39 AM on November 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


In his defense interview he makes a reasonable point: any forthcoming boycott or downturn in his business because of negative publicity will hurt the waitstaff the most.

I do not negotiate with terrorists.
posted by DU at 4:47 AM on November 29, 2009 [11 favorites]


piratebowling Even though it's maybe one in 10,000 people that you deal with that does it to you, it really sticks with you. That kind of anger is just dehumanizing and unnecessary.

I'd bet $5 that Ponorovsky is one of those people.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:47 AM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Doesn't everybody make something up when a place of business asks for an email or a phone number, etc.?

I usually just ask them to make something up. Saves me the effort.
posted by rokusan at 4:56 AM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's not for any evil purposes, it's just so we have stats of where people are coming from and who our core audiences are.

Big-Box retailers ask for your ZIP code so when Corporate decides to spend its money to open yet another big gray box somewhere, they can correlate it with the ZIP code data. So, if you like big ugly fucking Super Big Gulp-sized Anonymous Box retailers tearing out a nice patch of forest and setting up shop around you, by all means give them your real ZIP code.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:10 AM on November 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


The most misguided part of this is that he's collecting e-mail addresses. What is this, 1997? Start a Twitter feed. It would be a hell of a lot easier to promote and more customer-friendly, he could send out messages far more often without coming across as spammish, and if the content is worth listening to and promoted well, he'd probably end up with more customers paying attention anyway.
posted by oulipian at 5:21 AM on November 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


My zip code is a valuable piece of information (evidently, since businesses keep asking for it).

If businesses want it, they have to give me something in return. It's not hard.

Ditto email addresses.
posted by unSane at 5:25 AM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


(When I'm asked for either of the above I always tell the person asking that I will happily give them a fake one if it's important for them to get one).
posted by unSane at 5:26 AM on November 29, 2009


Why make one up? Just say no.

Otoh, we could all choose upon one particularly deserving place and use their zip code for all big box purchases?
posted by jeffburdges at 5:45 AM on November 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


This guy is my new hero! He's right, you know.
posted by Liver at 5:49 AM on November 29, 2009


Ponorovsky: All of these people who are spouting their venom have no clue as to the nature of the relationship of my staff.

The relationships of your staff, no, but the relationship between you and your staff, yes, because we got a really revealing snapshot.

I look forward to hearing that this man has gone out of business.
posted by orange swan at 5:50 AM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


So does it hurt the waitstaff more if every night I drive by and shoot out the windows with a BB gun?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:55 AM on November 29, 2009


any forthcoming boycott or downturn in his business because of negative publicity will hurt the waitstaff the most.

....Who of course have much more mobility than the jerk in charge holding the keys to a eatery that is losing business.
posted by toastchee at 5:59 AM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


any forthcoming boycott or downturn in his business because of negative publicity will hurt the waitstaff the most.

Ah, so this is a hostage situation.
posted by hermitosis at 6:41 AM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


This guy is my new hero! He's right, you know.
posted by Liver at 8:49 AM on November 29


I bet you don't agree with him about the foie gras, though.
posted by TedW at 6:42 AM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wish he were a MeFite so he could be all like "grah fuckin asshole no one understands me and my fuckin vision of fuckin you fuckin" and I could be all like "hey dude you seem drunk maybe you need a ride home here let me call fuckin Roger Avary you fuckin fuck"
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:56 AM on November 29, 2009 [8 favorites]


empath, you have more marketing savvy than Vadim.
posted by dabitch at 6:57 AM on November 29, 2009


I don't know anybody who wants to give their email to a restaurant. He might as well ask his waitstaff to get a lock of hair. The customers will think it's odd and will be put out. Did he even think that maybe the email is a bad idea and the waitstaff didn't get any (at first) because they were trying to pretend that they worked at a nice place. Is this restaurant a deli? Do they have a daily sandwich and soup special that they need to get to all those customers? That is the only time I've ever heard of such a thing. This guy is trying to make his place sound 5 star, but the email thing is low class. IMHO of course. I'm not from NY maybe this is a new thing that I just don't get.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:57 AM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Otoh, we could all choose upon one particularly deserving place and use their zip code for all big box purchases?

I like that. I'm going to start giving out my mefi user number as my zip code.

People of Arcadia, OH: get ready for your new Michaels, Target and Home Depot!
posted by dogmom at 7:05 AM on November 29, 2009


This guy is my new hero! He's right, you know.

Define "This guy"
Define "hero"
Define "right"

I have given out my email to businesses (the gmail, not the personal) for something in return. Godiva gives me one free chocolate a month. Saphora gives me free make up on my birthday. Harris Teeter gives me weekly super specials like 99cent hamburger. JC Penny gives me monthly $10.00 coupons. If this guy wants to give me free appetizers or enter me into a free drawing for dinner for two, I might consider it; otherwise, he can't expect to get something for nothing.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:16 AM on November 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hey, I went to their link and as soon as the slow-as-a-snail signup page loads, I'm gonna sign up for the newsletter, with my North Carolina email.

As in, I'm not going to New York, I'm not going to your restaurant if I did, email.

Or, maybe I'm not, as I keep getting the "this webpage cannot be displayed" message.

Heh.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:18 AM on November 29, 2009


Just use "tipster@gawker.com"
posted by sammyo at 7:20 AM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I were this guy I'd turn this rant into a blog about how the restaurant business is driving him insane. It would be cathartic and he could save a ton of money on therapy by redirecting all this animosity from his wait staff to the written page. The damage is already done might as well capitalize on the publicity. Assholerestauranteur.com is available - do it Vadim, you know you want to.
posted by any major dude at 7:24 AM on November 29, 2009


The waitstaff surely care more about pleasing those who provide the majority of their compensation—the patrons, in the form of tips—than the guy who presumably pays them less than minimum wage to be there. If Ponorovsky wants his staff to be responsive to his whims, he should start paying them a living wage and ban tipping.
posted by grouse at 7:36 AM on November 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Whoo-boy, somebody's gat a potty mouth.
posted by ericb at 7:57 AM on November 29, 2009


"Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
posted by ericb at 7:58 AM on November 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


I waited tables and was required at different times to go out there and attempt to get phone numbers (late 1990's) and, later, email addresses.

This always seemed to ruin the whole experience for the customer. It also undermined whatever relationship I had just built with the the customer. It was offputting and anyone who did fill out those cars made a point to put the most obvious fake information on them.

I remember staff taking those cards home and filling them out themselves with fake emails (reason being it was definitley implied that worse shifts and/or loss of employment would result if we didn't turn in x-amount of cards each shift).

Not only was it awkward and out of touch as a tactic (whomever came up with the idea obviously had no idea how counter productive it was really was), it wasn't my job. My job was to wait tables and make the customer HAPPY. And trying to collect information to market to them later did NOT make the customer happy.
posted by marimeko at 8:04 AM on November 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


Does he have a inbox we can helpfully supply to waitstaff at other restaurants?

He provides his e-mail address in this article:
“You can quote me on this: Any time, any place (and you can put my personal e-mail, vadim@paradounyc.com), these fucks, if they want to send me an e-mail, I will crack every one of their fucking heads and make the streets run with blood. I will not have my family threatened by anyone. I will fucking slaughter all these people and dance on their heads.”
Methinks his e-mail inbox is filling up!
posted by ericb at 8:26 AM on November 29, 2009


I must echo what many others have said in this thread, in that I can't think of a better way to ruin a nice dining experience than being hounded for an email address to ensure I could receive spam. That is just such a classless, pathetic tactic, it boggles my mind that someone could be in the restaurant business and not be aware that it would annoy the customer. The waitstaff clearly understands this, and I feel sorry for them for working where they do.
posted by Jeeb at 8:30 AM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


If I had to guess, this and this are plagiarized from a common source, rather than the former being plagiarized from the latter, but I'm not having any luck locating it. Any wine lovers recognize this lexicon?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:32 AM on November 29, 2009


I've never been to a hot dog stand that was so low as to ask for my email info let alone a restaurant.
posted by nola at 8:38 AM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Graygorey: if that staff can't cajole data from their clients, doesn't it follow that surely someone out there who will."
[...]
In other words, if existing staff aren't pushing product hard enough, they can be replaced by staff who will push that product to that level.


I don't see that that follows either.

I mean, the only thing that would cause me to give my e-mail address to a waiter would be if the waiter lied to me and said I'd get (say) a $10 voucher every month. There is no amount of cajoling that would cause me to give a waiter my real e-mail address, if all it was going to get me was spam.

So unless you're proposing replacing the staff with people more willing to lie, I don't think that getting staff who are willing to push customers harder would actually result in getting more non-fake e-mail addresses.
posted by Mike1024 at 8:46 AM on November 29, 2009


Why is everyone so hung up on the "I would never give my e-mail address to a restaurant --- so why is he expecting his staff to get customers' e-mail addresses."

Clearly, the staff would entice customers to give their e-mail addresses in return for finding out about specials and getting coupons. This isn't difficult, people.

I've given my e-mail address (to the account I have dedicated to that sort of thing) to a restaurant, and have no regrets about it.

So get past the "who gives their e-mail address to a restaurant" thing.
posted by jayder at 8:54 AM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


What!?
“You can quote me on this: Any time, any place (and you can put my personal e-mail, vadim@paradounyc.com), these fucks, if they want to send me an e-mail, I will crack every one of their fucking heads and make the streets run with blood. I will not have my family threatened by anyone. I will fucking slaughter all these people and dance on their heads.”
He seems to be losing his mind.
posted by delmoi at 9:07 AM on November 29, 2009


Clearly, the staff would entice customers to give their e-mail addresses in return for finding out about specials and getting coupons.

That's what a smart restaurant manager would do, but I'll need to see proof that Paradou does that before I criticize its staff for not collecting emails.
posted by orange swan at 9:09 AM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I will fucking slaughter all these people and dance on their heads.

good meat is hard to find these days, i guess
posted by pyramid termite at 9:10 AM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I mean really, what good does he think these outbursts are going to do? If he had just apologized and tried to minimize the issue it wouldn't have gone very far. His hysterical reactions are just driving the story.

I mean think about it, if he had announced a new policy to pay a bonus to employees who get email addresses, and that people who get the email will get coupons and specials, tons of people would have heard about and perhaps checked out the restaurant.

Instead he's having a very public meltdown.
posted by delmoi at 9:13 AM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't really care what he does with his employees, but he serves foie gras, and for that he can eat a combo platter of dicks. He's the first person I can honestly say I hope goes right the fuck out of business.
posted by vito90 at 9:14 AM on November 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


So get past the "who gives their e-mail address to a restaurant" thing

No. I don't like being marketed to in that manner. I'm "hung up on it" because I think it's tacky, pathetic and intrusive. Also, he seems incredibly invested in the idea, as evidenced by this email to his staff. If a business wants to offer specials and coupons, let them put it on their website or Facebook or twitter, whatever...somewhere I can decide to visit if I choose to.
The business owner needs to get past the whole "collect email addresses for future spamming purposes".
posted by Jeeb at 9:16 AM on November 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


I will fucking slaughter all these people and dance on their heads.

And there'll be people lined up around the block to witness it. Last week we had no idea who this blowhard was; now he's the talk of the web. That's how you move ahead in troubled economic times. Ugh.

His hysterical reactions are just driving the story.

No publicity is bad publicity (in both senses). For everyone repulsed by the whole affair there will be a dozen who'll want to witness one of his Fawltyesque conniptions.
posted by hangashore at 9:19 AM on November 29, 2009


Let's not allow ourselves to associate the fact that this guy is crazy with the fact that he serves foie gras.

foie gras is delicious. DELICIOUS!
posted by pick_the_flowers at 9:32 AM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


These days if anyone asks for my e-mail address I just give them something clearly fake like "oh sure my e-mail address is sendspamhere@imjustanumber.com!"
posted by autodidact at 9:41 AM on November 29, 2009


Why not p[ut a request on the bill and/or the menu? and get the waiters off the hook.
Fact: waiters asked to do something by owner. It is not an ignoble request. Don't approve? Quit. Many more potential waiters out there. Customers: you can do it, follow advice by autodidact above, complain, ignore...or eat elswere.
posted by Postroad at 9:46 AM on November 29, 2009


As with the Alec Baldwin phone message from a few years back, the psychotic narcissism expressed by an abusive authority figure in the message takes me back to my childhood, like the smell of a nice pot roast and the faint sounds of a football game on TV in the background might for other people.
posted by autodidact at 9:53 AM on November 29, 2009 [8 favorites]


I think Mr. Vadim had every right to speak to his staff in that manner. The only problem I see is that he should have called a meeting and done it to their faces and not like a coward hiding behind an email. Yes, he should've spoken to them exactly as he did in that email at the restaurant so that he would got half a dozen forks plunged into his neck.
posted by Skygazer at 10:14 AM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anyhow, as a New Yorker, I now know one place I will definitely not eat, ever. Unless of course Mr. Vadim issues a public apology. Changes his email collection policy. Gives each of his employees $100.
posted by Skygazer at 10:20 AM on November 29, 2009


Why is everyone so hung up on the "I would never give my e-mail address to a restaurant --- so why is he expecting his staff to get customers' e-mail addresses."

Because people HATE spam, so while he's on the right side of crazy when he expects waiters to ASK people for their email, he's on the dumb side of crazy to expect that people will actually want to give their addresses to him.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:29 AM on November 29, 2009


Any waitron (is that still the gender-neutral term?) still working there deserves what they get.

Good waitstaff can get jobs anywhere. Asshole restaurant owners go bankrupt.

You know, it may be true that good waiters generally have some measure of flexibility in that they can always try to get a job at another restaurant, but it takes a lot of time and effort at any given restaurant to learn the system and ingratiate oneself enough to get good shifts/sections. It's not like you can just show up at the hoppinest joint in town and expect to start waiting on Friday nights.

Asshole restaurant owners don't always go bankrupt. On the contrary, there are plenty of highly successful restauranteurs what happen to be total assholes. Just because your boss is a jerk doesn't mean that you can just up and get a better job, no matter what field you're in.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 10:52 AM on November 29, 2009


I've given my e-mail address (to the account I have dedicated to that sort of thing) to a restaurant, and have no regrets about it.

Great. So post your email address here, and in the future when potential spammers ask us for an email address, we'll be sure to pass yours along.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:57 AM on November 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


Cocaine is AWESOME.
posted by Artw at 11:07 AM on November 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Mike1024: So unless you're proposing replacing the staff with people more willing to lie, I don't think that getting staff who are willing to push customers harder would actually result in getting more non-fake e-mail addresses.

What Vadim is asking of staff isn't necessarily smart, but it's neither illegal nor outside the bounds of similar common business practices. While I doubt it's possible to fine staff for failing to perform, I'd imagine it can be cited as grounds for termination.

I'm not defending the practice, nor am I proposing anything myself - personally, I find the requirement to collect email addresses invasive and incredibly short-sighted on Vadim's part, and likely bad for business. Still, looking at the situation from the owner's perspective, he's paying staff with the expectation that they will comply with his decisions and the way he chooses to run the restaurant. While I find his practices distasteful and his behavior toward staff unforgivable, I don't find his frustrations unreasonable... if that's how Vadim wants his business to operate, then it's reasonable that he would replace staff not performing the duties he's asked of them with personnel who will.
posted by Graygorey at 11:48 AM on November 29, 2009


if that's how Vadim wants his business to operate, then it's reasonable that he would replace staff not performing the duties he's asked of them with personnel who will.

Perhaps I should clarify what I meant to say. You say that if existing staff aren't pushing to get real e-mail addresses hard enough, they can be replaced by staff who will push for real e-mail addresses to that level.

I say that Vadim cannot replace his employees with employees who will get customers' e-mail addresses, because employees who will get customers' e-mail addresses do not exist. This is because customers will not give their e-mail addresses to waiters.

If the restaurant was trying but failing to get customers' kidneys, the problem is that the task is impossible, not that the waiters are insufficiently enthusiastic.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:15 PM on November 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


This is like softcore Internet holier-than-thou porn. Some authority figure in a position that's easily hateable does some douchebag thing that the Gawkers jump all over like it's a politician getting a blowjob and so thousands of commenters get to pronounce how much of a jerk this guy is and golly gee my e-mail address is so personal I wouldn't want updates on specials at this restaurant I go to filling my inbox that's outrageous blahblah. Well I'm here to tell you that this dude's level of assholeishness is not in proportion to the Internet outrage and this event likely does not deserve any kind of analysis or bean-plating. Maybe it's because I had to collect e-mail addresses going door to door once and know that it's impossible and that I think there's a real debate to be had about okay "spam" vs. penis length spam, and if I enjoyed a particular restaurant I think it'd be neat to hear what their specials are each week, or something. But I really think a manager being verbally abusive to his employees is not deserving of more than a handful of Internet comments. Think of all the other people out there on other sites talking about how much of a jerk this guy is and so on. This is why I hate these tabloid websites; their posts exist purely to entice some kind of base emotional reaction so people feel good about themselves because they're not that person/in that situation. It's devoid of nutrition. Anyway people like that guy get their comeuppance with future blood pressure problems and heart attacks and whatnot so what's the point in wanting him to be miserable?

I'm the Internet health police, I'm just doing my job.
posted by palidor at 12:17 PM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why is everyone so hung up on the "I would never give my e-mail address to a restaurant --- so why is he expecting his staff to get customers' e-mail addresses."

Honestly, I do not want coupons, daily specials or free offers from a restaurant in the tier that Paradou is aspiring to be. There is nothing a restaurant of this type could offer me to get my email address that wouldn't make me feel like I was stuck in a bougie Melting Pot classy-wannabe craphole.

If you ask for my email address, it better be done by the restaurant owner himself looking to follow up with a personalized, individual thank you or to contact me about a dish I specially inquired about being available for me.

He knows nothing about creating an upscale brand and I think he's an ignorant pig for that alone.

If you want to ask for my email address, just open a G-Damn Chili's in New Jersey and give me a free deep fried onion thing. Offer me the chance to win a $25 gift card to Walmart if I complete on online survey and have the waiter push Pucker shots for dessert.

If you've got a wine list that doesn't have boxed wine on it, treat me in a way that makes me feel special.

And yes, I go to Chili's and Melting Pot and all that bougie crap. But if there's no line between the upscales of the world and the middle brow, the cost/benefit just doesn't work out. Even if you like foie gras.
posted by Gucky at 12:22 PM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Honestly, I do not want coupons, daily specials or free offers from a restaurant in the tier that Paradou is aspiring to be.

Yes, exactly! If I'm at Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag, by all means ask for my email, or let me sign up for a mailing list that will give me free food on my birthday or whatever. But if I'm eating at a nice restaurant, I'm looking for an experience. That experience does not include the humiliation of professional-level waitrons or my irritation at being badgered for personal information.

Push marketing usually always sucks. I expect, for a place with those prices, much better.
posted by sugarfish at 1:22 PM on November 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


Here's an example of a restaurant using customers' email addresses in a good way. A restaurant in my neighborhood has a daily (Mon-Fri) take-out dinner* for 4 people for $14. You sign up for the service and each morning they e-mail you that day's special. You click on the link to go their web site to order for that evening. I get NO other email from them. The restaurant does a LOT of business this way. Everyone is happy.

*typically a casserole or stew, salad or cole slaw, and rolls
posted by neuron at 1:40 PM on November 29, 2009


The only problem I see is that he should have called a meeting and done it to their faces and not like a coward hiding behind an email.

I agree that was perhaps the most offensive part of it, his whole "and then you would say .... and then I would say ..."

It seems like the sort of conversation/restaurant policy change you should initiate in a face-to-face meeting, if you have any integrity.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:52 PM on November 29, 2009




Waiter: "May I interest you in our selection of Ponorovsky spam?"
posted by nola at 1:53 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apparently, when you give your email to Paradou you get this man's ranting in your inbox rather than something useful like "coupons" or "information about upcoming specials."

So let me say that THERE IS NO WAITSTAFF IN THE WORLD TALENTED ENOUGH TO GET A REAL EMAIL ADDRESS OUT OF ME FOR THIS CLOWN ever. And I have signed up for restaurant email newsletters, because instead of haranguing their staff they took the trouble to put, as others have said, a little card in with the check explaining what was in it for me to give them my email address.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:57 PM on November 29, 2009


"Excuse me, would you mind giving me your email address for no good reason?"

Translation: "Excuse me, would you mind leaving the restaurant without tipping the stalkery waitstaff?"
posted by Sys Rq at 2:24 PM on November 29, 2009


You give no respect, you get 10 times back.
123 comments, and no one noticed this blatant MATH FAIL?

What is he saying? That if you show him no respect, you'll get 10 times the amount you showed him back- which is still zero? Or that you'll get 10 times the respect a normal person would get, because Vadim is some weird submissive worm who needs to be treated like the dog he is?
posted by hincandenza at 3:09 PM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Clearly, the staff would entice customers to give their e-mail addresses in return for finding out about specials and getting coupons. This isn't difficult, people.

Coupons? It looks like he's at least trying to promote a fancy restaurant atmosphere. Coupons when I'm eating at Jimmy Johns are cool, coupons when I just spent $35 on "caviar with warm mini crepes" ruin the illusion that I'm a classy restaurant patron.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:47 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I were this guy I'd turn this rant into a blog about how the restaurant business is driving him insane.

That's not bad. I can't see him with a self-deprecating sense of humor, however. No sense of irony in that guy.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:50 PM on November 29, 2009


I've worked for assholes like this, once or twice. He will probably fail, but he may have the money to ride it out. This is begging for a treatment by Kitchen Nightmares.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:54 PM on November 29, 2009


I see a reality TV show in his future. Unfortunately, a phenomenon I've noticed in television is asshole plus publicity equals money.
posted by Evangeline at 4:00 PM on November 29, 2009


Unfortunately, a phenomenon I've noticed in television is asshole plus publicity equals money.

exactly!
posted by marimeko at 4:11 PM on November 29, 2009


Some people are clueless enough where they fail to capitalize on their weaknesses, even when it's right in front of them, because their ego is far too large to consider the possibilities. I think this guy may be one of those.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:12 PM on November 29, 2009


Still, looking at the situation from the owner's perspective, he's paying staff with the expectation that they will comply with his decisions and the way he chooses to run the restaurant

Yes, but he's an idiot.

I worked in the restaurant/bar business for about 15 years, in the kitchen, waitstaff, bar and management. Here is the underlying truth to the facet you're talking about: guy has no clue what it means to be a restaurant owner. The fact that he's doing this at all tells me he lacks any understanding of the relationship of a customer to his place of business or any of his staff. He is only hurting his business and its reputation through this campaign, and he's blaming his staff for the lack of success, when he should never have embarked in the first place.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:19 PM on November 29, 2009


It appears Vadim is astroturfing the articles now. Well, not exactly sure, but:
"Everyone should leave the owner alone. The email was sent to his employees and not meant for the world. The backlash is insane, it should all be directed towards the leak, the rat. I have read some of the comments and realized how sad and lonely nyc is. People are ready to pounce and slay the boss, how about just doing your job and have a normal life. All you people are angry and hateful, this has nothing to do with you and you revel in someone else's misery. Karma is a bitch to all you haters. Waiters are not the most responsible and trustworthy, so you do need t manage them somehow. All you angry people are so bored with your lives you need to feel connected through twitter, blogs and hate. Do you all feel better. Death threats, how dare you, those messages should be posted straight to the police. Paradou is a great place and it is consistently good, go to any great restaurant and speak to the owner, they are angry, impatient and my gosh use profanity. Reality sucks, this is what goes on in most restaurants that are successful."

By dreamadream on 11/21/2009 at 4:49pm
posted by krinklyfig at 4:53 PM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, krinklyfig the comments from Vadim were realllly transparent. Comically so.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:33 PM on November 29, 2009


Metafilter: All you angry people are so bored with your lives you need to feel connected through twitter, blogs and hate.
posted by kaspen at 5:39 PM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


"In "Right to work" states you can fire anyone with no reason. New York isn't one, but I'm sure if an employee isn't performing, as you would like, you can fire them."

As the Wikipedia article you linked to says right to work laws "prohibit agreements between trade unions and employers making membership or payment of union dues or "fees" a condition of employment, either before or after hiring."

You're thinking of "employment-at-will" states of which New York is one.
posted by Jahaza at 7:28 PM on November 29, 2009


Still, looking at the situation from the owner's perspective, he's paying staff with the expectation that they will comply with his decisions and the way he chooses to run the restaurant

Mr. Ponorovsky's can run his restaurant however he wants. I have the right to disagree with your opinion. Ergo, you should shut up or I will fucking slaughter you and make the streets run with blood!

Do you see how what I put in the answer blank to complete that syllogism is not exactly going to get me an A in Philosophy 102 - An Introduction to Logic?

His little ads are not the problem. It's his abusive general mailing to his entire staff and bug fuck insane behavior since that's unacceptable.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:56 PM on November 29, 2009


I remember going to a newsagent once to pick up some batteries - it was just a purchase of a few dollars. The sales assistant rang it up and then refused to give it to me unless I filled out a form with my address, email address etc. I asked what it was for and she told me it was company policy. For a few batteries, I asked? I said it was MY policy not to give out my email address. She insisted that I fill it out. I told her she could keep the them then, I'd like a refund and that I wouldn't be returning, and neither would anyone else I knew once I told them this story. She rolled her eyes and gave me the batteries. I've never been back since. This invasion of privacy is ridiculous, I hope it comes back to bite Vadim on the ass.
posted by Jubey at 8:07 PM on November 29, 2009


This is sort of how I'd imagine how Klaus Kinski would run a restaurant.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:05 PM on November 29, 2009 [11 favorites]


To put it another way:

"Thank you sir, madam, did you enjoy your meal?"
"We did, thank you. Here is my card to pay."
"Thank you, that will be $222.40 for your banana pikelets and a celery stick, and with the 15% gratuity that will be $244.64. I wonder if we might offer you some shit to take home?"
"What?"
"Some shit, sir. Poo, if you prefer. The owner of the restaurant has asked us to kindly offer you some of his poo, if you would like it. It's completely voluntary, and comes in little plastic bags."
"Why the hell would he want to do that?"
"Apparently it's the done thing, sir. For him to provide you with poo pleases him in some way, and we as his staff are required to offer it to each customer. He's very anxious for us to give it to you, sir."
"Who in the world would want it?"
"We had two customers last week who took a bag each, sir. For their petunias. But I can see you don't wish to have any, and as I said sir it is completely voluntary, so never mind. Thank you for your custom, and good night."
posted by aeschenkarnos at 9:08 PM on November 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


He's the one swearing in a memo to his staff, ranting and raving and sounding like a psycopathic loon (I will make blood run in the streets?) and yet HE'S calling his STAFF childish? Pot's calling the kettle a saucepan here.

You know, I can believe his little rant that his staff doesn't respect him, if only because I cannot imagine as an employee having ANY respect for a boss who swears at me in such a fashion. "That's the way the restaraunt business is run". Really? Really?
posted by sandraregina at 10:27 PM on November 29, 2009


He might as well ask his waitstaff to get a lock of hair.

WHAT? Okay, who's been leaking the business plan for my new voodoo restaurant, T.J. O'Houngan's?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:08 PM on November 29, 2009 [9 favorites]


Isn't foie gras itself just spam in a cocktail dress?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:29 AM on November 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: This is sort of how I'd imagine how Klaus Kinski would run a restaurant.
posted by bakerina at 6:49 AM on November 30, 2009


Isn't foie gras itself just spam in a cocktail dress?
Not really. They're both kinds of pate, but fois gras is made from liver and spam is (as far as I know) made from muscle meat.
posted by Karmakaze at 8:27 AM on November 30, 2009


I'm tempted to try to get the email address of another restaurant I know that's hiring, and then go to the restaurant and offer THAT address to the waiter ("I've heard your boss is making you do this, so here's a way you personally can apply for a job with someone who's sane"). It's a sort of metal-file-hidden-in-the-cake-sent-to-the-prison approach.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:16 AM on November 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I imagine the "why are you looking for a new job?" part of the interview would be easy.
posted by Artw at 10:18 AM on November 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Except, in most cases, saying something like, my old boss was a psychopathic shithead usually doesn't win you any favors with a potential new boss.

But luckily, thanks to the fact that the psychopathic shithead of an an ex-boss is incapable of shutting his fat mouth and apologizing for his behavior, this may be an exception.
posted by Skygazer at 10:42 AM on November 30, 2009


This is sort of how I'd imagine how Klaus Kinski would run a restaurant.

Except he would make you eat your shoe.

Well, OK, maybe Werner Herzog would ... with Kinski watching, of course.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:23 PM on November 30, 2009


You know, I can believe his little rant that his staff doesn't respect him, if only because I cannot imagine as an employee having ANY respect for a boss who swears at me in such a fashion. "That's the way the restaraunt business is run". Really? Really?

Well, there's a lot of swearing, but a good manager/owner doesn't flail around using memos like that. You leave the hysterics for when it really matters, in person.

Also, a good manager doesn't put themselves at odds with their employees. It's not a matter of being in a battle with them. If you're going to swear and fly off the handle, that may work, but remember your employees will not respect you if you don't respect them. It's not supposed to sound like an actual threat of violence, but rather the sort of shit-talking that motivates, and there's a big difference.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:33 PM on November 30, 2009


Now is the time to set up the Vadim autoresponder, wherein after providing him with a fake email address, every time he sends mail to it, he gets volleys of CRAZY COCAINE-FILLED ABUSE hurled back at him through the magic of the internets.

(And ideally, the autoresponder should send its response from a different address/IP/whatever each time so the bastard can't add it to his spam folder automatically).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:01 AM on December 1, 2009


“If my staff has the ability for self-reflection and seeing the big picture, they should ask, ‘Why would one of us fuck the rest of us so badly by damaging our ability to make money?” Ponorvosky says.

Heh. That's exactly what the staff would be thinking if they considered Vadim to be "one of us".
posted by juv3nal at 11:51 AM on December 1, 2009


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