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Colorado Marias Drunkenness Behavior & Davids Co Communication Conflict Discussion

Colorado Marias Drunkenness Behavior & Davids Co Communication Conflict Discussion

Question Description


This discussion post presents you with an overview of a conflict scenario. In this situation, you are to assume that you are the main character. What you will read and respond to today is your perspective on the situation prior to an outbreak of conflict. In the next discussion post, you will learn about the conflict and hear the stories of the three major parties involved.

For this post you will do two things:

  • Read “The Context” below.
  • Write up and post your response to the discussion prompts.

Please remember, you need to post your response by 11:59pm. Please review the guidelines for discussion posts on the Assignment Details page. You will then post your peer response post by the following day at 11:59 pm. You will not be able to see peer posts until you post your initial response.

The Context – The Restaurant

You are the manager at an mid-scale Italian restaurant near the university campus. You have been in the job for five years and aspire to open your own restaurant after you finish with your MBA, which you are currently working on by taking morning classes. However, in order to attend classes you needed to hire an assistant manager to work weekday mornings to cover the lunch shift and supervise the dinner prep. The lunch service is moderate and allows for a scaled down staff to handle dine in and carry out orders. Two cooks take care of the kitchen and two servers work the front of the house. Most of the lunch staff have worked together for over a year and get on well, but you are worried that the addition of the new assistant manager and the new cook have created some issues that you just have not had time to address.

Tara and Mel work together every weekday in the front of the house as servers. Mel is in her early 30s and Tara is in her early 20s. Both are exceptional and trustworthy. Both talk about going to college, but neither feel the time is right. Mel has worked in the restaurant for over a decade and has unofficially been the person in charge when you are not in. Before hiring the new assistant manager, you asked Mel if she would be interested in the job, but she told you it wasn’t her thing and that she made better money from tips.

David unofficially heads the kitchen when he is in. He is 21, a university student, and has been with you for about two years. You know he is dependable and the kitchen runs smoothly when he’s back there. He tends to work doubles on days he is not at school, which means he uses the lunch shift to also prepare for the dinner shift. You are pretty sure he’s dating Tara, one of the servers that also works the lunch shift. From the look of his friends and clothes, you cannot tell if he’s in a gang or band, but he clearly associates with some rough looking people. David gets along with most of the staff, but he is very territorial about the kitchen and has no problem telling people what he thinks.

The introduction of Nate, the assistant manager, has caused you some concern. Nate is older than the rest of the staff. He is in his mid-40s and the only African-American on your team. He worked for 15 years as a manager at a McDonalds and given that kind of experience, you thought he would make a great addition. He explained that his reason for seeking new employment was that he was tired of the fast food environment and that he is also hoping to start his own restaurant someday in the future. He’s been with you two months and in that time, you’ve noticed that he takes a more authoritative tone with the employees and does not seem to be connecting with them on a personal level. The kitchen staff, particularly David, complains that he’s in the way and doesn’t know how to prepare food. Mel has pulled you aside to tell you that he makes inappropriate comments about certain staff members under his breath, but she refuses to give you any specifics.

Your major problem is Maria, the newest member of the kitchen staff. She’s only been with you a month and probably needs to be fired. Maria is 19 and a party kid. She is frequently late and you’re pretty sure she’s high most of the time. While her prior job references checked out, Maria has proven incapable of working at the speed required of her. You relegated her to the lunch service in the hope that she will eventually learn to keep pace. David is constantly in your ear about the need for you to replace her with someone who knows how to work in this type of kitchen. Nate has also voiced concerns about Maria’s lateness. Maria is very open about being gay, which you and the rest of the staff could care less about, but you can tell this makes Nate uncomfortable.

Discussion Prompt

Thinking about what you’ve read and stepping into the shoes of this individual, I want you to answer the following questions in your post:

  • What are your primary concerns as an individual in this scenario?
  • What are your primary concerns as the manager of the restaurant?
  • Where do your individual concerns and your concern as a manager overlap and/or differ?
  • What potential problems do you see arising in the workplace?

Separately, please feel free to identify areas where more information might be helpful to you.

  • For instance, if you’ve not worked in restaurant before, what are some things that stand out to you as possibly strange or confusing?

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