Omaha Steaks Complaint. The following took place on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at approximately 3:30 pm in the training room at Omaha Steaks, in Omaha, Ne. Among other positions, Omaha Steaks offers a Direct Sales position, selling over the phone to it‘s existing customers. This particular job description involved calling existing customers and offering them packages.
My name is Doug and I was hired at Omaha Steaks, to start Monday, May 6. The classroom training was to last for a week, after which we would go on the floor to begin to take live calls and this would take three weeks. The entire training (OJT) would be for 4 weeks, which we were to receive a specific hourly wage plus commission and this would change after 12 weeks.
The purpose for this letter is to document for the general public and for any others who need to know this information. The unfortunate event that follows is what happened to me personally. My intention is to share my side, in case others may have been misinformed and made privy to other information. Whether this company, who may be represented by others in ownership or other officer positions behaves in similar fashion, I can’t say and therefore can‘t provide information on. For the individual that I had a personal encounter with, it is to this representative that I specifically direct attention to. The name of the individual need not be revealed, other than to say that they represent the company at the highest level. He will be addressed as “chef”.
To me, the responsible of those high level, senior representatives of a company, should possess an even greater skill level with regard to communication abilities, as it relates to their contact with lower level employees, not just with the public. To that end, it is their business ethics and social responsibility to guard the torch that has been entrusted to them. They must demonstrate this ability because of who they represent. Regardless of who they are, in character, personality, etc, makes little difference, as they are always acting on behalf of the company they are employed with at that time.
My experience began with the individual coming to our class at the hour before our shift was over. The event was for both taste testing and educational purposes. The class was ask to come up to a table where the samples were and get a sample and return to their table. My table was first. I sat up and made my way to the sampling table, but stopped short, to allow my lady friend who was at our table to go first saying, “ladies first”. At this, I noticed that the “chef” immediately demonstrated irritation. My lady friend took her sample, getting an extra one for our other friend at our table and I followed. We both returned to our table. I had already began eating the sample before I arrived at our table. I immediately noticed something about the meat, which was a sample of “filet Mignon”. I had grown up on meat (steak) in the south and noticed good meat when I tasted it. When I took my sit, I looked at my friend to my right and asked her if she noticed anything about it, specifically the texture, as I was very surprised. My query took less than 15 seconds. She did not respond and I asked again, noticing that she was not looking at me when I was addressing her. She was looking to the front of the class. When I turned to look to the front, I had to take a double take to notice the “chef” was addressing me and had an expression of anger on his face, as well as an offended bodily appearance, i.e. body gestures and facial expressions. Because of the loudness of the other class members, I could barely make out what he was saying, not to mentioned that maybe because I was coming down with a cold and the pressure in my head may have had something to do with my hearing. (This, my instructor knew about, as before class started that day, I informed him that I didn’t know if I could make it through the day). When others realized this noticeable change in pace, they seemed to quiet down, at which time I could hear him. Because of my shear surprise of what was taking place, I could scarcely believe what happened all together that day, as I am still in shock. But, essentially, he was telling me to leave the classroom. He said that he had already told me twice to be quiet, as I was apparently interrupting him, which I don’t see how this could have been the case, as the noise level was such that no one could hear much of anything because of the excitement of the moment, as we were finely sharing in the moment of taking part in experiencing the product which we would be selling. This would be the ultimate “first impression”, for me, as I had never had “filet Mignon” before, but was pretty much raised on T-Bone. And to experience the famous “Omaha Steak filet Mignon”, I was anxiously awaiting. But this grand finale was to be overshadowed by the horror of what just transpired. I remember gathering my things, fumbling around in humiliation and embarrassment. It felt like an out of body experience, that this was not me, but someone else. Then, like a third grade elementary school child, slowly, with my head held down, I walked in front of the class and out the door. I barley could remember to get my things from my locker, or even remember my locker combination. The feeling leaving the building was one of shame and dishonor, both to my classmates and my instructor, who had to leave early for the day. What had just taken place in that building, one simply can’t make up. When I got to my truck, I was still chewing on a mouth full of grizzle, left from the small piece of filet. I remember spiting it out from disgust.
As I analyzed the events of that day, my first thought was of how rude I must have appeared to the “chef” as he was trying to do his job. Putting myself in his position, I would have been angered as well and totally justified in being upset. But, there is always another perspective that must be considered and it is the responsibility of those senior company representatives who should know how and when to conduct themselves with professional mannerism. I never in my craziest of dreams could imagine myself treating a coworker, subordinate, or much less human being in the dehumanizing manner in which I was treated. My respect for both this company (Omaha Steaks) specifically and the culinary industry in general has seriously been placed in a dismal light, as this individual has misrepresented them as well.
Of course, many will say that I am just an angry employee, unhappy with my job, life, etc. This simply is not the case as I had only been working there three days. I had so been looking forward to the future and was even looking to work toward being a trainer eventually, as I was extremely impressed with our trainer for the class. He demonstrated characteristics of what I wanted to exhibit one day, if given the opportunity to hold that high honored position. There was no reason for me to give up and throw away this potential opportunity, being that this job was going to prove too easy for me. I was looking forward to getting on the phone and putting my gifts of persuasion to work to make record sales for Omaha Steaks.
What should be of note is that the first time I had ever seen the “chef” was in a video that I had found online earlier that week. At first, I remember being thoroughly impressed with this gentleman. His lively, outgoing and extremely charismatic personality was contagious. The “chef” has a genuine and appealing smile that extends from ear to ear. I remember feeling good about being apart of the same company that this person spoke on behalf of. Shockingly, the video and the real man could not be further from the truth. Because I was sitting in a unique position in the class, I was the only one who could see the “chef” coming down the hall, even before he entered the class and I remember seeing his expression and being surprised that this could really be the “chef” coming in. It wasn’t until later that I realized that the “chef” is only acting the part.
Prior to starting this job, I was working at my own business that I had started in 2010, D. Bennett Services. I started the business for a couple of reasons. First, because of my many years of experience in the construction and remodeling industry, as well as my handyman mindset, I wanted to serve the public in providing an exceptional handyman service at the best pricing rate around, while making my customers so happy, they would continue to call me in the future, which they did and still do. My reviews can be read at www.dbennettservices.com. Second, I wanted to answer to no one, except myself. I am the sole representative of my business and what and how I conduct myself and behave reflects on everything about D. Bennett Services and it’s future and there is nothing I would do to jeopardize that reputation. The reason I needed to look elsewhere for other work was because of a bad back, which wasn’t always bad, but only when doing extreme physically demanding work. I knew when I started with Omaha Steaks, I would miss my customers and the business, but thought I would give it a try. When I found the job offer with Omaha Steaks, I thought this would be the right company for me to retire with.
In conclusion, though this is a scathing letter, it is not so much about one company that couldn’t get it right with one employee, but more so about those high ranking officials who assume too much and take it upon themselves to take unnecessary risk and therefore put those who have placed them in positions of great responsibility and destroy the credibility of a great company. My hope is that Omaha Steaks will learn from this event and make the necessary correction, but I know better and am quite certain that since seniority ranks higher then just a fresh new recruit like myself, not even a slap on the wrist will result. Still, companies need to be aware of those who poorly represent them and the great responsible they have to that company, for any representative has it within their power to literally bring a company to it’s knees by their reckless and irresponsible behavior. I will return to my handyman business and take what I have learned to the next level and apply myself to being even better at representing my business and industry. No employee of any company should have to endure what happened to me. Maybe, I am just too old (52) and have been away from the employer employee relationship for too long. One thing is for sure, I have not just lost the taste, but the desire to work for anyone ever again, unless someone can prove me wrong.
*As a result of this experience, I have founded NAAMCR, “National Awareness for the Abuse and Mistreatment by Company Representatives”. A cause to bring awareness of the abuse and mistreatment by company representatives, making them accountable for any and all actions of abuse and mistreatment to the employees of the company to whom they are employed. www.NAAMCR.com