The Awl’s contributor Mobutu Sese Seko has a problem with chain restaurant managers. Among other pet peeves, he disapproves of the ones who solicit customer feedback on employees while said employees are standing there listening. This situation can devolve into “an effort-free means of employee intimidation and quality control.” Having worked in the restaurant industry himself, he is reluctant to subject others to this physiological scare tactic.

Not for nothing is the article’s accompanying photo a screenshot grabbed from Mike Judge’s  Office Space. The manager of Chotchkie’s Stan (played by Judge) nitpicks at Joanna (played by Jennifer Aniston) for lacking flair, a.k.a. buttons on suspenders. Managers who rely on passive aggressive tactics for communication like the fictitious Stan only make it difficult for others to respect the work.

Seko says, “The managers I knew who got the best work out of their servers were ones who were just as good as their best waiters and waitresses, who helped people struggling in a rush, ran food out and looked for problems to fix.”

[via The Awl]