Bad Ass Bosses - Jamie Greenwald
To kick off our new series "Bad Ass Bosses" I figured I would start with one of my favorite bosses to date - Ms. Jamie Greenwald. I have worked with her for almost two and a half years, and if you looked back on those years since we first met you would've never thought I would be singing her praises.
When Jamie and I first met I was working TWO full time jobs: my PR position and also as a hostess at Andrew Carmellini's Soho restaurant The Dutch. To say I was miserable back then was an understatement. I hated my PR job because they wouldn't pay me enough, so I had to pick up a second job. I worked 4 nights a week at The Dutch and Sunday mornings - meaning that Monday through Thursday I was working from 9:30am until usually about 11:30pm/12am at night. By the time I trekked all the way back to Bushwick, walked my dog and got ready for bed it was almost 3am. I then had to be up by 7am the next morning. When I was first hired Jamie hadn't started. She was over at one of the company's other restaurants, and a few months after I started she joined The Dutch as the General Manager. I had heard different stories about her before she came back to The Dutch and we immediately butted heads. I was hating my life and therefore hated everyone that was in it. Going from one job to the next where this very hard headed woman was didn't go over well with me at first. I wanted to just be at home and not dealing with the horrible people that would often come into the restaurant. As the GM Jamie of course needed to make sure everyone was interacting appropriately with guests and that was NOT me. I argued with guests, with her, and with my coworkers. I'm pretty sure she wanted to fire me haha!
One day in particular a guest that I had had an argument with brought it to Jamie's attention. As she should, Jamie tried to pull me aside and discuss the situation with her. That particular day I was on my 4th or 5th day in a row working 16 hour days, and I had just received news from home that had me really upset and stressed. I like to think that despite all of my flaws I'm never too proud to admit when I'm wrong. I left that shift and didn't say anything to Jamie. The next shift I worked with her though I pulled her beside before leaving and apologized. I admitted that I was out of line that day with both the guest and her and explained my situation that was happening at home. She was so understanding and hugged me. From then on everything turned around. We eventually discovered we worked really well together. I've always said the reason we butted heads so hard at first was because we're so much alike. We both have very strong opinions, strong personalities and like things the way we like them. Once we started working through our differences at work I began to see what others raved about. Here was this woman working for this mainly male-dominated company in NYC and she was kicking ass. She was loyal, passionate, hard working, and did it all with poise. I admired her. She demanded respect but in a respectful way, and it worked. I tried hard after our rough start to really impress her because she was someone I inspired to be in the work force.
Jamie and her husband got pregnant around September of 2015 and I was so excited. We've dubbed her the Queen of The Dutch but also the mom. Her first love of the restaurant industry is working the door so as a hostess she helped us out a lot and was basically the mom of the hostess'. Towards the end of 2015 I started dealing with a lot of personal family stuff and one day when I felt like I had no one to talk to I got to work early and she let me sit in the office with her and cry hysterically into her arms. I remember so clearly when this first happened because I was even in shock. Jamie and I had come so far from when I first started there and then here I was turning to her for advice, comfort, and support. When I lost my first PR job at the end of December, Jamie was there to let me know I didn't need to worry and that I could work as many shifts as I wanted to at The Dutch. She helped me get an interview with NoHo Hospitality to possibly work PR or events in the office space, and lent me her ear, and shoulder, again when shitty thing after shitty thing occurred in early 2016. Honestly, without her I'm not sure how I would've made it through.
There's a million reasons I could think of for why Jamie is such a bad ass woman and boss. I not only consider her my boss and employer, but a confidant and a friend. She has taught me so much about how to be a strong and independent woman, how to run a business, how to not take crap from anyone, and how to do it with grace. She's a kick ass mom to the most adorable little munchkin Frits, which also gives me hope that I can be a mom and still run an empire. She does it all, and I definitely hope that one day I can be just as bad ass as she is.
In the infamous words of The Dutch Babes "What Would JG Do?!"
Thank you Jamie for everything you do for me and everyone else that has had the pleasure of knowing you <3