On the now-infamous Amy’s Baking Company episode of Kitchen Nightmares, famed chef Gordon Ramsey finally met his match when he bumped heads with a pair of restaurant owners from Scottsdale Arizona.
If what viewers saw on TV is true, Sammy and Amy Bouzaglo, are horrible businesspeople and probably a tad bit insane.
They yell at customers, serve up subpar food, and spend an awful amount of time cursing out “online bullies,” while claiming God will protect them from their haters.
The show was an epically entertaining hot ass mess.
But in every mess, there is a lesson. So what can we learn from this pair?
Although most people simply laughed at them for being completely batsh*t crazy, I thought the Bouzaglos were the perfect example of what happens when we feel the need to always play defense.
And if the saying “offense is the best defense” is true, Amy and Sammy are masters at playing the game.
Instead of taking Chef Ramsey’s constructive criticism about the restaurant’s food, service, and working environment to heart, the Bouzaglos aggressively disagreed and argued with him at every turn.
When Amy served up pizza with undercooked dough, her husband Sammy refused to tell her why Chef Ramsey sent it back uneaten. And when Chef Ramsey told her just how wack her food was, she couldn’t stand to hear it his criticisms of her cooking and stormed out.
Throughout the episode Amy spoke of feeling attacked, bullied, and oppressed by customers, and she vowed to “fight back.”
After the show aired, the couple took to their Facebook page to explain their position and proceeded to argue with commenters—for hours—about their restaurant.
In one post the couple said they had “God on their side” while calling commenters punks and fools. And in another, they vowed to “start a generation of truthfulness.”
Though some people argue that all press is good press, I can’t imagine how this debacle can possibly be good for Amy’s Baking Company.
People not only think this couple is insane, but they’re food has been roundly criticized on Yelp and on Facebook by real and imaginary customers.
But how could this whole thing have been avoided? And how can you avoid falling into “fight back” mode whenever you’re faced with criticism?
In the book The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra drops some useful jewels about why being defensive is an impediment to our success.
In the Law of Least Effort, the fourth law, he writes:
If you observe people around you, you’ll see that they spend ninety-nine percent of their time defending their points of view. If you just relinquish the need to defend your point of view, you will in that relinquishment, gain access to enormous amounts of energy that have been previously wasted.
When you become defensive, blame others, and do not accept and surrender to the moment, your life meets resistance. Any time you encounter resistance, recognize that if you force the situation, the resistance will only increase. You don’t want to stand rigid like a tall oak that cracks and collapses in the storm. Instead, you want to be flexible, like a reed that bends with the storm and survives.
Completely desist from defending your point of view. When you have no point to defend, you do not allow the birth of an argument. If you do this consistently — if you stop fighting and resisting — you will fully experience the present, which is a gift. Someone once told me, “The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called ‘the present’.’
If you embrace the present and become one with it, and merge with it, you will experience a fire, a glow, a sparkle of ecstasy throbbing in every living sentient being. As you begin to experience this exultation of spirit in everything that is alive, as you become intimate with it, joy will be born within you, and you will drop the terrible burdens and encumbrances of defensiveness, resentment, and hurtfulness. Only then will you become lighthearted, carefree, joyous, and free.
Someone needs to buy this book and gift it to the Bouzaglos STAT!
Instead of wasting time and energy arguing with customers, they could use it to improve their business. But as my mother always says, that’s too much like right. And I’d wager the Bouzaglos will continue to fight everyone, until they realize that it’s a losing proposition.
Though not as extreme as Amy and Sammy, in the past I’ve struggled with the reflex to always argue my point to others. When people disagreed with me or attacked me personally, my first response was to always clap back.
But with age comes maturity. And while I still struggle with the urge to defend my side, I also realize that doing so only drains me of valuable energy that could be used to doing more awesome things.