In an unexpected twist of fate, the Original Poster (OP), a sous chef at a small restaurant, faces his high school tormentor, Jake, who applies for a job in his kitchen. A grueling decision leaves OP denying Jake the job, causing ripples of guilt on whether or not he made the right choice.
An Unlikely Reunion
OP is the sous chef at a small farm-to-table restaurant. A familiar name, Jake, from OP’s high school days, appears as an applicant for a job interview.
Another high school peer would’ve been welcomed by OP. However, Jake used to torment OP in high school, making life unbearable for him. All these years later, OP still deals with how he was treated by Jake today. This has put OP in a tough spot.
As second in command of the kitchen, OP is in charge of the first round of interviews at the restaurant. He ensures that they are worth the time for the second interview for the head chef. This is a great honor and a responsibility OP takes very seriously.
Blast From The Past
When OP sees Jake, he is taken aback and flooded with memories from the past. He half expected him to apologize in part of the interview, but no such thing occurred. OP wonders if Jake remembers the mark he left in his past.
Foes Turned Colleagues
Despite the awkward reunion, Jake appears to be a viable candidate for the job, with a good resume and an impressive interview. However, OP harbors deep-seated resentment from his past interactions. Despite his potential, OP can’t see past their history.
A Decision Made
OP decides not to hire Jake even before the interview ends, unable to forget the humiliation he endured in high school. Jake is told he didn’t get the job, unaware of the real reasons behind OP’s decision. Thus, an act of seemingly justified revenge is served.
When looking back, OP reflects on his high school experience littered with Jake’s taunts. He was the only one who bullied OP back in the day, and it has left a lasting mark. He recalls one time when he yelled out crude remarks about his weight and forced him to leave the room in front of his classmates. Many others in the cafeteria, gym, and sporting events. This was ongoing and deeply hurtful.
More Fuel To The Fire
Purposeful exclusion, ridiculing remarks, it was all too much for OP to cast aside. He goes on to mention that even before Jake shows up, he still thinks of these memories often, and they have followed him into his adult life.
A Crisis of Conscience
As OP drives home, feelings of guilt start to surface. He ponders if it was fair to judge Jake based on actions from a decade ago. The past and present collide, stirring up conflict within OP.
OP finds it interesting that they ended up in the same field ten years later. One he had found solace in after his rough high school experience. Being in the driver’s seat now has struck a chord with OP in a surprising way.
Threat To His Status
Once again, Jake was threatening OP’s success in life. If his head chef found out that this was his reasoning behind not hiring him, would this put his own job at risk? He grapples with what to do. Not only is he affecting his own life, but now he is the one potentially hurting Jake’s future as well.
OP decides to ask an online forum for advice to either clear his conscience or confirm that he did the wrong thing. Opinions are divided. Many say that seeking revenge was valid. Others argue that he was helping the restaurant dodge a bullet. On the flip side, there were several who believed that Jake could have changed.
Left To Ponder
This leaves OP with a lot to think about. Will his past ever stop coming back to haunt him? Will he reveal his secret to the head chef? The reader is left to wonder.
Was Not Hiring His School Bully Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “Part of the hiring process is ensuring the people you hire aren’t a legal liability or likely to harass members of your team. He has obviously shown himself to be a risk for this, so it’s wise not to hire him. If he’s really changed, he should apologize and explain what’s different. Otherwise, I wouldn’t hire him either.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “If he wanted to make sure he had connections in life, he should have treated people with respect.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, I would have spoken to your executive chef about it. Let him know that you two have a history and that you think it will affect your ability to work together.“
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “Remember…High school was a long time ago. This guy was apparently good enough to get an interview in front of you, so giving him the benefit of the doubt may pay off for you. Teenagers suck, and people can change.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.