One of our cooks had a complete psychotic break this weekend, in full view of customers and with staff standing by with their thumbs up their as*#s. Never, in 30 years, have I seen a melt down like this. Full blown, blood curdling (think horror movie) screams continuously for 5 consecutive minutes; fists and feet pounding brick walls; falling to the floor STILL SCREAMING and now crying, kicking and flailing like Rainman. The bulk of the freak out took place in my area, the bakery, with only me as a witness. I'm not afraid to admit that I was scared. The guy was out of control - out of his mind. I worked for a schizophrenic for five years and never saw anything like that. Our customers all had their cell phones poised to dial 911. It was that bad.
Chef decides not to fire the kook. Says we need to be "compassionate" since we've all felt that way before. Ah, no. I've never been stressed enough to assume the fetal position and scream for five minutes WHILE AT WORK. In any event, she never talked to me, asked me about what I saw or how I felt. But I will say that I feel very nervous, stressed, and fearful about working with this freak. There are many, many days when I work alone with the cook in the wee hours of the morning. He is twice my size and obviously unhinged. There's enough freaking stress in the kitchen - I don't need to add potential bodily harm to the list.
I've asked the chef to speak with me but she is in avoidance mode right now. A stupid one line email is all I've received since the incident.
What would you do?