There was a recent post on Gawker featuring an email written by Vadim Ponorovsky, the owner of Paradou, a restaurant in the Meatpacking district, taking his employees to task for not collecting email addresses from his patrons so he could add them to some kind of marketing list. Here’s the email Ponorovsky wrote that was “leaked” to Gawker.
Please read this email carefully. This is the last time we will be discussing this.
This weekend, saturday and sunday we had 451 customers. Guess how many emails we collected? 60? 80? 40? No. None of those. We, or more accurately you, collected 2 emails. Thats less than half of one percent. 2 fucking emails.
WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU ASSHOLES?!?!?! How many times do we have to tell you how important it is that you collect emails. Everytime we have a slow night and you make no money and you sit there bitching about how you make no money, remember its because youre fucking lazy motherfuckers. YOU SHOULD ALL BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY!!!!! ALL OF YOU, INCLUDING THE HOSTS!!!!
Let me guess, youre probably sitting there saying “Vadim is such a fucking asshole. How dare he speak to me like this. I dont need this.” Youre right, you dont, so why dont you get the fuck out. Any and all of you.
Youre probably sitting there saying “How dare he speak to me like this. How dare he not have respect for me”. Youre right there also. I have absolutely no respect for any of you. Why? Because every fucking day, all of you continue to show that you have absolutely no respect for me or Alex. So if you dont respect us enough to do the little that we ask you to do, then GET THE FUCK OUT YOU FUCKING LAZY DISRESPECTFUL ASSHOLES!!!!!
Effective immediately, any server or host who fails to collect at least 20 emails per week, will be fined $100. Anyone failing to collect at least 20 emails for two weeks in a month will be fired immediately. No matter what. No matter who you are.
You dont want to do your job, you dont want to do what we ask, you dont belong at Paradou. Go find another place to work.
How dare you disrespect Alex and me this way. How dare you completely ignore what we ask of you time after time after time.
I am sick of all this shit, you bunch of fucking children. This is what I have to deal with at 6AM?!?!? I wouldnt tolerate this from my 13 year old, and Im sure as shit not going to tolerate it from any of you assholes.
You give no respect, you get 10 times back.
Now in fairness to Mr. Ponorovsky I thought about calling him to ask him about the aforementioned email blast, but the guys at Blackbook.com beat me to it. Go read Mr. Ponorovsky’s answers and come back.
Got it? Good. After reading Ponorovsky’s answers I saw no need to ask him anything further. Now we have both “sides” of the story. Here’s my take on it.
Judging from the tone of Mr. Ponorovsky’s berserk email it’s obvious he was not in possession of his faculties when he wrote it. And judging from the persecutory tone running through Mr. Ponorovsky’s email and his answers to Blackbook.com’s questions, I’m afraid this gentleman suffers from Crazy Restaurant Owner Syndrome. (CROS) What is this malady you may ask? Well it’s not in the DSM-IV but let me try and highlight some of it’s symptoms.
1, Extreme narcissism to the point of sociopathy – You know, like Ted Bundy! Did you notice how Ponorovsky referred to himself in the third person in his interview with Blackbook? “Prior to this, you probably had no clue who Vadim Ponorovsky was?” That’s a neat bit of disassociation right there, Vadim.
2. Delusions of grandeur – Restaurant owners tend to think that because they run an eating establishment they’re captains of industry. It’s the big fish in the little pond thing. And when some restaurant owners lose track of reality and begin thinking their restaurant is the center of the known universe they can suddenly act like they’re beholden to no one, lose their behavioral inhibitions and start acting like Caligula. This is evidenced by Ponorovsky’s nifty quote, “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU ASSHOLES?!?!?!”
3. Extreme jealousy – Did you catch that part in the interview with Blackbook where Ponorovsky said, “I didn’t get in to this business to be on Iron Chef?” Oh but I bet you wish you were Vadim!
4. Anger management issues – Gee, what gave it away? Was it when Ponorovsky wrote, “GET THE FUCK OUT YOU FUCKING LAZY DISRESPECTFUL ASSHOLES!!!!!”
5. Persecution complex – Constantly feeling like your employees are out to get you. “Because every fucking day, all of you continue to show that you have absolutely no respect for me or Alex.” Your words Vadim, your words.
6.An absolutist Al Qaeda view of people – As evidenced by the quote, “I have absolutely no respect for any of you.”
7. Total lack of empathy – As evidenced by Ponorovsky’s statement in the Blackbook interview, “But my approach was: I don’t care.”
8. Self-destructive behavior – Uh, writing this crazed email in the first place.
9. Control freakiness – “Effective immediately, any server or host who fails to collect at least 20 emails per week, will be fined $100. Anyone failing to collect at least 20 emails for two weeks in a month will be fired immediately. No matter what. No matter who you are.”
10. Dehumanizing staff – As evidenced by Mr. Ponorovsky’s liberal use of the word “asshole” and the statement, “I am sick of all this shit, you bunch of fucking children. This is what I have to deal with at 6AM?!?!? I wouldnt tolerate this from my 13 year old, and Im sure as shit not going to tolerate it from any of you assholes.”
Okay. So it’s obvious Mr. Ponorovsky has a bad case of CROS. Here are the treatment options.
1. Mr. Ponorovsky needs to find a new line of work. For him owning a restaurant is like an active alcoholic working in a bar. As long as he’s immersed in this environment he’ll continue to act like a raving lunatic. People, places and things my friend.
2. Ponorovsky needs to make amends to everyone he’s hurt – his staff, his customers, his partners, his family and to waiters the world over. I stand by to transmit that apology.
3. Detox from any and all illegal substances if indicated.
4. Heavy doses of Haldol, Ativan and Benadryl. (Swear to God this cocktail works!)
5. Discerning restaurant customers should aid Mr. Ponorovsky’s recovery by avoiding patronizing his restaurant until he’s been replaced by someone who isn’t stark raving mad. If he treats his staff this way how do you think he’s going to treat his customers? This gentleman’s email was a Freudian slip into his attitudes regarding people.
And to the waiters at Paradou, you need to work on your own recovery! I know times are tough but you need get new jobs. Trust me on this! I’ve worked for people like Ponorovsky before. They’re not worth the damage to your soul! Start quietly sending out resumes. After this debacle Paradou probably won’t be open past February.
And to Mr. Ponorovsky. I will post any response you care to send me.
Addendum: Please do not call Paradou and threaten Mr. Ponorovsky. That’s not cool. Also, here’s an audio clip from Gawker of the restaurant owner having another meltdown. This guy’s just giving himself more rope to hang himself.