An entrepreneur in Nanjing, China, recently opened the Rising Sun Anger Release Bar, where patrons can pay to swing at the staff, smash glasses and scream. The employee punching bags are 20 young men who wear protective gear and get physical training. For an extra fee, customers even can request that the staff dress up to look like a particular person. “We get no place to vent our anger,” Chen Liang, a local salesman, told a Chinese newspaper. “The idea of beating up someone resembling your boss seems attractive.”
My favorite is the last line.
For the most part, I've gotten through my career without wanting to beat up my boss, let alone beating up someone resembling my boss. (Where's the fun in that?)
Not that I haven't gotten into some fairly heated discussions with managers over the year. Once I actually did bait my boss into firing me. (We were having a quite emotionally charged back-and-forth on how we were going to explain our upcoming lay-offs to the survivors. To say that we didn't see eye-to-eye on this is mildly understating things. In any case, my final shot was "You say what you're going to say, I'll say what I'm going to say, and we'll see who they believe." Having tossed this grenade on the conference room table, I was not all that surprised to find my name heading the list of lay-offs that were going to have to be explained.)
And when my college roommate and I were waitresses at Durgin-Park, Joyce did smash two bowls containing half-eaten strawberry shortcakes at the feet of the owner/manager, who was bellowing at her for having put too much whipped cream on the shortcakes. When I say that the boss was bellowing, I do mean bellowing. I don't know what Durgin-Park is like these days, but I was there during the era of the mouthy, hostile waitress. The college girls never managed to keep up to the standards of mouthiness and hostility set by some of the old-timers, but we all had our moments. The era of the mouthy-hostile waitresses coincided with the era of the bellowing, bullying owner. One day, I'd served two "poor man's roast beef" lunch specials to two women who were eating together. One of the slices of beef was nice and rare. In our waste-not world, the other serving was composed of four overcooked end cuts. I pointed out to the cook that I couldn't bring both of these to the same table, but he told me to try and if the one with the bad meal complained, I could just bring it back. The owner saw me bringing the refused meal back to the kitchen, grabbed it from my hand, ran over to the table where the two women were sitting, and screamed at them to get out of his restaurants "and don't come back." (Not that he had to worry on that score.) As they gathered up their coats to leave, he screamed at me, "Make sure you charge them 15 cents for the cornbread." (I picked up the tab for them for them.)
So I understand that there is plenty of anger to vent in the workplace. But to have to go to a bar and beat up armed waiters? I'm sure glad I don't work in China.