Life Advice



Ask Amy: Chef whistling is a real kitchen nightmare

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am a line cook in a restaurant kitchen. It is a loud, hot and dangerous environment.

I like my job, though, and find satisfaction in prepping and preparing food.

I like the owners and all my co-workers except for one. That one person is the chef of the kitchen.

While I could list many reasons why I don't care for him, I'm actively working on my own reaction to his behavior.

Unfortunately, I am becoming enraged about one of his terrible habits. He whistles ALL THE TIME. If he's not talking, he's singing and if he's not singing, he's whistling. Loud, sometimes tuneless, sometimes repetitive, but always whistling.

Once I clocked him whistling one song for 17 minutes. I cannot block it out, it makes me so mad. How can I bring this to his attention? We are a privately owned and run store. No HR, owners are there all the time, but I seem to be the only one who is bothered by this.


It's become a joke among my co-workers and they will sing or whistle something around the chef to see if it "takes.” Sure enough, he'll pick it up and whistle away. I don't think he even realizes it.

I'm worried I'm going to blow one day and tell him to shut up! I don't want to get fired.

Now is not the time to change jobs. I think if he knew how annoying it was, he might stop.

What can I do?


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