Amy’s Baking Company – What Can We Learn From Ramsay’s Scandal?

Some problems keep coming back again and again? Those are your subconscious programs getting in your way.

Is it your relationships or problems at work? Or are you a magnet for financial difficulties?

To stop the vicious circle, first, you need to become aware of the recurring patterns in your life, caused by subconscious programs. How?

Let me show it on a real-life example: Gordon Ramsay’s infamous Amy’s Baking Company case. At the end of the story, I have a little surprise for you!

Fasten your seat-belts!

To find YOUR recurring patterns, click on this link and download our spreadsheet.


Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares

Remember the “Kitchen Nightmares” show with Gordon Ramsay?

Gordon Ramsay
Chef Gordon Ramsay, host of the Kitchen Nightmares Series

It was broadcast a few years ago, and it soon became a worldwide sensation.

Should you still not recall it: Gordon Ramsay, England’s number 1 celebrity chef offered his help to restaurants, which were on the edge of bankruptcy. Each time Gordon spent a week with the owners and the staff, observing their work, pointing out the problems and giving them advice.

One of these shows took an unprecedented turn and became a worldwide scandal; this was the case of “Amy’s Baking Company.”

How It All Began with Amy’s Baking Company

Amy's Baking Company - a psycholgical case study

The two owners, Samy and Amy Bouzgalo, are a couple from Arizona, Scottsdale city. They had a restaurant, called the Amy’s Baking Company.
They called Gordon Ramsay because some bloggers launched a fierce campaign against them although, in their view, the restaurant offered excellent service.

Indeed, the blogging community ruined the restaurant’s reputation rather severely.

It became apparent very soon why, as Gordon Ramsay’s crew started the first shootings a few days before to the chef’s arrival.

 

Conflict Upon Conflict

Amy's Baking Company: Amy's reaction to criticism

It happened once that a customer returned the pizza because he considered that the dough was somewhat under-cooked and he asked the chef to put it back into the oven. Amy’s irritated reply was, ‘Ok, I’ll burn it!’

Amy’s reaction to complaints from guests was usually denial and a hysterical ‘counterattack.’

In another case, a customer went to the counter to ask when his order would be ready. His table had been waiting for their food for one and a half hours.

 

Samy Buzgalo shouts at a guest
Samy Buzgalo shouts at a guest

It was now Samy’s turn to go berserk. Quite unexpectedly, he started screaming at the impatient customer, he threatened him and then, he practically threw him out of the restaurant.

Soon Gordon Ramsay arrived. As usual, first of all, he tried the dishes. The chef found several issues regarding food quality and told his opinion to Samy, who served him the meal. He asked Samy to inform Amy, the restaurant’s chef. As Samy showed reluctance to tell his wife the bad news, Ramsay decided to confront Amy with the reality himself.

Gordon Ramsay and Criticism

Let us stop here for a second.

I know that some people think that Gordon Ramsay is a sadist. True, he is a man of straight confrontation. Euphemism is not among his cards. He wants to shake these people up, trying to make them face reality. Without waking up to the acute problems, these people have hardly any chance to save their business.

Each restaurant is in the final moments before bankruptcy. Most owners and their families have accumulated enormous debts and mortgages by that time, often their whole savings and assets are at stake.

Truth can be painful for these people because to save themselves they first must stop blaming others. They have to face their mistakes, accept their full responsibility and commit themselves unconditionally to positive change.

 

The Psychology of Change

In a nutshell:

  1. Suppose, there is someone, whose behavior has adverse effects on him as well as on others.
  2. To be able to change this, he must first become aware of this current, harmful behavior and its effects.
  3. When he is confronted with his bad attitude, he goes into denial, starts to defend himself and resists the idea of a necessary change.
  4. To be able to make this change though, he needs to overcome his DENIAL, get past the DEFENSIVE phase and switch to the RECEPTIVE state of mind. (In the TV show Ramsay is the external force that pushes these people out of the bubble of their false reality.)
  5. From that moment this person regains his power and control over the situation because now he can correct his behavior, attitude, and thinking.
  6. Thus he can achieve positive results.

This transition from DENIAL and SELF-DEFENSE to the ACTION of change is quite improbable to happen if the trigger is only a subtle, gentle incentive. It is because the mind has automatic DEFENSE MECHANISMS that are guarding its status-quo. These mechanisms will practically filter out most of the interfering information, as long as it doesn’t reach a critical intensity. These are the cases when the person ‘doesn’t even hear the message,’ ‘it doesn’t get through.’

 

How to get the control back

That is why it is so crucial that you become aware of the harmful subconscious programs that keep you on the wrong track.

But how? They are “subconscious”!

Yes. But there are telltale signs: your recurring problems.

So, what should you do?

Step 1: Become aware of the regularity of your problems (that is the pattern).

(Note: I attached a free spreadsheet, which helps you to locate your subconscious patterns. Grab your copy at the end of the post.)

Step 2: Dig deeper. Instead of blaming the world, parents or whoever, find out what subconscious programs cause the pattern. You can find it out by asking your subconscious. (You can do it using the bonus resource at the end of the post: the mp3 guided meditation exercise, where you can ask your Real, Higher Self. )

Step 3: Rewrite your subconscious programs (Free self-hypnosis course, where you can learn it: here)

 

The Epic Fail

Let’s go back to Amy and Samy.

Gordon confronts the couple with the problems, but gets complete rejection.
Gordon confronts the couple with the problems but gets a complete rejection.

Gordon soon found out that Samy, Amy’ husband, varies of his wife’s reaction to criticism and instead of confronting her, he tried to conceal the truth. So chef Ramsay had no choice, but to go into the kitchen and repeat his remarks regarding the quality of the food to Amy.

Her reaction was absolute denial and total resistance. Amy was soon yelling, denying and attacking. It was practically impossible to talk to her because she would not listen. She acted like a hurt child.

After a few attempts, Ramsay finally did what he had never done in this show before, he gave up and left.

Here’s you can see the famous Kitchen Nightmares episode about Amy’s!

 

The meme

The incident spread on the Internet like wildfire. The war between the restaurant and its unhappy customers and bloggers was no longer a local phenomenon; it has become a world-wide MEME. A bitter struggle evolved on the restaurant’s Facebook page, where Amy and Samy tried to fend off the critical audience with the worst marketing ever: swearing.

If you want to know what Samy Bouzgalo had to say to Gordon Ramsay after the show, click here!

For those who are interested in the details of the story, click here to read how Buzzfeed.com describes the incident.

So far that’s all we know from the internet. But personally, I was much more intrigued about finding out what made these people become what we have seen during the show.

What happened to these people?

Samy's message: The gangster's me, not you!
The gangster’s me, not you!

First of all, let me say that since I have only indirect information on the case, Amy, and Samy, I don’t imply to set up any “professional diagnosis”; nor do I intend to put them into a box and most indeed, I do not judge them. I use this very spectacular psychological chain-reaction to illustrate certain phenomena and thus to make them easier to understand. Through such examples, we learn to recognize the same harmful processes within ourselves.

When I first saw this restaurant owner couple on the show, I felt like I was watching the delicate mechanism of a clock going utterly wrong. The springs were over expanded, the whole structure was deformed under the tension; it was creaking and shaking!

What happened to Amy and Samy?

 

The expectation of an attack results in the realization of the attack

It is quite clear even at first glance that both Samy and Amy are very tense, desperate and overwhelmed. (You can observe it in the introductory video they sent to Gordon Ramsay before the show. According to them they had already had lots of conflicts with their customers.)

 

Samy Buzgalo threatens a guest, the filming crew intervenes
Samy Buzgalo threatens a guest, the filming crew intervenes

Both Samy’s and Amy’s whole being is focused hysterically on defense. They expressed this according to their personality and beliefs systems: through aggression.

I wondered what forced these people to defend themselves continuously. And what intense energy must this emotion possess to trigger aggression like this?

Personally, I believe that it was an astonishing energy spiral that sucked these personalities in, just like galaxies swirl matter that gets into their gravitational field. Before we would give in to the temptation of judging them, we need to understand that from their perspective, they feel thrown into brutal meat-grinder.

And in some spiritual sense, they are, indeed. Let me explain how I mean this.

From their continuous and intense self-defense, their expressions and ways of communication one can see that they expect constant attacks from the outside world. They perceive most of the contact with the outside world as an attack. They allied and turned against the world, which seemed so malevolent towards them.

Paradoxically, in their mutual efforts to support and defend each other, they only make things worse. They only deepen each other’s anxieties and fears. Their alliance has a very destructive side to it because it is based on obsessive denial and on reinforcing each other’s harmful misconceptions and fears.

 

The Concept Of Enemy

For example:

  • Customers, who spent less than 30 dollars per meal were considered to try to take advantage of the couple.
  • A customer who asked his food to be baked longer or asked for a delay in the service was nothing but a malicious, evil opponent.
  • A waitress who kept the five dollar tip she had rightly deserved, instead of giving it to Samy, was a cheater and a thief.

 

Amy and Samy held to the delusion that the whole world was conspiring against them.

Their DEFENSE MECHANISM was:

  1. They tried to prohibit all communication between the staff. That shows that they were afraid of their staff, of the fact that if they talk to each other, they will also necessarily conspire against their employers. United, the team will grow stronger and with that its threatening potential will only increase.
  2. Samy demonstrated his clear dominance by humiliating behavior. He took away the tips, told the staff to wash his car, shouted if a staff member asked questions or kicked people out. It was a desperate effort to keep the people under his control. Whenever he felt that this authority was slipping out of his hands, he became extremely aggressive. He threatened them and tried to frighten them off once and forever.
  3. What is even worse, though, is that Amy and her husband expected to prevent attacks by stepping up threateningly against people. They emphasized, not once, that they would defend themselves at all costs.

And they do so whenever they suspect real or imaginary danger.

 

Distorted Lens

At the core of the problem, we find the already mentioned expectation of an offense.

Amy to Gordon Ramsay:
Amy to Gordon Ramsay: “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Since they treat the world as a potential danger or enemy, they expect an attack at any time. Their perception of reality has, therefore, become distorted to an unhealthy degree, and that’s why they see an insult in usual, everyday situations. They perceived those, like conflicts, which only have one solution: fight.

That is a filter through which they see the world. It is supported by a belief system, which has pulled Amy and Samy into a negative spiral.

Their energy is set for a fight so firmly that they inevitably make it happen. The aggression the couple radiates resonates in people who are susceptible to it. And let’s admit it. Almost all of us are susceptible, more or less, to such negative energy.
That power triggers the inferior qualities in people, to put it simply: it brings out the worst. The negative energy spiral is then driven further by its momentum until it virtually outgrows those, who triggered it.

 

Life-and-death struggle

My intuition told me that their struggle is practically a fight for life and death for their psyche.
Amy’s psyche fights for its existence. Every critical remark turns on the extreme manifestation of this instinct of self-defense, which I previously called a ‘life-and-death struggle.’

But I wonder why?

She once said that she was particularly proud of her pastries and cooking.

Amy proudly presents her cookies
Amy proudly presents her cookies

She said she had an extraordinary talent for cooking. I don’t know if this is true or false, but it does not matter from this point of view. Ramsay’s criticism first of all concerned using frozen ingredients or prefabricated products.
That is important because it was not her talent that was questioned, but the practices she followed.

(If we just stop for a moment and think of all the criticism that we received so far, we might wonder how much of it was due to our actions or behavior and how much of it was directed against our being! Isn’t that an exciting perspective?)

 

Regression

It soon became clear that Gordon Ramsay was not invited to help them to improve the restaurant. They wanted him to provide confirmation that their services were impeccable, and to support them in their fight against their critics.

They needed Ramsay to reinforce them in the eyes of the public that what they were doing was excellent.

However, this was not what happened.

Amy, at that moment of confrontation, did two curious things:

  1. First, she started repeating that there was no problem with the food and nobody had ever complained about it, like a ‘mantra.’
  2. Second, she did her best to prevent the criticism reaching her ears.

What she was performing there, we might call a desperate counter-suggestion. But what was it she tried to counter? Was that the criticism, which was meant to help her? A piece of advice that could have helped her to unfold her abilities?

Well, I do not think so. I think the real monster Amy was trying to fight off was hiding deeper. I strongly suspect that Amy experienced a so-called regression.

Regression is when we subconsciously go back to an earlier point in our life, where a traumatic event or series of unpleasant experiences occurred. The current situation triggers that memory in us. In such (quite recurrent) cases we subconsciously relive those feelings and react to them, carrying on the behavior pattern of the past.

It must have been an event where she felt that the worth of her whole being had been questioned.

It could have concerned her skills, abilities, her importance or self-worth. Of course, we talk about assumptions here, but there are a lot of signs pointing in this direction.

 

Compensation

Amy was trying to compensate some tremendous self-doubt, a lacking feeling of safety with overemphasized aggression. Ironically enough, it must have been a feeling, which she continually needed to counterbalance to maintain her balance. Her way to do this was to find an activity in which she could shine, which would make others acknowledge her.

She seemed to have tied her feeling of self-worth to her extraordinary culinary talent and the restaurant, so any criticism considering it endangered that primary value, on which her whole being rested.

Whenever we feel that we should be more than others, it is in itself a kind of overcompensation. We tend to overcompensate for things, which we lack, or we think we lack, that is when we are out of balance. A balanced consciousness does not need to prove anyone anything or to rise above others. Inner balance is based on the certainty of our worth, where the only mean of measurement is the harmony of our actions with our Real Self.

Amy‘s overcompensation made her believe that if she attacked in response to supposed attacks, it would make her (as she put it on Facebook) ‘Wonder Woman,’ someone, who’s indestructible. ‘You can’t bring us down; we will fight back,’ they say, ironically enough, emphasizing their fear of being ‘brought down.’

 

The Usual Mistake We Also Make

We often make the mistake of erroneously identifying ourselves with our behavior and habits. This way, as soon as it turns out that some of these actions are harmful, we find ourselves trapped because instead of taking it for what it is: a behavior pattern that needs to be changed, our ego interprets this as an attack against our integrity, saying: YOU are bad!
And with this the troops of our psychic self-defense army are already lined up, ready to defend us to the very last breath!

Am I exaggerating?

Most of us like to think that they can handle positive criticism quite well, but in many cases, it’s again just a defensive mechanism. In fact, we only make things worse by refusing to learn and change! All this is just because we forget: even though we might do something wrong, it does not mean that WE are wrong. It merely says that we need to change the way we behave or think!

I do not know Amy personally and watching a TV show or reading things on the internet is not enough to grasp the deeper meanings of a person’s subconscious drives. That’s why all I share with you are only assumptions.

I have a feeling that Amy is afraid. She is terrified that all she had achieved could be taken away from her. Her false sense of security and self-worth comes from the unquestioning acceptance of her superiority. That is a false reality, and it is unstable because it depends on external conditions. As soon as someone questions her actions, her sense of security weakens.
She’s afraid to lose this feeling of superiority, which serves as compensation. It compensates that self-doubt and uncertainty, which are the fundamental parts of her current personality. She’s afraid of the feeling of being “not good enough” and the rejection involved.

That’s why she wants to be the first to attack and reject.

 

False Identification

And this is where we, too, quite often, make a mistake! Just like Amy, we identify ourselves with our habits, our behavior, and attributes. We believe that if we do something wrong, that means, we’re wrong.
We feel that if we make a mistake, then there’s something wrong with us, our being is wrong, and to be wrong is to be inferior, worthless, bad or faulty. It is a very unpleasant experience.

Anytime we behave stupid, or in a wrong manner, and our environment rejects us, we feel that it is our self that is rejected, and not merely our attitude. Although in most cases it is on the contrary; our environment reacts primarily to our behavior, in other words, to the way we use our energy. And not to the person we are. (Another type of rejection concerns an idea that we represent to the rejecting person, what leads us to discrimination of all kinds, but that’s another topic.)

So, I presume that Amy felt this kind of rejection of her person when Ramsay told his negative opinion about the food. To be more exact, she relived a former, crucial experience of being rejected and questioned by someone, who represented an authority figure to her. She also relived the feelings of helplessness, lack of power and lack of safety resulting from that situation.

It’s that ‘I’m not good enough, I’m not wanted’ feeling, which still seems to haunt her subconsciously.

 

Our Behaviour Is Not Us

So, what we have seen in the show was a tragic spiral. It started at some point in the past, where Amy was unable to defend herself in a situation (or row of such events), in which she experienced an intense feeling of rejection, a sense of ‘not being good enough.’

To avoid that feeling in the future, she worked out a tactic of being the first to attack and reject, and she did it most vehemently. However, with that kind of reaction, she only triggered a hostile attitude in her environment, encountering more and more conflicts, and each time, her feelings of rejection and worthlessness became stronger. So, it made her fight harder. The harder she fought, the harder her environment hit back. That is how a deadly spiral was born.

Situations like this happen because we confuse our behavior and our attributes with the self.
We cling to the delusion that if the behavior is wrong, the self must be bad, as well. That’s how we perceive it when we are young, but that’s a misconception.

 

Discovering Our Real Self

The real SELF is perfect.

There is no need to develop it, in our sense of the word, or to make it perfect. What needs perfection is that ‘software package,’ which we believe is us.

Those are the habits, ideas, belief systems, and concepts; patterns we got from our family, and our environment. We are free to transform them if we take the effort. Only when we start rewriting our programs, do we genuinely understand just how much we do not know our REAL SELF.

 

BONUS Resources

1. Meet your Real (Higher) Self. Get inspiration and guidance. Download the self-hypnosis audio ‘Meeting With The Real Self’.

2. Download the spreadsheet, which helps you to pinpoint your recurring patterns. That is the first step towards regaining your control.

 

Conclusion

We can learn very much from the story of Amy and Samy.
I sincerely hope that these two people will one day open their minds and find their true selves beneath their harmful patterns.

To stop this, they only need to transform their negative energies. They do not have to fight the world; all they need to do is to change their harmful programs!

How can they do that? By recognizing and understanding their deep feelings and energies and the way, those affect them.

I hope this was a fascinating and thought-provoking journey! We soon continue with a contrary example! In the meantime, enjoy being that fantastic, ever-evolving divine being, deep in your heart you are!

 


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