Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The art of letter writing, by Gordon Ramsay.

Gordon Ramsay appears quite often on television doing programmes about food and restaurants. His manner on television can be rather brash with him swearing loudly at people. One day I saw him on television but not on one of his own programmes, he was door-stepped by another programme maker and his response was very polite, articulate, professional and Gordon appeared to be an absolute gentleman. Ah! I thought, the loud mouthed swearing Gordon was his rough television image, cultured to nurture a brand and bring in the viewers. It was obvious to me that the off-screen Gordon can be articulate and very intelligent.

He wrote an open letter to his mother in law, trying to resolve the family dispute that was upsetting Gordon, his wife Tana and their four children. This letter is very well written and demonstrates that Gordon clearly has the art of letter writing. His use of words and the structure of his letter is outstanding. I think that he has pitched his letter to his Mother in Law just right. In particular where Gordon writes...

Listening to Tana in floods of tears reading your letter from you asking that she stays away from her family is so awfully wrong... I know how hard this must be for you Greta, and I'm not expecting a birthday card today, but your punishing your daughter and our four children, for all the wrong reasons, it's so sad. She's an amazing woman and you've been a fantastic mum – please don't stop!

Lots of love, Gordon

...The ending of "you've been a fantastic mum – please don't stop!" really seals the letter in such a lovely and forgiving way that I feel Greta must put the past behind her and return to being a loving, involved and active mother and grandmother. People do fall out in the world of business but family is family and Greta should resume normal family life with Gordon, Tana and their four children. Gordon has written a lovely letter and he has won me over. I wonder how long it will be before Greta changes her mind and realizes her mistake at breaking off contact with the rest of the family?

Of course, some people are intelligent and can realize that they have made a mistake. But then again, Greta does not live in Port Talbot and I am sure she is not semi-literate like someone I can think of!

The letter in full

Dear Mother in Law,

This has to be one of the most painful letters I've ever had to write. Listening to Tana in floods of tears reading your letter from you asking that she stays away from her family is so awfully wrong. Removing my father in law from my business has been the hardest and most important decision in my entire life. For a decade, his manipulation and controlling of so many lives has finally come to an end.

Chris recently suggested my mood swings were down to involvement with drugs; my god did that hurt. How dare he ever suggest this on the back of my frustration and dealings with my younger brother and his addiction.

To curb my suspicions, I employed a private detective and the situation started to unravel very quickly. The very complex life that Chris leads, has seen many of my key staff feeling they have had to cover on his behalf. His away days were rarely what I thought they were. But beyond that, one of my biggest concerns was the business: signing huge contracts in my name and furthermore discovering emails were being looked at.

The office became stifled and the air of relief at Gordon Ramsay Holdings, knowing that we don't need to pretend any longer, is a breath of fresh air. Three weeks ago today when I met with my team to explain the situation, you could instantly see the relief and joy on their faces. His role as CEO of Gordon Ramsay holdings in the end felt like he was running the business as a dictator.

My relationship with my chefs has been, and always will be, amazing. To see them, as individuals chefs, flourish and having now made their way to some of the most prominent chefs in the country, gives me nothing but pride and joy. The creative chefs we turned into partners, the harder they worked, the more profit they generated, but when they requested a share of the profits, their departure was seemingly imminent, something I wasn't comfortable with.

I know how hard this must be for you Greta, and I'm not expecting a birthday card today, but your punishing your daughter and our four children, for all the wrong reasons, it's so sad. She's an amazing woman and you've been a fantastic mum – please don't stop!

Lots of love, Gordon
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