top of page

From Croissants to Crossroads: Decision-making in a Bakery

She left the bakery carrying a heavy box filled with freshly baked bread and mouth-watering pastries. Her accomplice had helped her prepare everything. Neither of them knew I had been watching them from the back room. I waited till the door closed and glimpsed through the front display window, to see them crossing the street, walking home.

I sighed. I did not expect this to happen at closing time and did not want to be involved in complex situations like this. What happened in the past 2 hours had upset me thoroughly. I experienced anger. I hate situations like this.


I was helping a friend in a bakery who was dealing with employee shortages. Jokingly, she had asked if I could help for a few hours. The owner had 14 bakeries in different cities, and needed help to fill slots as multiple employees had left for holidays. As I love to experience life and discover the world from different angles, I happily agreed to help. It would take a few hours, and I could easily fit it with my other commitments.

As none of the employees knew I was best friends with a senior manager, I was working undercover and curious to see what happens in the bakery behind the scenes.

The display window was a pleasure for the eyes, filled with a tempting array of eclairs, pink donuts, banana loaf with cinnamon, strawberry cakes, plum tarts, chocolate mouse cups, and lemon pastries… The smell of freshly baked bread was a constant temptation.


It was almost closing time, and there was still quite some bread and pastries left. Many would get thrown away, per the bakery's management policy. The instructions in the employee contract are pretty straightforward: If one is being noticed for taking goods home without paying for them, that is a straight reason to get fired. Yet, these two employees had heavily filled their bags and did not intend to pay for them, a clear violation of the company’s policy. I was upset with the dishonesty of people. I felt anger at the way my friends were treated. I was confused how to act on it. Why did they do this just the day I was in the shop? I did not want to be involved in this at all. I did not know how to handle this situation. Already, after 10 minutes of thinking about this, I felt depleted. “Can I forget about this whole thing?”

The next day, I still had yet to conclude how to deal with it. So, I needed to stretch my perspectives. As a coach, I believe in approaching challenges with self-awareness and empathy. To gain clarity, I turned to the seven different energy levels of the Energetic Self-Perception Chart of iPEC, each offering a unique perspective on the situation:

Here are my thoughts:

  1. Victim Level: At this level, I wanted to distance myself from the issue, pretending it never happened. I questioned why this situation happened to me. I did not wish to be involved in it and wanted no such complexity in my life. I didn’t want to think about it and certainly would not take any action. I tried to hide and run away from it. I was, however, in it and felt stuck and uncomfortable.

  2. Conflict Level: Here, anger fueled my desire to speak to the senior manager and get the employees fired, as they had breached the company’s policy. I experienced being utterly upset with these employees. They made a mistake and should pay for it. They deserve to get fired. A part of me also experienced feeling upset with the company policy on how they deal with waste food.

  3. Coping Level: I recognized I cannot pretend it did not happen. I wanted to address the situation calmly and help my friend while minimizing my stress. I returned to my reason for being here: I am here to help my friend with the employee shortage. That’s it. There is no need to feel pressure to fix all the challenges they might have. I considered informing my friend and leaving the management's response to them.

  4. Concern Level: My sympathy kicked in, and I felt concern for the employees and the employer. How could I assist them both?

  5. Opportunity Level: Viewing the situation as an opportunity, I saw the potential for growth, collaboration, and positive change. Being a coach, I could facilitate a connection between the employees and the employers. This perspective opened the door to solutions that benefited everyone involved, focusing on employee engagement, rebuilding trust, self-reflection on values, and rethinking the policy around waste food. A solution could be found where everybody collaborates, and as a result, everybody wins.

  6. Connection Level: Recognizing our shared human experience, a part of me experienced empathy. I questioned the purpose of the situation and how we could find joy and connection amidst the challenges. We are all connected and involved in this dance of destruction instead of uplifting each other and having a workplace where we collaborate, thrive, and feel connected in the flow of joy.

  7. Life Cycle Level: There is no judgment here, no right or wrong. I realized that we all play different roles at different times, shifting between being employees and employers.

I put down my pen. I knew what I had to do. I found peace.


How would you respond to this situation?


This experience reinforced the importance of approaching complex situations with empathy, self-awareness, and a willingness to explore opportunities for growth and connection through collaboration.


We all get stuck sometimes in a vicious circle that shifts our focus away from our passion, and often, we don’t even realize what prevents us from moving forward. Through thought-provoking questions, in a safe and non-judgmental environment, I invite you to walk the path to come to a decision that is 100% yours so you can be entirely at peace with the consequences. As a professional coach, I invite you to take a seat at my table. Reaching out is the first step to success and achieving your aspirations.

I am a lifestyle expat, a highly conscious female leader, and a professional ICF-certified coach who invites you to overcome any challenges you encounter, in a way that aligns with your core values.

Please feel free to get in touch with me.



Picture & Text Copyrights: ©2023 This is my Table™

Copyright laws protect all content in this article. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of any material without prior written permission from Sarah Debusscher (author) is strictly prohibited and punishable under the respective laws.

Further, all trademarks, service marks, logos, and trade names displayed in this article are the property of Sarah Debusscher. Use of these trademarks without permission may violate trademark laws.

12 views0 comments


All Rights reserved



Follow us

bottom of page