For veterans of working in kitchens, this concept shouldn’t be something you have never encountered. Each and every kitchen does have its own, unique, personality. In my experience however, 4 out of 5 kitchens encounter this gesture on a daily basis.
You can be gay, communist, illiterate, Jewish, and of any race and no one in a kitchen will hold it against you. Kitchens are the places where micro-melting pots within cities are created. Sure, you might get the occasional jibe about some differences of yours, but this is just a form of “kitchen communication”.
Kitchen employees work long hours, together. We are talking 60-80 hour workweeks. This environment acts as a catalyst for fellow workers to understand everyones personality nuances to a fault. So when Borris the Russian Grill Chef looks 20 feet down the line and makes eye contact with Jerry the three fingered Mexian Saute Chef, Jerry knows that Borris is wondering if he has the side of Cajun Alfredo finished which is necessary to complete the dish. That is a simple example.
Now to the A** grab. There are many uses for this simple gesture. And only 1 rule, you cannot do this with your female co-workers, I believe this should be obvious. One example would be in the middle of a Saturday night rush, Francis the Fry Boy is getting slammed, prison style, and is loosing his focus. So Jake, on the Flat Top, decides that Francis needs a distraction, to calm his nerves. So Jake quietly steps behind Francis and with a firm hand, grabs his A** and squeezes. There we go.
Another classic and very useful example of the A** Grab is called the, “Non-Chalant”. This method is used to test the receivers coolness under fire. Let us say that George is doing some pre-service prep, peeling carrots. While he is peeling carrots he is also flirting with Monica, the new hot server. So Lucas sees an opportunity. Lucas walks past George as if he is en route to the walk-in cooler, and just as he passes George, he grabs his A** nice and hard. Now if done skillfully, Monica wouldn’t have noticed the gesture, nor would Lucas want her to. The test is to see if George reacts at all to the A** grab, because it would be in his best intentions not to.
Another example would be the Acid Test A** Grab. You see, every new employee in a kitchen is assumed gay until proven otherwise. So once a new employee becomes relatively comfortable with his/her fellow co-workers. One of the old school kitchen guys will, for no reason explainable or provoked, grab his A** just to see what his reaction is. I would say the best reaction would be to act disgusted, call the perp a homo, and forget about it. If you exaggerate the event and get upset or offended, you will have just dug yourself a deeper hole.
So notice this gesture, and the context of it next time you witness it or are the violated. I think you would be surprised to find its true meaning.