Posts Tagged ‘working’

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Stories from the Shawarma Shack

This week started with a whimper and ended with a WTF.

Mondays are typically slow. This Monday was no different. I’ll save you the snore fest and sum it up by saying that it was barely worth the gas I spent driving there. Except that this little red haired girl © Charlie Brown showed up and said she was a new hire. Excellent. We need more waitstaff (sort of). Welcome aboard, I’ll show you the basics before R (The Boss’ oldest daughter) gives you your full training. Red tells me her girl-friend had started the day before. Gravy! Now roll the silverware.

Tuesday I had the day off. Which meant I ran around like mad until it was time for me to get The Kid from school. Then I took a nap. I’m so lame.

Wednesday was slow. Except for a girl from a local group that I’m active in showing up to work and discussing her boy toy’s (her words not mine) aversion to food in general and the reason behind it (and there’s a good reason behind it), it was pretty boring (see why I don’t blog about work? Not a damn thing happens).

R comes in and as we’re closing out my shift she starts grumbling about her dad giving her two bisexuals and telling her to train them. I had to stop myself from laughing too loud. My boss’ idea of a qualified employee is young and female. Being bisexual, if he had actually known about it at the time of hiring, would probably have been the cherry on his sundae. I don’t call him a Greasy Rat Bastard for nothing. I laughed and mentioned that Red had said her girlfriend was working here, but I thought that she meant girl-friend, not girlfriend. I asked R how she knew they were bi. She says they told her and that were making out in the parking lot.

*pause*

Making out? Neither of them drive, so that means they were standing in full view of everyone driving past.

Now let me state now, I have absolutely no issue with anyone being anything other than straight. Do what makes you happy. However, I do have a problem with people getting happy at work. It’s just not professional. We may not be Tavern On The Green but you don’t make out standing in the middle of the parking lot of the job you just got. It’s just not kosher. Plus, not all of our customers really appreciate girl-girl action. Ann Arbor might be a major liberal city, but there are still enough McCain/Palin signs around to remind you that conservatives still exist within city limits.

Thursday, I came in late and pissed off. Very pissed off. The Man drove me to work so he could run some errands during the day. Apparently, if I tell him at 1015 that I want to leave in 5 minutes, that means I want to leave at 1030, which is the time that I’m supposed to BE at work. It started slow, mostly take out orders, which is pretty normal since we open around the beginning of people’s lunch. My cook, Mo, was on his cell phone for most the day, yakking away, loud as hell, in Arabic. Which meant anytime there was a lull in orders he’d go out back to talk more, which meant I had to go find his ass so people wouldn’t be waiting forever for their food.

Around 3 I had a rush. 10 people came in pretty much at the same time. Completely unexpected, though not wholly unwelcome (except the chick who stiffed me. She’s unwelcome). Near the end of my shift, before R came in, Red’s girlfriend calls, “I won’t be able to keep working there. I’m exhausted and I keep working like this I won’t be able to get my school work done.”

*pause*

That has to be the lamest fucking excuse to quit ever. She’s exhausted? She worked TWICE since being hired. That’s it. Two days. That’s her whole damn training period. But she’s exhausted? She had someone working with her so she wasn’t being swamped with customers. But she’s exhausted. GTFOOHWTBS.

I wake up at 645 (though I don’t actually get out of bed until 700), get The Kid clean, dressed, and off to school (she eats breakfast there). Then I go to work where I run around (or stand around) for 6.5 hours dealing with an idiot boss and customers who seem to enjoy annoying the hell out of me with their stupid petty requests for shit that doesn’t even come with their order. Come home, make dinner, take care of The Kid, check her school assignments, praise her for the work she’s done (and let’s not go into what I have to go through when she’s sick), make sure The Man has what he needs for work, deal with email, messages, blogs and I don’t get to actually wind down until after 10pm. If The Man works a midnight shift, I stay up until he leaves (1145pm), then I’m still up chatting with friends that I haven’t had a chance to actually talk to all day because I was busy. Then it’s bedtime and up at 645 to do it all over again.

But she’s exhausted.

Kiss. My. Ass.

Her shift was 5.5 hours. That’s it. You don’t even get a damn lunch break unless you work 8. She worked a grand total of 11 hours this week. But she’s exhausted.

I told R when she came in, one of my regular customers was at the counter when I told her. He works full time and goes to school full time. He laughed and said she needed to get over it. R is a high school student, oldest of four kids (which means she basically does the parenting when The Boss isn’t around…The Boss is divorced and Mom lives in another state) and works in her dad’s restaurant after school. She just rolled her eyes.

Red quit too. I had a feeling they weren’t going to stay around long. Neither of them had waitressing experience, and neither of them had ever actually been to the restaurant to eat. They just saw a help wanted sign and came in. Red couldn’t identify any of the items we have on the menu except for a few of our salads and hummus. That’s it. Red’s excuse for quitting was that it was too far to walk and she couldn’t afford the bus (her bus fare would have been two dollars every day she worked, plus since she was working night shift, someone could have given her a lift, so it would have been just one). Her and her GF came in to give R a birthday present (Thursday was her birthday), and Red was using a walking stick that was too long for her and hobbling rather dramatically saying that her knee was swelling froma childhood injury and that it hurt to even stand none the less walk.

She applied for a job as a waitress knowing that she was going to be doing a lot of walking and standing. WTF. Another lame ass excuse if you ask me. What fucking waitress SITS? If all we did was sit all day we wouldn’t have to wear ugly, comfortable shoes. We could wear the cute, but highly uncomfortable ones designed for women who don’t do a lot of walking.

So we’re down two waitresses who probably would have sucked as waitresses anyway. They’ll go get jobs at the mall or something now. Good riddance.

Been a long time…some thoughts and stuff.

Yeah I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been meaning to, just like I’ve been meaning to actually work on my book blog, but I can’t get to the fucking computer for more than 15 minutes without The Man bugging the hell out of me to get off.

The Job

I’m going to find another job soon. I’m being criminally underpaid. He decided (remember I’m off the books, as is everyone else I work with) that $50 every two weeks was ok. Now, I’ve taken on an extra day. Initially I was doing a 20 hour week. Now it’s 26. I should be getting $138 every two weeks. I’m being jacked for $88. Here’s the problem, if I go report him, everyone I work with gets in trouble because no one is paying income taxes at the moment. We never filled out a W2 so we don’t get W4s. I’d be happy to tell The Boss to go fuck himself and sic the IRS on him (and MiOSHA) on the sly, but that would put my coworkers (who really don’t need/deserve that sort of stress) in harms way. So I’m stuck. If I complain to a Labor Board, Cook, Mel, Mo and The Amazing Beulah (who I’ve found isn’t really so scary after all) all get caught up in it (S1 and S2 have both quit, S2 didn’t last her first week).

So I decided (and I told Cook today) that I’m only going to stay there a little while longer, then I’m going to try to find another job. Whether it’s waiting tables or something else, I don’t care (well…I won’t work fast food, that’s just something that’s not going to happen), I need to get out of that place. I don’t need the drama.

Have I mentioned that we haven’t had Coke there since the 6th of this month? And that our CO2 tanks are now empty as well, and have been for over a week? We’re a restaurant that serves pop but has no pop to serve. How in the hell does that make sense?

So I’m restarting my job search. Now that I’m in the work force it should be a little bit easier.

Revelation

Since getting back to work I’ve realised something: Being a stay at home mom made me disgustingly dependant to the point where I lost sight of myself.

Let me state right now that I don’t regret being a SAHM. Not in the least. I loved watching my daughter grow up and discover something new every day. That look she gets when she gets something makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. No, I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.

I’ve always been a really independant person. It’s just part of my nature. I started working as soon as I could so I could get what I wanted when I wanted it without having to wait for someone to be nice enough to give it (or the money for it) to me. I hate feeling like a charity case and I hate it when I have to depend on others to take care of my needs. That is what happened when I became a stay at home mom. I became dependant. I couldn’t buy groceries because I didn’t have money because I didn’t have a job. I couldn’t get things for the house because I didn’t have money because I didn’t have a job. I couldn’t…I couldn’t…I couldn’t… I can go on forever like that.

This isn’t to say my husband didn’t take care of us. He did. And he did an amazing job doing so. He has no college education, works (mostly) part time at a job that pays under $12 and has no health benefits for anyone not full time (and then you’re paying so much that you may as well get private insurance on your own). And he’s been working his ass off on his music career and has made some big moves of late. Yet and still we’ve never gone hungry, we’ve never been without the necessities. The Kid has always had clothes and shoes that fit. She’s never needed for toys, or books, or crayons, or some sort of entertainment. We’ve always made a way no matter what happened. My problem is just that I hate asking people for what I need. I feel like a child asking if I can have some money to get a new shirt, or a new pair of shoes or jeans. I get eaten by guilt spending that money on myself. I look and see a bill that needs paying, or something The Kid or The Man may need/want and that becomes priority. Spending on me can’t happen without spending spending on them first to assuage my guilt, and my feelings of being greedy for not being happy with what I have.

Since starting at The Job I have rediscovered my independance. Even if just a bit. It’s an important bit. I feel like an adult. I feel like I actually bring something to the table in this relationship. I feel like less of an undue burden. I can feel myself regain some self confidence that I lost when my Demon decided that my being unemployed (even if it was by choice to raise my daughter) meant that I was less than, that I was a disappointment to everyone around me and that I was nothing more than a bother and burden.

Of course, intellectually, I knew I was something something very important by being there for my daughter and raising her. I knew, intellectually, that there was no job in this world that can pay me better than seeing those beautiful brown eyes look at me and watching her as she sat up on her own, took her first steps, said her first words, coming home from her first day of school, watching her write her name for the first time. All these big things and all the little things in between. No office or cubicle or promotion or paycheck could ever replace that. But intellectual knowledge, and all the love I have for my daughter, can’t stand up to the steady, repetitive drum beat of my Demon slowly erroding the wall intellect and love build up.

Not being able to actually get a job for almost a year didn’t help matters any. In fact it seemed to confirm everything my Demon told me. I was worthless, useless. No one would hire me because I wasn’t good enough to be hired. It’s hard to fight that and not put in applications thinking “I’m not going to get it but why not.”

Slowly, slowly, I am beating back my Demon. I am regaining confidence lost over the years. It is taking time, but I am finding who I am again. I’m rediscovering my personal light and path.

Slowly, slowly.

I’m bout ready to scream

So last night me and The Man got into over the phone. Partially it was my fault. I should have been more clear on where I was going and what I was doing (I was going to a local restaurant for a get together for a local group I’m sort of involved with). I had also forgotten to talk to him about it last week, mostly because I was dealing with the start of The Kid’s school year (and needing to get clothes for her), and burying my aunt and all that would come along with that. Add to that the fact that me and Mo got into it at work because the drawer was short $15 (it was short $11 when I came in that day) and I wasn’t sure that I was going to still have a job by the end of the week; yeah I was a little stressed.

Not only that, but I’ve been neglecting things that I really want to do. Me and my bestfriend decided to start up our own book review blog. Well, it was sort of my idea and I talked her into doing it with me. I was going to come up with the basic review format and do the ratings, but now that The Man is home and using the comp more, I rarely actually get ON the bloody thing except late at night. By then I’m too damn tired to do much of anything, certainly not to sit in front of photoshop and piece together images.

Then there’s Second Life where I’m an assistant manager at a shop (yeah crazy right, I’ve been employed more on Second Life since last October than I have in the year and some months that I was actively looking for real life work). I’m basically the main person she counts on to do their job and I’m barely on for more than a few minutes to delete and answer messages. And as weird as it may sound, being that I’m talking about a virtual world, I feel bad that I just don’t have the time to do the simple work she needs me to do.

Speaking of The Job. I’m getting paid off the books. I don’t really get this, but apparently ALL the staff is getting paid off the books. How in the hell do you run a restaurant, with all its expenditures, and not have staff on the books? Dish washers? Ok, I can see that. Maybe even a cook or two. But we’re open 7 days a week for pretty much 12 hours a day. You gotta have at least one cook and one waitress on file. That place is a massive IRS audit waiting to happen. And The Boss is insanely cheap. I got yelled at yesterday because a table ordered a large Greek salad, but the two people there ran out of time, so I gave them two boxes. They were splitting the salad (which was obvious if you saw the fact that the salad was in the middle of the table between the two people). The Boss waits for them to leave and goes off.

“Why did you give them two boxes?”

“Because they are splitting the salad.”

“No. It’s one salad, one box.”

“No. It’s two people, who were both eating the salad, they had to go so they get two boxes to split the salad.”

“One salad, one box. She called here, order to go, but eats here (note: she called ahead because she was going to be between classes and didn’t have a lot of time, I put her order in as to go but told Cook, in front of Boss, that it was to eat in).”

“You were standing right there when she called the order in. She’s at school right now (there’s a university right down the street) and had a break between classes so she and her friend came in to eat. They ran out of time and wanted to take the salad with them. They were splitting the salad to begin with, so of course I’m going to give them two boxes. She paid for her food, and tipped me ($5 on a $14 bill…36% tip, I’ll ride and die for that chick). What’s the problem?”

Boss just huffed after that. He really couldn’t justify being cheap about two people splitting a large salad (our large salads can easily feed two people, or be a full meal for one). We’ve also gotten into it about bread (only with hummus, but not with baba ganouj [WTF?] and only two packages for a medium order, no matter how many people are eating it; if they want more, charge them), and refills on drinks (anything besides water, wait until they ask, don’t refill it automatically). I ignore most of these rules. Because of the way waitstaff wages are caculated (restaurants are only obligated to pay at least $2.65 an hour because we get tips that are supposed to make up the difference and add up to minimum wage; legally we’re supposed to declare our tips and log them and if our tips that day don’t make up for the loss then we get paid extra by the owner…but then again this isn’t exactly a totally legit operation) I can make more in tips than I would from my check.

Just FYI: Waitstaff don’t make living wages. They have to bust their hump extra special hard to make ends meet. Don’t be an asshat and not tip at least 20% (unless your waiter/tress was just THAT bad). We don’t live in Europe where being waitstaff isn’t looked at as badly as it is here and they get paid decently. And if you’re one of those fuckers who go “Well you knew what you got paid when you took the job, should have found one that paid better.” remember that shit when your boss passes your ass up for a promotion or denies your request for a raise.

Some folks honestly do enjoy working waitstaff. It’s hard (especially on the back, legs and feet), but you meet new people everyday, no two days are ever exactly the same. You can’t say that for cubicle life. Me, personally, I love being waitstaff, but I can’t work big restaurants. I learned that at the last place I worked. It’s too much stress for me to handle (well I wasn’t on anti-deps then so who knows). I’ve been working food service in one way or another since I was 15. I love food and all that it represents. I once considered going into culinary arts, but, again, the stress…I don’t think I could hack it.

The problem with me is that I take too much on. I have no clue how to leave well enough alone and become invested in things. Then life takes its course and I find that I’m over my head and struggling to stay afloat.

I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB!

I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB!

Can you tell I’m happy? Give me a week, I’ll be bitching.  I’m slinging shawarma at a local pita joint. I had worked there for a week once but, on the same day, my babysitter dropped out on me and my car stopped working.  What’s funny is that the cafe is sort of famous (fame being relative here).

They’ve remodeled the inside recently, a little less seating than before. And it seems they letting people smoke hookahs at the table (O.o) which I’m sure violates the Michigan ban against smoking in restaurants, but this could be on their outdoor patio so who knows. I guess I could start carrying a lighter just in case.

I won’t start until the 19th, that way I know everything is set and in place (babysitter, The Man, etc etc). Because the man doesn’t always work days (and I’ll be working days) babysitter won’t always be necessary, but it’s helpful to have.