Sunday, May 23, 2010

Jobs in jeopardy.

Okay, okay, I'm back! Sorta. My brain is still trying to ignore the fact that I'm back to my regular life.

The bastard corporate monkeys have added yet another layer of stress to our lives. This shouldn't surprise me, of course. Basically, they've implemented a system of tracking our upsells. That in itself isn't that big a deal. What is a big deal is that instead of being a tool for rewarding us, they're using it as punishment.

They're now tracking us day by day and week by week. If over a two week period, my upsell percentage (upsell items/number of customers) is below the store's average, I have to go to a buttcrack-of-dawn meeting and "learn" how to make it better. If my percentage doesn't improve within two weeks after that, I get written up. If it still doesn't improve two weeks after that .... I no longer get to work. Yep, they're now threatening to fire people for not selling enough.

Thing is, the whole "the beatings shall continue until morale improves" part of this plan is optional. CL has chosen to inflict that on us. And here's what she can't seem to wrap her brain around: what the fuck an average is! Say all those steps are followed and five people below the average get fired. What happens, then, to the average? Oh yeah, it goes up! And that means new people are under the average, and new people are getting harassed!

I tried to point that out and got a blank stare in return.


Sarah said...

what if NONE of you upsold? could they fire ALL of you at once? it reminds me of the part in A Bug's Life where the grasshoppers are talking about how stupid and useless one ant is and drops a pebble to show how small it is. and then Hopper dumps out the ENTIRE jar onto one of the other grasshoppers to show that it's not the one ant he's worried about. it's the Group. :-)

Anonymous said...

This is usually one of those threats they don't follow through on. Just handy for killing morale and making everyone really crappy to their guest with very little upside. Might be time to put in applications

Laura said...

What I don't get is how they can expect people to eat so much. At most the diners/restaurants around here, the portion sizes are so huge we can't eat an app or dessert.

I don't want to take half home all the time.

BTW, enjoy your blog!

Steven Nicolle said...

You cannot make someone buy more if they do not want to. People are holding back nowadays. Not much money. Perhaps if they want you to upsell more the problem is the product itself. Just not that good.

Susan b said...

I *hate* being upsold at a restaurant. Most times you can tell that they are doing a memorized spiel. Maybe if the waitress seemed to comment 'oh...the such-and-such is really good with that dish' I may consider it but otherwise, no. It is a shame that you are being forced to do it and being docked if you don't sell.

purplegirl said...

Sarah, if I could convince my coworkers to go on a upsell strike that would be awesome. :) Unfortunately I work with quite a few brown-nosing a-holes who would show us all up. *grumble*

Anonymous, they've already started cutting shifts according to it. Nobody's been fired yet, but people are already losing money. Makes me want to go eye-gouging.

Laura, thanks for reading! :) I agree about portion sizes--but after all, they don't really care if you're happy, just that you give them more money, right? Blah.

WE, what drives me crazy is that they keep adding all these bargains combo things to the menu, which gives people a way to be cheap--and then expect us to make up the difference by selling extra things to the cheapskates!

Susan, I absolutely hate it too. I don't mind if somebody makes a couple of suggestions in a casual way, or asks the whole table if they'd like soup or salad. But they seem to want us to be SO high-pressure. "Would you like a top shelf mega margarita? Can I get you an appetizer? Would you like cheese on your fries? Mushrooms on your burger? Extra bacon? Extra beef? A salad? Shrimp on your salad? A different drink with dinner? Another drink? A dessert for each of you? ARE YOU SURE?" *vomit*

Anonymous said...

I'm normally a reader and not a commenter but after seeing the credit slip from your most recent post I'm now positive we work for the same company. I've had my suspicions for a while but wasn't sure. Anyway, We're doing the upsell bit where I work too. Ours is on a point system and your shifts are solely based on how many points you have. Most amount of points? You get to cherry pick your schedules. Least amount? Have fun workin' the day shift early cuts. They even hired a salesman to come and speak to us about how to upsell, of course at an obscenely early time every Sunday. Church or no church be there or lost all your points. Now they are offering a five day/ four night stay at really nice local spot with a spa or golf package for the winner.

But of course this is supposed to motivate us to sell more.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

It's all absurd. The beatings will continue until morale improves and that's IT!
Every time I see an add for a new something or other on tv I think of you.
How about after they get the bill they start asking you why they had to pay extra for the mushrooms, cheese, etc...?
All of the corporate folks should have to actually work there, on the floor, before they get hired :)

Anonymous said...

Okay.. apparently I spoke too soon. Our first early meeting on Sunday was to tell us that we will now be scheduled according to how corperate deems fit. It will all be based off of our numbers and the reason is that when **** bought our company they borrowed money they didn't have and now have to make up for it somewhere. We were flat out told to make ourselves as obnoxious as possible to add anything and everything onto the check. Someone said something along the lines of "Won't that make our tables annoyed and then they won't tip us". They were told that management didn't care what we were tipped as long as our checks were large. What about the servers that only work our lunch shift have to deal with an obnoxious lunch special that's a good deal but only costs $5.99 - $6.99? Well they'll have to push alcohol (at lunch? ha!)or flavored drinks. We also have a great ap/2 meals deal that screws us too but again management doesn't give a crap. They offer more and more cheap crap and then expect us to make them millionaires.

Anonymous said...

WTF!! Are you serious? This seems so wrong! Having been a server before I know that you can't force someone to get these upsells! It seems the labour board really seems to ignore what goes on in restaurants (ie. paying for walkouts)

purplegirl said...

Anonymous, we haven't heard that about borrowing money they didn't have--but it doesn't surprise me! Especially since they're apparently remodeling all the restaurants in my state this summer--we just got a remodel two years ago! Sounds like your managers are some real fuckers though--at least mine are trying to help people do this in a way that isn't just plain obnoxious.

Mary, I get people pissed about extra charges all the time. Most of the time it's ridiculous--really? You thought you could add double chicken and not pay?--but other times I totally understand. It's rotten trying to sell things in a way that is both convincing and clear that they'll be paying!

I wonder too how the hell restaurants get away with stuff. In my state it's illegal to make a server pay for walkouts, but god knows enough other stuff gets ignored!