This guest post comes from "Just The Messenger" -- nothing like getting slapped down by the corporate monkeys!
I'm at the tail end of the move so will be working soon and hopefully have some bitches to write about myself!
I’ve been a server at a corporate chain for four years now. I’m pretty good at my job, mostly compliments, a complaint here and there, but for the most part, I’m a damn good employee. I don’t come in hung over or in a drugged out stupor and I’m always 10 minutes early (if not 15 minutes early… I have a fear of being late, what can I say?). I’m not the strongest server, but I get the job done and most people seem to like me and how I do things.
So when I went to my managers a couple of months ago to tell them I would be going to grad school and would need to cut my availability down to as few days as possible, I was a little nervous about the exchange but not altogether worried. And it went smoothly. My GM told me that because I had been with the company for so long and that I do what I’m supposed to do about ninety percent of the time (with a laugh), they had no problem working with me. But I had to stay on at a bare minimum of two nights a week or possibly go on a leave of absence. I told them that I would check my schedule, but I thought it was doable. I was to report to my scheduling manager (who has a habit of getting his hackles raised if you question him about ANYTHING). Okay. SM told me to just remind him in May. Okay. I could do that.
About a month later I get my review. Overall, it was glowing. I was told I needed to work on getting my running sidework completed (um, who doesn’t?), but the management team found me to have gotten better at my job over the past four years and that I am willing to go above and beyond when any of them ask me to do something. Afterward, I asked him if it would still be okay if I went down to two days a week. “Oh, yeah, it shouldn’t be a problem. It’ll be summer and we should be busy everyday.” “Cool, because I think Monday and Friday nights would work out well.” “Yeah, that’ll be okay.”
At the end of May, I messaged him to remind him about Monday AND Friday nights. AND. Not THROUGH, AND. (I kept the message and I checked. I know what I wrote.) Apparently literacy doesn’t run in his family because after I saw he had my availability down as Monday THROUGH Friday nights, I messaged him to remind him that I could only work two nights a week. I was going into work that morning, so I didn’t get his reply until after I came home crying, saying that we needed to talk about my availability.
At work that day, the GM and he took me into the office and SM stood off to the side, looking down at his shoes (about the only thing he’s good at). GM proceeded to tell me that they were under the impression that I would be available Monday THROUGH Friday nights and that I would let them know when I was available (um, I did…). Plus, they usually only cater to employees who are top-tier employees and I wasn’t a top-tier employee. Over the past four years, I have had numerous issues, oh, don’t get me wrong, you’re a decent employee, but I’ve been pretty mediocre over the years. At this point I looked at him and said, “Um, okay, I’m a little confused because just a month ago I got my review and it was really good.” GM kind of skimmed over this fact and said that they had issues with giving me Friday nights, since I’m not that strong of a server and I tend to get harried when pushed. First off, who doesn’t? There are three people in that restaurant who don’t get “harried” when pushed. And for three and a half years straight they never had an issue with me working weekend nights; it was only when I said I needed to go down to two nights a week did I see my night shifts disappearing. I asked, “Well, what do you suggest I do to improve?” GM replied, “Well, this is over the course of four years and what needs to be improved can’t be improved on with a limited availability.” Needless to say that at this point I felt broadsided (oh, and I think I should mention I have never been written up—one of the few employees who can say that) and said, “Since you don’t want to give me Friday nights, what about Thursdays?” “I don’t think that will work.” “What about Tuesdays then?” GM looks at SM and SM says, “Tuesdays should work.” (I should also mention that the only reason I settled on Mondays and Fridays was that my class lets out at 12:30, allowing me plenty of time to arrive at work. Tuesdays I get out at 3:30 and I’m quite far from work. I didn’t want Fridays because they’re “busy,” contrary to what they may have thought.)
After finishing up my last table, I went home and started to cry. Who, after four years and a complete about face, tells their employee that they were mediocre and goes back on everything that they had agreed to previously? After crying my guts out, I decided that since they already thought I was a mediocre employee, they’re going to get a mediocre employee. Ya know those stupid reward cards businesses are making their employees push? Not going to do that anymore. If I show up late on Tuesdays because of traffic? Not my fault, I told you what I could do and you initially agreed to it. I’m not going to kill myself to make it on time. You know those employees who you said were complaining about me (another thing I just heard about)? Not helping them out at all. If you don’t like me, fire me. And then I can collect unemployment.