Well we all know I work in a restaurant bar and have for quite some time. One day a couple of weeks ago, I decided I had had enough of working at this restaurant, and heard through the grape vine that another place, about fifty yards away, was hiring. I had never entered this establishment, which is a little surprising, consider my baseball obsession and my love of football. I had heard the service was atrocious, and it was pretty much the go-to place to get hammered, because apparently the idea of third party liability is not an issue for them.
For those of you non-restaurant people, "third party liability" is a LAW that states that if you serve someone alcohol at your establishment, and subsequently said patron leaves, intoxicated or not, and let's say...gets a DUI, or assaults someone, the restaurant or bar can be held accountable for that person's behavior. This is a concept that should be ingrained in any server or bartender's memory, because it could mean major trouble and major unemployment.
Moving on, I flashbacked to the days when I used to work at a real "bar", one dangerously close to the Anaheim Angels stadium (barf), the Orange County Convention Center, and the Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks. Needless to say, it was a shit show. People would either come in hammered post-game, get hammered pre-game, or skip moving their bodies all together and just watch it on the big screen. We had actual FIGHTS with broken glass everywhere, ass-grabbing and inappropriate comments all over the place, as well as the fact that I would usually get off around four am. Oh yeah, that and the fact that EVERYONE drank WHILE THEY WORKED including our General Manager. I remember one night, handing her my checkout and monies, and she was too shit-faced to even read my paperwork.
Needless to say, I did not want to go back to that environment. The money was great but the degrading nature of the work made me feel gross. I decided I would go and apply over at Muffalo Mild Things, hoping it would be different than the sports bar experience I had had before. Upon arrival, before my application was even complete, I was hired. The assistant manager brought out the general manager, and they both drooled over me. I wasn't even really trying to "perform" I just was honest with them: I like to take care of my guests, I have a ton of regulars and I have a hard time with people who don't like to work as a team. They looked like I had just taken all of my clothes off and dry humped one of the many video games that surrounded us.
When the day came for my orientation, the assistant manager asked me to be there at eight am, with proper documentation. I did as such. I have NEVER had an experience like the one I was about to have.
The assistant manager, whom we will refer to as Tara, started to scream at the computer, "Fuck! I hate this fucking thing." I am no prude, and if you are a regular reader of my blog you know I love profanity as much as George Carlin, however, we're in an orientation here?! All I could hear or think about was my boss at my other job, how she would have probably bled through the eyes if she saw the way this girl was leading this "orientation".
After she was done swearing at the computer, she took us into the "main dining room" which, due to the nature of my job, I began looking all around, noticing tiny details. The place was FILTHY. Fingerprints on every surface, sticky stuff on booths, and it looked like the place had never been vacuumed. I figured the restaurant wasn't opening for another two hours, so maybe someone would be coming through to clean it up. The phone kept ringing and ringing, and no one seemed to care to answer. I was a little scared and also, mildly thrilled because I had lived under the thumb of so many rules and regulations for so long, that maybe this DGAF attitude is just what I need.
The funny thing was, there was no one there. I'm used to walking into my work and seeing at least four cooks opening up the kitchen, and our managers get there bright and early. I saw one prep chef, then another came when I was about to leave. There was no one setting the restaurant up, no one cleaning, just a really loud bumping of gangsta rap coming from the kitchen. Tara sat us down, myself and the other young lady, who was "lucky" enough to be a transfer from another Muffalo. She rushed us through the whole employee handbook, and actually hassled me when I was attempting to read the material and stated, "Just take the quiz, the answers are right here."
That was the part when I knew something was not going to jive with me working here. It was just a lingering thought in the back of my mind, as I left, but I tried to emphasize to myself how unhappy I was working in such a constrained environment, feeling unappreciated. Maybe the lax nature of this place would be the answer to all the things that were annoying me at the time. You know, important stuff like being able to wear ANY NAIL COLOR, no tattoo limitations or "tattoo-free" areas, and of course the most important thing, being able to wear whatever plugs I want.
Now that I read the above, I can't help but laugh at how trivial that all is. It certainly would not be worth leaving my current job, my current awesome regular clientele, and the fact that I already know what I'm doing. I lasted all of ten minutes on my first training shift, basically I showed up, told my trainer I would not be returning, that I would come back and bring my uniforms ASAP, and be sure I spoke with Tara or the GM, and thank them for the opportunity. He looked at me like I just went to the bathroom all over the floor.
"Fine, go back to your empty restaurant," he told me. I just walked away.
The next day, I called first thing in the morning, and asked to speak to a manager. The young lady told me there was no manager on duty at the current moment, and did I want to leave a message? Oh yes, I thought, I'd love to leave a message, but not one that you would feel comfortable writing down, sweetheart. I told her who I was, that I was in training and would not be returning, and if someone could call me and tell me when and whom to surrender my uniforms to, that would be great.
I NEVER got a phone call from them, either way. If they had not gotten the message, then they must have noticed I did not show for my training shift, so why weren't they calling me? I had given notice at my other job, and was now making sure I could rescind that immediately, wondering why no one was contacting me from Muffalo Mild Things. I decided it was no biggie, I had done my due diligence and was now going happily back to where I belong. Boy, was I in for a shocker.
On Saturday morning a couple days later, John was driving me to work when we noticed an older Honda Civic pulling up next to us at one light, and then following us quickly through the main streets until we met again, at a red light. The owner of the car stared at me and then rolled down her window, ripping her sunglasses off her face. She screamed at me, "WHAT THE FUCK!!! WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM?" I looked at John. Had we cut her off? Is this bitch nuts? Then she said, as the light turned green, "IT'S ME, TARA! HELLO? WHAT THE FUCK?"
It was then I realized what was going on. She had seen me in the car and was trying to catch up to us. Then that crazy bitch decided to scream profanities at me through her window. Thank goodness the light turned green, because we both had to go in different directions. John asked me, "Who the hell was that?" My response blew his mind.
I said, "That's the assistant manager from Muffalo." I was in complete shock as I finished my ride to work, and thought on the experience throughout my entire shift. I started to think, did she not get my message? Why didn't she call me? Is she going to jump me in the parking lot? Our restaurants are a mere fifty yards away, is she going to send her chicken wing posse over here to hassle me?
So I did something I normally would never do, I called corporate headquarters and explained the incident, how it had made me feel, and how I felt completely threatened by this girl, and was appalled at her nonprofessional behavior both inside and outside of her restaurant. They were very interested and also embarrassed, and apologized profusely to me. They assured me I did not have to return the uniforms, and that they would be sending me a check for a full days pay (wow---is that my hush money?) and that they would be in contact with Tara and her bosses.
I had a couple of conversations with MMT's HR department, and was helped by an especially kind woman, whom made me feel as comfortable as I could about the whole thing. The saga did not end, however.
A few days later, I got a phone call from a strange number, and like anyone else would do, I sent that bitch straight to voice-mail. Guess who it was? Tara's boss, the general manager I had met for all of five minutes before the drooling stopped and the hiring began. She left me the coldest, most condescending voice-mail I have ever heard. She suggested we have a "chit-chat" (I HATE THAT TERM) about what happened, and that I had not filled out my paperwork correctly, so she needed my social security number, in order to "get you this special check by Friday." I thought about calling her back and giving her the business, but I decided against it.
What struck me as odd was that she was calling from her CELL PHONE and also that she needed my social. I watched Miss "Fuck You" approve my I-9 right on the computer, and that cannot occur without a social security number. I immediately called HQ and HR again, explained what was going on, and informed them I would not be answering or taking any calls from anyone associated with that restaurant, especially giving my social security number to some bitch on her cell phone. They agreed, and assured me I would not be contacted by anyone at the restaurant again.
Can you believe this shit???
Ahhhhhhh, I never thought I would say this, and certainly not with all that's been going on with my job, life, etc...but I am glad I work where I work. I'm proud of what I do. I'm beautiful both inside and out, and I have a ton of awesome guests I consider my friends now. Some of them are probably reading this right now, so thanks guys. And, don't worry, I'm not going to leave you, ever, ever again.