The Insane Waiter

Running wild on customers, chefs, owners and managers since 1997. I bring to you, The Insane Waiter. What do bring to your table? A crisp bottle of San Pellegrino ? Perhaps a lovely seared Sashimi Tuna? Start off with a wonderful bottle from Tuscany perhaps? Why I'll be more than happy to bring you your White Zinfandel and Chicken Caesar. No you can't order the mac and cheese off the kids menu and sorry no, we don't serve cheese sticks....

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back into the hornets' nest

Coming back from vacation is usually an ok thing as far as work goes. A bit of a re-charge is sometimes necessary in life and I was looking foreword to a good couple weeks before classes start.

Of course when I returned I walked into a shit storm instead of the relaxed pace of late summer.
Recently we were given employee surveys from the corporate office, it seems like they finally wanted our opinions on management/business issues.

I refused to fill one out, I worked for a company that surveyed their employees once and they openly mocked the opinions of the surveys directly in front of the staff. No changes were made that would positively impact the business and if anything management held a grudge against the people who gave their opinions.

Well back to present day. They surveys were turned in and management released a memo to the staff with certain changes to policy as well as addressing policy that was already in place. As usual they ignored the entire concept of communication and made their usual arbitrary and petty decisions.

Most of the memo was common sense, a manager read the memo in a staff meeting and much of it was the same show up on time/have a clean uniform type deal that should be expected. There was a couple of points that they tried to rush past that clearly had some people upset.
In the last year our place of business has had a complete reversal in the culture of the restaurant. We were originally a hip restaurant (how I hate to say that, I hate hipsters) with a quirky staff that displayed their individuality in both their appearance and their personality at their tables. This was encouraged by the management and owners at the time. Short of walking in with green hair and a Mohawk you were fit to work.

Apparently this “vision” of how the restaurant is to be has changed. The memo addressed a this, and many were upset.

First off women are pretty much encouraged to dress like men, hell I’d even rather have them look like the Stepford Wives rather than the frumpy clothed, minimal make-up and no personality mold that the restaurant wants.

This is all fun and games for a corporate restaurant, but come off it, the reason many of us wanted to work for this restaurant was because it was the exact opposite of what it has become.

If you’re a male who has ear-rings, tattoos or facial hair you’re screwed as well. The memo states restrictions on the above as well.

It seems you have to ask permission from management to change hair styles, color or to grow facial hair.

That is the funniest part of the new policies to me.

You’re allowed have a beard/goatee/mustache/sideburns…

You’re just not allowed to grow them.

A bit more was mentioned on the whole scheduling thing. They reiterated that we were not allowed to call in sick and had to cover the shift with another employee, that one is always nice.
As well they are restricting the way we trade or pick up shifts from other employees. I’ve found that if the manager on duty doesn’t like the person you are trading with they simply won’t allow it.

Even more difficult is the new policy preventing shifts from being traded as long as management has shifts they still need to cover. We have been running short staffed for most of the summer, as turnover has been unusually high (I wonder why).

Every week management puts up a sheet detailing shifts that they need covered (mostly from former employees that have fled or been given the ax).

Well if each and every one of the open slots in not filled, there can be no shift changes, doesn’t matter if the desired shift is on a day that isn’t covered. Its their way of offering us an “incentive” to cover the shifts that they themselves cannot.

The issue of request off dates and such has been hardened as well. It has also been reiterated that if we need time off we are to clear it through our management and take our vacation “pay."
Since most of us are part time there is no vacation pay.

That means no guaranteed time off.

So pretty much everyone is pissed off.

Management is pissed off at us for being pissed off as well, making a shitty work environment in the last couple weeks.

Every pre-shift meeting is the same, the GM harping on unimportant issues repeatedly while the place burns around him due to the actual issues that matter. Then they ask why morale is low and wonder why people aren’t walking around with a smile on their faces.

“We want to be a place where you should be proud to work!” GM declared.

Ok, treat us like adults and at least look at issues from our point of view, not your biased view or
that of the oh so holy “guest.”

A manager shouldn’t necessarily bow to the demands of the staff, but a view that takes into concern the consideration of the staff would be appreciated. After all when one man thinks you’re an idiot that’s one man’s opinion, when the world feels that was I wonder if they might be correct.

And so it goes when you ask the opinion of the staff, instead of consideration to the issues we brought to the table, we were responded with petty regulations and petty vengeance that can only be wielded by those with middle management authority.


At 9:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's an old saying:" If one person thinks you're an ass, you can ignore it. If everyone thinks you're an ass, go get fitted for a saddle."

Hang in there. I hope you're looking for an alternative.

Best wishes,


At 1:11 AM , Anonymous said...

did you have to heil hitler as well? (they keep up with this balogna, and they will soon close.)

At 8:57 AM , Anonymous geezer said...

My office did an employee survey with similar results.

Management couldn't understand why the employees thought that the management heirarchy and the corporate culture was totally hypocritical.

How does one explain that to an idiot in a suit and tie?

By getting a new job, of course.

I'm guessing your customers will soon pick up on the prevailing attitude and shop elsewhere.

At 8:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It all starts with a man sitting at a desk in a glass tower high on a mountain top in a land far far away. He thinks to himself we need to upgrade, and I know we have a Caddy now, what we really need is a chevy. So he sends a message to the faithful (salaried employee's)
to screw with everything that is working. Yes change does happen and will work if everyone is in the circle and only if if is needed. I still belive that if you are treated with respect and are feed a diet of the truth that most people will give the same in return.

At 12:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is really nothing more than reading someone bitch about their job. It's not like Waiterrant, with anecdotes and good writing. It's just someone voicing complaints. not so interesting.

At 6:29 PM , Blogger staticwarp said...

fuck that. this blog is hella interesting compared to waiter rant, however both authors dont post all that often. if you go back thru secret's archives, you'll notice that, like waiter rant, he used to tell stories. plus secret's blogroll is way better. however lately i wonder if he writes all his posts from a k-hole or a steep whiskey bender, because the grammar has gone around the bend.

At 8:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your dress code sounds like the private high school I went to. I graduated in '74.

And Waiterrant is a douchebag who's so full of himself I fear he'll explode. His book will undoubtedly suck and will be in the seconds bins and pulping machines in no time flat.

At 5:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may be interesting to read how his restaurant operates, but seriously, read the past several posts, and tell me if there's anything in here besides him bitching about how badly he's treated at work. I guess it's good writing to read someone complain about shitty conditions, but not do anything about it. If this blog wasn't about a restaurant, no one would read it. If he was talking about his cubicle job and how the GM is a jerk who makes him use outdated computer software, and how the water cooler is never actually cold, no one would give a shit. This blog has no talent in it, at all. None.

At 6:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

please pass the salt.

At 11:22 PM , Anonymous Wry said...

I'm sorry your vacation relaxation was blown to bits as soon as you went back to work. That's just harsh.

At 12:11 AM , Blogger Amy said...

It sounds like you now work at Red Lobster (like I did for a short while, before I was aware of rules such as these and ways the management stole from the staff). My sympathies.

What's not to love about anonymous comments? :P

At 1:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So he's bitching about work and customers. That's exactly what most blogs are about. Fuck, if you want to see something painful you should check out a mommy blog. This one is entertaining enough for me, and at least he spares us the sanctimonious bullshit that Waiterrant built his following on. Hell, now that fucktard is taking credit for the success of Rob at Clublife. (Although I'll admit that Rob has grown stale for me, but I won't say too much bad about him because he links my own blog.)

At 12:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My workplace has the same policy about covering a shift. The only exeption is when you are ill - you need to present a doctor's not/clinic visit paperwork to prove the illness. I have a pad of them that a friend gave me and I use them whenever I want to have a day off. They suspect but can do nothing about it because they can't just call and ask the clinic for verification due to privacy laws.

If I worked at your place, I'd probably end up burning the place down. At the very least I would damage the management staff's vehicles badly.

At 1:30 PM , Blogger Rose said...

Insane, I totally feel your pain. I'm a staffing coordinator for a staffing agency, and as a rule, I don't do interviews on Fridays because I'm busy doing stuff that I can only do on Fridays. Well, this bitch walks in my office with a sense of entitlement about how she can't possibly come by Monday through Thursday for some reason, so my boss told me to interview her anyway. I argued as best as I could with him, but he insisted that I should envision every person walking through the door as a "dollar sign" and she might just be a great applicant. Well, I wasted an hour and a half on the interview and orientation process only to find out that she hasn't worked in two years, has never used any Microsoft applications, and can only type 10 words per minute. What the fuck am I going to do with her? It was a bunch of bullshit and I spent the rest of the day scrambling to do the rest of my work. Not quite the same situation, but close, and equally frustrating.

At 2:10 AM , Blogger Brad said...

Rose, you had the fun of interviewing Lords of Acid/Springs 1.

Do some research, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

At 3:19 PM , Blogger Reserved Stipulation said...

Sounds a lot like my old restaurant. Permission to color my hair? Whatever! I once dyed it an egyptain plum color (very dark purple) and you couldn't see it in the dining area, due to the lighting. Of course, in the kitchen, it was obviously dark purple.

They told me I had to change it to something 'natural'. I told them that I wouldn't until another waitress, who had dark brown/black hair had done hers, as the bleached blonde part had grown out about 6 inches, so it was half black, half blonde. Heh, I kept my hair color.

Hang in there!

At 8:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn I miss JP and Thom D.


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