“Hey could you come check me out?” said Aaron.
“What’s your side work?” I asked hurriedly, in the midst of ringing in my orders.
“Well I was supposed to fill the grinder and wash out the sinks” Aaron replied.
Shit, what else was on his list of duties, at a glance I noticed he didn’t fill the grinder or wash the sinks, what else did he skip out on?
“Top off the coffee grinder and wipe down the sink area, then I’ll be back to sign you out.” I said.
“This is fucking bullshit!” Aaron said, ”the sink was clean a minute ago and I can’t fit any more beans into the grinder.”
“I can still see air, either do it or don’t, I don’t want this half-ass shit right now.” I snapped back.
I hustled out of the kitchen to service my nine tables I had rolling. I was stopped by another server, Bill.
“Could you check me out?” Bill said.
“Give me a sec, I’ve got to take another order.” I said back.
“But I’m on a double and meeting a friend for lunch!” Bill whined.
“Jesus, I’ll be back in a minute,” I replied.
After taking another order and dropping off some food I went to attend to the inpatient servers.
I glanced over the side-work chart and noticed Bill was on take out implements and that Aaron was to fill the ice bin, which was woefully nearing emptiness.
“Bill, I need more to-go bags and large boxes,” I said.
“But I’ve got to go…” Bill pleaded.
“I don’t care, don’t bother me unless you have your work done, look , you haven’t done a single thing on the list!” I snapped at him.
He retreated out of site in a huff.
Then I noticed Aaron giving his cash-out paperwork and money to the assistant manager.
“Where the fuck do you think you’re going?” I asked, “I haven’t signed you out yet.”
“This is bullshit, I only made twenty bucks today and I want to get the fuck out of here!” Aaron bitched, “I can’t fill the grinder any more, where the fuck am I supposed to put the coffee? On the floor?”
“What’s up with you letting him go without my signature?” I demanded of the manager, ignoring Aaron.
“Just let him go, he’s had a bad shift.” Said the manager.
“I don’t give a shit, I’m sick of wasting my time checking out people who are trying to skip out,
I’m getting my ass handed to me out there and I’ve got to deal with this bullshit?” I yelled.
Aaron took the manager and I arguing as an opportunity to slip out the side door.
“We’re almost out of ice and I just got sat a new table, who the fuck is going to stock it? You? Its his job, I don‘t care how much money he made.” I said.
The manager had no answer.
I stormed back into the dinning room.
A few minutes I was getting ice in the bar since we had since run out in the service station when a waitress came up to me.
“Could you check me out?” She asked.
I took a deep breath, she was one of the newer, more unreliable servers.
“What did you have?” I asked.
“The second service station.” she replied.
It took me a second’s glance to tell she hadn’t done shit, glasses weren’t stocked, the counter was full of trash and empty pitchers stood haphazardly on the counter. Worst of all there were two ice buckets containing puddles instead of ice.
“You haven’t done a fucking thing up here, why are you wasting my time?” I said sharply.
“But, but, it was clean a minute ago, someone must have left this here.” She stammered.
“That’s likely given that enough time has passed to melt ice into water, I want this spotless.” I demanded.
Shit, I still had nine tables at this point and I was getting a little sick of people taking advantage of me being in the weeds to try to skate on their work.
Work that I myself would have to do if I checked out with management and it wasn’t done.
About half an hour later things had calmed down, the flow entering the restaurant had stopped and most of my tables had cashed out with me. It was then I noticed that the to-go station was nearly empty of containers and take-out bags.
“Has anyone seen Bill?” I asked to several servers.
“I saw him walking to his car.” replied one of them.
“Fuck,” was all I had to say.
The next time I saw the assistant manager I cornered him.
“Bill was the second waiter to leave without doing his work, what’s the point in having me check them out if they aren’t going to do their shit?” I asked.
“Bill had the GM check him out, he said you were too busy.” he replied.
“Bill deliberately checked out with him so he wouldn’t have to do his work, I checked him out and he was one of three servers who hadn’t completed their work and along with Aaron got away without doing shit.” I said.
“Well maybe we need to crack down on side work,” said the manager.
“I’m trying, but it doesn’t help that you and the GM are undermining my job and that of the other closers, now I have to go down to the basement to get ice and take out containers or the GM won’t let me leave. I don’t care if people want to leave early or have plans or didn‘t make any money today, if they don’t do their jobs I’m held accountable for it. The other closer just let me know that Aaron skipped out on rolling silverware also, why bother having me check side-work at all? Why don’t we just let the staff decide for themselves when they’ve done enough.” I said ranting.
“Well I’ll talk to the GM about this,” said the assistant manager.
“What good will that do, he’s more worried about how we roll up our sleeves and how many earrings we can wear than how this restaurant actually runs.” I stated.
The manager just shrugged his shoulders.
What else was there to do but that?