So I arrived. Early of course for my 2:00 shift.
The day started as perfectly as you can imagine.
I got out of the car just as my new boss was coming out of the backdoor of the restaurant. He ran up, gave me a big hug and then told me that I had lettuce in my teeth.
Great first impression.
It could only get better from there, right?
Actually it was a pretty typical first day. Forms. Lots and lots of forms.
And then we sat in the VERY small office and talked. We didn’t really do anything. We just talked.
There was three days of that. Sitting in the office. The first three days I don’t think I was on the restaurant floor at all.
After three days he handed me the schedule and told me to write it. With about thirty seconds worth of help.
When I was done he told me to take it downstairs and post it. He never looked at it. Never checked it. I loved his appreciation for my abilities, but we could have avoided some problems if he’d looked it over. To be honest he never looked at a schedule I did the whole time I was there. I got the thirty second tutorial and that was it.
I spent the rest of the week with him in the office with very little time in the actual restaurant.
And then he left to go on vacation.
And that was the end of my training.
When he left I didn’t know how to use the computer system, I didn’t know the food, I didn’t know the drinks. I didn’t even know the table numbers. It was trial by fire. I was behind from the word go. I’m not exagerrating, the first day he was gone I was asked by a server to grab waters for a table and I didn’t even know where they kept the glasses or the water for that matter. I’d never been taken on a tour of the place.
And at this point things we still going well.
While he was gone I was expected to do inventory and order the liquor/wine we’d need. No training. Nothing. Of course I fucked it up. Just in time for him to return and start the endless text messages. He loved to yell via text.
He once asked me why I hadn’t done something and followed it up with a reminder that that’s why they’d fired the previous manager. And what I’d done had absolutely NOTHING to do with why they’d fired her.
And this still isn’t the bad stuff.
So speaking of that other manager that they’d fired. On my first day I’m told that she has decided to come back and work a couple of weeks, picking up shifts until something better comes along. I probably don’t need to tell you that nothing better ever came along. After two weeks I was told to put her back on the schedule. And I’m assuming that when I left she was just moved ever so quietly back into her old position.
It didn’t actually take long to see that it was going to be a conflict of interest. Almost every time he had a question about something at the restaurant if he didn’t ask her first she was at least copied on the text. Any time someone needed reprimanding and I was told to do it via text she was copied. Every time I did something wrong like forget to close out the credit cards it went out as a “general” text although everyone knew it was directed at me. It also didn’t take long before he stopped asking me altogether and just went to her first. I mean she had worked there for eight years she knew the menu, the wine and how the place ran so of course she knew the answer. It did not do much for my disposition. When Adam finally convinced me that I needed to say something and at least make him realized I had a problem with what was going on he told me I’d be a fool not to use her to gain all the knowledge that I could. So much for things getting better.
He also liked to hide in the bushes across the street and watch the restaurant. I’d be standing on the patio and he’d text me to tell me that table 52 needed water. Or want to know why the candles weren’t lit yet. Or want to know why Frank was just standing there and not busing dishes. Or why table 73 waited so long to be greeted.
I really wish that I were exaggerating about all of this but I’m not.
It even gets better.
One afternoon he hid in the bushes across the street from the big department store up the street and videoed a kid who was supposed to be handing out menus to tourists. Instead of just going over and telling him to get to work he spent fifteen minutes behind a tree. I had the great fortune of having to watch all 15 minutes before we sat down with Jordan and told him that this was not good behavior. I also had to watch it again we had to prove to Jordan that he indeed had done what he was being accused of doing.
The staff hated when he was in the restaurant. They’d cringe. They’d beg me not to have to ask him to go get things that we needed because he’d end up spending a couple of hours there. And we were always having to get things because he refused to let me order enough to get us through the week. Three specialty drinks used Bacardi. We’d go through more than one bottle a week. But I was only ever allowed to order one because he hated having extra on hand. So on Saturday night at 7:00 I’d have to text him to tell him that we were out. Of rum. vodka. mint. bourbon. limes. beer. Ugh. It was insane.
Then of course there was his son. Beautiful beautiful son. He looked like Zac Efron and was very pretty and dumber than a rock. And of course because he was between his 11/12 grade years he needed a summer job. And so he was promoted to serving. He’d been a very horrible busser up to this point. And he perhaps is the worst server I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. Dumb. And. Lazy. The other servers hated when he was on because he only be given two tables because that’s all he could handle…barely and they’d have to pick up the slack. He wouldn’t do closing work. He wouldn’t help run food. He would stand at the computer and pretend to be ringing things in when he was actually just standing there. He also was allowed to void and comp things using his father’s computer code which drove everyone he worked with crazy. I finally just stopped scheduling him at night and told his father that I couldn’t with good conscience continue to do so.
And the owner hated half the staff. And once he decided he didn’t like you there was no swaying him. He had me fire two people because we were “overstaffed” and then the very next week advertised on Craigslist that he needed additional servers. He refused to hire when we needed it so when I left we had no hosts. The entire last two weeks I was scheduled I was hosting almost every shift.
I was barely hanging on by my teeth.
I went to work angry every day. I went home angry every day. I couldn’t turn my phone off because he texted constantly.
My last day there I started getting texts at 10:00. I wasn’t due to get there until 2:00
The only reason I didn’t reach through the phone and kill him was because I knew it was my last day.
He however did NOT know it was my last day.
I didn’t even work the shift.
I went in. Told him I was quitting and gave him the real reason why I was leaving (tomorrow’s post) handed him his keys and left.
And I stopped at McDonald’s and got a Diet Coke and all was well in the world again.