Yeah, I’ve got more than a few stories to tell. I spent a lot of time around restaurants through college. I believe I worked most every position that someone can in restaurants. I eventually ended up managing at a few restaurants. The expected 80 hour work weeks for a restaurant manager notwithstanding, some things definitely fell under the “I do not like this job” category.
I was managing a restaurant in Wilmington NC for a local chain – we’ll leave the name off for legal reasons MUCH as I would like to mention it – they seem to be a little on the litigation-happy side.
One of the front counter girls – I think her name was Crystal – was a little country girl. She was real friendly, got along great with the normal blue collar crowd that piled in at lunch time, was a great worker. Granted she wouldn’t have been an ideal hostess person for the Angus Barn in Raleigh or anything, but she was a great fit for that restaurant and customer-base. She was very helpful and always did what she was asked without question. Great employee.
One morning about 1 am, I got a phone call from her amazingly. She was at the police station – of course, that’s NEVER a good thing to hear. But she was there NOT for being arrested for anything, but because her boyfriend, who had always been a little suspect, had beat her up. She was at the police station giving her statement or whatever they take there when something like that occurs. I told her how sorry I was for her and take a deep breath and all that. She was very shaken – I could hear that in her voice.
To make it worse, for whatever reason – it actually eludes me now – she was now without a place to live. The trailer in which she lived was owned by the boyfriend’s mother if memory is even close, and she was now out. I guess that is about par for domestic abuse – even if it wasn’t her fault. Felt bad for the girl. Told her it would be fine. Why did she call me at 1 am? Because she was cocerned about getting someone to cover her shift at 9 am. Now THAT is the kind of employee ANY restaurant manager (or any other manager actually) wants.
Longish story short – she didn’t make the shift as expected and we could not find a replacement for her. It was fine – it certainly wasn’t the first time we’d operated short, though it was the LAST time *I* operated short staffed at a restaurant. The president of the company happened to call that day and I told him what had happened – mistake.
I was directed to fire her because she missed her shift. I refused to fire her. Made my case to deaf ears. Of course, the president and I never particularly got along well anyway. Two days later, I found the district manager waiting for me when I got to the store. And I was fired.
That was the last of my days in the restaurant business. That was probably a great thing for me. 80 hour weeks take a toll on someone – particularly in that kind of business. I’ll be back here – there were a lot more underhanded antics by that particular management team – in particular that president/owner. I do hope karma gets a chance to come around on him.