Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Cycle

Vomitus server (suspected food poisoning), calls establishment two-or-so-hours before her shift to make management aware that she is ill and pukey. The manager she speaks with tells her that if she plans to call out, she should know that they will require a Dr's note. Of course, she, like 85% of the staff, does not have health insurance; therefore, it's extremely expensive to run to the doc's every time you catch a bug (or food poisoning, in her case, which just needs to run its course).
Regardless, she shows up for her shift, pale, disgusting, projectile (not really, but close), yuck. Nary a manager spoke to her, asked her of her state, her feelings. Nothing. She was in a "front" section, which stays busiest, but she was willing to tough it out. Luckily, the night started out slow. She only had one table when her sickness caught her again, and she was off and running. She felt ashamed to go to the managers and tell them she was sick. This is the type of environment we're working with. All of us tip-toe on eggshells, and we don't feel like we can tell our superiors that we're feeling ill. I felt so bad for her...she was emotional, ill, and afraid that she was going to have to suffer all night, when all she wanted was bed.
Finally, I went to the MOD, who didn't really shrug at it, which annoyed me. Why aren't they sending her home?! I then said something to the other manager, who had a more urgent reaction. Finally something is going to be done about this. Even if they don't care about her, having a vomitus server is no good for the restaurant, either. Let her go home! Then, it comes out, the first manager I spoke with tells me that Pukey is supposed to close, so they would be short, and they "didn't feel like scrambling around to find another closer." Are you kidding me!? This is ridiculous. So, of course I say "I'll close." So what, I opened today, I can close, and open tomorrow--no big wup. Really, the only reason I told them I would close was because they wouldn't let her go home otherwise. After Sicky went home, I went around to the "singles" and asked if they could close for her. Two "rookies" stepped up and said they would close for the cause. Taking one for the team, right? It happens. I was so happy that they were so ready to help. It makes me feel good about the newer staff. :)

I brought my feelings up to the managers, like I always do, and they told me that it was stupid to talk about it considering everything was fixed. They're right, they do have a point; however, I'm talking about common courtesy. If someone is visibly ill, shouldn't the proof be in the...well, you know...?? Unbelievable.

Everything worked out fine, and it was relatively slow...It was so gorgeous outside today, I wouldn't want to sit in a restaurant either.

Open tomorrow.


Ex-Restaurant Manager said...

Apparently, you work for dicks. Or retards. Or both. Two different chains that I worked for gave seminars to all the managers about what can and cannot be demanded from employees.

Demanding a doctor's note is a no-no, unless that person calls out three days in a row. From what we were told, it's against the law in many states, and has led to many lawsuits. Sorry I don't have the particulars, but that's what I was told.

Then again, where I worked, we gave all employees a list of phone numbers of their peers. If they called out, they were responsible for covering their shifts. It's a very time consuming thing, and after all, they're not working, so they have time to make some phone calls. It worked about 50% of the time.

Manuel said...

What asses!

FoodServiceNinja said...

Never heard of it being illegal for asking an employee to document an illness and from many years of working with lazy shirking workers I dont mind being asked to proffer one but I also can go to a clinic for $45 and get drug samples worth over $45 every visit.

Usually what managers do in case of a shirker is have them show up even if they are late and confirm they are sick and vomitus.

But any manager with a brain cell left alive wants a puking staff member off premise for simple health code reasons, Its an obvious violation. Factor in if it turns out to not be food poisoning you could end up sickening your entire crew. And the damage to the business if it gets out you got customers ill is a whole different issue.

As to closers if your managers dont have the balls to ask for replacement closers or just reassign it to whomever is opening/closing the least for the week they need to get a job in another industry.

Anonymous said...

I would report management to the health department. I would not want to dine at a restaurant with an obviously ill server.