Sunday, September 28, 2008


Aside from having insane tables for the last few weeks, I've also been harboring this feeling like I'm being punished for something at ye ol' restaurant...
I only work 3 shifts a week now, because I have another part-time job, and I teach a writing course at the local community college. (My writing is much better when it's technical and not in ranting phase. I used to really edit my posts, but then I thought it took away from the artistic draw of the blog, which is a freestyle, get-it-out-before-I-explode, venting mechanism of sorts, which also has the potential of having a high entertainment value.)
Initially, when I brought this new availability to the schedule-writing manager, we discussed what shifts I'd like to work. I said, "If I ruled the world, I would love to work Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights." I knew I would, and I did, get a huge NO. Immediately following she says that those are "money" shifts, and it would be unfair to give me only those shifts, as they are the most sought after. Fine. Whatever. Then, Schedule Writing Manager tells me that she's in desperate need of servers for Monday night (mind you, this was 6 months ago--we're fully staffed now). I begrudgingly agreed, only because I figured that I would just pick up Friday nights. I was picking up Friday nights pretty frequently anyway, until I started teaching this teaching gig.
The class started at the end of August, and I figured I had plenty of time to plan. As I started getting into the curriculum, I was getting overwhelmed (I've never taught before--let alone at a college level), and I started freaking out. I tried to work it out until about two weeks ago, when I went to Schedule Writing Manger and mentioned that I was considering taking Monday night off my availability. I felt like I had no time in the day; between day work, night work, planning for a college-level writing course, and spending time with my family--I was swamped. Not to mention even considering the possibility of a social life. Besides, Monday nights are poop. They are a waste of my life, and since my class is on Wednesday, it seemed like a primary planning time opportunity. Having off Friday night is a tease. I have been staying home because it's my only night to plan.
Well, when I mentioned this option of removing Monday night (considering all the above), Schedule Writing Manager told me that I would have to approve it with GM because company policy states that 3 shifts is the requirement for working there. What a crock of bullshit, in my opinion.
I dropped it. I haven't said one word to the GM or any other manager. Well, last week, I was only scheduled 2 shifts and this week I'm only scheduled 2. I haven't said a word.
I am grateful; however, for the last month I have been scheduled in a 3-table section.
Nearly every shift. Even closing shifts.
After my second consecutive 3-table night, I started looking at the team sheets--hard. If I bitched too early, which I'm known to do, they would throw a number of things in my face.
1. I'm not a trainer. Trainer's are guaranteed 4-table sections (and the one new 5-table section).
2. I have late availability. I have late availability during the week because of my day job (I can't come in until 5, or the new 5:30 in-time); therefore, I'm scheduled in the back sections, and I guess they think that that makes a person a weaker server. I don't fucking know, but I know they'll try to shove it at me. They take jabs where they can.
3. I have limited availability. There are people who work over 40 hours a week (not too much over because they are pretty strict on that), and they wouldn't want to push them in a 3-table section when they put in a lot of time.
I have accepted their laws, and I take these 3 specific things into consideration when I look at the team sheet. There are a lot of rookies right now, and they are being thrown into 4-table sections before they're ready, and it's costing the restaurant money. I am a strong server--let's face it, we know who we are--we get shit done, without a hitch...usually. (There are always exceptions.) Yet, I'm in 3-table sections.
After the 3rd shift in a 3-table section, I said something to my Fav Manager (haha Fav Man...), and he fed me some line about the confusion with the sections changing. Granted, they have been changing from week to week...sometimes from day to day, but should that mean that it should be looked at with a closer eye? I don't know.
The schedule is written by Schedule Writing Manager, but on a daily basis the Manager on Duty is required to write the team sheets, make any necessary schedule changes, etc. When he/she does this, would it be so difficult as to analyze the servers scheduled, and place them accordingly? I don't understand.
This is why I'm feeling punished.
Yes, I've bitched.
Yes, I've made it known that I'm not extraordinarily happy with the way the restaurant is run.
Yes, I've been written up.
Yes, I've written a mock letter to the owner of the company that my GM found a threw away.
Yes, I've gotten into arguments with management.
Yes, I've worked over 40 hours a week.
Yes, I've run front sections successfully with zero promos.
Yes, I've had compliments from guests.
Yes, we all know, I've had complaints, but only a few.
Yes, I've worked open to close.
Yes, I've cleaned out the drains.
Yes, I've worked four doubles in a row.
Yes, I've done all of these things, regardless of any of the previous bitching, and right now, I feel like I'm being punished. Maybe it's because of my mock letter to the owner. Maybe it's because of my previous arguments. Maybe it's because they're trying to faze me out. Maybe I'm paranoid.
Even though I've been on the edge, there is a new wind right now. I'm not entirely sure it's my time to leave. There are a lot of new people, bringing new energy, and there are a lot of people who are leaving. I don't think I want to leave, unless I really have to, and now that I've been scheduled in shitty sections for the last month, it's beginning to affect my finances, so I'm feeling pressured.
Trying to go down to 2 shifts was an attempt for me to have more time to figure out the time management for my life. Now that I'm in week 6 of the course, I'm getting things down a little better. I'm adapting to the things I should prepare. I was just freaking out. I'm glad that I didn't go to the GM with it. For money purposes, I NEED to work 3 shifts a week, especially because I've been in 3-table sections.
I set up a meeting with the GM tomorrow, and I'm still not sure how to say what I want to say. Should I just sit down and ask him if I'm being punished, or should I just tell him...what? Does he really care? Does he expect me to put my 2 weeks in tomorrow because that's what they want. Okay, yes, I'm being paranoid, and, yes, I've written yet another insanely long post.
Thanks for readin' the rant, and I hope I didn't nauseate you with all the circles...

3-table section tomorrow night.


Anonymous said...

Part time servers are just as important as full time servers. Infact, part time servers are much easier to help fill out a schedule. I think you should ask your GM why the tables are not divided equally, unless of course the 3 table section has an 8 or 10 top in it. Don't the closers get a particular section to make them happier that they are closing? I think you should calmly ask, and do it in a way that you are not telling him how to run the restaurant. Good luck!

Ali said...

Cheers for the teaching gig. Crazy, intimidating, etc, but for my money, more fun than waitressing ;)

Best of luck getting stuff sorted out at the restaurant.

Anonymous said...

I hope that someone comes in that restaurant, winds up in your 3table section and gives you a $500.00 tip. Been there done that
I'm praying hard for you;and remember who ever gives you a bad time WILL REAP IT IN THE END! Merry Christmas to you and yours from the nashville gal!