I’ve been extremely aggravated since I saw next week’s schedule yesterday. The service manager asked me if I would work on Monday, as it’s a holiday and he feels the need to have more servers on the schedule. I agreed. I am an idiot who absolutely should have known better.
When I walked in to work the usual overstaffed Thursday lunch (I made a whopping $37 yesterday, which actually shattered what I had made last week by $20, so I guess I shouldn’t complain), my coworker pointed out that there are eight of us scheduled to work Monday lunch. Eight. They don’t schedule eight people on a Saturday or a Sunday lunch, EVER. They don’t schedule eight servers on most weeknights. When I agreed to work, I figured maybe there would be one or two extra servers. I wanted to throw something at the service manager’s head when I realized that there were eight of us on. Being a semi-reasonable person, I resisted the urge. It was difficult. I feel certain that I should have been given a sticker of some kind or, at the very least, a lollipop as a reward for my good behavior. I wasn’t.
I am getting so tired of this nonsense. I believe in being properly staffed. I hate being “in the weeds”. I hate giving bad service. I actually consider myself a professional. I actually act in a professional manner. So, why can’t I be treated like one? Why? Because we are slave labor. The company pays us a whopping hourly rate of $2.13. None of which a server ever sees. It all goes to taxes and whatnot.
We make our money in tips. In order to make a decent hourly wage, we need tables. I need to sell at least $125-$150/hour to make a decent hourly wage. Lunch checks average about $9/person. That means I need to wait on approximately 14 guests/hour to reach my goal. There is no way one-hundred and twelve customers are walking through the door on Labor Day every hour. No way. Even if I set up cones on the highway and detoured tour buses into the parking lot. Even if a molasses truck were to serendipitiously overturn and the only way to insure not being mired in its detritus was to go right past our front door. It still wouldn’t happen. NOT EVER!
We also need the attendant support staff. Enough folks busing our tables. Enough bartenders to make our drinks. Enough cooks to make our food. A dishwasher to wash the dishes. (The dishwasher thing NEVER happens; our company does not believe in scheduling dishwashers at lunch. The philosophy is that the managers or other kitchen staff will do that job. They don’t. It’s always a disaster. ALWAYS). I checked the kitchen schedule for Monday. There is one extra cook and, no surprise, no dishwasher. I asked how many managers would be gracing us with their presence and was told one. One manager who will undoubtedly be in the prep area doing whatever it is they supposedly do back there. I suspect it’s crack because we never have enough product prepared. EVER. Oh, and one extra host/busser and one bartender. For eight servers. Eight. So, we will, very likely, be cleaning our own tables and making our own drinks. Great! I’m really looking forward to it.
The irony that the holiday we are celebrating on Monday is Labor Day is not lost on me. Labor Day was created to celebrate the “social and economic achievements of the American worker”. I can guarantee you that I won’t be celebrating any economic achievements on Monday. If I’m lucky there will be someone on the schedule that I like to socialize with. (But I wouldn’t bet on it.) I’ve decided that, as a form of protest I’m going to, uncharacteristically, do $2.13 worth of work per hour.
No one may have noticed how I resisted throwing something at the service manager’s head, but they will definitely notice when I don’t do the work of three people. Definitely.