So I went back into fast food (not proud of it, but the factory thing just didn't work out. I had a massive mental breakdown and had to actually be admitted to the hospital it was so bad because I was apparently a risk to my own physical safety/wellbeing). But that's in the past and I'm good now.
I work nights (11-7) at the "Great Canadian Coffee Store". My store happens to be right in the middle of one of the industrial (factory) areas in my city. As such, ALL the factory workers working nights who want their caffeine fix come to us. It's busy, it's hectic, but it makes the time go by fast. Plus we have regular customers over nights that I LOVE to see. I know their orders by memory and have an idea as to when they come in during the night so I regularly have their drink ready for them when they come in, and it gets me kick ass tips (been there just over a month, and not including the various food items and bus fare I've spent money on, I've made over $50). I love this job actually. Never thought I'd go back to fast food and enjoy it. Especially not after the fiasco that was going back to Harvey's.
Anyway, so we have a day shift (start time between 5-7 am, and ending 8 hours after start time) an afternoon shift (starting anywhere between 2-4pm and ending at 11) and nights (11-7). Day shift has roughly 10 people on it usually. (3-4 on drivethru - order taker, coffee, window and sometimes runner, a person on sandwich counter, and 4 people on store front manning 2 registers) And various production people in the back. When things get slow some of the extras start doing chores (cleaning bathrooms, doing dishes, sweeping the parking lot, emptying garbages etc.). Afternoons is a few less people, but still a decent number of people. Night shift however we have a grand spanking total of 3 people, sometimes 4. 1 production worker, one store front worker, and one drivethru worker. The two people on storefront both wear a headset that way breaks are easily covered AND if drivethru gets a huge rush storefront can come to the rescue (cue superman music or something). But we are bare bones. It's insane. We are also expected to get a butt load of chores done during our shift including: clean/stock sandwich counter, sweep/mop lobby, clean down all tables, clean all washrooms, clean front display where donuts are kept, stock all cups, stock 3 fridges, stock all paper bags and a bunch of other random things.
Thursday nights is busy as fuck. We have all the night shift guys who are EXHAUSTED after a full week just like everyone else who gets to their last shift of the week and are all beat. Plus the university bar hoppers who want a coffee plus just random people who are taking a long weekend to go to the cottage or something and want a coffee for the road. We were shit stormed and it wasn't even funny. I was worked off my feet, so was my partner, I have a serious cold and regularly lose my voice to literally nothing, my partner up front has had a heart attack fairly recently and started feeling very unwell, her -LEFT- arm went tingly, and weak and she was not doing well, and it just wasn't good. So at 5am when the first set of day shift came in it was like heaven. We had done NONE of the chores because we literally had no time to do them. I was pissed.
At 5 am we started frantically trying to get shit done, but it just wasn't happening. We were even more busy because we have the final waves of night shift people coming in, and then a bunch of the early day shift people coming in. It's just ugly.
Cue the day shift manager coming in. It's not pretty. I already know I'm getting yelled at for the lack of chores getting done. I'm pissed, I'm stressed, and I just want to find a dark corner to curl up in and cry.
We frantically try and get as much done as possible. Picking and choosing what needs to get done right away that would otherwise affect customer experience. So cups/lids needed to be stocked, fridges should be stocked at least with the 1L white milks that we use for coffee/tea in the drinks instead of cream if requested, and stocking/cleaning the sandwich station. It's all frantic and half-assed so nothing is beautiful. It's annoying but we've had to do it before out of desperation.
End of my shift rolls around and as I'm putting on my jacket day shift manager comes up to me and asks me not to go anywhere. She rounds up everyone on my shift (we are all in different levels of packing up and punching out and leaving.) and pulls us into the office. We all get reamed for not getting shit done, and okay ya fine whatever. Nothing got done, it's annoying and I can understand being pissed, but now she's saying if it happens again on Monday morning the person in charge of that chore will get a write up and she will go to the owners about this problem.
The part I haven't even gotten to yet is this: Afternoons regularly leaves before 11pm, the second they see myself and my night shift coworker they scatter, regularly leaving a person waiting at the drivethru speaker and sometimes even at the window!!!
ARG!#$%*&!$%*!&#$!&@#$. They do NO stocking of cups, or the fridges or the paper products. I have regularly come into work and the front fridges are pretty much empty.
So now I have to do two shifts worth of stock up, they rarely do any cleaning of the lobby, so that's two shifts worth of grime to clean up. And they never stock the big fridge with new pop/juice for holding before being brought up to the front service fridges. Everytime that crap happens it's more work for myself and my coworker over night, plus my own work and cleaning, and then the blame gets put on our shift because day shift supervisors/managers never see the mess that afternoons leaves us with. It's disgusting and I'm getting pissed off that I'm taking the blame and the fall for what another shift is doing. It's not fair to myself or my shift that we always have to do two shifts worth of work and catch up when afternoons literally has like 3 times the number of people that we do. It's disgusting how little work they do.
I guess that's it for now, I should probably think up a new name for myself since beautifulburgerthing is no longer applicable since I left there, but I'll save that for another time when I can think clearly and am not in the fog of cold and flu drugs and sleep deprivation and just the general anger that was the end of my shift today.
Two months later, I'm still wondering whether I was justified or just being a bag at the Golden Arches drive thru.
I always try to be clear and loud enough at the drive thru because I don't know how well their headsets work. I worked at a coffee place and the headsets BLEW, so it was especially irritating when people were too quiet or too fast. So I try to be mindful of that. It was about midnight after a looooong day, and I ordered a couple of meals for me and my boyfriend, and this was the exchange.
Slave: "Hi, welcome to the Golden Arches, etc"
Me: "Hi, can I get a Chicken meal with a Coke, two crispy ranch wraps with a small coke, and a Chicken sandwich by itself please?"
Slave: "Eh... sorry, Jr. Chicken?"
Me: "Uh... no, sorry, *repeat order*"
Slave: "Oh... ok... your total is x.xx, first window."
I should mention at this point the dude barely spoke English. As long as people can speak English properly, I could care less who takes my order. Even a ridiculously heavy accent is fine as long as we understand each other. But this dude obviously didn't understand.
I pull around and they hand me one small bag and a large Coke. Or something like that, but definitely not what I ordered. The bag has an apple pie and I think fries in it.
I say "Sorry, this isn't what I ordered."
Another non-English speaking guy says "Sorry, you order what?"
So I repeat my order again. He flips through his screen and says "Oh, ok, yeah, sorry, wait please."
So I wait. He comes back about 10 minutes later empty handed and says "Ok, sorry, Jr. Chicken and what?" while getting ready to punch it into the menu.
They lost my order somewhere along the line, or never punched it in, or something. And after the third time, they STILL don't get what I'm saying. At this point I was just tired and wanted food and to go home. I said "Nevermind" and drove away. Then I went to Burger Khan.
On a lighter note, the #9 I ended up getting from the Burger Khan was delicious.
Sorry about long-windedness, but RHU, was I a crusty?
I just received a hair-raising tale from Melpomene about a coworker who was called faggot by a custy.
I can't tell you how many times at how many jobs in my life I've been called faggot. I didn't have the retail balls to key the car that said that to me when I worked at the Drive-In or do something bad to the food for some asshole in the Long John Silvers Drive-thru - (little known fact: I worked there for several months in high school and hated every minute!) I went on to movie theaters next and they were a lot of fun but the angry-custy-fag calling came with it. And even when I got to all the department stores I was called fag so many times I don't have enough fingers or toes to count them all. It wasn't unusual to be called that within seconds at The Big Fancy if I happen to be refusing a known Nasty Ass Thief! I'm sure Queer Geek can relate! And any other gay man that has worked in a department store. Or served food at a restaurant. Or cashiered in grocery store. Or took calls at a Call Center. The list goes on.
In my new book Return To The Big Fancy - the sequel to Retail Hell - there is a chapter called Night of a Thousand N.A.T.s and it takes place days before Halloween. Unfortunately for me, Halloween comes early one Friday night at The Big Fancy as my coworker Jeremy (a Ryan Seacrest/Mario Lopez metrosexual type everyone thinks is gay) and I are swarmed by one NAT after another. Towards the end of the nasty infestation comes an extremely ugly homophobic scene with quite a mouthy NAT. While written in my snarky satirical way, there is nothing funny about about the entitlement, verbal abuse and bullying from any of those custys. They treated me like a subhuman and I, nor anyone else that works in service, should have to be subjected to that by ANYONE. I had a friend who was attacked while working in a high end department store in the middle of the afternoon. She was groped and fondled and pinned against racks by a drunk. Thank God for cameras or the douchebag would have gotten away with it and the store acted horribly when it happened.
And the sad part of all this abuse that SO MANY OF YOU have experienced yourselves and written about it here on RHU, is that it's happening more and more frequently. While I will be talking about this a lot in the coming months in relation to Return to The Big Fancy, a solution I will always be an advocate of is speaking up. If you don't want to approach Crazy Custy Bitch with a cannibalistic look in her eyes, talk to management after it's over. Don't ever assume while you are walking out the door that the person you just saw get shit all over by some horrible custy will not get fired or reprimanded when they didn't deserve it. Go to the Store Manager, Corporation, or Owner and let them know what really happened.
As in the story you are about to read, I had many good custys come to my aid when I was being abused by a customer. So here is the story about the Fitting Room attendant named Favorite. When I read it, it hit me where I lived. And the part about having to be apologetic for tone and actually continue helping someone who was verbally abusive to me was all too real.
"Can you stay in here for a minute?"
As soon as my favorite fitting room worker murmured that when I went to check on them, I knew something must have happened and he was expecting worse.
So of course, I agreed to stay.
The next I hear is him saying "There is a queue, I'm going to have to ask you to wait", so I decided to move closer to the desk to support him, but before I can get rid of the armful of folded jeans I'm holding, I hear him again:
"Will you WAIT? I told you there's a queue!"
Now Favorite doesn't lose his temper often, he's a very polite and soft spoken guy, and he's always professional. For him to snap that at a customer means something.
So I instantly drop the jeans (everywhere) and go out to tell him to get off the floor and calm down. Too late. He's upset Bitch, and she kicks off. Shouting and swearing 'how dare you speak to me like that', screaming she'll have him fired, and telling everyone within a 30mile radius that if he was one of her kids she'd have thumped him.
Obviously past the point of no return, Favorite calmly said "Go on then" before I managed to push him out of the fitting rooms, through the throng of people waiting to get in, and call to another staff member to get onto the desk while I also tried to help a couple of customers.
Bitch stormed off screaming about how she was going to get a manager and have Favorite fired (apparently I'm not a good enough choice to bitch at). I started to go after Favorite, but a couple of other customers grabbed me first.
They went on to tell me that on the way in to the fitting rooms Bitch and her daughter were pushing and shoving everyone, trying to barge past Favorite, and yelling that they "shouldn't have to fucking wait in fucking line" (I'm sorry, at what point did Primevil become a hot celebrity spot? It's cheap high street, and everyone shopping there is equal to everyone else there). In addition to generally being entitled, arrogant and aggressive bitches, I was informed that these two skanks, having twatted around and refused to take the fitting room tag (upon which point Favorite, somewhat exasperated, apparently told them to "just take the tag, and go in"), both shoved past him making bitchy comments. I am not sure if Favorite heard what the other customers heard, but I think it unlikely that he'd miss it as they barged past him.
When I was told what was said I was so angry I was shaking with rage, and nearly sick.
"How dare he tell us what to do? Fucking faggot."
Unfortunately, by the time I found Bitch and the manager she was complaining to, Favorite was apologizing to her for having snapped at her. He chose his words very carefully, apologizing for the fact that she was offended by the way he snapped at her (he's a much stronger person than I am).
I did let the manager know exactly what I'd been told, and she's not taking it any further. We both let Favorite know we felt he was in the right, and I have told him if Bitch ever comes in the store again, he should leave the floor and call myself and security. I will make sure she is removed from the store.
So, all in all an eventful five minutes. A homophobic bitch threatened and verbally abused one of my staff (having jumped to the misconception that he's gay), and he ended up apologizing to her.
There is so much wrong with that.