Crazy Coworkers: Smoke Break
From this_is_balls, TalesFromRetail
One of my first jobs was at a fast casual restaurant. Our standard staff consisted of 2 people preparing food, and 3 people serving food / cashiering. Since I was a minor at the time, I wasn't legally allowed to prepare the food (safety issues).
One day we get a huge dinner rush, probably around 30 people in a restaurant that seats 20 at most. At that point there was only one woman (preparing food) and myself (serving / cashiering). I went to the back to grab my coworkers to help me, but no one was there. I look in all the back of house spaces, the seating area, and even the front parking lot. No dice. There should be 5-6 people working, but only 2 seem to be here.
So I head back to the counter and do my damnedest to serve everyone, but there are just way too many people for 1 person to serve, and more keep coming in.
And then about ten customers in, my coworker, who was preparing the food, drops what she's doing and says "I can't deal with this right now." She then goes to the back room and just sits there. When I go back to tell her I still need help, she says nothing. She flat out ignores me. So I'm on my own now.
So now I'm doing everything. Slicing up the food (which I wasn't technically allowed to do), taking orders, serving food, ringing people up. With about 15 people left in line, I run out of prepared food. I have no idea how to use the appliances to prepare more food (wasn't trained to use them), and even if I did, I'm not legally allowed to. My coworker still refuses to help me, and the rest of the staff is still MIA.
I have no choice. I tell the customers that I can't prepare the food myself and that there's no one else here to help me, so I can't serve them. They're reasonably upset, but for the most part they didn't blame me personally. They leave.
I go back to tell my coworker what happened, and then she decides that, since the rush is over, she can start doing her job again.
The rest of the staff shuffles in a half hour later with bloodshot eyes. THEY WERE BEHIND THE RESTAURANT SMOKING WEED WHILE I WAS WORKING LIKE CRAZY TO COVER THEIR SORRY ASSES.
Needless to say I didn't come back to work there the following summer.
At 16 years old, I was still in the "don't be a tattletale" mindset, even when I got dicked over. If I could go back, I'd do it in a second.