Saturday, February 19, 2011
I've Been Robbed
I feel like a big chunk of my heart was ripped out of my chest. I'm empty. I no longer have a cushion to land on. It was yanked away from me. Now I'm gonna fall hard on my ass. And to think, all I had to do was go to the website before 6 PM Friday night. But did I do it? No. I was 35 minutes late.
What I'm talking about is my unemployment insurance I file every Sunday. Since I forgot to file this Sunday I thought I would wait until Thursday when I got my check so I could file the exact amount of money I made instead of guesstimating. But not that I needed the unemployment money or anything. It was just nice to know that I had a cushion to land on just in case my hours dropped below a certain amount at work then I'd have "insurance" money coming in to cover my loss. But now, I have nothing. My fault.
Well, it all started in late May at the restaurant. I was new to the world of waitressing and muti-tasking wasn't exactly my strongest point when I had 6+ tables in my section on a busy lunch or dinner rush. My customer service skills were outstanding! But when it came to remembering that table 40 needed a void from their bill because of this that and the other and management was the only one authorized to void it, table 41 wanted a Chocolate egg cream and I kept forgetting the difference between Chocolate egg cream and a Chocolate Phosphate because I'm not from New York nor am I a baby boomer so naturally I could never remember the difference between the two, I deliver table 42's order but they wanna debate and convince me they ordered differently when I have their order written down exactly the way they told me and now I have to go out of my way to have the order "corrected" , table 43 order came out wrong so now I have to go back to the kitchen and yell at the cooks for fuckin' up my order, table 44 wants a desert with an extra plate and the deli refuses to make it for me even though its their job to make it, table 45 gives me a $100 bill on a $15.67 check and needs change, table 46 wants to give me their entire life story and is taking precious time away from my other tables, table 45 wants a extra lean Corned beef sandwich on toasted rye, no cheese with mustard on the side with onion strings but keeps sending it back because the Corned beef wasn't "lean enough", the toast wasn't "toasted enough", and their onion strings weren't burnt to a crisp like they prefer it to be, table 46 wants a matzo ball soup with no veggies, so now I have to sift through the broth to get out the veggie chunks, table 47 is a four top and they all want separate checks and three of them are paying with cash, and I'm all out of small bills so now I have to run to the deli to break the $100 dollar bill plus the other three $20 dollar bills and figure out who all gets what, then you can only imagine how it feels to be a newbie in that environment. It gets overwhelming and you start forgetting things. Next thing you know you're "in the woods" and there's no one there to help because everyone else is busy too. Management is outside smoking a cigarette somewhere or just in hiding period, so you're waisting time looking for his lazy ass only to find him in the deli socializing with the bagel boy when they should be on the floor touching tables and helping you out and getting the Void for table 40. I had my good days and I had my bad days, but as my luck would have it, I had more bad days than good. Whoo! I'm gettin' all stressed out just thinking about this.
Management brought me into the office at the end of June without allowing me clock in, mind you. I had just came back from my two day vacation and it was the day after I just purchased my 2006 Nissan Altima. They told me I was doing x, y, and z wrong but did nothing to help me to fix my errors. Hell! I didn't even know I was doing so bad. Well actually I was doing good. I just had one bad week because I was going through some drama with Kent and it effected my work terribly. I thought I was getting a write up. No big deal. But nope. They took it a step further. They made me sign a piece of paper acknowledging my termination. I wrote how the termination was bullshit because they didn't make me aware of my errors nor did anything to help me correct them and is just skipping ahead by terminating me. I argued with the two dummies that was in the office and I was off to other restaurants to fill out applications. About two hours into my job search, I got a call from their Scottsdale location. The manager over there was one of the hiring managers for the new Chandler location. She left me a voicemail telling me about how she heard about my firing and how she wanted to transfer me in. I was so psyched that my two hour unemployment was over. I was ready to get back to work!
I was at the new location, everything was going well, I'm getting retrained by one of the veterans, and then about three weeks after my retraining or so the horrible "in the weeds" cycle started again. I lasted there until the end of August. So I ended up working for the company a total of four months. This horrendous firing started in the middle of my shift after the lunch rush. The manager told me I was doing x, y, and z wrong over x amount of time but they never stepped in to tell me that I needed to improve on nor were they helping me to correct them just like the Chandler location did me. Management at that company was horrible. Let's hypothetically call this restaurant Chompie's. Let me say it again. Management was horr-ible! I figured that part out early on when I was training at their Tempe location in April. I always intended on quitting early on, but the money was so good. I got addicted to it. I had an extra $800.00 a month after paying all my bills. I was ballin'! But I was smart and I saved what I didn't need to spend. Anyhoos, The manager at the Scottsdale location told me how good my work ethics were, how he would give me a good word if I listed them as my reference, and concluded with "things aren't working out..." and terminated me. That was a new low. I never got terminated from the same company twice. That's like an all time high (or low. I don't know which context to use) So yes! I qualified for unemployment insurance. I did nothing intentional to get fired.
Don't get me wrong. I was good at what I did. It was just that they would give us so many tables at once. Eight tables during a lunch or dinner rush was humanly impossible. Four tables during a rush is more reasonable. Eight tables during the slowest time made more sense. I'd rather work for a chain restaurant where employees are only limited three or four tables at a time. Workin' for that family owned restaurant was like stepping into another dimension. Management was like mom and dad. They both were in charge and they never communicated with each other. There were too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Too many chefs and not enough cooks. Ok. Enough with the metaphors. You get the idea.
I just wanna bring this little tid bit up. I was the only black female that worked in that Jewish/New York style establishment. The other was a black male. He worked at the Scottsdale location before transferring to the Chandler location. Everyone loved him! Once I transferred to the Scottsdale location everything changed. I at all times felt like an outcast. I'm a very likable person. I'm random. I say silly things with out ever realizing it after saying it because I'm always myself. I'm quaky, I laugh at myself, I'm playful, and I like that about me, but they for some reason or another refused warm up to me and befriend me. You could only imagine how that made me feel on a daily basis. The outcastness (I know that's not a word. I just felt enticed to use it) didn't just stay at work. It followed me home everyday. Even on my off days. I was so effected by this that I became anti-social. This job depressed every single strand of me. I never wanted to go into work. But I needed the money. I didn't have a choice but to go.
This has nothing to do with the story, but I just wanted to bring this up. I once had a customer call himself schooling me on Judaism. He said, "If you knew more about the Jews you'd get bigger tips." Excuse you? I have to know about the Jews just so I could work my tips? Sorry, guy. You have it all wrong. The only thing I need to know is how to woo my customers and I was already good at that. I gave the old dude a fake smile, told him thanks, and asked him if he needed extra lemons. I don't need anyone telling me what I need to know in order to get bigger tips. My tips were good! No thanks, guy. I believe in Jesus.
Oh wait! What was I talkin' about again? Oh yea. I was robbed.