Don’t Cry, Don’t Cry

No food post about yesterday, because yesterday sucked. 😦

I worked from 12pm to 8pm, still had no rest and was feeling completely drained. My shift was going well though, I was connecting with all my tables, making good money, having a fine time.

Then, my manager pulled me aside. One of my coworkers wanted to switch shifts with me next week, and I agreed to take his closing shift in return for my shift. The manager said he didn’t want to make the switch because the last time I closed he “didn’t hear good things”, then went on to say that when I’m asked to do things I need to do them right away and not “lollygag as much”.

Needless to say, after that I felt like shit. The manager, who I’ll simply refer to as T is never particularly nice to me. Whenever I ask him for something he gives me a look like “what do you want” and whenever I ask him to do a simple thing like swipe his card to comp something I accidentally put into the computer wrong (a simple mistake, we all have them) he talks to me as if I’m a horrible employee. They always say that the managers are there to help us, that we should feel comfortable going to them… how am I supposed to feel comfortable when I’m always feeling belittled?

The last time I closed, the closing manager was D. D & T are best buds and kind of like overgrown frat boys. They like the sorority girls that work at the pub, they like the girls that they think are hot, and they like the guys. I don’t fit into those categories, so I’m basically just in their way.

When I closed on Tuesday, I clocked out at 1:25am, 25 minutes after closing. That’s pretty much on par with when I get out when I’m closing with someone else who’s helping me. I was all by myself doing everything and I think I did it as quick as I could. I did ask D to help me put the chairs up on all the tables in the restaurant, because that’s really tiresome work for one girl, I know a guy can do it in half the time. I also had several coworkers who assured me that one of the guys would help me with the chairs. However, D walked right past me and ignored me when I asked for help. Did I walk away and do another job, hoping that someone would do the chairs for me? No, I went and hoisted every single chair up onto the tables.

There was also another day that D asked me to wipe down the bird crap that had gotten on one of the windows when a bird got into the store. I kept putting it off because I had customers. Finally I was going to do it, but then I realized the stain was 10 ft off the ground. I told D I couldn’t do it, he told me to get on a chair and do it. My uniform at work is a miniskirt, and I just don’t feel comfortable getting on a chair in the restaurant and reaching up to clean the window, especially if I still have people at my tables. You could basically see up my skirt if I do that! I had the busser do it for me as a favor, and I stand by that.

Now I will admit that I am not the perfect employee. Last week I did something that I could have gotten fired for. It was stupid, and not reflective of my true character at all, and I regret it immensely. I can understand being upset with me for that, but this lollygagging sh*t is really just petty in my opinion.

When I was finally done with my shift, I went to check out with T. It’s really stressed to us at work that we need to get people to sign up to be part of the “VIP Club”, and they want to see X amount of VIP slips every shift. I get frustrated because people just don’t want to get hounded to sign up for e-mail lists. Yesterday I got 0 VIPs, and when T asked me how many VIPs I got and I said “none” he looked at me and said “What did you do all day?”

I’ll tell you what I did… I worked. I made connections with all my tables. I got to know them personally, and made them feel like they knew me. I made them want to come back again and have another great experience. I can tell you something interesting about every single one of my tables yesterday.

  • One guy was a organic chemistry professor who likes to teach chemistry in a logical way, as opposed to teaching it in a way that stresses memorization.
  • Another gentleman was an engineering professor who has been working on a text book for 2 years.
  • I met a junior Civil Engineering major, going to his last English class of winter semester. They were doing presentations, he’d already done his.
  • I met another girl who was heading from the bar to the library to study for her two finals the next day.

The list goes on. Did I get VIPs yesterday? No. But do any of the other servers get to know their customers so well? I doubt it.

I was super frustrated and upset but I made a point to not let it show at work. I kept telling myself “Don’t cry, don’t cry”. On the way home, as I went over the shift in my head, I started to get emotional. When I got into the apartment a few tears started to form in my eyes.

Then I turned on my laptop and I saw my desktop photo:

This picture reminds me of a photo that we have at home of my dad and I when I was really little. We’re walking together, holding hands. But when you look really close, I actually have my entire fist wrapped around his index finger.

I saw that picture, and I started hysterically crying. It hit me, oh my god my dad’s really gone. He can’t comfort me right now, he can’t tell me it’s all going to be OK, he’s gone and he’ll never be back.

I cried and cried and cried. I cried for about an hour straight, then I had bouts of tears periodically throughout the rest of the night. When it hits you that a loved one is gone, it hits really hard. Harder than you can imagine, deeper than any pain you’ve ever felt before.

I didn’t fall asleep until after 3:30am, and I kept waking up with violent coughs.

I woke up feeling miserable, and I have to go back to work again tonight. I just don’t want to go. I’m seriously dreading it.

Due to the big blizzard about to hit the east coast (estimates of 12-24″ for us) I doubt there will be much business tonight. Hopefully I’ll have a short, uneventful shift. I’m also supposed to open at 9:30am tomorrow. I’m praying that we get enough snow by morning that I don’t have to go in. I can’t think of anything worse than walking across town in a snow storm to work for people that make you feel like crap.

Wish me lots of luck and lots of snow. I need both.

Michelle

P.S. I’m trying to decide on whether or not I want to talk to T tonight and tell him how I feel like he’s always belittling me. What do you guys think? Stand up for myself or stay quiet and hope it gets better on its own? I feel like my only chance at a better relationship with him is if I make him see how he makes me feel. Otherwise, he’ll just keep being a jerk.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Don’t Cry, Don’t Cry

  1. Amber

    I would say to talk to him. I worked in a restaurant over the summer once and it was miserable. It was a completely sexist environment with male managers trying to ‘lord’ their positions over you. It was obvious that they had control issues. I chose to not get involved with the restaurant politics (sleeping with the managers) as many of the girls did and I suffered for it. Eventually I was given worse and worse shifts until I said this is bullsh*t and not worth the money. It was a highly stressful environment and it takes a toll on people who work hard in everything they do. Your not judged on your work ethic or ability in many restaurant environment but more on how much the managers like you, how much your willing to ‘sell’ yourself, etc. It’s not like this in all restaurants/lounges, only the ones that are based on selling sex with a side of fries. Many places are super professional and you don’t have to deal with that crap.

    I would say talk to him but start looking for alternative employment. A person can’t take that negativity for long before it starts affecting your psyche.

  2. eaternotarunner

    I would say try to talk to him in the most diplomatic way possible. I am so sorry though, I hope you get 5 feet of snow just so you can relax and feel better!!

  3. Gwen

    Sucky bosses are just a fact of life that each and every one of us has to deal with. If you’re feeling as if you’re being treated unfairly – my advice is that you tell him but don’t be super sensitive about it. You have to be firm and tell him you won’t let him make you feel bad. If he gives you an attitude or makes you feel like shit again, up and leave because you don’t need to stay at a job where your boss isn’t going to listen. I’ve had 3 horrible bosses before I found one who was a really good guy (my current boss). Just remember to be firm and don’t take shit. its empowering lol.

    I think about your pops all the time and how you and Matt and your mom are dealing. I’m obviously there for Matt and I try to hang out at your place when I have the time because I don’t like that your mom is by herself most of the time (school hasn’t given me much time lately), but you can call if you feel like crying or just talking to someone to resolve something or just to chit chat to distract yourself –or IM me or text me and I’ll call or come online.

    I feel like when it comes to how you deal – You don’t have very thick skin and that you let things break you way too easy- learning to take the hits that life gives and deal with them like a man is pretty much the only reason I’m alive right now because of all the things I dealt with and Matt and I have always tried to impress that upon you. But losing your father is one of those things where its really OK to feel like shit for a long long time. It always hits you when you don’t expect it. I know it gets Matt when we’re just sitting quietly watching TV or something. You and I are probably going to end up being sister-in-laws someday so really shell, I’m here — just call. I’ve dealt with a lot of crap for my short 22 years of life and I’m great for advice giving and also just for listening. You know where to find me if you need me.

    -Gwen

  4. Hey Michelle. This post, and the comments left on it, really resonated with me. The fact is — we all deal with stress and a-holes differently. Some of us have developed “tough skin” — but what does that mean, really? That we’ve become talented at repression, at building a cold exterior? that we’re really limited in our experiences with people? On the flip side, it helps in day-to-day recurring situations with difficult people not to take them seriously and not to take their shit personally. Alternately, “breaking” too easily has it’s pros and cons. As someone who breaks easy herself, I find that my “oversensitivity” is also what fuels my creative pursuits and allows me to access people in a way that is unique. It also means I’m often left emotionally exhausted. I’m totally off topic, but i think my point is, Michelle, that I encourage you to continue to seek and work on a way of coping in this world that suits YOU. I would recommend talking to your boss and agree with one of the above comments that you should be firm and stern. The thing with refining how you want to see and react in the world is also refining the best strategies to deal with people who see and react in the world in a completely different way. All i can say is i really relate to you and wish i could offer more comfort.

  5. katyainsf

    Ok seriously–you need to QUIT that job. I was in that situation last year when my manager singled me out, was constantly mean, threatening to fire me even though I gave the dumb restaurant 110% at every shift and people liked me. I told myself “I can’t quit cause what if I don’t find another job? Plus I’m afraid of confrontation.” But really–what are they gonna do, kill you if you quit? And you WILL find another job, one where there’s going to be a lot less psychological stress headed your way. Trust me on this–been there, done that and now that I’m outta that hell-hole, couldn’t be happier!
    🙂
    Oh and I’m happy I found your blog! Check mine out if you have time too. Have an amazing day love! Think about what I said..
    xox..
    Katya

  6. Emily

    I second that you should consider quitting. I just found your blog today and have been poking around, and you really don’t need that kind of abusive stress in your life right now. I’ve worked in a bunch of restaurants and only had problems with management once, but it was horrible, and I was really young (20 or so) so didn’t know how to handle myself very well. Just know that you never deserve an abusive boss, and if you can find a job elsewhere, do. Or monetize your blog!

  7. Gwen

    In response to the person below my comment who said: “Some of us have developed “tough skin” — but what does that mean, really?”

    Tough skin means that when hardship comes your way you are a fighter and you fight through with mental and physical toughness – not letting it take over your life and determine your every move. Tough skin means getting depression or even a physical disease and saying “F that noise, I can beat this” no matter how every cell in your body is screaming otherwise. I’ve been there and I can promise its the reason I can survive anything that gets thrown at me. It means being tough and being in proper perspective and realizing that just because feels like the end of the world…it never actually is. Tough skin does not mean pretending nothing is wrong, just that you let things roll of your shoulders so you can move on with your life instead of obsessing over your problems. I said the tough skin thing to Michelle because I know her in real life not on the blog so I’ve seen what she’s dealing with and I’ve been through psychotic depression that lead to extreme physical sickness and I beat it with mental toughness — her brother and I always tried to impress the need for mental toughness to her because we have both been there. Hope I clarified.

    Rant over. Gwen out.

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