I have probably written dozens of “TGIF” posts since I started, maybe more. Well, TGIF!! At least it is for me. The holiday season really seems to take it out of me, and this year is no different. Most years having to work Christmas is a real big pain in the ass, but one I can deal with. In the past I have always had an extremely experience staff. At my last store I had something like 250 combined years of experience. I could leave the store at 3PM on Christmas day, and although I always came back that evening between 6 and 9PM, it was more of a morale thing, I just sort of hung out. This year will be different though. I will be lucky if I get to leave the store at all, and chances are I am going to end up working my ass off from the time that I get up until after midnight.
I think that maybe I will start going through old phone lists today and try to call some of the people that have worked for me in the past, that maybe aren’t working for us anymore, see if they need a holiday job or something.
The last week has really just sucked. I have a few people that just don’t “get it” and don’t understand how I get paid. My profits are sucking right now, so of course I am taking a lock of flak from above, but I’m not making any money either. After six weeks of harping on Food Cost you would think they would know how serious I am. Apparently not, so over the last few days I have fired three people, but three more down to one day a week, and even had two of my second shift associates escorted off the property by the police.
That was a real fun one. At heart I just want everyone to get along and do their job. I prefer to leave people alone to get their job done, and I will just pay them. It hurts every time that I have to fire someone, which is why I rarely did it at my old store.
I went outside to have a smoke Saturday afternoon about five minutes before drawer change and what comes out of the van of one of my employees? The 26 year old waitress who owns the van, my 16 year old cook, and a bunch of smoke. It was like a fucking Cheech and Chong movie. When they walked up, their eyes were red as hell and partially closed, and they reeked. They must think I am fucking stupid or something. I went back in, called a couple of replacements in, and then called the law. It took the Temple Police 55 minutes before they showed up, so I went ahead with shift change just like normal, and when the cop pulled up, took the two employees outside and told them “this guy wants to talk to you”. Damn, they were shocked as hell, and probably scared to boot. He was not particularly interested in busting someone for smoking pot, which is just fine by me. He wrote criminal trespassing warrants, made them sign, and had them leave the property.
About an hour later, the guys mother called and let me know that she had bought a drug test and he had passed, so she was going to contact the corporate office as well as the labor board. Whatever. Even if he wasn’t smoking, he was aware that the other employee was and that it is a violation of our company policy to be doing that on the property, so it doesn’t matter. The labor board doesn’t bother me, as Georgia is a hire/fire at will state, and unless things have changed, you can’t collect unemployment unless you have worked for six months.
The other will be a pain in the ass. It certainly won’t be the first time that I have been investigated by our legal or HR department, and I doubt like hell it be will the last. When you do things the right way and try to take care of your employees, someone is always taking offense to the way things are done. About the only thing that I have never been investigated for is Sexual Harassment, and I don’t give anyone a chance to accuse me of that one. Anything else is fair game, because people will make things up to fit what they thought was done to them. Luckily they were both white, so no one can accuse me of racial discrimination, like the guy I fire LAST week.
I don’t guess I talked too much about that one. This guy worked his ass off. He really did. He cleaned all night, and didn’t stop working until he got off the clock. In general anyone would love to have him, except for the fact that he was trying to feed his family for free, eating items that we are supposed to pay for, and making the waitresses cook all night so that he could clean. He refused to follow our system of cooking and at least one time told a customer he couldn’t cook their food because he was busy. I have another guy that he is friends with that works for me, except that this one is lazy as hell, so doesn’t even have the redeeming qualities of the one I fired. Since this other guy seems pretty honest, but just can’t get it yet, I haven’t fired him yet. That and the fact that he and his buddy that I did fire have accused me of being a racist. I just cut him to four hours a week and am waiting for him to quit instead.
Damn, this is going to be a long couple of months. If I can make it through the whole thing without calling someone something I will regret I will be doing pretty fucking good. I think it’s time for me to retire, if I only could.