One of the things that I was so upset about when I got home was the fact that due to my high food cost that I just can’t seem to get down lately I have to go in for drawer change every night. Those of you who have done anything in the restaurant business know what I am talking about.

The reason I dislike it so much is that I get up between four thirty and five every morning, and go work for eight to twelve hours. Then I come home and am busy for several more. I am tired and ready to be a vegetable by nine o’ clock or so but now I have to go back out and be in my store from eight thirty until nine thirty or ten and go back home. Just to be a presence. It is not necessarily a waste of time, but it is still a pain.

When I started with the company twenty years ago, that is what it was like. We worked six days a week and got an off day or two if we had the store covered, the money sucked, we had to be in for every single drawer change every single night. The burnout rate in restaurants was awful. I know maybe a handful of people that are still with the company. The last few years we seem to be heading toward a bit of an easier time. Managers are guaranteed two days off every week, although we still work six and then have two off so that we get an occasional weekend. I get three vacations a year, one of which is ten days. The money certainly isn’t terrible, above average for college graduates, of which I am not one, and supposedly the support from upper management has gotten better. That’s kind of a hit and miss proposition, it just depends on who you are working for.

This drawer change every night stuff seems like a return to the bad old days to me. I will do it, because I was told to, but I can almost guarantee that maybe three of us out of ten are actually doing it and there won’t be any repercussions against the ones who aren’t. That’s one of the bad things that has happened with changes in the business world. They are so scared to lose managers and keep retention levels high that when someone is actually doing a piss poor job nothing is done. It might take years before they are fired.

I figure if I can get my side jobs to the point where I can maintain an income level of at least $52k a year for at least two years, I’m gone. I am at least at 25% of that level right now and I have only been working hard on it since February. It is a lot more time and work than I realized it would be, but it will pay off in the long run.

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