To Whom it May Concern:
I have been employed by XXX as a server since October of 2010. After staying home for over 7 years with my children, I ventured out into unchartered territories and went into a job which was virtually foreign to me. The first couple weeks I was quiet, meek and doubted myself as a server. But since that time I have become a very good one. I am early every shift. I help out all the other employees like no other I have witnessed at that job. I go above and beyond every time I walk through those doors. I am pleasant and cheerful to the customers and fellow staff. I have always been very respectful to management. I have noticed a lot of petty politics and unfair circumstances about which I have remained silent. Because I have been silent about these things, does not mean I have not been keeping good record with photos and notes.
I can only speak about one manager since the others were rarely there during my lunch time shifts. My interactions with this manager have been limited as it was clear contact with me was avoided. I do believe it is because I am older, have more life experience and I did not desperately need that job as many others do. Because of this, I also do not take kindly to disrespect. XXX at the Racine XXX location perhaps recognized this and kept his distance. I could always tell that he was watching and waiting for me to screw up so he could unleash his generic power of Manager upon me. But I never did screw up. I was a very good employee and I will not be shy in admitting that. I have a lot of integrity and I will not do a job in any other way other than my best possible.
However, the interactions with other employees were no less than shocking. Since I have started working there I have read countless notes left on the walls and heard verbal interactions with other employees – sometimes in the presence of customers. All of which were loaded with condescending, demeaning, disrespectful and rude verbiage. He talks to the staff as though they are worthless. His notes, which are grammatical nightmares, did nothing but embarrass and shame the very employees which are keeping you all in business. I have photos of many of these notes and they will be made public in due time along with a full story on the workings beyond the floor. Why would anyone want to give their best for 2.33 and hour and verbal abuse? Most of everyone working there HATES it. They cry, complain and feel absolutely miserable having to go to work each day.
I feel so badly for my fellow ex-coworkers as many have little choice in their working lives. Many are young and will eventually realize that they do not need to be treated that way. I have seen people reduced to tears for virtually nothing. It is simply shameful. They either cannot or will not stick up for themselves, so I will do it for them.
Let me explain today’s situation which put me over the top and created a need to confront XXX.
As I walked through the door I noticed another one of XXX’s passive aggressive notes displayed on the walls. He is complaining that the employees are using the restaurant as “their own personal soup kitchen”. (How disrespectful is THAT?? It shows bright and clear what he thinks of the people who work for him). Taking soup and left over pizza from the Tuesday buffet somehow made us bad people. I was told we could have all the soup, salad and bread we wanted when I was hired. I was also told when I started that we could take the unserved, untouched leftovers from buffet and brunch. Which I did. As did many others. Never greedily (which is another term he used to describe the employees in this note). I would never take more than one to go box. I was making 6 (that is including tips AND the 2.33 an hour) bucks an hour many days because management insists on having as many servers on the floor as possible. What do you/they care? At 2.33 an hour, with tax breaks, you are probably MAKING money on us being employed. Yet we are the ones who are expected to do all of the labor. I was told I could take a bowl of soup or a few pieces of leftover pizza (which was to be THROWN AWAY). So I did. Most restaurants let their employees order food to take home at a discount or for free. But now soup, salad and bread are too much for the minions? Every Tuesday I see these pizzas get thrown away. Perfectly fine, unserved, untouched pizzas – right into the trash. Sometimes as many as five whole pizzas.
Let me also say, as I think this bears mentioning. Every single time I took a bowl of soup or a to go box out of that building I walked right passed him and said, “Good bye” or “See ya tomorrow.” Every time. He never once – NOT ONCE – breathed a word about me taking anything. Never gave a glance or said a single thing to me except “Goodbye’ or “See you next time”. In 6 months, not a word. Could he not speak to us grown up to grown up instead of leaving these petty passive aggressive notes around the restaurant? Isn’t a manager someone employees are to look up to?
The following is the sequence of events which led to my termination today:
I asked him after I read this latest note, “XXX, so you are saying that you would rather the pizza go in the garbage than have an employee take some home?”
He replied, “I guess if you are putting it that way, then yes I would. This is not a soup kitchen.” (he is clearly enamored with himself over this little line he concocted)
“XXX. Are you serious?? You would rather it go to waste then to give it to someone working here making 2.33 an hour?”
Then he says…in all his glory, “I’ll tell you what I AM serious about…” and he points to the door.
Keep in mind I have never been in trouble for ANYTHING since being hired. Never once for anything. I question his disgusting note about how pathetic we are and I am told to leave? Employees who have been caught stealing can stay…but question an unreasonable action and I am fired? Does that really sound appropriate to you?
I grabbed my things and left.
We are expected to pay for expensive uniforms, aprons, hell…even our USED name tags (seriously, guys…come on). We have side work, we bus, we seat when the hostess is called off – I mean, hey, why pay someone 7 bucks an hour when you can double the workload of the servers for nothing?! And we leave with less money many days than it took to fill the gas tank to get there. The very least a person (we are still people, right?) can expect is to be treated with dignity and respect.
The actions I have witnessed by this Manager is something of which XXX should not be proud. I do not know if this letter will make any difference or even be taken seriously. But I could not, in good conscious, leave this an unspoken matter. I do hope that someone in this corporation cares enough to take action. I really do. And please know, in a hard working town like Racine, customers do not appreciate businesses who crap on their employees. This kind of PR is not going to help XXX – and I am not even talking about (yet) how the customers were spoken about as they ate and paid and keep food on your tables.