Sunday, April 29, 2007 by Ospite.

Normally it takes something pretty significant to for the management to up and actually fire an employee where I work. We haven't figured out why exactly, but it seems that when it's time for someone to go, they simply are no longer scheduled to work rather than there being a comfrontation. Personally I think it shows a certain amount spinelessness in the management. There are some people that just need to be fired.

The Jackal flat out hated working at the Trattoria, but we're not entirely sure why. Had her level of professionalism been higher, her shifts would have been better, her money would have been better. It was clear she wanted to do as little work as possible, pulling no weight at all. Her status in the restaurant was voluntary.

Then came the No-Call/No-Shows. This is not a good move for any server, but for some reason, the members of our staff that are the least important seem to get away with it, as if it is almost expected of them. This is frankly pathetic. The moment that Dre or I, or someone else on the training team pulled something like that, we'd never hear the end of it. But when the Jackal does it, she squeakes by with barely a reprimand.

That is until the NC/NS became routine with her. Several shifts went by and finally she was called in for a meeting. She was put on suspension and not allowed to work for a week. How she was making her bill payments, I'm not entirely sure. So if work didn't matter in the first place and she skipped 3 straight days, I'm going to guess that a 7 day suspension would feel like a vacation.

On day 6 of her scheduled absence, she came in to meet with one of the managers. They had quite the intense conversation in the back of the restaurant (though still on the floor) during the dead hours. She seemed upset that she was making no money and she needed to work. Said manager claimed she would receive another fresh start but had to go above and beyond her normal efforts in order to regain the good graces of the big wigs. They returned her to the schedule.

Her first shift back she was "sick" for and had to call in. The second one was another NC/NS. It was not until then that she was called and relieved of employment over the phone. Her shifts were given away and she will get no further chances. We have not heard from her since.

Next up: Pornstache. The man who, though in his forties, married with several children and a foster child, constantly made creepy comments to the younger male bussers and dishboys. His nickname is derived from, well, his vintage-style "pornstache" mustache. He had a rumored reputation of being a thief, was generally disliked by customers, and often was hopelessly ridiculed by the rest of the wait staff due to his ridiculous behavior. He was the only waiter I ever had a customer say they didn't want waiting on them.

His tableside manner was all money-oriented. His annoying habits were looked past because his sales were the highest in the Trattoria. His policy was to push each table along as fast as possible to create ideal turnover, whether or not he felt it would effect his tip. He became rude and had previously been demoted from the training team based on customer complaints.

Finally enough was enough. He had a record amount of complaints. This particular customer made brutal conversation with the top of our food chain, commenting on his attempted dissuading of the patrons order particular dishes, heavily pushing wine on them, and because flustered when they would not order dessert. He too received the Phone Call.

The news was not spread until the following evening. Dre was given the task of leaking the information to the waitstaff. Like wildfire, word was out that He was gone. On a note that was both sad and humorous, I have never seen the mood of a staff become so jovial so fast...and this simply from the canning of one particularly unmissed employee.


Blogger Laura said...

It was notoriously difficult to fire someone where I managed as well, for fear of lawsuit (ample documentation was necessary).

However, I (and my chef) were always proponents of letting go the dead weight from the staff. I remember how thankful I was as an employee when someone who brought down an entire shift was terminated. It was a benefit for all, including the person who clearly did not want to be there but was too lazy/uncaring to find a job s/he liked.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Manuel said...

Man, its the same the world over. If the management as you rightly say, are too spineless, then its up to us to persuade the offenders that leaving is the best way forward. You could have been writing about my work! We had a jackal too. God she was bad bad bad.

6:07 AM  

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At your service, Ospite

I am not in the restaurant business, I am in the people business. I use every opportunity to people watch, because to me, even the most mundane is fascinating.

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