Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

Mary's woes

My dear darling daughter Mary has come upon hard times in the work world. Several weeks ago, she applied for a job at a restaurant that had not yet opened, an experimental Mexican restaurant called el Jefe's. She was excited about it. She went through the training and waited while the opening date was pushed back again and again. Finally it opened. From the first days of training she had misgivings, however, because one of the rules of the place was that waitpersons were required to "tip out" 8% of their gross receipts, to something like five other helper types. There are specific percentages that go to each. This system means that Mary was required to tip the drinks person even if no drinks were ordered. It also meant that Mary ended up taking home maybe half, if that, of what she took in. Not right.

Mary decided she needed another job. She thought she could manage two, both being part-time, and she applied to another restaurant that was just getting going, Kahunaville. At least this restaurant was not the first the owner had developed, so it seemed a more stable and sensible place. Mary also enjoyed the training, thought this would be a good place to work - although over time she has developed a resistance to waitressing. She was exploring alternatives and had an interview with a company - I don't remember if it was a loan company or what - for an office job. Her first interview went very well. The interviewer thought she would do well there, and she outlined the many benefits in working there. She told Mary to expect a call for a second interview in the next week.

THere was a scheduling problem between training for Kahunaville and working at el Jefe's. Ultimately, Mary left el Jefe's because she could not continue with the kinds of tips she was able to take home. She had made her concerns known more than once but the owner was so sure of himself he didn't really want to hear it. This owner, incidentally, started this restaurant from scratch after managing several McDonald's.

Kahunaville seemed promising except for one thing: the general manager. A 27-year old male named Kyle. He is attractive and funny and at first seemed just the ticket. But as time went on he started to get off on power trips. Today Mary called me to tell me:

She went to work this morning. Kyle stopped her from clocking in because she wasn't wearing her name badge. He said "You don't clock in until you are wearing your name badge". Mary said okay, she'd call Marty for it. She asked where the aprons were. Kyle said they will be in next week. So she called Marty, asked him to bring the badge and an apron.

Kyle: "Say good by and hang up immediately."
Mary hangs up.
Kyle: "You never talk on a cell phone while in uniform."
"oh, okay," says Mary. She hangs up. Soon Marty drives up. She leaves the building to get the badge and apron, determined not to make any waves. Kyle follows her out. As she reaches the truck, Kyle stands there waving her purse.
"What is this?" he asks.
"My purse", she says.
"No personal items in the restaurant while you are on duty," he says.
"Where do I put it then? I need my keys."
"Put it in your car," he says.
"Where do I keep my keys?"
"In your apron pocket". Never mind that he doesn't have any aprons yet.
At this point, Marty, who is witnessing the scene, tells Mary to get in the truck. "I'll pay your rent until you get work. You should never take that kind of abuse. All the years I've been working nobody has ever treated me this way. Nobody should treat you this way."

Mary hands the badge to Kyle and says she quit.

When Mary told me about this she was in tears. She felt she couldn't hold down a job and she soon wouldn't be welcome anywhere in Henderson (near where she lives). Never mind that she worked successfully at the 5 and Diner for about three years - she left only because it was going under. She was totally stressed, but had called Denny's and had an interview for this afternoon.

She got the job at Denny's and starts Monday. I feel relieved. I think Denny's is a reliable place to work - yes, there was that discrimination thing a few years ago, I don't know what up with that now - but at least they know how to run a restaurant. Nobody's starting from scratch here. It's also not pretentious in any way, and neither is Mary. She hates waitressing but she'll be good there and make what is possible to make in tips.

The desk job - nobody called her back. Damn.

I don't know why I recorded this here. I just had a need to write it down.

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