Getting rolled: Meeting everyone except the person that counts

Previously: Getting Rolled


I hear back from the GM. Excellent news. We finally settle on a first day of work and when I am supposed to be there. Still no mention of what my actual work duties would be.

I got my calendar via a shared Google Sheet that anyone could edit. A very odd setting which I pointed out, but didn’t hear back so I just made plans to be there on time at the appointed time and place.

The day of I took my leave from one of the jobs and headed yonder. Walk in the front door and… there was no one there. Not the cooks, not any floor staff. Sat down on a chair and waited for about fifteen minutes before one of the cooks came back to the kitchen so I could introduce myself but they couldn’t help me as I was technically hired for a front of house position.

It took another ten minutes before someone else showed up. We set about opening and this, my dear reader, is where I started encountering issues.

  • Ice in the bar well wasn’t burned the night before.
  • Ice in the server well wasn’t burned the night before.
  • Sticky floor, a sign people didn’t mop the night before.
  • Sticky tables, a sign people hadn’t wiped surfaces the night before.

When I set about burning the ice so I could clean the well and put in new ice I actually dislodged a 3 inch long strip of dried out slime mold from the drainage hole. Flat out one of the most disgusting things I’ve seen in the one place you’re not supposed to have any kind of dirt, specially in a… reputable… place, like this one. And then had to clean up the flood I got from the server’s well after burning that ice.

Very entertaining on your very first day of work. Totally makes you look like you know what you’re doing. I did manage to catch the bartender rolling their eyes at my blundering.

Set about making iced tea and another surprise. The tea maker had not been scrubbed in years and years as well. Someone made a comment they weren’t aware of anyone who had ever scrubbed it.

The day just went on with many surprises just like these except for the one nice surprise of new glassware washing equipment for the bar. Always nice to have that.

And then! Time to open! Within half an hour the bartender and myself were doing really good, with him commenting often I clearly knew what I was doing as he needed only to provide some direction on what needed to be done, and when, but for everything else I could work without assistance. Only bit of difficulty was the POS but that’s always something you have to learn with practice.

Other than the cleaning it was a good day. Met some of the kitchen staff, Ecuatorians most of them, all of whom had been working there for years and years and years. Met some of the regulars. Met a few of the managers the company employs– we’ll call them “middle managers”, as that is what they are given the business structure.

Did not see the GM at all.

Met more of the managers the company employs. The owners came by to hang out as owners do, with that distressing tendency to get in the way while you are trying to work. Met some regulars who politely ignored you to talk directly with the kitchen for their food.

During the course of the day no one really knew what my position would ultimately be. Given I was interviewed by both owners and the GM I was still under the impression it would be a junior management position but no one could give me an answer. I asked the middle managers and they declined to provide an answer, deferring to the GM.

Middle management could, and did, ask us floor staff to do things for them as they were busy.

This is where I started to get concerned. I have seen this combination of elements in a corporate environment, and any whiff of them in food service doesn’t bode well for you as an employee. Clueless ownership? Overabundance of middle management? Salaried staff choosing to stand apart from hourly staff? Check, check and check.

Then it was time to clock out except I had no entry in the POS to do so. Worked a solid 4 hours.

Then it was time to leave. No family meal, no shiftie. Not even an offer of a salad.

Thank God for the protein bar I put in my backpack. Put on sunglasses, went out into the summer heat, and got going to my next job.

Tomorrow will be the second day at work.

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