– Did you clock out? – asks Paul, one of the top managers as I pour my soup to the take-away cup.
– No, not yet, I’ll do it after I get my food. – I replied.
– Oh, ok – says Paul.
– I just don’t want to waste 10 minutes of my break queueing to get my food.
Here he says something about paying me for my working hours not for my break, something in the sense that my too long break costs him too much. Blah blah blah. Like it was him, who is paying me.
– And I have a right to have half an hour break, not spending half of it in the queue. I stressed it a little bit. I surprosed myself, not long ago I would be scared to answer back to the big boss. Now, I don’t care. Maybe I just don’t care anymore…
Then I went behind the hot counter to get my mash potatoes, broccoli and some spicy sauce, After that I went to the office to clock out as he ordered.
Today supervisor Ludie told me that Paul said he doesn’t want us to go behind the counter and serve ourselves. We should stand in the queue. Paul wants us to 1st clock out, 2nd to queue, which can take 10 minutes easily, and then to have 20 minutes left to eat and do whatever business we have to do, including toilet or smoke if someone likes.If we take too long, he is loosing money. Paul doesn’t want us to serve ourselves – which takes 2 minutes, not 10. He is loosing company’s good image if we do that.
So far I’ve never seen Paul doing anything else then pointing his finger at things: Why is this paper under the cakes full of crumbs? How much salad do you put (on customer’s plate)? Remember – portion control! Don’t put too much. Do you remember the size of the portion? Why isn’t drinks fridge restocked? (When two of us had half an hour to set up breakfast, coffee machine, cakes, sandwich counter, etc).
When he’s in the restaurant this is all he does – he can stand all day in the corner by the hot counter which is a great vantage point from which he can observe all three tills and the counter. He is one of the top dogs – he should be sitting in the office, starring at a computer screen, filing forms, making phone calls, only occasionaly peering out for a quick look.
Besides, this is food not a science, you can’t plan it and weight it to the single grain of rice. Some people want more salad, but some people don’t want it at all, it balances itself. Another thing: whatever he saves on being a cheapskate, he will have to write down in wastage sheet when throwing it away at 3pm when we finish lunch. Does it make it financially better for him to waste it instead of selling it? Maybe the system should be turn 180 degrees and people would be paying first and then be served what they have on a receit? Maybe they should buy us a sensitive scale so we could mesure the portion to the single gram? Maybe they should realise that happy customer will come back bringing their friends?