Corporate Cashing Out

Before I begin, I am fully aware that most service industry jobs are not the greatest, but this experience was pretty bad. I’ve worked in the service industry for a while so that’s why I totally disagree with people who tell me that my experience is something I should expect in this industry.

I had been working sales for about a year, which I enjoyed, but my hours were cut and had bills to pay. I decided to go back into the service industry because you usually make money right then and there. I got hired on at a fairly popular sports restaurant and since a friend of mine had worked there 2 years before, I expected it to not be that bad. From day one, I had a feeling I would not be very happy because it took about two hours to get out of there after being cut. Honestly, after they tell you that you can go you had about two hours of side duties to finish–and one of the side duties was cleaning the bathrooms. Two hours of being paid $2.13 an hour did not really mesh well with me. (Corporate took shortcuts, so the servers were the ones doing all the extra work) If the washer left we had to wash the dishes. I really did not like that dirty water would spray in my face and all over me and I still had to serve food. If that wasn’t bad enough, the girls I worked with were extremely catty and rude. Since I was the new girl, they refused to help me out, and I was always stuck doing whatever side work they didn’t do. That’s how this place worked.

I should add that the customers weren’t really that bad. I had very few issues with them, except the occasional big group of people who think they are the only people there. There was one funny moment while I was cleaning the bathroom, though. There were two girls in the restroom and they were both practicing to sing “Happy Birthday” to their friend. Yes, PRACTICING to sing “Happy Birthday”. They were in there for about 45 minutes singing over and over. Like one girl had to go a certain pitch and the other had to get this other pitch juuuust right. Not sure if they expected to be “discovered” at this place or what.

Anyways, my first week there I was stuck working from 10AM-10PM. Some co-worker disappeared for 30 minutes and came back loaded on some pain killers. She was stumbling all over the place and slurring. She tried to steal someone’s jacket and when the manager told her to show him what she had in her arms, she presented a picture frame, a new toilet bowl brush, to-go boxes, white out, and a bunch of change. She had even gone through our purses. To make matters worse, she destroyed the zipper on my expensive purse. The managers never apologized to me about this or gave me the girl’s information so I could get her to replace the zipper. After all of this, another girl and I were stuck doing that girl’s side duties because it “had to be done”.

I tried to suck this up and continued to work there for three more weeks. The last day I was there, no one informed me that we were out of several things (and no, it was not written on the 86 board or in the computer) and I was not informed that several girls left to go home so I was stuck doing the whole dining room side- usually they tell you when someone leaves, but not that day. For some reason, I was also stuck doing two side duties and I was there until 3AM even though I was not a closer. When I looked at the schedule, they had me working eight days straight. I quit the very next day, with the encouragement of my fiance.

I should add that when I got my last two paychecks, they were both only $100–that’s for two weeks of work and supposed to include credit card tips. Apparently, this place takes out whatever you make in cash from your credit card tips. At least now I am working at a fine dining cocktail bar that is freaking awesome. No more corporate restaurants for me.

Comments (17)

TedDecember 29th, 2010 at 8:02 am

I won’t say that your experience didn’t suck, but I got to disagree with you otherwise, because it all sounded pretty par for the corporate restaurant course. All that really happened to you was that you got to find out what restaurant work was like for the rest of us, the boobless, the unattractive, and the male. Dishwashing… Bussing… Clean-up… Sucked, didn’t it?

Jade LynnDecember 29th, 2010 at 10:50 am

I don’t know….

Yeah there are some pretty cruddy parts of your job but not much that really strikes as OMG horrible outside of the missing tips and thieving co-workers….you prolly should’ve focused on that more cause the rest is kind of rambling and sounds a little whiney when I’m sure it was more painful to actually live than you made it sound. :/

clever nameDecember 29th, 2010 at 11:00 am

Restaurant work in any form always looked like a last resort to me. If I was a server and they wanted me to wash dishes, that would be the end. I don’t even like washing my own dishes!

MeshellDecember 29th, 2010 at 11:35 am

“Jeez guys, didn’t you know child labor would be hard? It’s expect to lose a finger before 3 years old, duh!”

Just because something is sucky doesn’t mean that one has to accept it as a way “things are.” Like you don’t have to accept spousal abuse because it’s common in America.

That was pretty lame that you had things stolen and the management didn’t fire the girl. It’s sucky that they used you to do labor that you weren’t tipped for. Loop holes are shitty. I would consider it my worst job if I was intelligent enough to realize they were cheating me out of wages. Most cleaning crews in Texas make between $10-20 an hour, depending on the field and location. $2.13 is a far cry from that, so yeah, that alone makes it a MVWD.

Someday we will all look back and wonder why we were so stupid to think that using loopholes to abuse employees was par for the course.

OPDecember 29th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

@ Ted, I’ve worked in the service industry for a while and know when one is shitty or not. This one was plain shitty and I wasn’t going to put up with it. I now work at a fine dining restaurant that is awesome and while I have side duties, they are not hard labor. They are typical side duties for waiters and waitresses.

I should add that this place had an extremely high turnover rate. 4 new girls quit when I began, then 2 girls they hired while I was working there also quit. I disagree that because it’s in the service industry I should expect to do shitty labor.

TedDecember 29th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I’m not saying that you should expect it, I’m saying that SOMEBODY does those chores at EVERY restaurant, just not the waitresses and the only reason you’re complaining is that you had to do the really crappy work that waitresses usually don’t have to do. Make sure to tip out your cooks and busboys…

Also, I’m not remarking on the theft part, that actually did suck.

And congrats Meshell, queen of the spurious correlations

OPDecember 29th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Well, 10% of our tips went to the dishwasher, 10% to the hostess, and 10% to the bartender. We bussed our own tables and did all the cleaning, which included steam vacuuming every Sunday. I know that being a dishwasher sucks, but the majority I’ve met actually didn’t mind it, and that’s all they have to do. I’m just saying that all the extra work was bullshit and it also took us away from our tables (the dishwashing when the dishwasher wasn’t there).

The sad thing was so many of the girls thought the tips were awesome enough to put up with it. Seems to me that all the girls that quit obviously knew they would find better tips and better work elsewhere.

OPDecember 29th, 2010 at 2:11 pm

@ Jade Lynn, yeah I was very much ranting when I wrote this because I was so pissed when I got my last check. One of the managers had the audacity to ask me why I quit and when I told her that I simply did not like the job she told me that not everyone is “strong enough” to be a waitress. Uh, yeah that’s why I still am one, but at a far better place.

In all my ranting I forgot to add the other downfall of that place. For every football (NFL and College) we had to buy and wear a jersey of our home team. If we forgot or didn’t buy one we would get written up, even if we were wearing our uniform. Also, they would do theme nights and UFC nights and we were expected to buy a new outfit for every theme night and a nice button up shirt for UFC night. I wasn’t about to spend that much money on that place.

doriDecember 29th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I liked the disclaimer part at the front best. Just saying.

JonasDecember 29th, 2010 at 11:39 pm

I swear, I worked at this place…

JeanetteDecember 30th, 2010 at 11:00 am

Ignore the idiot commenters that will tell you that they would love to work there and there was nothing wrong with that job. That job SUCKED!

TedDecember 30th, 2010 at 12:02 pm

No one said anything like that

TVDinnerDecember 30th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Ted, I think her point is that she was getting paid a server’s wage – below minimum wage – to do work for which she would never see a tip. The only reason servers wages are permitted in some states (thankfully not the great state of Washington, home of the highest minimum wage in the nation) is because lawmakers expected that servers would be able to at least make up the difference in tips. The “boobless” – a hilarious term, by the way – would have at least been paid minimum wage to clean bathrooms and do dishes.

Anyway, this treatment was not only bullshit, but it was also illegal. OP, I hope you consider filing a complaint with your state’s labor board. If enough people complain, they might not be allowed to get away with this abuse in the future. And you’re right: just because you work in the service industry doesn’t mean you should expect to be treated as sub-human.

SurrealDecember 31st, 2010 at 1:26 pm

That’s what I got, too, TVDinner. She kind of explained that in her introduction. I’ve never understood places that make the wait staff do all that extra labor, or the kids that seem to go along with it. But that’s something to consider: if the wait staff is young (18-21) then the majority of them probably have no clue that they’re being treated poorly.

JChiefJanuary 3rd, 2011 at 11:21 am

I’m totally with the OP. I worked in a ton of restaurants (of different prestige levels) and I NEVER heard of wait staff doing dishes. That is ridonkulous.

The OP has it right – when you’re a server and not pulling tips, then you are there on YOUR time. Yes, there is side-work, but usually it doesn’t keep you there for more than an hour. Tops.

And if my restaurant STOLE (yes, STOLE) my credit card tips, I would be going totally batshit bananas. I don’t even think it’s legal.

Your2AMwaitressJanuary 4th, 2011 at 12:56 am

Jchief, they never “stole” her tips. You pay out a total at the end of the night for cash customers. Basically, they tally how much was purchased, how much you got in credit cards(payment and tips) and whatever is left from the total, you pay in cash. In short, she got her credit card tips immediately because some of the money that is supposed to pay for the cash customers checks, instead go into her pocket. This is how restaurants work.

JChiefJanuary 4th, 2011 at 8:27 am


“should add that when I got my last two paychecks, they were both only $100–that’s for two weeks of work and supposed to include credit card tips.”

Read that last bit and get back to me.

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