The Vege Mafia

Talk about a Jekyll and Hyde situation. About a year ago I interviewed for a job at a vegetarian cafe on the theatre side of town. I’m an actress and this seemed like a good sign. Let me add that my job was to work the counter and take orders, and either E or R were acting as managers, baristas, and servers. This was the justification for not sharing tips with me (but we’ll get to that.)

Both of my bosses were actors as well, we’ll call them R and E. R was the best boss ever. She was laid back, funny, and genuinely seemed proud of her restaurant and loved her customers. E was a whole other story. The first day she seemed a little cool, but I chalked it up to personality. Then her true crazy shone through. She told me on the first day that I should feel free to bring a book, “since it can get a little slow here sometimes.” Then a week in, when the place is dead, she furiously snapped at me, “I know it’s quiet, but there’s always little things do to. I don’t want you just sitting there reading!”

One day I’d be in trouble for leaving the register to make drinks, the next day I’d be in trouble for not pitching in to help out (because she was too busy surfing Facebook or taking naps in her office) and I mean IN TROUBLE. She would scream at me in front of customers. And on the days where she was “working” in the office and I handled everything for hours at a time, do you think she shared tips? Nope. Also, I would catch her glaring at me out of the corner of my eye, like I had my hand in the register or my finger up my nose. I have no idea why she mistrusted me completely.

One day when an obviously difficult customer complained about an order that we “messed up” and I know for a fact I triple-checked, E hauled me into the kitchen to chew me out (which is rare, since she usually tore into me in front of the uncomfortable customers!) I told her that I was entirely in the right and E said,  ”Well, you’re not focused and I need you to pull it together. You went to acting school, right? Why don’t you do one of those focusing exercises they taught you, okay?” In the most condescending tone I’ve ever heard.

Sadly that wasn’t the final straw. The final straw was arriving to work to find the other cashier in tears. Apparently E had been taking a nap. This cashier had previously been in trouble for waking E up instead of taking a message. So today she had taken a message instead. When E woke up and found out she’d missed a call from a guy she’d been “waiting to hear from all day!” she screamed at this poor girl that she could “easily be replaced!”

I decided to quit before I could be replaced, and never looked back!

Comments (11)

Frau BlucherJanuary 26th, 2011 at 6:18 am

Well it’s no doubt that E was a total and utter mental case, and would be like that with anyone. God help any guy who DOES get in touch with her. I pity the fool! I wonder why R wanted to work with her, if SHE was so nice and fun. Go figure!

AvidReaderJanuary 26th, 2011 at 4:28 pm

What was R doing through all of this?
E should never work anywhere in managerial positions.

MollySueJanuary 26th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Cocaine is a hell of a drug…

ijojuJanuary 26th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Did you ever see them together at the same time? Maybe it was a literal Jekyll and Hyde situation.

BillyJanuary 26th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Maybe E wasn’t getting enough…meat

JeffJanuary 29th, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Some people have a borderline-pathological need to be the center of attention which causes them to create drama wherever they go. For obvious reasons, the acting profession tends to attract these people.

The opposite could also be true: E may have been insecure about her own job performance and trying to denigrate others to make herself look better by comparison.

Or, she might just have had it in for you because you were prettier than her.

eutieJanuary 29th, 2011 at 7:18 pm

It would have been so vindictively phenomenal if you had flipped a bitch at E before quitting. I’m a pretty solid doormat sort of person, but I think even I could have managed a decent freakout, just to get her back. :)

JChiefJanuary 31st, 2011 at 7:33 am

“No, I wasn’t really angry with you! I was ACTING!”
“Thank you!!” (sweeping bow)

JeffJanuary 31st, 2011 at 2:40 pm

@JChief: That ran through my head also as I was reading this one :)

bleahFebruary 1st, 2011 at 6:24 am

sadly, it seems every place has one really good super and one really bad. i think the higher ups like a little ‘blend’ of personalities? To all the GMs or business owners out there this is NOT NOT NOT a good idea unless u want high turnover

AdamFebruary 1st, 2011 at 7:19 pm

What’s with bosses who freakout when its slow?

It was your descision to commit financial suicide dont take it out on your employees. The worst is with married bosses who decide to take their frustrations with each other out on employees.

Leave a comment

Your comment