Archive for the Hell Category

Outback Chronicles: The time a few people got fired. (Then re-hired)

Posted in 2000's, Alcohol Involved, Drugs, Gourmet, Hell, Jeremy Dotson, Local, Modern, Outback Steakhouse on December 22, 2010 by Divide By Zero

At a restaurant, you have to understand.. there’s a core crew.  You’re either in that crew, or you’re not.  I never really knew where I fell in that crew.  I kept my mouth shut for the most part, and I saw how other people fell into the crew.  I could care less, as long as my paycheck was right.  Here’s one story:

Papa, you remember that guy.  He was a server, in the front of the house.  He was a jokester in the back of the house.  He showed up and did his job.  He did it very well.

Twice while I worked there, I found out that Papa was taking advantage of the dark parking lot on the side of the OS-Lounge.  He was taking advantage of it in a way that he wasn’t using it so much for parking, as he was using it for dealing drugs.  Well that’s all well and good right?  He never did it inside the restaurant, and he never did it while he was working, right?

Wrong on both counts.  He was the dealer for most of the restaurant staff, and a lot of the customers, from what I’ve heard.  I heard he served more pills/weed in the dining room of that restaurant while I worked there, than he served food.

He got fired twice, rehired twice, and then fired for the final time after I had stopped working there.  He was part of the crew.

Schmangle.  There’s another guy I haven’t talked about yet.  He was a 16 year old kid who could work the cook line (most of the time) better than anyone else could.  He got fired thrice by 3 different managers.  But always got hired back, because he was the “golden child”.  “He’s too young, he’s not mature” is what the owners/Ted would say.  He always left me out in the dust.  By that I mean he left an hour early which meant I had to stay 2-3 hours late.

It was ridiculous closing his station when no one else would do it.  He was part of the crew.
There’s 4 or 5 others that come to mind that run along the same lines, but I can’t give you the details, because then I would either put myself in danger, or someone else.  I don’t want to get anyone fired, and I apologize for this week’s entry being so short.  I promise I’ll have an awesome one for you this coming Friday.

Just remember that your cooks and waiters may not be who they seem.  Even though that doesn’t make them a good waiter/waitress, it makes them a different kind of person.  Do you want those people serving you your food, or even cooking it?  If it happens in this little place, it happens all over the place.

Keep that in mind the next time you order from a restaurant… exactly how much work goes into your food?

See you ordering off the vegetarian menu,

The Jester.


Nightmare on Commonwealth Ave.

Posted in Bad employment, Hell on August 15, 2010 by Divide By Zero

As most of us know by now, it’s pretty difficult to find a job in this economy.  And really, when it comes down to it beggars cannot be choosers.  I myself have been in and out of work for the past 2 years trying to finish up college.  In that short span of time, I’ve worked in different counties and cities in Virginia and Tennessee.  I’ve worked in restaurants and cafeterias, maintained lawns, worked on cell phones, become a temp, been a telemarketer, and have donated plasma countless times.  But the absolute worst job I’ve ever had since I joined the work force almost a decade ago was right here in Bristol.  For a very long month, I was employed as a cashier at Quick Stop #38.  You may know it as The Marathon convenience store on Commonwealth Ave.

In that month I experienced the worst of nearly every facet of any job I’ve ever had.  The hours were long and unpredictable, I was there by myself most of the time, and certainly by myself on the graveyard shift, 11pm-7am (the most dangerous shift).  Now I know, working at a gas station I have to accept the risks of being robbed or someone threatening my life.  That would have been all well and good if I weren’t getting paid minimum wage.  I think we can all agree that your responsibilities should match your pay rate.  Risk equals reward, right?

While there, I was almost on a first name basis with the local Police Dispatcher.  I was calling them every other day on average, sometimes 4-5 times a week.  The management was very shoddy and if something happened, even if I followed the procedure I was told to, I still got in trouble.  I was never allowed a bathroom break, because I was the only one there, even though we had 2 cash registers.  They didn’t even have 2 people in that store during race weekends.  Again, it turned out to be my fault that I had a line out the door.  I had worked a total of 48 hours before my first race weekend.  I was inexperienced, and alone.  It proved to me that the Green Oil Company, the owners of Quick Stop #38 (and to my understanding subsidiary of BP), wanted to run that location as cheaply as possible.  Even if it meant treating their employees the way one would treat a leaky bucket full of crap, rotting fish, and vomit (both human and cat).

The General Manager at the time was lazy, didn’t care about his job, and was very poorly qualified.  He struck me as the type of man who chose paperclips over staples because they were more fun to straighten out.  And coincidentally when he didn’t want to come in to work “he hurt his back”.  Despite him bragging about being the portrait of health and acting like some huge tough guy he could hurt his back while driving down the road.  He was so lazy he couldn’t even change his excuse.

I had minimal training (my orientation took 4 minutes), and the technology reminded me of 1996.  The whole place needs to be remodeled; you can notice even today that none of the fluorescent lights have covers on them.  The restrooms are breeding grounds for diseases; so much so that I refused to clean them while I was working there.  To be fair though, I also wouldn’t let any customers use them.  Minimum wage doesn’t cover the typhoid fever-scurvy-tetanus cocktail I would have gotten by going into those bathrooms.  Instead I stayed sure that no one was stealing things from inside, by staying inside.  God forbid ANYTHING happen during my shift for fear of being written up, or fired.  This all lead me to believe that Green Oil Co. was taking advantage of peoples financial situation during these recessive times.  They knew they could treat anyone however they want because jobs are few and far between.

Overall, even if you’re desperate for something quick I recommend going somewhere else.  There’s at least 3 other gas stations within a mile of that place, and they’re all much better.  There probably aren’t drug deals going on in their parking lots either.  I sometimes refrain from stopping there just based on the recent oil spill caused by British Petroleum.  It’s simple; it doesn’t make sense to me to give money to an irresponsible company.  And what would the founding fathers say?  Wasn’t America formed to get away from Great Britain?  As an American, I consider it my own little patriotic ritual every time I pass by Quick Stop #38.  Sometimes I even do it while saying Pledge of Allegiance.

POSTSCRIPT (30 Aug. 2010):  I’m not picking on the managers, or the company for that matter.  I really liked my GM as a person while I worked there, and I’m sure he had talents and work ethic that benefited him.  There was just something about that ONE location of this particular chain.  I wanted to point it out because there could be room for improvements there, and I hope it changes into an enjoyable place to work.  Family members of mine (and yes, even I am guilty of this) have been customers there since my employment has ended, and I can see slow but steady steps the company is taking to remedy situations that I found less than appealing.