"So what are your scheduling expectations?" Asked Mike.
"Well I go to class full time so I was thinking four or five shifts a week, depending on what I have going on." I replied.
"Well I believe we can work with that, we'll get you on a training schedule for next week and add you for the week following that." Mike said.
I shook his hand, "thanks for the opportunity."
Fast forward two weeks.
I'm on the schedule all right, only two shifts. With on call shifts in the place of what we worked out for me. The schedule was to be done a week ahead of time, however to save time apparently they did the schedule for five weeks instead.
Goodbye concert, goodbye football game, goodbye date, hello on call.
"So what's going on with all these on call shifts?" I asked Mike.
"Oh, those are only temporary, you'll be working most of those anyways." He said.
"Well I have a school schedule, I need to know when I'm working or if I'm not." I said.
"We'll call you by two in the afternoon to let you know, so you can make plans or work on classwork or whatever."He said.
Great, so I don't know if I'm working or not for the next five weeks. I can't make any plans a week, a day or even an afternoon ahead of time, because I might
"By the way what's going on with the tip on the party the other night?" I asked.
"You'll be getting it on Wednesday, we had some administration work to do before we can hand it out." Mike said.
"Ok, just checking," I said.
First on call shift: No call.
I called in to see if I could work, the training time with no tips had really taken a hit on my pocketbook. I left a message, no one ever called me back.
The next day I wasn't scheduled, however they called me to see if I could be on call for that night.
So they weren't even seeing if I could come in, they just wanted to know if I could if they got busy.
"Sorry Mike, have a paper to hammer out." I said truthfully.
Next on call shift: No call by two.
I went out and ran some errands, when I returned home there were about five missed calls. Apparently they wanted me to work and had left several messages for me to come in.
Well the messages were after four in the afternoon, two hours after they were supposed to call me. In fact he even had Lindsay, one of the staff who had recruited me, call me several times on her own number, thinking I wasn't picking up because the work number was on my ID.
I called work back, it was around 5:30, no answer so I left a message.
Hours later I received a call from the boss.
"Maybe I miscommunicated with you, I'm used to being able to call someone in at four and having them be here by five." Mike said.
"Well you told me yourself that you would call by two if you needed me." I responded.
"Sometimes we have late reservations call in, we really could have used you tonight." He said.
My irritation was growing.
The next day I was talking to Lindsay.
"Do did you hear about your tip out?" She asked.
"Please enlighten me." I said.
"They only gave you $100." She said.
My jaw dropped.
The party's bill was $7,000.
"What was your tip?" I asked.
"$175, the bartenders only got $125." She said.
"Here's the best part, the owner kept over $400 for himself." She continued.
"Why the hell did I only get a hundred bucks?" I asked.
"Because you were new."
Here's simple math, 20% of 7k is $1,400.
Devide that six ways for the staff, including the house as a person that figures into $233 a head.
Apparently Mike's wife, who helps him on paperwork, decided she could divide up the figure whatever way she wanted, keeping the majority portion for him and herself.
So we worked a huge party that took tons of work from everybody involved, and I made shit off of it.
I was there late the night before the party setting up and polishing glassware and silverware.
Not to mention cleaning up an old man's vomit, staying very late the night of the party to clean, and coming in the next day and picking up as well.
All for $100.
So what would I do? What should I do?
The owner had pretty much taken money out of the hands of his staff.
That makes him a thief in my eyes.
I wasn't getting scheduled in any way that I thought I would be. Before being hired no mention was made to me of on call shifts.
There might not be any white zin or ranch, but there was the same amount of bullshit that often comes with this job.
What right does any owner or manager have to take gratuity and keep it for themselves? I've heard of this behavior before, even read about lawsuits made by staff against restaurants that did this exact sort of thing.
The last time I checked the owner made his profit off of food and beverage, not the tip.
That's why we only make $3.09 an hour.
He could have charged a rental fee or administration cost to the host of the party. But being that they might object and host the party elsewhere, he took the money out of our pockets instead.
That man selfishly put himself over the well being of the staff which makes less than minimum wage.
I don't work to pay his bills, I work to pay mine.
I stewed on it for a day or two, getting angrier with each thought of going bank in to work.
Is making more money worth getting treated like that? How can I work for someone who is so dishonest and selfish?
I thought of all the pro's of working there.
The high ticket prices, no management except him, the wine list, the clientele.
Then I thought of myself, what I stand for, it might not be for all that much, but what little I have I won't back down from. What I've written about on here went through my head. My little corner of advocacy for people like myself. It might not be that important to a lot of people, people like Mike, but it is important for me.
I made my decision in the morning.
I called two hours before my shift and told them I was done.
"I feel like I haven't done enough to get you going, to get you in here." Mike said.
I certainly agreed.
Maybe the only reason the grass seems greener is the amount of fertilizer they use...
All I know is I was done.