Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Worst Weekend of My Life (thus far)

This all feels so unreal. The past 5 days have been some of the worst of my life. 

This past Thursday, man-pants showed up to work to find a sign that said "no checks, sorry!" 

Sunday, it was announced that his restaurant was sold and he no longer had a job. 

Monday, he got offered a job at another restaurant in the company for $1.50/hour paycut and a demotion. 

He was promised pay tomorrow and is now getting text messages stating that there is no money to pay them. 

He owes me $450 (which is irrelevant except to state how in the hole he is. I don't care about the money.)

I do not have enough money to pay the remainder of our bills. Between a recently sick cat and the move, we are tapped. 

There is potential that it will be another 3 weeks before he gets paid. 

The owner of his restaurant (different than the owner of mine) was in Nashville on vacation SPENDING THE MONEY THAT WAS NEEDED TO PAY THE STAFF.

I watched man-pants have a panic attack. I have watched his coworkers devastated. I have watched everyone involved with this restaurant have their entire lives turned upside down. 

His 5 month pregnant shift lead was borrowing $20 for gas because she was broke.

I am posting this here not because I need anyone to feel sorry for me, but because I can't vent on social media for fear of losing my job. Everyone in my life is surely sick of hearing me scream about how evil this woman is and how she is destroying lives with a smile on her face. 

AND SHE HAD THE FUCKING BALLS TO CRY OVER HOW MEAN EVERYONE WAS BEING TO HER ON FACEBOOK. 

She hasn't even had the backbone to talk to any of the staff in person, she is forcing the front of house manager to relay all the news. 

I am very fortunate that my family has enough money to help me get through this. VERY FORTUNATE. But, this is how people end up homeless. This is how lives are ruined. 

I have, for the first time, encountered someone who I believe to be truly evil. Someone who has this city fooled, thinking she is a good samaritan and selfless person. She is a local celebrity and loved by everyone (myself included until I started working for this company.)

I am watching man-pants go through all of this, knowing he hates that he has no money and I am supporting him. Knowing that he cared about that place and busted his ass for it makes me sick. 

This whole thing makes me absolutely furiously sick. 

As soon as man-pants finds another job and is on his feet again, my first order of business is doing the same. 

If you know me in person, stop giving this woman your money. I don't care how much you love the food. (You can still come see me at work because she isn't affiliated with my location.) 

And send happy thoughts our way. Mostly happy lottery thoughts. We really need it.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Moving on

I can't even begin to explain how out of control the dishonesty has escalated at work. I am debating between telling my owner, who will surely fire me or just finding a new job and giving one hell of an exit interview. So many people I trusted and considered friends have betrayed me. I feel like a scapegoat....like everything is going to be blamed on me. When I have done literally nothing. I have never encountered this level of deceit and dishonesty before. I have never met such terrible people in my life. 

I feel like I am just naive and trust people I shouldn't. I feel like I should watch my back constantly. I have never been easy to trust, but am I now doing it too easily? Am I just assuming people are honest when they are actually complete fucking dicks? 

My world feels a little upside down. 

I am hurt 

I am pissed

I am vengeful

I want to burn the restaurant to the ground and cartoon character style laugh maniacally over the ashes. 

Not really. 

I spent some time with a staff member tonight who told me soooo much. She is definitely been a good friend through all of this and put the final nail in the coffin on some things I suspected. 

I need out. 

It's not a safe environment for me anymore. 

I put these people, this company on a pedestal for so many years. Have frequented their restaurants for a decade. 

It's been a really long, hard, painful fall from the top. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bourbon on the rocks...with a lime please

Things aren't great right now. Not in a tangible way either. I can't say, well, this one thing is not going well. It's just a series of a lot of things that aren't going as expected. A lot of SURPRISE! this is not happening the way you expected kind of things. I find myself frustrated a lot. I find myself angry and upset a lot. This is not normal for me. It is not the way I want things to go.

I can't go into a whole lot of detail about the work stuff, but there is a possible law suit and a completely unrelated possibility that I could be fired for bringing it to the attention of management that one of their managers (not me, of course) is stealing.

Just mother fucking ugh.

Plus we are maybe moving, we don't know, because people are flaky. And man-pants is maybe getting a new job, we don't know because nobody ever knows with that shit.

And my dog will only poop for me.

And the cat won't stop meowing at all hours of the night.

AND THERE IS A SMELL AND NO AMOUNT OF FIND THAT SMELL IS WORKING.

I hate find that smell.

I said goodbye to a friend of 15 years two days ago. I have talked about him, but never gave him a name here. It doesn't matter who he is, he became toxic in my life and I refuse to allow someone like that to continue being in my life.

I want positivity and happiness and GOOD. And right now the universe is throwing me a bunch of negative and bad.

Sometimes it gets so overwhelming, I have to walk to my car and just take some deep breaths. And remind myself that I am happy and healthy and good. 

Sometimes life hands you lemons...and I say fuck that, I want limes and make a mother fucking cocktail. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

10 things I just don't understand

1. Getting a tattoo of your dog. Or your cat. Or your your albino ferret. I love animals as much as the next person (give me otter or give me death) but a tattoo? Really? No. 
2. People who order sandwiches with no bread. Get a salad. Or, really, anything. But a pile of turkey and cheese with a side of mayo is weird.
3. The als ice bucket challenge...good cause, I know. But so fucking annoying. 
4. My job. I would elaborate if I could. Ugh.
5. How rioting is a solution to violence. And how violence is a solution to anything. And sending tear gas into a crowd of elderly people and children. Mostly just violence as a solution.
6. My addiction to cheese fries
7. My cat's inability to shut the fuck up between 3 am and 7 am
8. Why when it rains it pours. Just one thing at a time, universe.
9. People who are gluten free that order pasta. Because you can't have a gluten allergy if you don't know what the fuck gluten is.
10. The Kim Kardashian game. That I can't stop playing. Send help. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Struggling

I am struggling right now. With money, with life, just struggling. 

My credit is terrible. With the foreclosure of last year and some medical bills, I have a lot of "dings" on my credit. I decided to try to clean it all up. This means I am literally barely breaking even. I have had to cancel plans and hermit in our apartment just because I have zero money to spare. It's good, it's really good, that I am finally taking all of this seriously. I HATE DEBT. Several years ago, I decided to never have a credit card again. This makes emergency situations be a cash only kind of deal. Sometimes this is fine, sometimes not so much. Man-pants and I are going to Aruba in March, so I am trying to save for that. Passports are expensive, blah blah blah. I'm broke. I can pay all of my household expenses with half of one of my two paychecks a month. So, I shouldn't be broke, right? STUDENT LOANS. I have $42k in them. They literally want an entire paycheck a month in payment. 

Blah, Blah, Blah. Whine, Whine, Whine. The moral of the story is that man-pants and I have decided to move into an apartment a few doors down that is a 2 bedroom, much nicer and a little cheaper a month. We are spending the winter banking money so this vacation doesn't break us. September is the month where we officially combine bills and I can start actually having money again. It will be a breath of fresh air, where in everything goes into savings so I can have the vacation of my life in Aruba. 

I also have come to a realization that two chefs cannot survive together. There just isn't any money, health insurance, blah blah blah. If I ever want to make a life for myself, I can't continue in this line of work. I don't plan to leave soon. I don't plan to, actually, leave at all. I just want to be the on the other side of things. I am actively pursuing a job working for the food vendors that sell me food. To get back into some sort of a corporate chef. Whether I am doing test kitchens, sales, whatever. Both of us can't work for locally owned businesses and ever be more than living in 400 sq ft apartments and counting pennies. 

I love what I do. It's time to find a way to survive while still loving what I do. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

My Fucked Up Romance

Before man-pants and I started dating, he would leave pink post it notes all over my office that just said boner. 

I realize it sounds silly, but it always made me laugh. I would open a notebook or a file and there would just be this pink post it that said boner. 

Our front of house manager frequently drew penises on, well, everything. There are a lot of dick jokes in restaurants. 

Sometime during the first week that we dated, I came home from work to find the bed made and my apartment picked up and a boner note on the bed. I still have it. 

Boner eventually escalated to penis drawings which would be hidden all over whatever station I was working. 

Man-pants last day of work led to this...they were hidden all over everything. The next day, me and a coworker boob bombed his station in retaliation. 




This explanation leads up to one of the sweetest things ever. Our schedules frequently suck ass and we are working opposites. Today, for example, I left for work at 9 am, man-pants was sound asleep. I got off at 5. Man-pants gets off work at 10 pm, about the time that I go to bed because I work at 7 am. One night I was working late and came home to this.


This is the door at the top of the stairs that leads into my apartment. There were little notes like this taped everywhere. 

To the average outsider, we probably look like an insane couple that is kind of mean to each other. But I finally found someone who speaks kitchen. Who gets that a dick drawing is a thousand times sweeter to me than flowers. Who I can be totally blunt and honest with all the time and understands that it isn't mean or spiteful, just honest. 

We are currently living in 450 square feet with a cat and a dog and all of our stuff. 

If you had told me two years ago this was my life, I would have run away screaming. 

I have never been happier.

Friday, July 25, 2014

You're Fired! Just kidding. Maybe.

The first time I fired someone, I left the conference room, went straight to the bathroom and threw up. 

I was 23. Maybe 24. I felt like a total ass hole. It was the only person I have ever fired prior to my current job. I had a part in other people getting fired, definitely. But not the act itself.

I have lost count of the number of people I have fired since I started my current job. I currently have 22 people working in my kitchen alone, this doesn't count the servers and bartenders employed by the restaurant. 

And this may sound ridiculously cold, but it is easy. Compared to the first time, I don't have a single qualm about any person I have fired. Every single person was adequately warned or broke company policy. They all expected it. 

One guy was caught smoking weed on the clock.

One guy was late so many times that I suspended him. Then he called at 6 pm for a shift that started at 10 am.

One guy called off 3 times in his first month.

And so on. Obvious reasons to let every single one of them go. 

Enter this week. I have a meeting tomorrow that will determine the fate of two of my staff members. One of them has been an employee for 7 years. He has a shit attitude and the owner is done. He also has crippling depression and a drinking problem that affects his mood. And the front of house manager HATES him. I don't think I am going to win the fight for him. But I am going to have to fire him.

The second employee is someone who helps to the point of their own detriment.  She tries so hard but is genuinely just really really bad at her job. I like her. But I am fairly certain I have to fire her. 

Neither of these people will see it coming. Neither of these people will have any kind of back up plan or any other jobs lined up. It will totally shock them both. 

I suddenly find myself extremely uncomfortable at the thought of firing either one of them. I will be backed into a corner and my hand will be forced in both cases. 

This job is hard. It's hard to juggle 20 something people's lives. It's hard when I have to cut hours and hurt someone's well being. It's hard when I have to fire people I don't want to fire. It's hard being in charge. I have been a manager before, but never in a circumstance where I am reporting directly to an owner who basically says "call me only if necessary." It's my kitchen, my staff. It's me fielding the calls when someone is unhappy and me fielding the call offs. It is me covering the shifts. It is me me me me me. 

Sometimes that is nice. Sometimes it keeps me up at night. Tonight is the latter. 

I spent an hour on the phone with one of my shift leads tonight discussing basically all of this. 

It's hard to be liked and to manage. 

It's hard to be effective and to still do what I love.

It's hard to be good at my job and care about the people who work for me. 

Today is hard. Tomorrow will be significantly harder. 

This is not my dream job, because my dream job is to own my own restaurant. But this is as close as I have come. And right now, in this moment, in the next 24 hours, I really fucking hate my job.

My front of house manager said that he has become so desensitized to firing people it doesn't even phase him. He has fired pregnant women, single dads, so on and so forth with no remorse. 

If I ever get there, I am lost. 

If I ever get there, I am not me anymore.