I hired into a project management job and recieved no training, no mentoring - just immediately was thrown under the bus. Being responsible for a train wreck that nobody else would touch with a 10' pole....that's why i got the job i guess.
My boss was a cocky prick who had no idea what he was doing. He didn't know what I was supposed to do and anything about the product we produced. He flew in from another site several days a week to "train" me.
Turnover was very high at the facility. The culture was one where people were afraid to go home because they'd be seen as unsupportive. We worked 7 days a week, and every other Sat/Sun you were off, but you'd be expected to stay plugged in with laptop and blackberry.
My old company offered for me to come back so I decided to quit this hell hole. As everyone gathered in my office for a daily production meeting, I had worked up my resignation manifesto.
One of the other cocky prick managers said "are we ready to start your meeting" I said "no I'm not ready to start the meeting, i'm working on something for John" (plant manager). He said "what could be more important that this meeting?" I said "my resignation". THen i pressed control-P and printed 2 copies and stood up. Everyone got silent and parted as I walked out.
I grabbed a few copies and slid them under the doors of the mgrs.
I sent out an email that said "good luck, you're going to need it, i'm out of this son of a bitch".
Then I ripped my badge off and gave it to the security gaurd. I said I dont need this anymore, i am leaving. He said, no you can keep it for when you transfer to your next site. I said no you dont understand, I am leaving this bitch.
ha haha they were dumbfounded. My boss got his ass tore up too.
It was an awful place.Add a Reply
Week 3 at my new job. My supervisor sat me down and asked, verbatim, "is there anything you want to tell me?"
I'd been going gangbusters at this gig. This library is known for rocketing people to success. Within my first month, I'd analyzed circulation data, caught up on ordering, managed programs, and begun dealing with the feared local history section. I was still making mistakes - some fairly comical - but I felt like my aim was true.
Week 4. Same question. Week 5. Week 6. I was sweating. I was so nervous that I was dropping balls everywhere. Finally, I blurted out my awful secret: severe ADD. Cognitive impairment, medications, therapies, coping strategies, shame, shame, shame, and eternal, unending shame. My supervisor calmly informed me that she'd be notifying the director. Since then, for the past three months, no mistake I made, no matter how small, escaped review - and obviously, because I was anxious, I made a ton of mistakes. I forgot to set out water. I mis-scheduled a speaker and had to call them back. I ordered a book from Amazon instead of our vendor. At weekly meetings, I heard the entire litany. Nothing escaped my supervisor. In between those meetings, I was called into my supervisor's office up to twice a week to discuss my shortcomings. My initial panic rocketed to atmospheric levels. I worked harder. I checked my email from home. I had chest pains whenever I saw my boss. I started getting nosebleeds at work after she finally told me there would be a hearing before the town manager regarding my poor performance.
I love my career. I have five years of experience and four solid professional references that say I'm good at it. I've run a library, run a department, saved a couple big apple carts, generally done a great job. But I'm still too young to have a bulletproof career, which is why, when the director and my supervisor told me they'd be calling the town manager to set up a hearing the next day, I handed in my four weeks notice.
They told me to stay until the end of my probationary period, which is December 31. That's another full month in addition to my notice. They claimed they wanted to give me time to look for new work...and then mentioned that I could just keep on fixing the archives while I was here. And ordering books, because why not. And managing the collections. And running programs. And manning the reference desk, helping patrons with computer questions, and working nights.
So I'm a critically flawed employee, but they want me to stay longer so they can keep benefiting from my work??
That's when I remembered that December 31st ends their allocation for this position. And that the last librarian left at six months, too.
They insist that I'm respectful, pleasant, and easy to work with. I arrive 15 minutes early and leave 15 minutes late. I set the alarm, which everyone else on staff is afraid of. I'm extremely polite. My supervisor claims that she thinks I am a "wonderful" person. But to be perfectly frank, that has got to be baloney. If I'm such a great person and they like my work so much that they want me to stay a little longer and take care of a few things for them, there must be something about my personality that they hate.
And I think I know what it is.
ADD is not a game-over thing. Heck, I got this far with nothing to show for it but a couple satisfied employers and a handful of glowing references. But ever since I admitted my condition to my supervisor, she's been on the warpath. My dad once warned me to never tell people about my psychiatric history. Now I know that I should have listened.
I'm looking for new work, but I'm not so sure of myself anymore. It's a competitive field, believe it or not, and there's a famous library school in my area that produces new pros with pristine resumes every semester. I've never known a shopper who wants a bruised banana when there are perfect ones available.
I hate that my library career has been set back like this - so much of my hard work has been destroyed by this job. But what really bothers me is that I have to grit my teeth and be a good girl for the next two months. All I want to do is rail at these people. But if they pushed me out for having ADD, who knows what they'd do if they knew about my temper? At this point I might still get a part-time assistant job somewhere - I can't afford to jeopardize that chance. So here I am, venting. And ordering some books. And managing the collection. And hating myself for every blasted second. It feels good to say something, even if just anonymously. Thanks for reading.
I have been in the Field Service industry since 1985 and have worked repairing banking machines since 1991. The best way to sum up my almost 3 years with Wincor-Nixdorf is to label my employment as democratized slavery; well paid slavery, with good benefits, but slavery nonetheless.
This German based company is entirely statistic driven. This must translate, at the field service level, into 'number' manipulation in order to keep your job. The 'good' technicians, the ones who have been with Wincor the longest, have learned how to under-deliver their service in order to keep their 'numbers' looking good. So, if you are conscientious you will find yourself feeling frustrated every day for having to reconcile your conscience with what you will discover you will have to do to keep those statistics good enough to satisfy a faceless management that is just as ready to cull you out as they were to hire you.
Upper management makes decisions from expediency, usually in response to clients laying claim to the contractual fines Wincor must pay for poor service. This results in many, literally, stupid situations that waste time and generate indecisiveness and frustration as the dispatchers and technicians try to keep the promises management made while keeping their 'numbers' looking good enough to keep their jobs.
Driving is tracked by GPS and every phone call to the company is recorded and reviewed. Your reported travel and work times are scrutinized for 'errors' in an ongoing effort to extract, "100% efficiency" from each technician. The laptop and 'Smart Phone' programs they give you to run their diagnostic programs and debrief your work tickets are conflicting and unreliable, as is the added level of security that must be slogged through each day to accomplish any task. This generates additional frustrations for the many minutes that are lost each day because of these poorly integrated programs and the poorly conceived network that connects everything; minutes that count against you when your statistics are reviewed.
The scheduling of work times is unreliable and the work schedules themselves are grueling. There were many times when I worked 7-10 days in a row with shift changes in the middle that would only gave me 4 or 5 hours to sleep. Later, because this abuse cost them many longtime technicians in a short time span, they provided 2 consecutive days off, but those days rotate through the weeks so they can squeeze out an extra day of work out of a seven day cycle. This is in addition to sudden schedule changes that turned scheduled days off I had made plans for into days I was expected to work. No recourse was available and complaints were ignored. Many times my request for PTO was denied a few days before the requested date, despite a constant stream of e-mail reminders, leaving me with unfulfilled promises and missed life-events.
Additionally, to be considered a 'good' employee you are expected to be 'in travel' one-half early each day, without pay and remove on-half hour each day in your travel time home. Also, without the company actually declaring it as a requirement, 'good' technicians are expected to volunteer to work more than the mandatory overtime of a 10 hour day (12-14 hour days were the norm), come in on your days off and travel to other cities to cover for fired, quitting or vacationing technicians.
It was revealed once, during a weekly conference call, that upper management knew that most of their big-city technicians were 120% to 130% over-utilized (how could they not know, given the statistics they monitor). Managements' response to this was not to hire more technicians, but to push the lower managers to make the 'lazy' technicians work faster.
Now you know why I wanted to quit and here's how I 'quit': I made them let me go!
Once, in an effort to boost the level of service they were providing because the service had gotten so poor that their clients were bitterly complaining about the 'downtime' of their ATM's, they gave all of their technicians a document to sign saying that we would leave every ATM in a, "like new condition". I began doing this and of course my 'repair time' statistic suffered, though all of my other 'numbers' remained good exactly because of the conscientious service I gave. As anticipated, when my review came, my numbers were not good enough and I was culled out, with severance pay, because they could not fire me for anything wrong I was doing despite my being, statistically, a 'lazy' technician.
If you are a conscienceless company man, a loner who likes very little interaction with co-workers, apart from the constant drama associated with frustration, are unmarried or in a bad marriage and you have no children to raise, no friends to do things with and no one to celebrate holidays with and want lots of money that you have no time or energy to spend, then Wincor-Nixdorf has the job for you.Read 1 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
By walking by:
They would not dream of treating employees like this in their home country. Employees there have protection, regulated hours and strong staff associations. Even Attila treated his warriors better than this. Again and again we see foreign companies behaving badly towards employees and customers.
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Last week I had coffee with an ex colleague who is still working for the large global organisation I worked at for 5 years. She is returning to work after maternity leave and already her anxiety levels are high. I left the same company in June 2012 and can honestly say I think it was the best decision I ever made. I'm now a mature student (hence the handle), taking the time to reconsider my options while I expand my mind. I question why it took me so long to leave a situation that made me so unhappy and destroyed my confidence? Money etc. aside, it was more than that, what stopped me? And also, why do people stay in organisations that make them so unhappy?Read 1 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
By tired of jerks at work:
i agree this is the reason unions were founded so workplace would be equal from the top down and not get mistreated by the owners or leaders..
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I worked at this place that used kerosene for rust proofing parts at the machines I tried to tell the owner my throat was getting irritated from the fumes around the shop
who in there right mind uses flammable stuff like almost gas to rust proof parts and then the worst of it the workers would have to blow the excess for packaging.. this place if you were 1 minute late bamm you were warned on paper after 3 times bamm your going to take time off...but not on your terms..
I packed my stuff and left the place was a disaster yet they glorified like it was the best place to work.
kind of figures these people had no clue how to treat other people.. even the supervisor quit shortly after I walked out.. I still remember KEROSENE cannot believe a place would use that.. it would go up in flames...I should have called OSHA then.. I was not smart enough.. but then OSHA can get sucked up to also..the place was a cave
I almost fainted when a training coworker demonstrated how to clean tacky scissors with lighter fluid. No OSHA in this state only a state agency without power.
That sounds like my old job. We had so many OSHA violations up in that bitch that it was ridiculous and everytime the inspectors from OSHA came out, they rather pay the heavy fines from them than fix the violations. No matter how many times we've fussed to management about the dangerous conditions, the less they done about it.
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We had orientation this one day and I did not finish a test not knowing it would be collected. Our job never collected it before so I didn't bother finishing it. I get word that at the next orientation, they wanted to talk to me about it, so I was OK with it and I would talk to them and explain to them why it wasn't completed.
I go to the next orientation and the next thing I know, they were accusing me of screaming at the previous orientation about rat shit being all over the kitchen. That's when I was like what? I came in there thinking that I was going to be fussed at over a test and the next thing I know, they pull this rat shit story clear out of left field and I kept telling them that I did not say it. Then they kept saying that they have 8 people claiming they heard me, but they couldn't give any names. Thank god I kept sticking to my story and told them that I did not say it. I walked out of the meeting the whole time going off on one of my bosses telling them how dare he accuse me of saying something that I didn't. I go home furious. I'm contemplating quitting, something was telling me to wait before sending me the resignation letter.
I go to the supermarket the next day and ran into one of my coworkers and I told her that I will not be returning to the job because I told her the whole story about how I was accused of yelling something about rat shit when I didn't. I went to that meeting thinking I was there for a test and next thing I know they were accusing me of something else. She was sitting in at the same orientation I was and was near me the whole time. She was so stunned and her first reaction was "What?". She then asked me if they were playing with me and I told her that my boss was dead serious. She even said that I did not say anything about no rat shit. At this point now I am upset, but also happy that I did not admit to any guilt.
I go home and start typing up my resignation email. The gist of it was that I did not appreciate them accusing me of saying something I didn't and I myself have my own and legitimate witness. You can take the job and give it to the next idiot that walks up in there. I tell them do not call me, email me, or communicate with me in any form because I done did blocked them.
Here's where it gets crazy. As soon as I send it off, I noticed that these strange cars were driving by the house and was stopping in front of my house or in front of my neighbors house. I finally had the last straw and decided to peak out in front to see who it was. It was one of the managers from my job watching the house, but he wasn't stupid enough to use his car in case I call the police on him and run the plates. He drove off soon after and the drive-by's stopped.
Then my supervisor from my old job kept calling me to the point where I had to block her. Our boss was having her call me for whatever idiotic reason after I told them I quit. I even had to change my number because of it because after I blocked them, they changed their phone number so they could get around the block.
I started my new job and just so happened I ran into a few additional old coworkers and they asked me why I quit. I told them what happened and they were all in agreement that I did not say anything about rat poo. They were there too. They also told me that they were extremely desperate to get me to come back because when I quit, they were screwing my food up so badly and could not keep up with the workload. They also now realized that I was right about what I was telling them and that I did not say what they were accusing me of saying. They knew they f'ed up royally. I told them I am not stupid enough to go back and I am happier at the place I am at now. I told them also that the only reason why they need me back is because I'm an extra body and they will never fully apologize for what they did. They sure enough never did apologize.Read 2 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
*UPDATE* I ran into a former coworker and after I quit, that place went down hill since me working. They cannot find anyone willing to come in extra early or stay extra late to work on the things I used to work on. He said that they now have to put in extra hours because of me leaving and he looked very haggard when I met him. From the sounds of it, the bosses did admit that they messed up by doing me wrong. In a way I'm glad I got out of there because they were on the verge of losing their contract anyway with the building so I would have to have left anyways. I just wanted to come back for one more year knowing that it was coming to an end, but I didn't expect to be played like this.
UPDATE #2: I just found out that I'm not the only one they done this to. They did it to someone else earlier this year also where they tried to accuse them of something they didn't do and they also quit. I know that the company is struggling in our area, but this is not the way to downsize. If they accuse the wrong person of doing something, they might have a lawsuit. I could tell they are going belly up because so far they've been transferring the higher-ups left and right way out to other states trying to save them first and then they aren't hiring any new people to fill the vacancies. They are also not hiring any new people on the lower end of the company. A lot of people are also planning on quitting to and I told them that they may as well because their contract is up this year and they might not have a job next year.
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Five years ago, I took a job as an Executive Secretary at a large healthcare organization. At first, I was enthusiastic about learning a new job and maybe meeting new people, but as time went on, I could detect that the people who I worked with weren't the same type of people I had known at my previous jobs. I was fortunate to have worked with people who supported me, and many of the people I have worked with have remained good friends to this day. For starters, and I found out this later, that when I came on board, people were gunning for me to fail, because they didn't think I could fill the shoes of the woman who previously occupied the Executive Secretary job.
Then, and I know this is going to sound hard to believe, but, in my previous jobs, I almost never, if ever, heard woman drop the F or C bomb in the workplace. Then there was Ann. Her real name has been concealed to protect the not so innocent. She was the secretary across the hall whose door was eight feet away from mine. My department and her department were supposed to work closely together. Whenever I tried to talk to her about work, or become friendly, she would give me a downward stare, or a short, curt answer. But, I tried to remain professional and not go carnival freak crazy on her. In the five years I worked there, Ann never once, ever, darkened my doorway to socialize. I managed to get one Merry Christmas out of her. I was working there when she had her son. Prior to his birth, she had a baby shower and invited many co-workers. Take three guesses, and the first two don't count who didn't get invited to the baby shower. She didn't even give me a chance to share in her joy of having the baby she always wanted.
I began to get depressed, burnt out, and extremely disillusioned. For the most part, the work was boring, the people were mean, and I guess I didn't feel like giving the 150% they wanted out of me. But I did do my job and from what people were telling me, I was doing a good job. I had many years in the workforce, I had a college degree, and I had a part-time job writing feature articles for the local newspapers.
I knew I wasn't fitting in, and I knew I needed to get out of there. I kept on applying for positions I wasn't getting called for.
Then, on the morning of my and my husband's sixth wedding anniversary, a Friday, I received my yearly evaluation from the Administrator and Assistant Administrator of the facility I worked in. My work was rated overall not competent along with a list of improvements to make, and goals to meet within a 30-day period or face possible termination.
If a meteor crashed into the building, or if Madonna, Derek Jeter, Michelle Obama or Snookie walked into my office at that moment, I would have been less shocked. I acted like nothing was wrong while my boss was going over the evaluation. I took half the day off. I went home and cried. My husband and I tried to have a nice anniversary dinner. Knowing full well what I had to do, and being completely aware of the present economic climate, I went in to my office on a Sunday morning, packed my stuff up handed in my badge, unsigned evaluation, and resignation letter. To top it off, I tried to collect unemployment, and that was turned down. I knew that job and the atmosphere wasn't right from the start. If anyone learns anything from this story, please let it be go with your first instinct. If it doesn't feel right at the interview, you are more than likely right.Read 4 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
Oh, yes, been there and done that. I had a supervisor do that to me - 5 years of super reviews, then I get moved to her department and suddenly I'm completely incompetent and she has to get rid of me. There IS no good way out. But when they make you quit, you won't get any Unemployment pay, so if it happens again, hang on until they tell you to leave. Now, remember this - it is not YOU, it is THEM, and don't waste a moment searching your soul for 'what's wrong with me' or feeling guilty for not doing better, it was IMPOSSIBLE for you to succeed there. Management is nasty, bitter, and likes nothing better than to knock down people that they feel will go over easily. Sure - you don't have a 'fired' mark on your record, but you're losing out on any benefits from them, too, and I would bet that you'll get crappy references from those delightful folks, too.
Now I have to go to my own wonderful job, where my wonderful boss is trying to fire me. And I'm going to hold on until the bitter end, because there are NO jobs where I am.
Oh, and I also bet Ann told stories on you, making stuff up about what you were doing wrong. I have one of those coworkers and he's caused a LOT of damage.
By dontask :
heck, management and HR have done all that plus badmouthed my spouse, possibly my offspring. Everything went from bad to worse after a workplace accident left me injured and asking for a different job. Even requests for minor adjustments met with furious arguments and denials. Quitting was out of the question, since we needed insurance and unemployment pay until my health improved.
By Keeping Cool MN:
So Sorry to hear Little Mary. I agree with Labtech.. Impossible situation and you did not deserve this. I have 8 years in the Administrative Medical field and just coming out of a frighteningly similar experience. People don't know how unfriendly it is behind the scenes at any medical facility. They have many TV shows that portray Medicine with valor and honor however there is a business end know one knows about and it leaves as many victims of poor management as it does patients left out in the cold. I am currently exploring a career change…It is not you , your fine! Sounds like you have past accomplishments to draw on, Go for it! I wish you the best!
By Little Mary:
Not only I am encouraged by the supportive comments I received from my story, but I feel I am not alone knowing others have experienced the same, or close to it, unfortunate work situation I just went through. Keeping cool nailed it about the personalities in healthcare. Working in this field was a new frontier for me. Apparently I wasn't prepared, or too naive, to deal with the nasty subversive culture that exists in healthcare today - specifically, how employees and management interact with each other. I worked in a Skilled Nursing Center. I told my husband if there ever comes a time I need to have round the clock nursing care, just throw me in a dumpster behind a Dunkin Donuts. I should design and manufacture T-Shirts that have "Got Bitter?" emblazoned on them. Judging from this website, I could probably sell a ton of them. Thanks again.
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I've only been working at applebees for about a week now as a Hostess. Why do I want to quit? many reasons one being I never know when I get off till they tell me like a slave that I can leave. Oh did I mention I am 16 years old and I have yet to obtain my provisional license, which means I have to sit outside or walk over to target till my mom comes to get me like 20 minutes later. Yes I do get paid but its too much work for that little bit of money. My daily tasks include: Greeting guests and seating them at a table, bus tables, sweep, run food to tables, take drink orders, and clean the bathrooms! Maybe that doesn't sound like much to you but trust me it is. Hosts have to seat people in a certain section or the servers get pissed because they have to many tables,or not enough tables. It is tough going back and forth from the kitchen, to tables, to the foyer. Oh and the manager, lets just say he says rude things to the Hostess's. No he has never said anything to me yet. But if he ever does I will quit on the spot. I won't even put in my two weeks. So take my advice and do not work at Applebees.Read 8 Replies | Add a ReplyComments:Close Replies
Get over it, this is your job at 16, there are alot worse.
I did the same at 14-15 as a restaurant dishwasher and I even had to clean the gross grease traps and grill traps of the nasty food scraps.
At age 16-18 I worked grocery stores where I had to clean the rest rooms even when I wanted to use them plus push in the grocery carts in the snow and slush during the winter.
And bring a book to read during that oh so long 20 minute wait for your mom to drive you home.
And if you really want to impress your mom try giving her 25% of your paycheck either for your college savings or to help her out with the family bills.
(it wouldnt let me post another comment on my post for some reason)
No, i will not "get over it" i quit yesterday. Yeah maybe you think i am unwilling or too lazy to work but i'm not. I would probably think the same thing if i read some other persons post. I have a 4.0 gpa, and take advanced placement classes. I try my best in everything i do, including working at Applebees. The main reason i quit is because the general manager treats everyone who works there like crap including me. He calls all the girls there "dumb sl*ts". I would be more than willing to work for someone who treated me with respect, like a human being and i would also want him to treat everyone else there the same way. Maybe the job isn't for me; I'm sure there are plenty of people who could stand there and be insulted and bullied without even thinking about it but no i can not. I am a strong person and i will not let anyone talk to me like that.
*forget the stuff in the parenthesis it wouldnt let me post at first
Hang in there! You sound smart enough to know that you are better than your crappy job. I hate to say it, but teenagers get the worst jobs! They save those for you. When I was 15 I worked at KMART. Not too bad, except I had to open and close every single weekend and work way past closing time during the week. They will try to use and abuse you - DON'T LET THEM! Stand up for yourself and quit only if you have to. Just know this: Hardly anyone likes their job. And remember: "This, too, shall pass."
Certainly, if the management is being wrong or evil you don't need to stay around to take that abuse. The description and tone of your initial posting was that of a spoiled teenager though, so that is why I replied to those points.
By Sphincter Detector:
Working for sh**holes is a right of passage, we all have to do it to earn our stripes from the school of Hard Knocks... but enough Cliches. It gives you discipline ( if you don't quit), and teaches you this very imporant lesson " Graduate, or work here for the rest of your life. These jobs are what motivate us to strive for better things. If they were so wonderful, we'd all be content to be a bunch a grade 10 dropouts working as managers at Applebees for 10 bucks an hour.
after graduation you will work for better educated sh**tholes. nothing changed except the use of insults. language used will be more sophisticated and legal.
By Sphincter Detector:
Soooo true :)
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I worked for large ready mix company, driving a mixer. It seemed the people in dispatch had it out for me, making me come in early, and leave late. I also had to do all the maintenance on the truck because the mechanics were far too busy screwing around. At the end of one particularly long week, they sent me to a job at a different plant. They decided that I should haul the last load, skipping over three other drivers from that plant. After getting half unloaded, the customer had enough concrete. I shut the truck off, took the keys, and threw them in the barrel, letting them sink into the concrete. The extra key was well over an hour away.Add a Reply
By the age of 19 I had already acquired a long list of previous employers. There was McDonald's, where I grilled burgers in the back with all the illegal immigrants. Management must have thought I was not presentable enough to work the front with all the other English speaking teenagers. There was the telecommunications center where I answered phones calls and placed catalog orders. This proved to be an embarrassing task for a 16-year-old whose voiced had yet to change. At the end of every phone call the customer would politely say, "Thanks Ma'am you've been very helpful." After about the 6th or 7th time I stopped correcting them. There was Home Depot, where I stole enough lumber to build a quarter pipe in my friend Peters backyard. There was Hollywood Video where my co-worker set up a fake account using the name of Smokey McPot, under which we rented many a dvd with no intention of returning. There was the frame shop that fired me for being too slow. There was the hair salon that fired me for not being friendly enough. And then, finally, there was Vincenzo's.
Vincenzo's was a local pizza place that decorated its floors with peanut shells discarded by customers. They were home of the 28 inch, 45 dollar, "Feeds your entire little league baseball team" pizza. If you went there on a Saturday night in 2003 you would find a bunch of middle aged overweight adults, small children, and one table full of 20-year-olds drinking excessively. For a 19/20-year-old with no fake I.d. it was a dream job. They had 4 tapped kegs filled with assorted beers that were never accounted for. Meaning one could grab a big stein and fill himself a mug of beer without the owner knowing. Or, one could pour himself several mugs of beer throughout the course of a couple hours without the owner knowing. One could even call 15 of his closest friends and invite them all to come join him in filling several mugs of beer throughout the course of a couple hours. Thus we had a weekly routine.
Saturday night was karaoke. A morbidly obese woman would set up her equipment in the corner and then abuse the small authority she had. Although it was in the book, we were told we could not sing the song "Turning Japanese" by the Vapors because of it's sexual undertones. There was only one of us who really ever sang. Except for the embarrassing night we all got into a karaoke battle with a group of Junior High girls and lost horribly. I was working and fortunately did not participate in this. An awkward group of about 8 guys half singing, half mumbling the words to "Friends in Low Places" was no match for a bubbly enthusiastic group of 12-year-old girls screaming "Girls Just Want to Have Fun". They even had dance moves to go with it. It was like they were a traveling group of hustlers, going from restaurant to restaurant insidiously waiting for a karaoke challenge to be declared. The prize was a free pitcher of beer, which was actually kind of meaningless to both groups, but they ended up giving it to our table seeing as they could not legally enjoy it and their coaches weren't interested.
The only one who ever got behind the microphone outside of this incident was Ryan Bradshaw. Sometimes it was Madonna, sometimes it was Prince, sometimes it was Tracy Chapman, but most of the time it was Tommy Tutone. What he lacked in actual talent or singing ability, he made up for in stage presence and showmanship. He would quickly finish whatever was left in his glass and take a stage that was just occupied by a 4-year-old girl singing the lyrics to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". He'd Shout out a "Hey" that cued the song and would then start moving his hands and fingers around in a way that made it look like he was playing a guitar made out of air. "Jenny! Jenny! Who can I turn to!?" would be heard by all through the speakers, commanding the attention of everyone in the restaurant. The karaoke lady learned later that she needed to turn down his mic before he went up. He would mix up the tone and sound of his voice, sometimes almost whispering, then bursting back into a rock star scream when the chorus came on. He would improvise the lyrics of a song to fit the current situation. 867 5309 would be replaced with 368 2319. Jenny was now Stacey, the girl he met a few weeks ago and was trying to bang. Once finished, he would leave the stage in the same timid and shy manner that he approached it. All that remained was a room full of confused, irritated faces, and me, gasping for air, crying with laughter.
The place closed at 10 or 11, depending on the night of the week and the amount of customers there. This meant that after 10 or 11, we could continue our merry making without the annoyance of small children running around or old people interrupting our conversations. Since this seemed to be a more serious offense, promising to close down the restaurant and lock everything up, but instead party until the early morning hours, we reserved these nights for rare and special occasions. Like say, Norman Falangy's 21st birthday. After going out to sushi and ringing up a $150 dollar tab, we decided that this whole "buying your drinks" thing wasn't all that great. Instead we could open up Vincenzo's and booze it up for free. This ended with Norman throwing up. It was loud, it was long, and it was all over the floor. Being all fairly drunk ourselves, nobody wanted the responsibility of cleaning up this mess. Instead we swept it under a table and threw peanut shells over it. The next day at work, a family of 5 requested to change booths, complaining that there was a foul stench of vomit coming from underneath their table.
I worked there as a driver, and I learned that in delivery, one encounters certain tipping problems that a server would never have. For example there was what I called the "Give me a dollar back" guy. This was the customer who had already decided in his head that he was going to give a two dollar tip. So when I'd tell him it's $16.96 he would hand me a 20 and then look upwards as he laboriously tried to run the math in his head. One Mississippi. . . . Two Mississippi . . . Three Missi "Just give me a dollar back man." He'd finally reply. I would then imagine him doing this inside a restaurant accompanied by a date. Both of them have their coats on, she's rapping her fingers on the to-go box as they wait diligently for the waitress to return with his dollar.
Another problem I got frequently was what I called the " Sorry I don't have enough cash for a tip but I can smoke you a bowl bro!" guy. This surprisingly happened a lot, perhaps because of my age and appearance. I found it irritating because I did not smoke weed, and if I did, I don't think I would have wanted to right before I had to drive around town at night trying to find houses.
The best was the " Leave whatever tip you would like" guy. This was the customer that paid for their order over the phone by credit card, then signed the receipt but failed to mark a zero or an X through the tip line. Thus allowing me to give myself what I felt to be a more satisfactory tip. Often times they would just give you cash. The amount I later filled out on the receipt would be relative to how much they gave me, how polite they were, and how far I had to drive. To stay under the radar I never made it more than 5 dollars.
As you can imagine the job takes it's toll on your car. My Dad was nice enough to let me drive his 91 Toyota Corolla, which was much more fuel efficient than the 94 Ford Ranger I owned. I showed my gratitude for this by totaling his car. I know what you're thinking, and no I wasn't drunk. Trying to read the numbers of an address on a small receipt under the dim light provided by my cell phone, I ran a stop sign and was struck by a Porsche going about 40 mph. In the lane next to this car was a Cadillac Escalade. Had I been a second sooner I might not be here to write this blog. My car spun a full 360 degrees and I was then covered in shattered glass. A man ran to my window and asked me if I was OK. I said "I think so" and he instructed me to stay inside the car until an ambulance arrives, as I might possibly have a concussion. Hearing this advice I quickly unbuckled my seatbelt and sprung out the window.
My first thought was "I just had a near death experience. . . I am going to get some major sex from my girlfriend tonight!" But first I needed to make some phone calls. I dialed my friend and co-worker Dustin Helvig. "Hey um, I just got in an accident. . I'm fine and everything . . totally cool man. . it's totally cool. . but um . . I dooonn't think I'm going to be able to deliver the rest of these pizzas dude you might need to help me out." Expecting a moderate fender bender, he was quite shocked to see the mangled remains of what used to be my fathers car. My arms and face were bloodied from the shattered pieces of glass left by my window. The driver of the Porsche was being carried into an ambulance on a stretcher. We opened up the trunk and it never occurred to me that the pizzas might not be in the same condition they were in when I left the restaurant. It looked like someone spray painted the walls with a coat of melted cheese and spaghetti sauce. Crumbled pieces of white and red checkered cardboard were scattered about. It was impossible to tell they were once a flat square shape that could hold a pizza. " I think we're going to have to replace the order" Dustin suggested.
Eventually we all turned 21. The free beer was great, don't get me wrong, but the obese 50 year olds accompanied by their autistic children singing the Backstreet Boys was not the prime setting for partying. We found better places to go to with the compromise of having to actually pay for our drinks. It was a slow change at first but eventually I stopped asking if we were meeting at Vincenzo's and just started showing up at T.G.I.Fridays where I knew everyone would be.
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In your job history, you stole from Home Depot to make a quarterpipe, used a fake account that your coworker set up to steal DVDs, and then drank a lot of beers at the pizza place for free, ringing it up on the bosses' dime?
Don't you think that this is unethical?
I was once your age and yes, I worked at McDonalds, a pizza place (no free beers), and used to be a skateboarder.
Maybe one of the reasons that illegal aliens are getting hired instead of American adolescents for these jobs is because of behaviors like these? Just saying...
And no, I am not in support of illegal immigration.
BRIAN,Have you heard of,''what comes around,goes around?.Everything you did that was wrong...came back to nip you in the ass. I was your age once and yes, i made alot of wrong choices that i regret, but i never stole anything in my life,never made fun of people that were obese,never made fun of children for being autistic,[VERY WRONG!]I have a daughter that has weight problem and has problems learning. [and no,she doesnt eat all the time like ppl. think]. BUT IT'S PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT MAKES IT HARD ON INNOCENT PEOPLE LIKE MY DAUGHTER,by judging them.and you will get what's coming to you again if you continue your attitude and your behavior.Think about other's feeling's instead of ripping ppl. off a dollar or steling drink's.
By Sphincter Detector:
OMG enough with the moral grandstanding you guys.. he got what he deserved? You mean he deserved to almost die in a brutal car wreck for stealing lumbar and beer? Holy F** , don't want to get on yor bad side.. He sounds like a normal teenage boy to me. He's telling a coming of age story, which I for one thought was awesome. Dude, you're a good writer, I was visualizing a'Stand By Me' narrative as I read your post. Stop wasting your time here . "Don't cast your pearls amongst swine.." as my father always says!
I loved your story! I hope it was true - except I'm sorry you were in a horrible wreck! But I so enjoyed reading about your nights at the pizza place! With the exception of Home Depot, that was bad! But I feel like you took what was coming to you at the other places. Cheers to you!
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