Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Holiday Shifts...

In my years with Red Lobster, my experience has been that we had to work 2 of 4 possible shifts between the day before Christmas and New Years Eve/Day. This had always worked well, and allowed some people to have one of the two days off. I have always worked New Years, as it's fun and easy money, because people are out for a bite on their way somewhere else, and are looking to have fun. This year, because of the new table requirement, we are now required to work 3 of the 4 shifts. While I don't personally have a problem working these shifts, I can see how it is/will be a problem for some. I can't wait for all my co-workers to be extra hung-over New Years Day, and then have it be dead like it always is and have to listen to them complain about their job, or revel in the stupidity of their drunken stupors the night previous.

For some reason Blogger has flagged this blog as a potential spam blog. I don't know if that is because the title includes the name of my abuser...err...my employer or what. It's interesting anyhow, and they require me to do the funky jumbled letter entry to verify that a human is posting rather than some bot. If only I could program a bot to wait on my bad tables...

Over the years, waiting tables has been good to me. It's paid my bills (barely). But now with the stupid new regulations, I am afraid that might no longer be possible. My sales have gone down on a daily basis 40-60%. Many nights I used to sell $600-750 very regularly, now I'm hitting $300-350 regularly. Add to that an extra person I have to tip out every night (busser) and it has really done a body slam to my earnings. I have gotten roughly a 2% increase on my average tip percentage with the change, but 2% more of 50% of what I was earning is absolute crap. I sure hope Red Lobster/Darden and their upper level management come to their senses. I understand the desire to care for their customers, but if all of their server trainers and highly skilled servers leave their restuarants, they will not improve long term. I expect the turn over rate in the coming few months to be very high. I haven't started looking yet myself, but I can see that day in the not too far future. Nothing worse than working at a place where you know your employer DOES NOT CARE about you. It's all about the bottom line, and if they have to crush you, run you over, chase you out the door to scrape another $0.02 per plate more they will do it. Darden used to be a good company, but more and more I am coming to believe they quit caring about the little guy, their average employees.

Our regulars have caught on that things aren't going well. They've been asking questions of us, but we aren't allowed to talk about the morons in upper level management and their decisions that are only made to pad their wallets through their bonuses. If we are caught talking it's grounds for immediately being fired. These people make bonuses that are far greater in amount than servers make in a whole year in regular tips and wages. They have long since forgotten, if they ever knew, what it was like to just barely scrape by. We have single mothers who were barely able to keep the lights on under the prior system, and these heartless "leaders" decided a month before Christmas that they would reduce their earning potential by 50%. Thank you Red Lobster, after all the great years we've given you, you stab us in the back.

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