Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Something worth bitching about

In the comments to a previous post, an anonymous commenter said:
I think if you hate it so much yous hould quit. I don't think it's the best job, but I'm in college is it's kind of extra money. Stop being a hater I'm sure you're not doing anyone good there with your attitude.

My response was:
Ah yes, the luxery of being a college student waiting tables for extra cash or beer money. I remember those days, they were good times. You apparently do not grasp the full issue here. While perhaps you are limited in skills and can only handle 3 tables (which is the case for many servers at our store as well), for some of us more experienced and tenured wait staff, we are bored out of our minds. While we don't mind helping you, we're there to make OUR money. So rather than doing your work for you, we'd much rather have 4 or 5 tables, greatly increase our earning potential, and not be bored stiff.

Additionally, you probably don't understand the impact this system has had on people like one of the single mom's I work with. She has 2 children to support on her wages (her ex is a deadbeat) and Red Lobster over night cut her income by 40+%. She's more than capable of carrying 4-5 tables all day/night long (and had done so for more than 15 years in our store). She's sweet, does far more than her share of side work, and helps everyone. So her reward for many years of great service is a kick in the teeth. She's struggling to get by on what she's making on a weekly basis now, and has actively started looking for a new job. Who looses in this scenereo? Red Lobster does, because they loose one of their best wait staff, one of their hardest workers, all of their training hours gone down the tubes.
She doesn't want a new job, Red Lobster is forcing her out the door. She would like to stay, she has the exact schedule she needs and wants, and has flexibility for when her children get sick or when she needs a day off. We've had a half dozen of our best staff leave already, and more are on their way out the door. Red Lobster thinks this will improve customer service? Our guest satisfaction scores don't reflect that, our scores were higher before this crappy system. We've lost 30+ years of service by some of the formerly best service staff on our team. Not a good way to run a business, let alone a gigantic international resturant chain.


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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay, you got me. Why do you continue to do it? Obviously you're experienced and can hold your own in something above a corporate chain restaurant. You won't win this fight. Why not move on?

Lobster Boy said...

That's a darn good question, one I've been examining long and hard the last two months. Prior to this change over to the new crappy system, I was actually pretty happy. Yeah, it was still waiting tables at Red Lobster, but it paid my bills. My dillema was that in the last month I have gotten married, moved to a different part of the city, and I might be facing surgery here soon. So I've stayed because of those reasons, plus initially we were told this system might not last. Now we've been told (I mention this in a previous post) that this will last at least a year. I don't know if I can afford to wait that long. My wife wants more $ for our mortgage than I can supply on this current system. So you are asking the right question here, one I have been asking, as have many of my other experienced counter parts. I would not be surprized if by the end of this year only 1 of our existing Server Trainers remains at this store. There is only one that I am aware of that is not currently somewhat or actively looking for new employment.

I have talked with some people, and I have a chance at an interview with a fine dining establishment. It's roughly half the distance I'm currently driving to work, it's a lot more money, and it's a considerably better and cooler environment to work in. I'm waiting on some upcoming medical appointments and decisions and may very well be moving that route by the end of Spring. We'll see. Until then, I will suffer.

Lobster Boy

Anonymous said...

How goes the battle - keep posting and maybe you'll get some readers?

Anonymous said...

Okay, seriously dude--quit your job. If it sucks so much, then just quit and find another job (unless you don't think you're capable), or do something to improve it. That's the joy of living in a democracy: if you don't like your job, you're free to quit and find another one.

But, seriously, blogs about bitching about your job are so 2003. It's not like you're a good enough writer to get a book deal, so maybe you should stick to Red Lobster.

Lobster Boy said...

I'm glad to have entertained you, even if I'm 3 years behind the curve. I blog as my own personal opportunity to vent. If you want, read it, if not, don't. Either way, I'm going to keep blogging, as it keeps me sane.

Lobster Boy

Barbara Fisher said...

Hey, Anonymous--if you are going to be a twit, why not sign your name to your verbal obnoxity?

You don't like this blog--go read another one, but I suggest you take your unsolicited "advice" (actually--it wasn't advice it was a slam to a stranger--how mature is that?) elsewhere.

Lobster Boy said...

Why thank you Barbara! Welcome to my corner of the blogosphere, stop back soon!

Lobster Boy