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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Paging Dr. Waiter, Come Right Away


Does anyone have to deal with "on-call shifts" at their job? If you are a nurse working the ER or a doctor, sure. Then it's important to have that on-call person in case a busload of kids is in an accident and the hospital is overrun with need. But an on-call waiter just pisses my shit off. I had one job once where they always had an on-call person and that was only one of the many things that made it a craptastic place to work. I won't say the name of it but let's just hypothetically say it was Josie's at Amsterdam and 74th. I was dreading the day that it would be my turn to be on-call. You have to keep that whole day free just in case they might need you. And the only time they needed you was when some other bitch waiter called in sick and the only reason that bitch waiter would call in sick was because he knew there was an on-call loser that would have to come in for him. It was a vicious vicious cycle and I really resented it. So anyhoo, the day came. I saw on the schedule that I was on-call for 4:00 and I would have to call at 3:00 to see if I had to come to work. Well, it took me 45 minutes to get to work so I basically was going to have to be ready to leave as soon as I got off the phone. I had already scheduled a catering gig for that night because it was sure thing and I didn't want to pass it by. Well, those bitches called me at 2:00 and said, "Bad news, Bitchy Waiter. We need you to come in at 4:00." I said, "Yeah, about that. I need to come in and talk to you, Mr. Manager." So on the way to my sure thing catering gig, I popped into the hypothetical Josie's at 4:00. I had my uniform, my apron, my check presenter and my bad attitude in a paper sack. I saw one of the managers and asked if I could talk to her in private. She was the cool one. She looked at me. She looked at the bag in my hand. And she said, "You're quitting aren't you?"

I did quit. I gave them no notice whatsoever and said my fond farewell to the place that I had given some of the best three weeks of my life. The manager that was working that night was a total prick. And all the waitresses at that place were total bitches who were mean and spiteful and I was so completely happy to walk through the dining room and know that they were going to be screwed all night because I was quitting. Fuck you, hypothetical Josie's at Amsterdam and 74th. Your on-call shifts can eat my pud.

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4 comments:

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

I cannot work at a place on call either. That is bullshit! I would rather be scheduled to work then called off. That is a whole different feeling right there. I have had jobs like Josie's too. Fantastic when you leave. What power!

Banquet Manager said...

The problem with waiter staffing is that you can't have many "full-time" waiters in this business anymore. Labor costs are too high so many places, especially in my field banquet, work with "on-call" staff or even agency waiters. They really suck.

It keeps labor cost down on a day to day basis and keeps the senior staff working since they get more shifts. Only if you need additional help do you call in the next level guys/gals.

Anonymous said...

Oh the on call Bull Shit. Am I going to be paid my hourly wage for this waiting game? No? Then its not a shift and I am not calling. Write me up for not calling? But its not a paid shift. What did I do wrong? I argued my way off the on-call list, but pissed off many on the way...my way out. On-call should be paid something to be "on call"

sarah said...

I had never heard of a restaurant doing that until my last job but they were all kinds of jacked up. But my most recent job does it too. WTH?

And I agree that on call should be paid something. You can not expect someone to sit at home and wait for nothing. And my job doesn't give me an hour to get there they say you must be dressed and ready to leave when you call.