Wednesday, March 05, 2008


To start off, I'd like to apologize for my lack of postings in like, over a month. I've been fired at my latest restaurant job for missing a meeting. I always attend meetings, and this one happened to be on a Sunday at 8am, after I had worked until close the night before. I slept through my alarm clock and they fired me. Since, I have been taking some time off and putting all my effort into trying to find an editorial position in the city(and taking a mini break to Florida). So far, no luck on the job but Florida was grand. So alas, just when I thought I might have a shot at retiring the apron and tossing the server shoes, I am out of money and back in the thick of it. And so far, what a return it has been.

I had been given the heads up about the restaurant’s stealth-firing of me (they waited until 3 weeks after the meeting to do so) by some co-workers that heard through the grapevine. So naturally, when they called me down to the office my response was “If you are going to fire me, can you make it quick? I have an interview to go to in twenty minutes.”
Upon starting the new job, I was handed an employee handbook. Since it was incredibly slow due to the weather, I did something unheard of. I actually read this 35 page beast! Have you ever read your employee handbook? If not, I suggest you do so right away. My room mates and I had a long laugh. Here are some of my favorite passages. (the green comments are mine, obviously)

PAGE 20:
If you need bereavement leave, MIRAGE RESTAURANTS allows ONE day of UNPAID bereavement leave for front of house and kitchen employees for the death of an IMMEDIATE family member. MIRAGE RESTAURANTS may request VERIFICATION OF THE DEATH and/or RELATIONSHIP of the deceased in order to AUTHORIZE bereavement leave.

-Wait..hold the funeral, I need a DNA sample and a note from the coroner! Oh, that was your adopted sister? Clearly, you’re not related. (DAY OFF REQUEST DENIED) Grandmother? Still have to work, not immediate family. I’ll tell you what, when your mother dies THEN you can have ONE unpaid day off, but you have to prove it is her, beyond a reasonable doubt.

The person or property of anyone on Company property may be subject to inspection without advance notice. Often inspections are on a “spot check,” merely random basis that in no way implies guilt or suspicion of wrongdoing. Anyone who refuses an inspection request will be viewed in the same way as someone who has had an inspection which detects wrongdoing. In addition, such a refusal will be regarded as insubordinate behavior.
-Gotta love that patriot act.

(it’s a good one)
Employees must have neat hair cuts, clean nails, and be devoid of body odors. Employees must observe the following.
-Jewelry must be kept to a minimum, Male servers should not wear earrings. Female servers may have one in each ear.
-Be aware of your posture. NEVER FOLD YOUR ARMS IN FRONT OF YOU. Stand up straight.
-Socks. (that’s all it says…just socks)

Servers are responsible for finding another employee to cover their shift when they are out sick. If an employee, because of severe illness or hospitalization, cannot call in, the employee must have someone else call in on behalf of the employee.
-So…make sure you have one of your friends sign a proxy before you start, that in case you are in a coma, they promise to call in to work for you.
Kitchen and management staff who are employed for more than one year may take up to 3 days of paid sick time. (Servers, you’re SOL) Sick leave is not to be used for personal time off. Management may require an employee to furnish a doctor’s statement to prove illness. (right..but since most restaurants don’t offer health insurance we aren’t likely to be visiting a doctor anytime soon.)

MIRAGE RESTAURANTS is closed Thanksgiving and Christmas day. ( WOO HOO! Clearly no one gives a shit about the veterans or the new year) There is no additional pay for working other holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas days are not paid for front of house employees.

Front of house employees who have been employed for more than one full year may take up to one week (5 working days) of UNPAID vacation. GEE, THANKS how thoughtful

Hourly employees will be paid their regular daily pay or forty dollars ($40) a day, whichever is LESS, for the first three days of jury service. Jury duty after the first three days will not be paid.
Let’s just hope OJ doesn’t go on another killing spree, cause you might be out of work for a while.


Blogger Ellis said...

Wow. How cold-hearted can they be? So is this restaurant a major chain or a small family owned place? I think that would be interesting to know. Having never worked in a restaurant with an employee handbook I've never experienced that kind of nitpicking, although I do remember having to come in when I was throwing up with the flu to work because I couldn't find someone to cover. And I was cooking. I specifically remember the owner telling me to "not breathe on the food". Scary stuff...

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rough. Kentucky Fried Taco Bell probably treated you better than that!

5:39 PM  

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