All Aboard The RageQuit Bus To ScrewThisVille

, , , , , , | Working | May 19, 2020

I work as a prep cook and dishwasher at a somewhat popular Ottawa-based restaurant and pub chain. We are very understaffed and are very often left alone with no manager in the kitchen. Because of this, we regularly don’t have enough time or manpower to finish all the prep for the day by the time our shift is over, which means that people almost always have to stay hours past their end time. 

On a side note, we order these large boxes of bacon stripes, and we have to lay it out on large sheets of parchment paper and roll it up so we can easily place it on baking trays when needed. It’s a huge pain in the a** to do because one box takes at least half an hour, and we can get orders of up to five boxes twice a week. If I’m not there, the bacon doesn’t get rolled because no one else wants to do it.

This encounter happens with the head chef before Father’s Day:

Head Chef: “[My Name], before you leave tonight, you need to roll all the bacon in the fridge. No exceptions. If it’s not done, I’m going to be livid.”

Me: “But there are at least eight boxes in there, and my shift is over in an hour and a half. I’ve already been here for ten hours. Plus, the last bus is leaving in two hours, so I definitely wouldn’t make it. Do we really need all the bacon? It takes two days to go through a box.”

Head Chef: “Well, you’ve had all day to roll the bacon; it’s not my fault you didn’t get to it before. You’re not leaving until it’s all done.”

I’ve spent the entire day doing other prep items that he assigned to me, and he did maybe two items and took MANY smoke breaks throughout the day. He also has a car, so he is much more capable of staying late than I am.

Me: “Okay, so what happens when it’s three in the morning and I’m still here with no bus to take home?”

Head Chef: “Take a taxi. Maybe we can see about paying a percentage of the fare or take it out of your tips.”

Me: “I can’t afford to do that. I make barely $1,400 a month, my rent is $1,000, and I have to pay $115 for a monthly bus pass. I don’t have enough money to spare to spend even a little on a taxi. Is it really fair to make me stay so long after my shift?”

Head Chef: “Your end time isn’t really your end time; if there is stuff to do, you have to stay and finish it or you’ll get written up.”

He proceeded to leave two hours before his “end time” while there were still several items left to be prepped. This is a very common occurrence. 

I was kept back another four hours to finish everything. After my fourteen-hour shift, I had to walk almost an hour and a half to the next bus stop with a route that ran that late. By the time I got home, I only had five hours before I had to go in for my next shift.

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