Do Everything All At Once A Minute Ago

| Working | July 4, 2017

(At the time this takes place, the Cardinals are playing the final game of the World Series. When making the schedule, my boss didn’t account for the team going into the seventh game, and we end up being short staffed. There are only four employees inside the store, including a shift lead, and we are all working hard to keep up with the orders. On the cooks’ screen in the back there is a production time which says how long it will take the last order on the screen to be completed. By default this number is twelve minutes and each pizza raises that number by one. Currently I have two pizzas on the screen making the number fourteen. Coworker #1 and Shift Lead are taking orders on the phone and hang up roughly the same time, sending me another six pizzas total, making production time twenty. Shift Lead comes back and notices.)

Shift Lead: “Production time is 20 minutes? That’s unacceptable! You’re too slow.”

Me: “Sorry, you and [Coworker #1] sent me six pizzas at the same time; there’s nothing I can do about that.”

Shift Lead: “Sure there is. You can work faster! Make [Coworker #1] help you. That’s what he’s here for.”

Me: “He’s been on the phone since he walked in the door! He tried and you told him that leaving the phones ringing was ‘unacceptable.’”

Shift Lead: “Work faster or next time we’ll find someone else.”

Me: *under my breath* “You mean I wouldn’t have to work on one of the busiest days of the year? I’d be devastated.”

(We manage to slow down enough for Coworker #1 to get off the phones and with his help we clear the screen. I ask him to watch the table for me briefly while I run to the restroom. I am gone maybe two minutes. When I come back, Coworker #1 has been put on the phone again, there are five pizzas on the screen, and somehow there is pizza sauce down the front of the table, across the floor, under the oven, and even splashed up the oven’s side. Before I can even make heads or tails of what happened another order pops up bringing the production time up to nineteen minutes so I immediately get to work on the orders. Shift Lead approaches.)

Shift Lead: “I don’t know what happened, but this is the result.”

Me: “I don’t know either. I was in the restroom.”

(He stares at me, making me uncomfortable.)

Shift Lead: “So you’re just not going to clean that up?”

Me: “I didn’t do that.”

Shift Lead: “I didn’t say you did, but that mess is unacceptable. You need to clean that up.”

Me: *pointing to screen which is now up to twenty-one minutes* “You also said having a production time of twenty minutes was unacceptable.”

Shift Lead: “It is! You need to work harder.”

Me: “So which would you like for me to do?”

(It should be noting that during this entire exchange I am making pizzas while he just stands behind me.)

Shift Lead: “You need to do both. You can’t leave this mess here and if that time gets too high we’ll get a phone call from corporate. Fix it.”

Me: “I can’t do both at the same time. Whoever made the mess needs to come clean it.”

Shift Lead: “I don’t know who did it!”

Me: “There’s only four of us here! I didn’t do it. You didn’t do it. Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out from there.”

Shift Lead: “It needs to be cleaned up and the production time can’t be that high.”

Me: “I can’t do both at the same time! Which would you like for me to do?”

(He gets angry and stomps by me to go around the corner to, I assume, grab a mop, but stops.)

Shift Lead: “You can either stay here and argue with me all night or you can go home.”

Me: “Wait, those are my two options? Argue with you or go home?” *I drop the toppings I’d been holding onto the current pizza* “See ya!”

(I assumed he meant to say I could stop arguing with him or go home, but I’d have done the same thing either way. As soon as I was out the door I called my store manager and explained the situation to her. The next day I repeated the incident to the district manager as well. The shift lead was asked what he was expecting me to do to which he replied “What I told her to do.” The district manager told him he was in the wrong. The shift lead demoted himself to driver stating he couldn’t work under management who took the word of low level employees over the word of its own management team. I got a slap on the wrist for leaving early.)

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