Fries Are Very Important, But Yikes

, , , , | Working | February 15, 2021

When I am twenty and still in college, I work at a fast food restaurant over the summer. This branch has a lot of staff turnover, so much so that at any given time, around half my coworkers are either on their two-month new hire probation or working their two-week notice period. Anyone who has been there for a few months is called “senior staff” and they speak of things that happened earlier that very same year as “the old times.”

Of course, the place is dysfunctional. I have a lot of problems with my “senior” coworkers, many of whom have an attitude problem. Things come to a head one day when I am on register along with two coworkers: a shift supervisor and an entitled “senior” employee who has been there for like six months.

At this store, when things are quiet, people on register are also responsible for the fries — putting them into the fryer, taking them out, and bagging them — when their line dies down. There isn’t a particular rota system; if the other cashiers were busy but you don’t have a line when the fryer goes, “Beep!”, you are now in charge of taking out the fries and bagging them.

The “senior” employee claims that she is attending to the fries a lot more than I am. At one point, while she has no one in line and I am literally in the middle of a transaction, with cash in my hands, she turns to me and says:

“Senior” Employee: “[My Name]! Do you not hear the fryer?!”

Me: “And do you not see that I have cash in my hands?”

The supervisor sided with the “senior” employee and completely lost it. She went off at me in front of all customers and staff, shouting and screaming about how she couldn’t believe that newer staff would “disrespect” “senior” staff. The shift manager had to come in, order her to take five, and almost push her into the staff room when she wouldn’t shut up about me.

I was speechless. I had planned to ask to switch from full-time to weekend shifts once my classes restarted in the fall, but I decided I didn’t want to work someplace where fries were such a contentious issue, so I gave in my notice as soon as the head manager came in for her shift.

And that’s the story of the one job where I have not been able to pass my probation period.

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