Sorry, Story Author, Did You Say Something?

, , , , , , | Working | August 26, 2020

I am the assistant manager at a smaller restaurant. I am the youngest employee and female, but I’m also one of the most senior employees and was promoted for busting my a** for almost three years.

One of my employees has been here for less than a year, and is an older male, over twice my age. While I don’t quite like him for personal reasons, I’m very good at not letting that affect how I treat my coworkers and employees. Unfortunately, I have repeatedly had issues with this employee, even when he first started. I’m pretty sure he has issues taking orders from a young woman, but who knows. Regardless, he frequently undermines me, refuses my orders, or ignores me entirely. He is actually fairly decent at his job, though — when he actually does it — and even more unfortunately, he is almost impressively good at brown-nosing and kissing a**, so he is more or less allowed to do whatever the h*** he wants by all higher-ups. I make a semi-compromise with this by basically trying to let him be as much as I can. But, as these things go, I sometimes have to, ya know, communicate with my employees.

We recently cut back on some shipments, as business has been slow. One of the things we cut is going from getting deliveries of our microfiber towels twice a week to once a week, which is entirely fine, but it means we have to be slightly more conservative in our towel usage until we reaccustom ourselves or get busier. This employee, apparently, didn’t listen to the meeting we had the morning before where this was explained and I see him taking a sanitizer bucket with FOUR towels to clean a small, already mostly clean lobby.

Me: “Hey, [Employee], why are there four towels in here?”

Employee: *Snarkily* “Because there’s four of them!”

Me: *After a pause* “Okay, but just so you know—”

Employee: “[My Name], it’s fine; just take one.”

Me: “What? No, I just wanted to—”

Employee: “[My Name], I already told you its okay!”

Me: “No, [Employee], I needed to tell—”

Employee: “[My Name], I don’t understand why this is such a big deal! I already told you you could take a towel.”

Me: “But—”

Employee: “There are even towels in the back! Why do you have to make such a big deal of this?”

I say this louder than normal, but nowhere near yelling.

Me: “[Employee]! Listen to me.”

He just stops and stares at me before smirking.

Employee: “Ooooh, you yelled at me in front of customers.”

He turns and walks away, completely ignoring all attempts at communication on my end, and goes directly to the office where my general manager is working. He proceeds to b**** and complain about how “disrespectful” I am and how my manager needs to “teach me some manners,” and he says that I’m “screaming at him in front of customers.”

My patience is running thin, and I try to interject to tell my side of the story, but he cuts me off every time with a hand-wave, saying, “I’m not done yet!”

By the time he’s done with his little rant, I am almost shaking in anger. He leaves, giving me a smug smirk, and I take a moment to compose myself.

I fully explain the situation, complete with me NOT yelling, only slightly raising my voice, and his complete dismissal of me, briefly mentioning that this is a pattern — which my GM is aware of.

General Manager: “All right, but you have to stop making such a big deal over little things. [Employee] knows what he’s doing; just leave him to it.”

Me: “I’m trying, but I need him to at least listen to me, and I would like it if you and everyone else stopped automatically taking his side for things.”

General Manager: “I’m not taking his side in anything, but you need to stop yelling at him and let him work.”

I’m thinking, “You are literally taking his side. Right now. Over the assistant manager that YOU promoted.”

Me: “I’ll try. Could you at least ask him to listen to me instead of interrupting? I just want to have a conversation.”

General Manager: “Yeah, sure.”

I think I need a new job.

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