The Only Thing You’re Washing Is Yourself Of This Job

, , , , | Working | December 4, 2017

(I’m between jobs and doing temporary placements washing dishes to keep up. I’m doing a three-day job in my least favorite kitchen, which has by far the heaviest workload, despite servicing a canteen that’s open two hours a day, at an office in the middle of nowhere. Net result is that 90% of the food gets thrown away. On the third day, I get there, and I find the manager looking angry.)

Manager: “Where have you been?”

Me: “I’m due in at 10:00. It’s 9:50.”

Manager: “The others haven’t turned up. You should have coordinated and arranged to come in if they couldn’t make it!”

Me: “I… don’t know them outside work. If you needed me in earlier, you should have phoned me.”

Manager: “Well, you’d better sort this out now. We’ve had no one working pot wash all morning.”

(He shows me a station where no less than six trolleys are piled high with equipment.)

Me: “Wasn’t there anyone you could have assigned to it?”

(There are about 15 cooks working in this canteen.)

Manager: “I couldn’t spare anyone. Now get on with it!”

(I try my best, but things are piling up faster than I can wash them. After half an hour…)

Manager: “This pile’s bigger than it was before!”

Me: “I’m doing my best. This station is supposed to be run by three people.”

Manager: “Then pick up the pace. We need all this stuff in the next ten minutes!”

Me: “Or what? I’m not an expert, but I’ve seen [Big Restaurant] manage a whole day with half of what you’ve cooked so far. You’re cooking one meal, you’ve been cooking it since lunchtime yesterday, and there’s more food piled up than anywhere else I’ve worked. What do you think is going to happen if you have to wait ten minutes?”

(To my surprise, he can’t respond, but continues to shout at me. Fortunately, I get a call from a company I applied to inviting me to an interview. My contract allows me to use my phone, and I know they’ll offer the interview to someone else if I ask them to, so I find some jobs to do one-handed as I talk.)

Manager: “You need to turn that off!”

Me: *mouthing* “I need to take this.”

(He follows me round while I try to ignore him.)

Manager: “If you want to talk to your friends, I can send you home to do it!”

Me: *covers the speaker for a second* “Do it, then!”

(I dropped the tray I was carrying and left.)

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