work

Yeah, it’s hard

Complaining about restaurant coffee « jimseven.

We don’t offer any form of coffee at work. How could we? There are two real coffeeshops within half a block and we’re next door to a bakery that is thinking of adding espresso to its menu. We don’t have the infrastructure to support even a simple espresso machine either.

Were we to offer coffee, it would have to be brewed coffee, either french press or chemex, and even then it’s not guaranteed it would even sell. Plus, who would make it? The waitresses won’t want to, and in the kitchen we barely have the time as it is.

Getting coffee right in a coffeeshop is hard. Getting it right in a restaurant is even harder.

Going bolshie

Take yourselves as a case in point. I’m guessing you’re the kind of people who’d prefer to feel needed rather than expendable. Well, that kind of attitude won’t do. Bosses want to keep your wages down, and that would be harder to do if you were given opportunities to make yourselves invaluable and near on irreplaceable. Bosses need to keep their options open in case some of you get ideas about better pay and conditions, or just generally become ‘difficult’ or, dare I say, ‘bolshie’.

via Why So Many Jobs Are Crappy | heteconomist.com.

Apropos to my previous post. The main cook at work is indispensable. He works seven days a week and without him no wok-fired entree gets made. I don’t know how to make those entrees yet and frankly I’m not sure I’ll even be taught how to make them. I’m sure he’s got a few ideas but doesn’t speak up lest he gets to find out what it’s like to work as a mere cook somewhere else.

Measures of control

These past few days when I’ve gotten to work, the first thing I do is go over to the audio system and put on some music to help me sweep and mop faster. Doing this sort of work is more fun when listening to some Daft Punk. The first thing my boss does when she gets to work is go over to the audio system, quit the stream I put on and switch to the restaurant’s usual music stream. Nothing against Pandora but when you notice repetition of songs every few hours day in and day out, you’ve got a bit of problem. Customers might not notice, but the workers do and it drives us insane.

It just goes to show I’m a good employee but a bad subordinate. I will usually do what is best for the business as opposed to doing what I’m told by the owner.

Most people I’ve worked under who are both manager and owner have a certain tendency to think what is good for them is good for the business. In most cases you can work under this assumption and grow your business without any problems – to a certain point. There will come a time when the owner will make decisions that will effect a business negatively but the owner will insist they are good for the business even on the face of financial and managerial facts proving it isn’t so. They want to control every single aspect of the enterprise when they no longer have the skillset to actually do it. To show everyone who’s the one telling everyone else what to do. To show people who’s boss.

When I’m told to do something by the boss, it usually is something good for the business and I’ll do it as soon as I’m done with my current task. When I feel differently, I’ll just do something else. Yes, I’ve gotten in trouble for this but make no apologies about it.

Right now I’ve got a few suggestions to improve the way we do things in the kitchen but I’m not sure I’ll bring them up; I’ve only worked here for a month and it doesn’t do any favors to my paycheck to be thought of as an employee who is out to change things. The boss will just get rid of me and get someone else who won’t rock the boat.

On my boss’s defense, she looks like she knows how to make every single article made in the kitchen, along with a variety of drinks at the bar and maybe a few rolls of sushi. All while looking good and not getting food or drink on her clothing.

Even if I don’t change anything at all, I’m learning. I’ll never be indispensable (bosses hate employees who are indispensable)b but hopefully I’ll be able to get a weekend off every now and then. I’ll worry about getting in trouble when I’m not learning anymore as that is when I tend to get in trouble.

Alternative Places to Get Work Done | Martin Shen.

While these places are all good and fine, there is one thing you also have to do while you’re in them.

Spend money.

No mention is made of the local neighborhood library, which I’ve found are great places to work at. I’ve worked outside in parks too, although working at one is dependent on the weather and the time you can do actual work is limited by how long the battery on your laptop is going to last.

Surely there are more places one can bang out some work and not having to spend one cent? The comments for the article mention places and poke fun at the post itself.

Bouncing back and forth.

A month ago, I was moving from Minneapolis to Rochester to work at a store in which a family member is involved. The warning was the other partner was hard to work with and would grind you down if you let him.

He is a micromanager. He is an asshole. He is a bikeshedder.

In a month, he ground me down enough for me to explode at him. Merchandise was broken. I almost spent the night sleeping outside in 10°F weather.

Now I’m back in Minneapolis looking for a job to love, in which I at least have the freedom to sell the way I like to sell. To sharpen my skills and do what I love — working. Even dishwashing is a good job if you like to have people say “these are the cleanest dishes I’ve seen at a restaurant.” That’s what I want.

Sad part is, I saw what Rochester needs and wants and I think I would have been able to provide it, in time. Now I’m afraid I won’t ever have the chance.

“All I Need Is a Real Job”

"Everyone Only Wants Temps" | Mother Jones.

The future of all workers in the United States is exceedingly dim. Either you become a contractor or a temp, no matter what the job might be.

This is something most immigrants realize soon after getting here, no matter where they’re from. For them, the American Dream turns from being one of gaining full citizenship, to one of getting enough money to buy oneself a business back in the country of origin.

In the race to undo the gains earned by the union movements of the past two centuries, this country certainly tries to be Number 1.

I wanna move to Europe now

Europe Court Says Ill Workers Can Retake Vacations – NYTimes.com.

With much of Europe mired in recession, governments struggling to reduce budget deficits and officials trying to combat high unemployment, the ruling is a reminder of just how hard it is to shake up long-established and legally protected labor practices that make it hard to put more people to work and revive sinking economies.

If you look at it from an American point of view then yes, the ruling is a mistake. As for myself, I think adding additional available sick days would do the job and it’d be a nice compromise between the employer and the employees.

(via The Daily What)

it’s screwed

Yendo a la Parada

I know I’m not the only to think this! The picture above is just so you can have an idea of how empty the city is around that time in the morning.

When the Congress of our northern neighbor decided to move up Daylight Saving time a month a lot of people got screwed, although it’s not as bad as some people have it since I don’t have to get up even earlier in the morning to cross over the border, like my in-laws have to do. Traffic to cross is hell at those hours.

Last year it wasn’t that bad since I was on the night shift. My regular hour to leave was at 0600 and it got changed to 0500. Now, because I’m in the morning shift, instead of signing in at 0600 I have to be there at 0500. Using public transportation at this time is rather problematic because at 0430 most drivers are just leaving their houses or their bases.

I don’t think my floor supervisor will like the idea of having me be late for a whole month until both countries’ schedules match up.

But then again it’s a good thing I don’t have to sign in at 0400 like the people whose usual sign in time is at 0500.