I worked for an upscale Italian restaurant as a delivery driver. I
was good at my job; fast, accurrate, polite, etc. However, I wanted
to be a server, as that’s where the money was (if you’re good at it).
At this restaurant there were two Assistant Managers, one for the
front of the establishment (dining room, bar area) and one for the
back (kitchen, maintainence, drivers). One Friday I get a call from
the Rear Manager asking if I’d like to come in and learn to bus
tables as this could be a springboard to server. He was going to pay
me my delivery driver’s wage, plus the servers always kicked in about
10% of their tips to the bus boys. The shift was to be 7pm to
So, I get to work and the rear manager takes me on the floor
immediately and shows me how to bus tables. Not rocket science. Grab
a tray, pull the dirty dishes off the table, wipe the table, wipe the
benches, reset the condiments, put down place settings. One rule was
made very clear to me. IF the server had not taken the tip off the
table before I got to it, MAKE SURE to give it to them. (There was a
chart on the back wall with all the server’s names and table
I start my shift, moving as fast as I can. The servers are a little
dismayed at my performance at first because I wasn’t very fast but
they cut me some slack, plus the rear manager was helping out when he
could. After an hour and a half I got the hang of it, and I noticed
that the rear manager was no longer having to come help. Sometime
during the evening one of the waitresses comes to me and asks “B, did
you take the tip off table 40?” I answered “No, I didn’t bus 40.” She
proceeds to argue with me, thinking I stole her tip. All of a sudden
NO ONE is talking to me, not the servers, bar tender, hell even the
dishwasher blackballed me.
The restaurant was slamming busy and I did my best to keep up, but
the manager did have to help me. 1 busboy, 45 tables on a Friday
night. I did my best. So towards the end of the night, as we are
doing the final cleaning, the waitress who thinks I’m a thief comes
to me and apologizes becuase she just found out that the rear manager
had taken her tip and didn’t give it to her. When she went to complain
about me, it reminded him, HE had bussed that table, took the tip and
never gave it to her. So, now I’m back on the nice list. But everyone
has gone home.
I go in the next day, expecting a rather nice envelope of tip money.
5 hour shift, store was busy all night, 45 tables, average tip that I
saw left on the tables was about 10-15 dollars. So I’m thinking .50
per table per hour, because I wasn’t very fast. Maybe $100-$150
bucks. I open the envelope and find 12 – $1.00 bills, $2.00 from each
server. I mention this to the FRONT manager and his answer is, “Well,
add that to the tip you took off D’s table, and it’s a good night”. I
explained what had happened and his mood changed a little and he says
he’ll speak to the servers about it. My next shift I check in and he
hands me another envelope, this one contains $10.00. I ask him if
this is a joke. He says he’s sorry but this is what the servers
decided to give me, and oh by the way I can’t pay you your driver’s
rate since you weren’t driving, I have to pay you waitress wage just
like all the other busers. I become a litte irate at this piont and
say “So for five hours worked I made $41.25?!” (the waitress wage at
that time was 3.85/hour). He answered “Yup. Are you available to work
this Friday?” I promptly told him only if I’m driving and not busing.
He had the audacity to ask me why.
I have a profoundly bad manager on so many levels.
He manages by email, sending out majors changes in policy, usually
about five minutes before he walks out the door for the day.
He has conflict avoidance, so instead of dealing directly with the
one person who is consistently late, he created a sign in sheet that
all 30 of us on our team have to use–even for lunch–so he can
compare it with our time cards. (Of course, he never really thought
that it’s just as easy for us to falsify the sign-in sheet as it is
to falsify our time cards.)
He loves to makes jokes about the team members personal appearance
(ie, “If you lose this contest, you have to wear some of the clothes
out of Joe’s closet for a week!”) at our team meetings.
He frequently makes announcements regarding promotions–who got them
and who didn’t–at team meetings. This is usually how the folks who
didn’t get the promotions learns of that fact.
In one-on-one meetings, he discusses in detail the performance
weaknesses of coworkers. He always says: “They won’t mind if I
discuss this with you…”
He out and out lies about intregal parts of the job (our hours, the
amount and kind of work we’ll be doing, our standing with the
company, how we’ll be compensated). He seems to operate under the
belief that if he says it, it must be true. Then, when he has to
contradict those lies, he pretends he never said them.
He creates pretend promotions for people that carry no change in job
title or pay, just to get them to do more work.
We have our small revenges, though. We know he can’t stand
confrontation or even honest communication, so we create situations
where we put him on the spot. “Mr Manager, yesterday you said X, now
you’re saying Y. Can you explain to me how these two statements are
both meant to be true?” He panics. It’s awesome.
One of the worst things he did was during our project deadline week,
which happened to be during the first week in April. One employee was
buying a house and had been asking for a day off to do the final
walk-through and sign all the papers. Because it was crunch time, she
was denied emphatically. For April Fool’s Day, he sent out an email
telling us that he was rewarding us for all our hard work and giving
us the rest of the day off. My coworker was so excited to have the
day off to finish her paperwork on the house that she was halfway out
the door before someone told her it was a joke. She burst into tears.
The manager just stood there and watched her. Later, he said he
thought it was one of the best April Fool’s jokes ever.
I was working in an engineering department of a small family owned
machinery manufacturer. All well and good except I did electrical not
mechanical which of course made me less than human apparently. Still
all was fine as the engineering manager was a cool old dude (I was in
my 30’s at the time) Then he started having heath problems resulting
in his retirement and death soon afterward.
(this part sound familiar on this web site?) The new engineering
manager job was given to..lets call him Dan. While a very good
engineer, Dan was not a people person and tended to want to blow
people off when they came to him with issues that would take him away
from engineering and made him do managing. I just persisted and
didn’t let his blow offs work, I would just stand there till he was
forced to deal with me. His desk was in the middle of the department
which was all open, so every word said was heard by 10 other
engineers and designers.
One of my favorite encounters with him was when I went to him to say
that we needed to purchase a large stapler as we were sending out
stacks of drawings ½” thick or more on a regular basis. All we had
were regular desk staplers that were good for a dozen sheet max. I had
got the catalog out, found a good one that would do the job. $50 with
supplies. So I go up to him and tell him my thoughts and showed him
the ad. He just exploded yelling that it was a waste of money and I
was crazy to want a $50 stapler and continued to rant. So I just
walked back to my desk at the front of the room. 2 days later Dan is
working with a stack of drawings over a ½” thick. He has his
“little” desk stapler and is pounding it time after time trying
to punch enough holes in the paper for a staple to make it all the
way through. Drawing corner looked like a porcupine.
He is doing this 5 ft from me, so I pipe up and loud and clear voice,
“Dan, looks like you need a big stapler!”
His large fat head jerks up and looks at me with hate filled pig
eyes. I swear they glowed red. The guy across from me gags trying not
to laugh, while from the back of the room they mostly just howled out
loud. Dan never said a word.
Dan part two.
We were working on a large project with literally 100’s of large
drawings that had to be printed out with an old style pin plotter,
one at a time. One guy would tie up the printer for a week as each of
his drawings would take hours to print. (very complex) So my other
boss and the IT guy went out and got a laser printer that would do
the 24” x 36” drawings we used. It was sitting there in the room
when Dan showed up in the morning. “What’s that?” A large
format laser printer. “How much does it cost?” $20, 000.
(remember he freaked at $50 like it came out of his pocket) He was
about to go ballistic when the IT guy who despite being 5’6”,
150lb to Dan 6’, 350lbs (and didn’t take any shit off him) calmly
says we got it for month free. If we don’t like it we can send it
back. Well that shut him up. So we had the guy with the big project
send a drawing to the laser plotter. One that normally took 3hrs on
the old plotter rolled out in 6 seconds. Never used the pen plotter
again. And Dan treated the laser like it was his baby. 6 months later
he told me to get rid of the old printer. He wanted the room. I spent
10yrs there before bailing on all the insane bs. Best revenge was
that they advertised in the paper (this was 98, per internet days)
for my position listing all the stuff I did. They called like 6
people in for interviews. Mostly engineers with 20yrs plus
experience. In each interview, when they got to the point where what
the pay was all 6 got up and left. Then the owner of the company has
a big meeting where they called this outfit that he had been using to
help him set salaries. They described all the things I had been doing
for them, and they guy on the phone computes the numbers he figures
that my pay was like 20-30K low. I got told later that the owner said
“well no wonder he left”.
They ended up hiring 3 people take over individual parts of all the
things I did, one of which was a fresh new engineer out of school.
They all left within a couple of years also.
I used to work produce at a southern grocery chain and I loved
working there for the most part. The store loved hiring less than
able or competent workers then hiring a person to follow that person
around for what i assume as some kind of tax break. Everyone that
worked there was very nice and friendly except for the dreaded boss.
She was always buzzing around the store reorganizng the shelves and
counters because nothing was ever good enough for her. She was always
cutting hours and constantly leaving the store understaffed. She did
this because the less hours the store consumed, the bigger her bonus
became. I don’t blame her for trying to be stingey, but she took it
to an extreme.
Now in my department, i had a little slice of the 1960/70′s-a
vietname vet with flashbacks, a burnt out druggie, a white
supremacist, a hippy, a lesbian, and the boss. All of these people
weren’t the cream of the crop, but had some amazing life stories
Unfortunatly all of them were constantly getting sick or missing work
for some thing or another leaving me to pick up the extra hours. I’d
work to about midnight most schedualed days, but i was always getting
calls at 5-7am seeing if i could come in. Being a poor college boy in
need of money i was always saying “yes” but always reminding her of
how many hours i’ve already worked. this made the boss quite happy
and quickly became her go-to person.
I was normally schedualed for 15-20 hours a week, the only reason why
i never picked up a second job is because i was picking up enough
hours and end up working about 40-65 hour work weeks so i was making
bank on top of a under the table side job getting 300 bucks a week.
This went on for about two months until she got a call from the union
saying they’re gonna have to make me full time because i worked so
many 40 hour weeks. She went ape on me, because she never knew that i
was workin that much.
From that point on, she was always riding me to work harder than ever
before, nothing was ever good enough, the peaches dimples weren’t
facing the right direction etc. She also always had me shuffling
around the stands and pulling thousand-pound crates of watermelons to
the front of the store.
The last straw came when corporate authorized my department for 100
extra hours a week for work since we were earning so much. This
worked out to be about 20 hours extra a week for everyone, but since
i was the only part-timer it was probably meant to hire another
person or two. What she did instead was slash hours to the bare
minimum for evreyons and if someone called in sick she wouldn’t call
in a replacement, so i was constantly working solo during the busiest
days of the week. As a cost “saving” measure, she also schedualed one
woman during her class time in an effort to get her fired for so many
Soon after, most of us gave our two weeks and moved to another store.
We later learned that she was replaced from another out of state