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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just An Incident

It's safe to say I've been simmering the events of yesterday, brewing and brooding and processing. After all that thought, I have still come to the conclusion that I did the right thing...for me.
I'll explain from both points of view.
They were upset that I keep breaking their dishes, and that I've been late this past month.
I'll admit, since beginning, I have broken more dishes than anyone else, but not intentionally, and it's not by doing anything different than anyone else...it just sort of happens. I've probably broken about 4-5 in the past two months.
I've been late this past month (not everyday, mind you) due to personal reasons, and I didn't share that with them. In fact, they really don't know a whole lot about me, or my family, because I chose to be professional and do my best not to bring my personal issues in to work. Unfortunately, I let the very issues I kept out of the picture, get the better of me this past month.
So, to the events of Saturday morning:
I was cleaning a table after some patrons had gone. I was moving a salt shaker from one table to the next to clean the table off, and it slipped out from my fingers, between the tables, hit the floor, and shattered (they're made of porcelain). I sighed, and said "I can't believe I did that". As I stooped over to pick up the bigger pieces the boss lady (it's owned by a couple) walks out, looks directly at the remaining 3 adult customers (they had 2 kids with them) and says with a smile on her face "She breaks a dish every time she's here", and walks back in to the kitchen.
I felt myself turning red all over, and tried really hard to hide my embarrassment. I was very close to tears, and wanted to avoid an emotional display, so did my best to keep moving. After I finished picking up the bigger pieces, I walked to the back to get the broom, and as I reached for it, the boss man came stalking around the corner and gets in my face to say "You can't keep breaking dishes!". I smiled, and was going to apologize, but he cut me off by saying "It's not fucking funny! If you're taking too big of a load back set it down and take them in two separate loads. That shit is expensive!" Then he stalked away.
Never in my life have I ever felt so demeaned, humiliated, and shamed by my employer.
Now, I finished cleaning up, and went about as usual, but by the time 20 minutes went by I was shaking because I was so angry. I requested a word with both of them, and when I got the chance, I told them "I understand that I break a lot of dishes, and you're more than welcome to take the cost from my pay (to which they both said no), but I think it was really unfair of you to declare that I break something every time I'm here (to which they replied that yes, it was an exaggeration). I also don't think that it was appropriate for you to swear at me for an accident." It's at this point where my anger could have shown in my eyes, though I kept my voice even. As I was standing, and they were both sitting far lower than I, I can imagine I may have put forth some sort of strong vibe, and the response was reciprocated. After I stated this, his response was "I swear, deal with it". I told them to have a great day, and that they could mail my last pay to me, and walked out. On my way he called out the door "We don't need that kind of attitude here anyways".
I was shaking by the time I got about 100 feet away, and was near tears. I had to pause to put my coat on, and dig out my phone. When I finally got to it I was crying, and fumbling for the stupid buttons to get it turned on because I had gotten a ride there, and was without a vehicle. I phoned home, and my Mr answered, and I told him to have someone come and get me because I had just quit. I walked to the meeting place, shaking, crying, and barely registering the cold.
Now, after all is said and done, I'm without a job just before Christmas, and to make matter worse, the Head Gasket is blown on our truck. I'm grateful that I started my shopping early, and have managed a few gifts for the boys that I know they'll like, but what the fuck am I doing?? Who, honestly, quits a job just before Christmas?
Now, they claim that I'm late 40% more than the other employees, but they didn't give me a time frame. In the first two months I was always 5-10 minutes early. It was only this last month that I was slipping. The boss man claims that seeing me come in late all the time just kind of brewed up to him bursting out at me yesterday. His justification for swearing at me is being irritated that I've been late.
Boss lady had been snarky at me all morning yesterday. I can't imagine what I did to provoke it, but at one point, when I put an order through (there's a comp on both side, kitchen & front) and she plated it, I didn't see he rplate it until it was up. It was then I told her it was a to go order. Her response was "You could've told me that before I plated it!". I was busy doing my job, and even though there's a special indicator on the board to let them know if it's to stay or to go, she still expected me to call back that it was to go.
In all honesty, there hasn't been a whole lot of friendly juju going on between us the past week or so, now that I think about it.
They've claimed I can still have my job if I want it, and they they didn't want to loose me. As far as they were concerned it was just an incident.
I'm standing my ground. Though it probably doesn't mean much to them, it means the world to me. I've let them know that that sort of behavior is not ok, and I'm walking away from a situation that could forseeably get worse.
Truthfully, after processing, I'm proud that I stood up for what I felt was right. I do not tolerate people swearing at me, especially over a silly accident that could've happened to anyone. It wasn't professionally handled by either one of them. From the day they hired me they've been doing nothing but preaching professional to all of their employees, and in the end they showed an extreme lack of their own medicine.
I'm disappointed, because I truly loved my job. I'm disappointed, because I looked up to them. I'm disappointed because instead of being able to calmy rectify the situation with a simple I'm sorry (as I surely said a number of times before I walked out), they merely pointed the finger at any place but themselves, and that truly shows what sort of people and leaders they really are.

The kind you can never put faith in.

5 thoughtful remarks:

the girl in stiletto said...

amber, i'm so sorry to hear that you have to quit your job just before christmas. but to be fair to you, you wouldn't want to keep on working with those who treated you that way, anyways. your pride is a lot more expensive than the job. it makes you proud to know that you've stood up for yourself, and for that you should give a pat on your back for being so brave.

Amarie said...

I think you did the right thing. Could you have tolerated them another week or two, or even up until after the holidays, only you know. There's a lot we all deal with, because we need our jobs in today's economy, now more than ever, but I'm a firm believer that no adult should ever be belittled, demeaned, embarrassed or disrespected by another at their place of employment. It will work out.

Nietha said...

I couldn't imagine anyone else accepting being sworn at at their job, you did the right thing. They don't deserve you and hopefully they open their eyes a little because of this.

Pookie said...

As I told you already, I'm very proud you found your calm voice of reason and stood your ground.

Jack said...

Awww Amber this really is awful! I have to agree with Stiletto Girl, you don't need to be working for people who treat you that way. You did do the right thing.