Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Restaurant Biz - Day Seven

Another Monday. I was, once again, asked to come in last night, for reasons, that, as it turns out, were unnecessary, even if my help was not. Originally, the plan was that the head chef was taking a vacation over the weekend and would not be back until Monday night. The owner, who would have tons of other things to work on, in addition to making orders, would need some help in the kitchen. But, with the weather, the chef wasn't able to take his trip. That's not to say I sat on my ass all night. Though, for most all night, it was really slow, starting at about 8:30 (as if the world decided it was time to go out to eat) our tables went from empty to completely filled, within 15 minutes. I was bussing tables, doing dishes, and refilling prep trays just about as quick as they were being used. I ended up leaving at 9:20, regardless of the crowd. I wasn't get paid, therefore, I wasn't about to sacrifice my whole night.

Which brings me to what happened at the end of the night. I was asked to come in on next Monday, same reasons (though it looks like he'll actually get to make his trip, this time), except...I was asked to close (which would mean staying till about 10:30-11:00pm). This is something I should have known would come up. You can only work at a place for so long before they started *expecting* you to work when they need you. I mean, it makes sense. They need someone on a Monday, there's only one other person besides the owner and the chef who work there now and she has class. I'd have asked the same thing. The problem is this: I'm not getting paid for this gig, a fact I do not mind at all, until they start asking me to come in certain days and asking me to work till close. Because, then, it's not volunteering, it's a job.

So, today, I'm either going to call or stop in and talk with the owner and tell him as such. It's not that I mind working for free, I'm willing to continue to do so, but if I do, that means I should not be expected at any point. I mean, I always tell them when I'll be in next and I'm always on time, but they should not be telling me when I should be in next. We'll see how it goes. I know the other employee I mentioned above is on my side, she told me as such the other day and I *believe* the head chef is, as well (though it's kind of hard to tell with him. Though, he did say, during the night, that I was "part of the team now", even if it was followed with "so you shouldn't need to wait until someone tells you what needs to be done. Check for yourself.").

I'll be sure to update everyone and let you know what happens.