I can get fed up with snark—it’s often obvious, lazy, or just plain jerkish—but sometimes it’s so well done I can only say “Ahhhh”.
I “ahhh” a lot when reading C.A. Pinkham’s “Behind Closed Ovens” series—and these are the types of stories for which you definitely want to read the comments.
Anyway, that’s the happy news.
The less-happy news are the terrible conditions under which restaurant staff too often labor, which Pinkham also (righteously!) highlights:
Almost the exact thing happened to me. I was working at a cheap sushi restaurant and got food poisoning in the middle of my shift. I began vomiting over and over, about twice an hour. I was literally running in and out of the bathroom between taking orders because I couldn’t stop, I was so ill. What did my manager say when I asked if I could go home? He said no, we were short staffed because he’d already let a girl go home because she’d stayed up too late the night before doing cocaine. It took 4 hours from the point I started vomiting for him to finally let me leave, and he demanded I apologize to all my coworkers for “making them work harder”. Btw I didn’t even make it the 6 block walk home without vomiting in the gutter. I didn’t get fired right away, but I mysteriously stopped getting shifts about two weeks later despite being the oldest and most experienced server (at 20 years old, btw). Fuck the way restaurant workers are treated in this country.
Not surprised. I came down with the flu once when I was working at a cafe and they told me I couldn’t leave. When a customer complained that I was clearly ill, my manager just moved me to the kitchen so the customers couldn’t see me infecting them all.
This reminds me of one of my roommates in undergrad who worked at the dining hall – She somehow got pink eye and tried to call out sick after going to the doctor, since, you know, pink eye is hella contagious. They said she couldn’t and that they would just keep her in the back on dishwashing duties so she would be “out of sight”…like, as long as the other students didn’t see her inflamed, seeping eye as they were being served their fucking turkey tetrazzini all would be well. Anyway, there was a subsequent MAJOR breakout of pink eye. Enough so that the President of the university had to send out a campus-wide email about it outlining tips/directions about what to do to prevent the spread and how to get treatment. Fucking ridiculous.
I once worked super sick through my lunch shift and went to a minute clinic on break for a strep culture. Came back positive, with a dr’s note, and my boss sat and watched me call everyone off that evening to cover my shift. No one would so I sat and cried, feeling terrible, sick, and defeated, and shaking from my fever. Finally after watching me crumble he said go home. What a dick.
There are many many many more, in both the post and in the comments.*
We Americans have an awful attitude when it comes to wage-work, namely, that more is always better** and too much is never enough.
*If you don’t want to feel terrible, stop after you read the “Strega Nona” comment. That one’s nice.
**Of course we also rebel against this puritanical sensibility by pretending that we’re busier than we are. Because busier is always better, natch.