July 11th, 2011

I Miss George Already

A new rule was made known to me tonight, and I can just imagine how much fun he and I would've had picking it apart. The rule itself is absurd, unfair, and quite possibly illegal, to the point where I was considering making a post about it in co_workers_suck to ask for advice, but I think the best thing to do right now is wait until Tuesday afternoon, and go in sometime before 4pm to ask Melissa some questions. For the the time being though, said rule is that from now on, we will only be paid for one hour after closing. In Mary's words, if we're there past 2am, 3 on the weekend, we're working on our own time, and / or for free. Yes. Just let that sink in and see how much sense it makes. Quite possibly the easiest argument in our defense is that responsibility for closing or not, if we aren't getting paid, we shouldn't have to do any work. Trevor said it'd be just like doing volunteer work, but as I was thinking to myself on the way home, it's only volunteer work if the person required to do the work volunteers, and I'm not sure too many of the closers would be all that enthusiastic about it. Secondly, take tonight for example. Say I got my dishes done within an hour after we'd closed, and Mary was still struggling with line. Why should I stay to help her? If she wants to stick around, she's more than welcome to, but I shouldn't have to wait, and therefore the rule about two people needing to be in the building at all times is broken. Better yet, I remember getting in slight amounts of trouble before for working at the beginning of my shift before I was clocked in. The reasoning there was that if I injured myself I wouldn't be able to hold the company responsible or something, so what happens if we're there past an hour after closing and somebody hurts themselves? It's just a messy rule all-around, but that's why I plan to ask some questions on Tuesday and see if there isn't option for some alternative (such as no longer being clocked out for breaks I don't take anyway).

Now, in Melissa's defense, it still is fairly rare for us to be there more than an hour after closing. That's reserved for nights that are really busy, where nothing at all can be done, which is really not fair to the closers. How would you feel if you spent the entire night taking or making orders, then had at least an hour of cleaning left afterward, but knew you wouldn't be paid for anything beyond that? I'd be upset, and would probably leave the place in exactly the state it was in, because as mentioned above, if we're not getting paid, and we're not on the clock, no amount of coercion will help, and threats of being written up will be laughable, because we won't properly be there to write up. On the other hand, maybe this is a forceful attempt at getting us to be out within an hour. As far as I know the official rule is still that we're supposed to have everything cleaned up within that amount of time, but frankly I don't think the rule is checked and considered for editing nearly as often as changes to our requirements at night do. It took me half an hour to wash all the end-of-the-night dishes tonight, and that's with everything that was back there when I started already caught up. After that, I cleaned the sinks, took out the garbage, swept, changed, took out a couple more bags of garbage, and still left before Mary because she was doing paperwork or something up front. What would've happened if the dishes hadn't been kept caught up throughout the rest of the day? It's yet to happen since this rule has gone into effect, but I will not be held responsible and made to work without pay because other people didn't do their work. I think if there's only one question I could ask Melissa (followed by an unlimited number of statements), it'd be "Are you serious?!", and I just might yet, but not for another day and a bit.

On a slightly different note, I was thinking about something related to the above on the way home, and kind of like the difference now. In the past, I would've been extremely afraid to go to Melissa with my concerns, for thinking that if I did, she would take back that time I asked to have off in August. Meanwhile, now, I'm not even half as afraid of what might happen. I haven't really been speaking for anybody else thus far in this entry, but just to be clear once again, I am not when I say that I try not to "slack off" at night. I spend the first half hour or so cleaning up the drive through area and getting it ready for the end of the night, and after that, it's either dishes or customers. Then, if I'm able to finish the dishes before the end of the night, I'll try to clean the floor at the back, and if I successfully complete that, do the floor at the front as well, and if there are still very few customers and dishes after that, will clean the staff bathroom and chemical room, and then, after all of the rest of that stuff is done, if there are still no more dishes or customers, might do some prep if anything needs to be done, or more likely than that will try to find an inconspicuous place in which to stand until there's something to do. Most of the time I'm lucky to get the third step complete before the end of the night though, and suffice it to say, I still don't get any of the breaks which I'm pretty sure I'm clocked out for. Somewhat ironically, George told me a while back that it wasn't by choice that we were clocked out for breaks we didn't take - it was actually the law, but in that case, where is the legality in expecting us to work past an hour after close if circumstances require it? Nonexistent, I say, and it makes me wonder if this rule was something Melissa conceived on her own, or if Mike or Shawn (whoever is the district manager right now) had a say in it as well. Tuesday can't come quickly enough, at any rate.

In other news now, everything that I wanted to do earlier is complete, including renaming season 1 of The Waltons, and I received a response from the person I'm getting a keychain from to say that color would be the next stage, and they'd get back to me with a new preview when that was ready, so yay and such. It'd be really neat if that was here in time for my trip in August, but the auction page quotes two weeks for the creation of the keychain, and another two to three weeks for shipping on top of that, so probably not. On the better side of things, I realized on the way to work earlier that next month at that exact time, I would be in Toronto, probably out shopping for groceries. I actually had a huge smile on my face upon realizing that, and then on the way home remembered something else that could get us to the zoo again. Last time we went, Dan said that we'd eventually have to go early in the morning and attend as many of the Meet-the-Keeper events as possible. Might be neat, and it's another option on top of asking Xion if he wants to go or possibly just going on my own, so yeah. On that note I'm going to bed though, because I start work an hour earlier than tonight tomorrow. Not as early as last week, sadly, even moreso considering I don't get three days off in a row again, but what I have now will be good enough. At least until I ask my questions on Tuesday...