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An Open Letter to Steph

A preface: between Saturday, Sunday, and Monday earlier this week, I've been hard at work making cookies for Christmas. Chocolate and butterscotch chip, with chocolate chunks. I have three on the table in front of me as a matter of fact, and they look pretty tempting, but they're still semi-frozen. 3 batches a day, and one more round tomorrow, making ~12 bags of 3 dozen cookies each. I plan to wrap these up like Christmas presents and give them to various people, and originally I was planning to share some with Steph too, because she also bakes, but she's been getting ever more on my nerves and under my skin since she came back from leave, and I feel like tonight was the most abrasive of all.

And I know it's not right to say things like this behind a person's back, but I feel like I need to get it out, you know?

Steph:

Can we rewind back to Monday night here? Did you think about the pressure you were putting me under when you sent two of your closers home early to "cut hours"? Did you realize I was the only overnight person when you did that? I barely had time to clean the first grill, then you dump me on line with Tori and disappear into the office for ten minutes to talk to Shawn on the phone!

Can we go look at the cameras for that night and see how fast I had to move in order to finish everything in time? Look at me cleaning the front of cold line there. Do you see how I'm actually becoming winded? Can you see how quickly I'm frying and bagging nachos there, then twists, and then pizza shells where I had a blessed thirty seconds to stand and wait for the fryer, which I honestly felt was wasted time? And why doesn't Aronda wash the pumps? I know she's a hard worker, but it's seriously annoying when you power through everything else, then go back to wash dishes and find four pumps lurking in the murky water! Do you appreciate the fact that I still took the time to properly degrease the sinks? Probably not. I appreciate that you cleaned front cash line and let Aronda mostly deal with the dishes, but I seriously question your judgment if you think what you did was okay.

When I come in as the only overnight person, I need all the time that I can get. I didn't even get to listen to music on my PSP because it would've slowed me down too much, and I'd just charged the thing up the afternoon prior! I couldn't even sing along with Christmas songs on the radio, because that slowed me down immediately too!

All of this on top of the fact that I left a couple minutes before 7, fell asleep sometime after 8, and still got up at 1:40 the next afternoon, to be at work for 5.

And then that day was a doozy too. To the best of my memory, I've never gotten emotional like that at work before, old store or new. And maybe it wasn't so much your direct fault as a culmination of things, but I went semi-all-out, into the walk-in for a moment of privacy and pull-out-the-shirt-sleeve-and-dab-the-eyes routine. Then you have the gall to sweetly ask me "Are you okay?" when I do come out. And when I take a second to run back to the bathroom and put on more deodorant. Just leave me alone. It's bad enough you already left me having to work harder than anybody else here for seven hours straight, then somebody (probably you) puts me on drive thru steam, which is bad enough, and additionally insists that I put a headset on to the point where you call me "Bud", which is just... stop. I'm not a dog, and I'm not one of your kids.

Then Orlando comes over, and in some confusing jumble of words that I no longer remember, said something about going home early, and either cleaning the dining room or working drive thru, after I halfheartedly offered that I would like to leave early. But it's like... I didn't want to leave early. I just wanted a normal, easy, routine close again, where things would be more relaxed than the night before, and even though I was on edge from the moment I was put on steam, I was prepared to make the best of it, but you just had to make it worse, and Orlando just compounded things further because by the time he came over, I already wanted to just be left alone. I've never been under that much stress at work before, and I don't know if I would abide a second instance.

That was that, but where you do get off? As far as I'm concerned, you're one of the worst people in this place. You who would just as soon be outside for a cigarette, or back in the office on your cell phone instead of doing actual work. You who seems to put more focus into finding faults with others than anything else, although that's a bit of personal spite there.

Up until it was my turn for break and I got to go out to Shoppers and have a change of scenery / get some air, I was prepared, after brief conversation with Jen, to inform Shawn that I would work 'til the end of the prepared schedules, and that would be that. Then Shawn showed up around 10, and actually talked to me like I was a human being. And made you stay until 11 despite your weaseling Orlando into letting you go home TWO hours early. It was also nice to work drive thru for the last two hours of the night, and be able to converse with people and actually smile for the first time since I started.

But that's drifting off topic, so here's my final piece: I want nothing to do with you, and the biggest kindness you could offer is to leave me alone.

- Ben

ps: see you at bowling on the first! glad you're on a different team!

Here's the thing though. When Shawn came in and we were talking at first, he said he would be coming in early Thursday morning to give me my review, and I plan to write down my questions and concerns, and bring those up then.

As for Steph, I plan to just ask / tell (if need be) her to leave me alone the next time we work together, and try to ignore her thereafter. I can at least try to look on the bright side and tell myself that the worst of this stretch must be over now, and I have plenty of other things to take my mind off work in the coming days. Cookies as before, mud pie for Michelle, cheesecake for Tom, and some nice mozzarella-stuffed meatballs for Christmas Day

I still think I want to make a hokey New Year's resolution to either drastically reduce my hours at or leave Taco Bell, and find a new, non-food-related job though. Food Basics ironically comes to mind for starters, and I know for fact that there are other offers to be found, if I just take the time to actually look.

I've been writing for an hour and a half now though, thereby depriving myself of the time I was going to lay and play Mario, so I'm going to be done here.

It is nice to have it out...

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