Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Working for the Man

She doesn't look like she would have
homicidal thoughts, but it is a dark
place inside her head.
Another of those milestones has happened that helps to assure me that I am a grown up. My daughter Kirsten has gotten her first job.

She started working at Arby's about two weeks ago and is learning what it means to have a job. She has already gotten to experience the heartache of learning that her friends are getting together and she can't go because she has to work.

So far, she hasn't worked longer than a three hour shift, but still complains when she comes home about how much her feet hurt. I try not to laugh.

She works the cash register and takes orders for people. She's seeing first-hand how nasty and mean some people can be. She has never before had to deal with the public in this manner and is quickly losing her faith in humanity. She already has a disdain for most people and this is just helping to solidify her belief that the world would be a much better place if she were allowed to kill people that ticked her off. Legislation is pending.

Her brother worked at this same restaurant for four years and was instrumental in her getting this job. He didn't want her to get grounded for not finding a job like he did when he was sixteen. He has learned a few things.

Arby's treated Christian well while he was there so I don't have many concerns. There are several places that take advantage of teenage workers knowing that they are new to the work force and don't know any better.

EVIL EVIL EVIL MACHINE
My first job was at Rax, a roast beef place similar to Arby's. They had a clock in/clock out rule that was not fair to the employees, but I didn't realize this until years later. They would round the time cards to the nearest quarter hour, but made sure that it always fell in their favor. When you came to work, you could not clock in until 7 minutes before your shift. If you clocked in a minute earlier, it would round back to the last quarter hour and you would get paid for 7 minutes you hadn't worked. This seemed fair enough, but they timed it that way for clocking out also. If you were scheduled to get off at 10, they would keep you busy until 10:07 to get those 7 free minutes. If you missed it and didn't get to the clock until 10:08, then you had to keep working until 10:22. Once again, to get those 7 free minutes. They did the same for clocking in and out for your breaks. On any given shift, they could get up to 28 minutes of free work out of their employees. Over the course of a pay period you might lose a few hours off every check.

My next job was at Bonanza. I was a busboy. On my first week of work, I got into trouble because I would come in at my scheduled time, clock in and start working. They didn't want their busboys to do that. That wanted us to come in and sit in the break room until we were called. We were required to be there, but were not supposed to clock in until the restaurant got busy enough that we were needed.

That means that I spent many, many hours sitting at work not getting paid. I wasn't allowed to leave, but was not getting paid. They would get us one at a time as the business picked up and occasionally would send someone home after sitting for a few hours. As a teenager, I was happy to go home and not have to work, but hadn't considered that they were demanding my presence, which means they should have been paying me. Years later, I received a check as a result of a class action lawsuit against them because of this illegal practice.

A few years later, I worked the midnight shift at a gas station. I was there by myself and was given a list of things to do every night. Besides this list, I had to take care of customers, watch the pumps to make sure no one drove off, keep the trash taken care of and keep the coffee pots full. Since the station was right off the interstate, there were a lot of customers. I got chewed out every morning when the manager came in and found that I had not completed the list.

I couldn't get him to understand that it was not possible. One of the tasks was to clean the pumps. The way he wanted them cleaned would require about three hours to do them all. That job alone made the list impossible to fulfill. There was about twenty items on the list and three of them were large jobs like the pumps. I honestly could not have completed that list even if I didn't have to worry about customers.

Adults know better and do not normally get taken advantage of in these ways. So when my kids entered the workforce, I tried to keep an eye out to make sure those things did not happen to them. Arby's seems to be a good place to work for a teen and I don't think I have much to worry about. She just needs to learn to deal with people.

Now if I could just get her to bring home roast beef sandwiches like her brother used to.

19 comments:

  1. Ha! But now all I can think about is Noa's post about the creepy Arby's with the mystery meat and interchangable employees. Do they make her hide behind the counter until all the other employees are out of sight and then have her pop up to scare the bejesus out of the customers? Yeah, because they should. It might be more fun for her that way, as well.

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    1. I missed that post. I will have to check it out.

      Hopefully, as she loosens up and gets more comfortable with it, she will find ways to make it fun.

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  2. I can see the homicidal thoughts. She might want to work on her facial expressions a little bit so that the customers won't know that she's directing violent hopes in their direction.

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    1. They show through more than she realizes, but she knows how to put on a happy, tolerant face when she needs to.

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  3. Your daughter is beautiful, but that world weary look on a teenager always makes me laugh. Well, not when I was a teenager.

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    1. Thank you. She got paid today and was willing to admit that she felt she hadn't done anything to earn it.

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  4. My daughter would come home and say "I've worked 10 hours in the last 2 days, I'm beat". I would just laugh and say "your not getting any sympathy from me. Try 12 hours in one day for multiple days, then I'll feel bad for you"

    She works at Steak 'n Shake, she's only brought us home shake's once. Whatever happened to the perks?

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    1. My dad always works hard. He happens to be one of the lucky few who love his job. Even though I work hard, I still cannot complain. It is a pain! :p

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    2. Last month I worked 12 hour shift doing strenuous manual labor in 125 degree heat. That was work. She doesn't have any idea yet.

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  5. ...I noticed she tends to prefer very flat shoes. She's going to need shoes with more support if she'll be on her feet.

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    1. She is still more interested in style than comfort. Give here some time on her feet and she may come to change her mind.

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  6. Phew! First jobs are tough. Too many people get taken for a ride with pittance to show for it.

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    1. Luckily, she seems to be at a decent place. Still minimum wage, but they don't take advantage.

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  7. Haha great post. She is soooo cute!

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    1. Don't say that too loud. She might hear. She is already well aware of it.

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  8. Kirsten is so cute. I love the fact that at such a young age, she's out there earning a wage. She's a credit to you. :D

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    1. She has wanted to get a job for several years. She doesn't care for working, but loves getting paid.

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  9. My first job was at a Chinese restaurant as a hostess. I was to sit customers down, take their orders, and clean up when they left. The restaurant didn't have a bus person. Most of the time, I also had to bring them their food because the servers were out smoking. The only thing I couldn't do, and was not allowed to do, was serve patrons alcoholic beverages. All this for minimum wage and no tips. The waitress kept that.

    I never noticed just how much your daughter looks like you. She looks so adorable in her uniform.

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    1. You waited the tables but the "waitress" got the tips?

      Sounds like a first job.

      Kirsten definitely took after my side of the family. When put up against pictures of my mother at that age, they could be twins.

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