Cafe Storyrant… Go!

I win at cappuccino foam! (For once!)

Oy. What a long week! I worked 8 of the past 9 days, and this week was all long shifts. So, yay for actually getting money, but boo for sore feet and tired me.

So here’s a funny story. Not really funny, really, but a story anyway. Yesterday I was supposed to work an 8 hour shift in the middle of the day – three hours overlapping with the girl who opened, 2 hours by myself, and then 3 hours overlapping with the girl who would close. I was supposed to take my break when the closer got in, but about half an hour before the opener was to leave, I realized I had to pee, and was really hungry, and didn’t want to wait 2 and a half more hours to take my break, so I asked her if she’d mind if I took it then, I’d just take a half hour instead of the whole one, and I’d be back when she had to leave. She didn’t mind, so that’s what we did. And THANK FREAKING GOD.

Apparently, the girl who was scheduled to close had called out, but somewhere along the line the wires got crossed and that little tidbit of information never made it to the manager who was actually working then, or to me, or to anyone actually working that day, and neither she or the manager she had talked to found a sub. So, about halfway through what originally would have been my break, the manager figured this out and called a couple people, but nobody could/would come in to close, so he asked me if I’d stay to close. Luckily for them, I didn’t have any pressing plans that would warrant leaving them with an unstaffed cafe for the rest of the evening, so I said I would.

It was only an extra two hours of work, but on top of an already 8-hour shift, that’s a long time to be standing around making coffee. And instead of two hours working alone, it turned into 7, and I still had to do the food pull for the next day (normally done at the end of the middle shift, when the closer gets in, so one can wait on customers while the other’s in the back), plus do all of the closing stuff, which is a pain in the butt to begin with. Luckily for me, it was pretty slow most of the night, so I was able to get it done anyway, and they sent some people over from the book side at the very end to help me finish up. So everything crucial got done, the place got clean, and I still made it out of there reasonably soon after the store closed. It wasn’t that bad, and the manager bought me lunch today for being willing to stay.

This morning I get in, working on the book side, and the other manager mentions I had forgotten to put more iced coffee in the fridge, but he had apparently been the one who had dropped the ball in the first place in not letting anyone know the girl wasn’t coming in, so it was all good. I said, “whoops, sorry, I’ll try to remember that next time,” and life moved on. I helped some customers, shelved some books, didn’t have to work the register much, it was a good day… until 5.

Then the girl who was closing the cafe showed up. From the very beginning, I could tell she was going to be stressful to work with. The other cafe workers warned me, the cafe supervisor warned me, every time I opened, I could tell if she had been the one to close the previous night, because everything was messy and half-assed, if done at all. I tried to be polite when I saw her, but was grateful that I only had to work with her twice so far. I didn’t think I’d have to worry about it today, since I was on the other side of the store, but I was wrong. Soon after she arrived, she wanted to tell somebody something on the radio. Instead of just turning on the one we keep in the cafe, she tells me, halfway across the store, to pass on the message for her. She mumbles (rather consistently) so I couldn’t hear what she said, so I walk towards her and ask her what she said. Instead of repeating it like a normal person, she grabs the mic on my headset, while it’s still attached to me, and tells whatever to whoever herself, completely demolishing any semblance of personal space in the process. >.<

A little while later, I’m helping out on register, and she comes over and just stands there awkwardly… already I have a bad feeling about this. She rings up a couple people too, eventually the line dies down, so I try to head back out to the floor to finish the pile I was shelving, but before I can manage that, she corners me and starts going off on me about how bad I did at closing. At first I think maybe I did forget a few things, I was by myself and already tired, it’s plausible. But then she asks me how I got Sunday from Thursday (refering to the expiration stickers we stick on the food trays, everything gets either one or two days from when you pull them out of the freezer), and then tries to claim half of it didn’t have a sticker at all. I admit to her I may have missed a tray or two, but I’m pretty sure I got almost everything, and I know I didn’t put Sunday stickers on anything. (When in doubt, I just tagged it for the next day, to be on the safe side, so almost everything had Friday stickers.) It would have been one thing if she was correcting me on things I had actually done wrong, (and even then, she doesn’t actually have any authority over me, I would just have respected it since she has been there longer than I) but NONE OF IT WAS TRUE.

When I told this story to the cafe supervisor (who actually quit, effective yesterday, but we text), she confirmed that the girl has no room to talk… “A lizard could close the cafe better than her”… and both the managers who I’ve worked with lately told me I’m a good worker and doing a great job at my job(s), so I’m pretty confident that I didn’t screw up, and she’s just crazy.

Nonetheless, when she was done, I was so so so very mad… Somewhere between shock and actual restraint, I managed not to say or hit anything, but that meant it came out as tears of frustration, so I went back to the break room, but there was a guy in there, so I stood at the sink and washed my hands so I had an excuse to face the wall and steam/cry a little… but this was like, 10 minutes before the end of my shift, so when I came back in to clock out and he was still there, I still wanted to rid myself of the grime of other people’s money and dusty books and computers that everyone-and-their-mom has touched before I got my stuff and left, so he gave me a funny look and asked “didn’t you just wash your hands?” and I was still barely maintaining my composure/sanity, so I just sort of muttered “yup” and some failed summary of the above explanation and left awkwardly.

But now I’m home, showered, pajama’d, and soon will be asleeeeep. And tomorrow will involve no work, but lots of funnesses.

One comment

  • BAh. Cafes. I’m really sorry, hon. You’re a doll for staying to close for them, though. You’d be surprised how many people wouldn’t do that, so you probably really impressed them. You’re obviously a good worker. I’m sorry about that girl. Bizarre. We’l talk later (today! when I see you!).By the way, just a note – it’s probably the best idea to privatize your blog so only people who are invited to see it can see it. If you’re talking about work, it can be *really* icky at some point down the road. Definitely keep blogging, but just protect yourself!Rachel

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