Side 1: Employees
When it comes to getting the job…
Congratulations! You got the fucking job! All it took was an assortment of white lies sprinkled all over your cutesy resume, with a dash of exaggerated wordplay. I mean, come on, is it a coincidence that you, along with every single applicant that came before you, just so happen to be a “great team player”? Or that you all have “excellent work ethic”?
It’s all just corporate jargon meant to categorize your being into one of two sections: hired, and the “rejected/call if desperate” pile that gathers dust in a manila folder in the managerial office. The higher the fluff, the higher the chances that yours will end up within that lovely pile with the dust on it.
The interview went smooth, as you were set up with an assistant manager for the duration of it. You’ve done rehearsed answers to expected questions a million times, did research on the company beforehand, and dressed in your most snappiest outfit. You chose a burgundy shirt to tie the blazer-and-slacks combo together (there’s just something about that burgundy).
Besides the point, it is your first day, and you’re super excited to meet everyone else.
And then, you actually start meeting everyone else.
When it comes to meeting your coworkers…
The people you work with can make or break your enjoyment of the new job, but that’s also dependent on the setting.
And you just so happen to be the new cat in town.
Or dog. Or lion. Or meerkat. Whatever your preference in the animal kingdom is, it doesn’t matter, because listed below are the slew of archetypes in the workplace that you’ll meet:
The trainer – You walk in, and are shown to your cubicle, station, podium, whatever the fuck, by a modest man (or woman, let’s not get all caught up on gender norms now). They give you the lay of the land, what is expected of you, and they help you get started on your first task. Simple enough, right?
Then, you meet…
The REAL trainer – You’re settling in, and someone swings into your area, out of nowhere. He starts making fun of you for being so nervous on your first day. You have no idea who the fuck this person is, but he knows who you are, somehow. Out of the kindness of his heart, he gives you a rundown on the way the workplace is truly run. He tells you who’s a twat, who’s a cunt, who’s a twat AND a cunt, things of that nature. Startled by the bluntness of this person, you question why he provided this information in the first place.
He tells you it’s because he believes you seem “cool”.
The assistant manager – As you and the REAL trainer kick it off, the assistant manager that interviewed you approaches the both of you.
“Knock it off, you two. Let’s get back to work.”
You inquire about the assistant manager that you haven’t had the chance to learn about, and the REAL trainer gives you a rundown on this one:
“Donna’s a real piece of work, in a bad way. She’s been gunning for a raise for 2 years now, but boss man ain’t giving it to her. Heard him call her a female Dwight Schrute once. You should’ve been there; the whole place went bananas after that one. But yeah, since she has seniority, she has a bit of pull around these parts. If she ever asks what you do on your time off, don’t answer truthfully. Last month, this schmuck named Jonathan told her he smokes weed during work to take the edge off. He was fired a couple days after. The company cited creative differences, but we all know Donna snitched him out. See, she’s a snitch and a brown-noser, doing it for brownie points with head huncho. But anyways, that’s why you’re here! You replaced lil’ ol’ Johnny.”
Then, you realize your position.
The new kid – That’s right. You’re the one that gets assigned all the crapwork, by default.
Errands? Get ready to take care of them all by yourself.
Scheduling? Prepare to get the worst hours in the entire workplace.
Overtime? Good luck getting that.
In saner terms, you’re a peasant to the kings and queens of this locale. But no worries, as you can’t possibly be as down bad as…
The creep(s) – Every job has them. You’d be lying if you said yours didn’t, unless you work at a restaurant.
In that case, then you’re definitely lying.
The lowest of the low, these “people” direct their sexually aggressive remarks towards the attractive personnel of the workplace. It’s bad enough they have an entire family back home that they willingly choose to forego in pursuit of lust that will never transpire. They spend their days staring suggestively at the beautiful people that frequent the setting, and banter amongst themselves in another language, usually to mask the profane garbage that comes spilling out of their sailor mouths. And more often than not, HR turns a blind eye in order to avoid the risk of disrupting workflow, but that’s no excuse.
We know who you are.
The oldhead – You can’t help but notice that one particular coworker is significantly older than the rest.
While you’re a young lassie brimming with ambition, this oldhead is an OG that has seen it all. From the 70’s disco scene, to the Rodney King riots, to cheesy action movies starring bald people, the oldhead has lived through decades of culture that you can only dream of embracing, seeing as you’re a milennial, starkly contrasting their perennial baby boomer status.
Nevertheless, the oldhead is humbled from years of service at the job site. On the verge of retirement, their final stretch consists of giving advice to people they find genuine, like yourself. The OG also takes on a parental role, talking you through any problems you may have with your personal life, as well as showcasing their impressively massive family that they had established many years prior. They always have a gorgeous family.
The crush – As lunch approaches, you get asked to go on your first break. 45 minutes exactly is what you’re entitled to in order to renew your energy. You didn’t bring any food, so you try your luck at the vending machines. Unfortunately, there are only Munchos and Dasanis available.
As you sit down at the break table, musing over why you didn’t bring cold cuts from home, as well as why no one likes Munchos, a voice disrupts your train of thought:
“Hey, new kid. Those Munchos have been sitting in that machine for months now. I wouldn’t eat that if I were you. Do you want a Pop-Tart? I have an extra one.”
You look up, and catch a glimpse of the offeror.
It’s an alluring, young woman. Her beauty leaves you speechless.
Why haven’t you seen her before? There’s no way she works here, you quietly think to yourself. In urban terms, you would describe her as “valid”, but in Shakespearean terms, you would describe her as a “queen”. Nothing more, nothing less. Her gracious looks have piqued your desire, as her effortless charm ensnares you in a wor-
“Dude, are you alright? Here, take the Pop-Tart. My break’s up anyways, so I have to get back to work. I’ll be seeing you around?”
You fumble around mentally, trying to come up with the perfect response, but all that comes out:
She grows a natural smile, and walks away.
You fucking awkward idiot.
The family member who got the job because they have an in with the boss – You’ve been warned about this one by several of your coworkers throughout the day. A deadbeat in every sense of the word, the family member has unlimited get-out-of-jail-in-the-workplace cards because of one thing: blood. Their elevated status causes them to behave rampantly. The family member is also always placed on the forefront of any promotion list, beating out viable contenders who deserve the position 10 times over. The boss will vehemently lie about performance reports, dismiss complaints made against the family member, and even put them on a pedestal in front of all the employees to stare in agony. You can only hope for the best at this point.
Boy, you gotta love that nepotism!
When it comes to your manager…
None of these characters, however, match up to the one that signs your checks.
Part of the battle is getting your foot in the door, and now you need to prove your worth. Unfortunately, you don’t know what this manager is capable of.
The manager could be cutthroat. A stern voice of reason, this version plays out as a no-nonsense character that doesn’t have time for silly conversations (silly conversations meaning anything not work-related). Although they’re all about maximizing productivity, this strict manager keeps it fair. Sometimes, you wonder if this manager is actually a robot, because their lack of emotion is so startling, you would think they were manufactured somewhere in China.
Another option in the manager lottery is that yours turns out to be a dick. Let’s say, in attempts to put a personality to the person, you inquire about the manager’s personal life. They end up writing you up for insubordination. A few minutes later, they start screaming at others for being “incompetent”, and has everyone stay late to meet a deadline. Little does anyone know that this “incompetency” stems from the manager itself, as they forgot about the deadline entirely, and they just used that as a ruse to shift blame. What a dick.
But would you look at that! You lucked out, as the manager you work under is a jokester. Their style is laced with random acts of humor, as well as optimistic meetings, and the crazy part is that they still get shit done. A far cry from the other versions, this manager keeps a positive aura in the workplace that makes coming to work a little more bearable. Some of the underlings aren’t a fan of the manager’s methods, as they believe they could do better, and have even gone as far as going behind the manager’s back to try and be a replacement, but not you.
No, you’re here for the long haul, and you’re satisfied with the current settings.
As you get acclimated, and you complete your orientation for the day, you wonder what the clientele is like. They can’t be that bad, right?
Side 2: Customers
“The customer is always right”
Those are the choice words of a customer who decides to wreak havoc at a Denny’s when her eggs came out over-hard, instead of over-easy. Why is this asshole the arbiter of chaos, you ask?
She wanted her yolk runny.
The poor sucker who is serving this individual (we shall call her “Karen”) is doing his best to explain to her how eggs work, as Karen had actually requested the eggs to be over-hard. However, Karen is interrupting his every sentence with her own twist to the egg formula:
“Motherfucker, if I wanted it to not be runny, I would’ve asked for scrambled. How can you fuck up over-hard eggs?”
“Well, ma’am, here’s the thing: over-hard eggs aren’t runny. Over-easy eggs are runny. The miscommuni-“
“Why are you trying to argue with me? What in the world is this backsass? Get me a fucking manager, you tool!”
The poor sucker proceeds to involve his manager in hopes of defusing a mindless situation:
“Good morning, ma’am, how may I be of assi-“
“Cut the nice guy act. Your waiter obviously needs to be retrained, maybe even fired, as I asked for over-hard eggs, and I got this.” Karen pushes her plate towards the manager threateningly. “I mean, where’s my runny yolk? I always get my eggs over-hard, and everywhere I go, the server always fucks it up. Is there a nationwide problem with servers not knowing their eggs that I don’t fucking know about?”
As the manager shuffles around the plate of eggs with a fork, he smirks at the poor sucker, realizing the stupidity of the situation, and settles the plate in front of Karen.
“Ma’am, you did ask for over-hard eggs, correct?”
“Yes, I did. And you dumbasses couldn’t get that right. Fix this, and take it off my tab. I want also want new eggs, over-hard this time, for my troubles. Matter of fact, I want my entire meal comped, for your incompetency.”
The manager’s face turns serious, no longer amused by the tongue-lashing he and the poor sucker were receiving.
“Ma’am, first off, you’re not going to sit here and disrespect my server over a miscommunication. Second, the eggs you want, are very clearly over-easy. Over-hard eggs aren’t runny whatsoever. That can explain your problems with eggs elsewhere. But anyways, we’ll get right on that for you.”
The poor sucker starts giggling, and Karen doesn’t take too kindly to that.
“FIRST OFF, THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO ME IN SUCH A CONDESCENDING FASHION? IS THIS HOW YOU TREAT CUSTOMERS? WITH A LACK OF RESPECT? IN ALL MY YEARS DINING OUT, I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED SUCH DISGUSTING STAFF BEFORE!”
Karen has, in fact, terrorized a litany of restaurants before with her confusion regarding eggs. Her last act caused her to receive a lifetime ban from every iHop in America.
And of course, Karen’s outburst grabs the attention of the rest of the patrons, with one going as far as initiating a recording on her phone. Karen doesn’t take too kindly to that as well.
“PUT YOUR FUCKING PHONE AWAY, YOU PIG! THE FUCK ARE YOU RECORDING ME FOR, ANYWAYS? RECORD THESE IDIOTS THAT DON’T KNOW HOW TO MAKE A GOD DAMN EGG FOR ME!”
“My eggs came out fine. What about yours, Phil?” says one patron that was sitting a few tables from Karen.
“Jackson, these have to be the best eggs I ever had in my 47 years of life”, replies Phil.
Another patron chimes in: “sit down lady, I’m trying to enjoy my runny eggs.”
As everyone starts to gang up on Karen, coming to the aid of the manager and the poor sucker, Karen directly addresses the manager:
“YOU VILE PIECES OF SHIT HAVE NO PLACE IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY! NO ONE THIS AWFUL SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BE IN AN ESTABLISHMENT OF THIS NATURE. LET ME SPEAK TO THE OWNER.”
The manager and the poor sucker start laughing uncontrollably, noting the humorous irony in Karen’s statement. Then, the manager follows up on Karen’s request:
“Oh, you want to speak to the owner of Denny’s? Did I hear that right, the owner of Denny’s? Well, for one, his name is certainly not Denny. It’s Harold Butler. Thought I should clarify that since your thinking capacity isn’t exactly the greatest. Anyways, this gentleman has been dead for years, so you’re shit outta luck! In the meanwhile, you can pay the tab, and get the fuck out of my chain before I call the police. Oh, and before you make your exit, here’s your receipt. Don’t forget to tip your waiter!”
Karen storms off, in search of another Denny’s to terrorize.
The customer isn’t always right. In fact, they’re wrong most of the time, simply because they don’t understand the machinations of whatever business they try to participate in, whether it be the restaurant industry or not.
Moral of the story: don’t be like Karen.
“I thought your website says you close at 10pm?”
For fucks sake, have some common decency.
Let’s say you’re at a mall. At this mall, there are stores. At these stores, there are hours of operation. At one particular store (let’s say a Zara’s) that you had an interest in visiting today, their hours are 7am-10pm. It is currently 9:55pm.
In this scenario, you’re a consumer that understands that the security gate being halfway down is a definitive indicator that they are closing up shop for the day. You accept the loss and head on home.
Now, let’s imagine the same exact scenario, but only this time, you’re a consumer that gets off on waiting until closing time to indulge yourself in your favorite stores.
You ask to be let in, and the employee reminds you respectfully that they close in 5 minutes (obviously notioning that they are unofficially closed). This piece of information gets lost in that marvelous brain of yours, however, and you enter regardless.
Congrats! You are now a douche.
You spend the next 45 minutes meandering about, grabbing clothes from their neatly-placed racks, trying them on, and then tossing them back in an unrecognizable heap of clothes far from the source of acquisition.
Workers there are picking up after your trail of destruction, as you obliviously continue to lollygag around the store, until finally, you decide to exit.
The best part? You didn’t buy a single item.
The second best part? You realized that the next store you wanted to visit closes at 11pm. It is now 10:40pm.
Proper shopping etiquette will have you plan your shopping trip accordingly. Understand that the result of this procrastination will have you keeping these workers away from their families for longer. Some of them may have children to get back home to, and your entitled ass is keeping them from their obligations. Sure, the website says they close at 10pm, but please, for the love of all that is holy, be cordial and respectful of their time, as well as yours.
Moral of the story: don’t be a douche.
“Remind me why I have to tip again?”
Oh, dear gratuity…
How many, many citizens of America fail to grasp how tipping works is beyond me. There really isn’t that much to get.
Surprisingly, there is a culture out there that believes tipping shouldn’t be necessary, as they believe server/delivery driver wages should be increased by the corporations they work for, thus being compensated by the company itself, rather than the customer.
This belief, although slightly understandable, fails to acknowledge the hardships that small businesses will face altogether as a result, especially during these brutal economical times (thank you, COVID).
This belief is also an excuse for people to just avoid tipping altogether. With certainty, I can guarantee you that the population that doesn’t believe in gratuity has never worked as a waiter/bartender/driver before.
Enough of that, though, because I will now present to you…
The Types Of Tippers!
#1: The (Good) Service-Based Tipper – A conventional one, the (good) service-based tipper bases their tip on the quality of the service rendered to them. This tipper usually tips extremely well, as they understand the struggles that come with the job. Their sympathy can stem from a renowned respect for the service industry, or having been a former server themselves.
#2: The (Bad) Service-Based Tipper – An unconventional one, the (bad) service-based tipper bases their tip on the quality of the service rendered to them. However, this tipper is a nitpicker like you wouldn’t believe. Take too long to bring back refreshments? Your tip goes lower. They ordered a medium-well steak, but received a medium-rare one instead? The tip reaches the glass bottom. The music playing isn’t up to their standards? The tip power-bombs through the glass bottom, and your tip is a stiff. These tippers find any excuse to be awful, regardless of the lack of control that you, as a server, have over the circumstances. As much as you want to exact revenge against this tipper for having you run in the kitchen 10 times for a different kind of dipping sauce for their chicken tenders, just to leave you a horrendous gratuity for your efforts, don’t. All will be well soon.
#3: The Illiterate Tipper – Customer skims through menu. Customer orders item. Customer receives item. Customer is not a fan of something within item. Customer complains about the item, even though the ingredients are very clearly defined on the menu. Customer gives a tip based off the “inadequacy of the service”, even though it’s actually their own incompetency that caused this predicament. Customer should revisit grade school thereafter.
#4: The “You Got Here Too Fast” Tipper – Many moons ago, when I was a delivery driver, I used to hustle hard. Like clockwork, I had routes logged, synchronized delivery times according to the chronological sequence in which the orders were placed, and most importantly, drive. When you work in the service industry, your drive is what separates you from the rest.
One evening, an order came in for 2 cheeseburgers and a milkshake to be delivered down the block. The hostess that took the call informed the customer that the delivery time will be between 30-45 minutes. Since it was the summer, I knew that I had to be swift with the delivery, as the aforementioned milkshake would deteriorate in quality.
The time span of (order placed -> outside with your food) was a mere 17 minutes. As soon as the customer opened the door:
“Why did you guys lie? The lady on the phone said 30-45 minutes. I was taking a shit when you called. If you’re not gonna be accurate about your delivery times, at least tell me. I had to squeeze it off, and now I’m all flustered. Thanks a lot, guy.”
The bill was $31.88. I was handed $32.00.
“Keep the change, and next time, don’t be so fucking quick.”
I shit you not, this actually happened.
#5: The “Keep The Change” Tipper – This tipper is amongst the most condescending. It’s a rarity that this type will give a worthwhile tip, as they’re more often than not charged up about the bill being too high. They must have forgotten that those mimosas don’t come for cheap. They think they’re doing you justice by leaving you their change, but unfortunately, their idea of a tip is nickels and dimes. Don’t be offended by this tipper; they don’t know any better.
#6: The Premeditated/Percentile Tipper – It doesn’t matter if you make the best drinks in the world. It doesn’t matter if you can moonwalk to the table with a tray of food in one hand, and a violin in the other, whilst simultaneously serenading the clientele. It doesn’t even matter if you completely butcher the order and leave your guests utterly unsatisfied. The premeditated/percentile tipper will ALWAYS tip the same amount. It could be $5 on a $20 bill, or $5 on a $80 bill. It could be 20% of the bill, or 10%. There’s no telling with this wildcard.
#7: The Discount Tipper – Many restaurants offer discounts for members of the armed forces, as well as police, firefighters, and EMT’s. These tippers can get up to 50% off their entire meal, but just like #6, the gratuity these people leave behind is volatile in nature. In rare cases, the tip will consist of the entire discount. But I am here to inform you that they consistently rank amongst the worst tippers in the game, settling for less at every turn. And trust me when i say; they WILL ask for a discount if they belong to those demographics.
Every. Single. Time.
Employees and Customers = The Fabric That Binds Forever
Commerce has been around as long as man figured out fire. It is what sustains our society. Appreciate it as such, because without it, we’d still be living like savages. If civilization ever collapses, the tools to our survival will be up to our own discretion.
Until that happens, money is the game. Treat each other kindly, and don’t be a douche.
(Yeah, I know this is an uneventful conclusion to this post, but cut me some slack. I haven’t had my coffee yet.)