Waffle House Burnout
“I used to work for Waffle House as a ‘floater’ manager, meaning I covered anything for the restaurant manager or cooks/waitresses. Not only cooking and waiting tables, but doing inventories, stock order, bank runs, managing the tills, you name it.
The job was brutal: 16 hours a day, with 14 or more days at a time before a day off, then right back at it for at least another two weeks. I usually got stuck working 3rd and 1st shift, which means the bar crowd on weekends plus the morning rush the next day. Plus I had to work every holiday.
Being on my feet all the time combined with restaurant work made me NOT want to eat, so I’d lost a drastic amount of weight and was burning out hard. One day, I’m on the phone with my dad, and he tells me I should quit and move back home until I find another job.
I’d been asking for some day shifts for a long time, so I figured I’d look at the schedule and see where I was slotted to work for the next week. Sure enough, they put me on 3rd shift all week.
I went out to my car, grabbed my uniforms, and told the smiling dunce of a manager, ‘Thanks, but no thanks. I quit. Good luck covering the shift.’
The best part is that I was walking back to my car, the district manager and area manager were walking in. I stopped to talk to them, and they asked the standard, ‘How you doing today?’ Having just quit and had a huge burden lifted from my shoulders, I answered honestly, ‘I’m doing GREAT! Best day of my life!’ They smiled, I waved, got in my car, and left.”
“I was working at a restaurant as a waitress, one where customers would come pay at the window for their food, and we would deliver it when it was ready. Kind of like how fast food places work, but it was a comfort food/home cookin’ sort of place.
One morning, I got called in after having spent 3 days in bed due to a stomach bug. I was feeling better, so I went in. I was doing my runs for food and one guy took out an order of mine and gave it to the wrong table.
The lady at the table ate it without realizing it wasn’t hers, and I had to rush around to get it fixed. We ran out of that particular item too, so when someone who had actually ordered it couldn’t get any, it was a clusterbumble.
I was blamed since it was my order, and I got lectured. I told a manager that it was the guy who did it and not me. She said she would take care of it, and I felt relieved. After the breakfast rush, I was wiping down tables and overheard the manager and owner saying that I was a liar because they saw me take the plate out (not true), I had been lying about being sick (also not true), and I was lying about being engaged to my now-husband (what?).
I was so angry about the whole thing, I went and threw up (also probably still a bit of leftover sickness). I did the dumb thing though and took to social media after work. I didn’t give any clues to the circumstances, but I posted something like, ‘Apparently, I’m nothing but a liar. Eff this place.’ I didn’t think it was anything that really gave way to what was going on, so I didn’t think much of it.
The next day, I got pulled into the back by the owners and lectured for slander online. I argued that it was impossible for them to know I was talking about their restaurant. They just went on and on about the bad reputation the place already had, and that what I did wasn’t helping so I needed to delete it.
I said no, and if it was as bad as they said, they should just fire me. I could see the instant fear flash across both of their faces before they told me they just wanted it to be a ‘learning experience.’
I realized that they didn’t want to fire me. We were short staffed and nobody stuck around for long (wonder why), and I actually did my job. I went home that night and typed up a letter of resignation with the following day’s date on it. I gave it to them the next day.
I got lectured yet again about how unprofessional I was for not giving a proper notice, and that I would never be able to use the place as a reference nor would I be rehired. I told her to be careful because I could consider that slander of my character.
After all that, they also tried to cheat me out of 3 days worth of work, so I threatened to call up the labor board and OSHA because no one working there had a food handler’s license. Plus I had clearly been working those 3 days, as shown on cameras that were placed around the restaurant. Luckily they acquiesced, and I got my money.”
Nice Try, Pal
“I used to work at a country club for a general manager who was a complete pig. He would harass all the female servers, and let us out for the night depending on the size of our bosom (I wish I was kidding). He was just rude and talked down to us non stop. I was getting more and more fed up with how I was treated.
One day during our pre-shift meeting, one of my friends made a joke that I kind of giggled at, and the GM yelled out in front of the entire team, ‘What the heck is wrong with you? Did you take your medication? Because it sure doesn’t seem like you did!’ I had told him that I had ADHD in confidence.
The same day, we had a golf outing, and one of my father’s friends was there so I was talking to him and didn’t have a tray on me. The general manager walks over, and in front of my dad’s friend, a guest in his country club, he interrupts and says, ‘You don’t have a tray with you. Don’t blame your ADHD this time, you’re just a moron.’
I was shocked, but finally grew some balls and said, ‘I doubt my lawyer or the board members will agree with you about that. The next time you will be hearing from me is through them,’ and I walked out. I contacted the board members, and he was let go shortly after.”
“I once had a coworker get totally blackout wasted white we were working fast food, and he urinated in three spots within the building: twice in the lobby, and once near the bathrooms.
The next day he admitted to day drinking and bringing extra spirits to work, and didn’t care. He was ‘stressed because (he) ALMOST had a C in class.’ And no, he wasn’t pressured into getting anything better, he was a narcissist who couldn’t believe he was average.
Even though it was fast food, the job was actually super chill, with decent pay, only regular customers, and a lowkey atmosphere after 5.
What made me quit was that later that week, he was promoted to assistant manager. The current manager didn’t care because he was her drinking buddy and she wanted to get with him. I lost all respect for her, and actually quit within a few after his peeing incident because management refused to do anything.”
Fast Food Flapper
“I worked at a Wendys. I was a great employee and on my way to becoming an assistant manager. Out of nowhere, I get bumped by an employee who wasn’t even past her 6 month mark, when I’d been there for 2 years.
I asked the general manager why I was getting bumped for a spot someone hadn’t even heard about yet. He just chuckled. Fast forward two months, and I find him with his wang out and her knobbing him. All I said was, ‘Enjoy.’
I clocked out not even 20 minutes into my shift. I was also able to get a little revenge. I bumped into the regional manager a couple of months later at a Tim Horton’s. He asked me why I left, so I told him. Needless to say, they were both fired.”
What’s The Point?
“I worked at a fast food joint in high school. The place was a badly-managed circus, but nothing crazy enough to drive me off. Management had a book where people could request time off, but I don’t think they ever bothered to look in it.
I’d requested a day off to go on a school trip, and came to back to find out I’d been scheduled that day, and they’d written me up as a no-call-no-show.
Later that year, I was scheduled to have some major surgery. This had been planned literally years in advance. As soon as I knew the exact date, about 4 months before the actual procedure, I let management know, and kept reminding them on a regular basis up until the final day.
I’ll bet you can guess what happened. Management called while I was being prepped for surgery, claiming I’d been scheduled that day. My dad answered and explained what was going on, and the manager was absolutely shocked because she had no idea. He laughed at her and hung up. I never went back.”
Give Me A Break
“When I was 19, I was a line cook at a restaurant. One day, I came into work to find that one cook had called in sick, and the other had been arrested. It was a Saturday morning, so I had to attack the breakfast rush by myself.
I survived the morning and got all the orders out. Breakfast done, I worked on towards lunch, with no break. My manager refused to come back and give me 10 minutes off the line after being on the grill for 4 hours.
As it slows and lunch starts coming in, I only had 3 or 4 tickets, so I fired them up and stepped into the break room to take 5 minutes to myself. Back comes the super aggressive manager, and she asks me, ‘What are you doing?!’
I told her that I’d been at work for over 4 hours, I had not had a break (even to hit the bathroom), and I needed to sit for 5 minutes. She told me to ‘get my butt to the line and get those orders done’.
I looked her in the face, told her to get bent, and walked like I was headed to the bathroom. Instead, I took off my apron, hung it on the back door, and left. I heard later (through friends at work) that she attempted to cook the orders and do the lunch rush alone, and failed miserably. She ended up comping a few hundred in tickets to very angry customers. I never felt one bit bad about it.”
“I was working at a bar in a popular family-oriented restaurant. A customer came in who had previously been permanently banned for harassing me and other employees. The night he was banned, he said something extremely inappropriate about me, and when asked to leave by the management, he became belligerent and started cussing and yelling in the middle of a busy restaurant on a Friday night.
This guy was a regular who would always make the female employees very uncomfortable, come in blackout wasted and then pitch a fit when we refused to serve him. His ban was long overdue at that point.
The guy walks in one night and sits himself right down at the bar, about 2-3 weeks after being ‘permanently banned.’ I immediately turned to my boss who was standing right next to the bar, and asked him to deal with this guy.
My boss suddenly got all sheepish, and started saying he had a long conversation with him and he promised he would ‘be on his best behavior’ from here on out, and to ‘just go get him a drink.’ I gathered my belongings and walked out right then and there.
Turns out, this guy was friends with the owner, so the owner was fully aware of the situation and was fine with it. They had been letting him into the restaurant and serving him the whole time he was ‘banned’ on the condition he didn’t come when I was working, because they knew I wouldn’t be ok with it, and they also couldn’t afford to lose me at the time. Jerks.”
“I worked at a pizza place in high school. It was a little family owned place, and it was my first job. I had been there for almost a year working in the kitchen. The owner was your classic entitled jerk boss. He would regularly harass every female that worked there, including the underaged girls, and his wife was usually there when he did it.
This particular day, I had to open, which meant I had 20 minutes to bike there after school got out, and it usually took 25. I got there on time, but boss man shows up 20 minutes late, and immediately starts yelling at me for being all sweaty.
I think, ‘Whatever, it’s just going to be one of those days,’ and brush it off. I did all my prep and got a couple pizza orders. One of the pies had half with tomatoes, so while I’m slicing them up, my boss walks up behind me and deliberately scares the heck out of me, which messed up my cut.
He then proceeded to start ranting about how I’m wasting his money by cutting tomatoes too thick (only one slice was off and it was his fault), grabs all the slices, throws them in the trash, and then threw the pizza on the floor as he storms out of the kitchen.
I didn’t even say anything to him or wait for him to come back. I took my apron off and threw it on the table. As I was walking out, my coworker was walking in and asked where I was going. I told him to tell boss man to shove it, hopped on my bike, and never looked back.”
“I worked at a franchise Quizno’s when I was a teenager. The franchise owner made his son the manager, and the son hired his girlfriend as the assistant manager. It was a small shop, so there were maybe 5-6 employees: me, one dude a year younger than me, and the rest were highschool girls.
Over the course of about a month and a half, the other dude and I notice our weekly shifts getting shorter and shorter, while the girls’ shifts get longer. By the time other dude quit, he was down to 4 hours a week, I was at around 8, and the girls all had 20+. The manager spent most of his day sitting in the back talking to the female employees, while I used my short shifts to do most of the work.
Finally, I come in one week and see I’m down to one single 4-hour shift. About 5-10 minutes before the end of my shift, I told the assistant manager, ‘Hey this is my last shift.’
‘Well you’re supposed to give us a two-week notice.’ ‘Oh, I know.’ I placed my apron and hat on the counter, clocked out, and left. I let them mail me my last paycheck. I don’t blame the female employees, of course, it was all on the manager for being gross.”
Bussin’ My Chops
“So about two weeks before the incident, I was a busser who was formerly a dishwasher. The dishwasher had quit, and my boss asked me to fill in until he found someone else. Even though I hated dishwashing and my boss was aware of this, I reluctantly agreed to do it for a week.
It was a nightmare, but luckily spring break was ending so I could no longer work during the week since I go to college. When he found a new dishwasher, he assured me I wouldn’t have to dish wash again, and thanked me for helping out.
I buss for two weeks, but then the dishwasher quits. I go into work and see the two other bussers, but no dishwasher. The kitchen workers tell me that I have to wash dishes, but they’ll take care of the kitchen and I just have to deal with the floor, so I figure I can handle that.
Then my boss calls to apologize and tells me that there is no need for the chefs to clean since he already has two bussers on the floor, so I should handle it. I say ok, then hang up. I go into the kitchen to wash dishes and just stare at them for a while.
I started thinking, ‘If this is happening now, what’s stopping him from making me wash dishes again? The answer is nothing.’ The worst part is, he easily could have asked another busser to do it, but instead he asked me, despite knowing my feelings.
Just as I’m having this epiphany, I hear the chef yelling at me to go on my lunch break, and I realize I do want a break…a permanent break. I told him that I quit, walked out, and I’ve never been happier than I am now.”
Rock On, Boss Man
“Back in my rocker days, I used to have really long hair, like almost down to my waist (I’m a dude). I worked in the kitchen for a hospital. I was a good employee, hard worker, did my work without complaining, and did it right.
I was never late, and I followed all the rules as expected. The manager always made it a point to remind to me to net my hair, or sweep it under my hat. His reminders were perfectly fine and expected; after all, it was his job to oversee and enforce food safety rules.
Then his son, also a long haired rocker, was hired. His son and I didn’t work the same shift. In two weeks time, he was late, stole food, and rarely netted his hair. One day, we end up on the same shift.
Like clockwork, boss man comes over and reminds me about my hair, which is no problem. Work begins, and I see his son with his hair out. I asked the boss man what the deal was, and he told me to stop complaining, saying that other employees weren’t my concern.
I clocked out that very second and never went back. I was off to basic training in a month’s time, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
You’re Dunkin’ Kidding
“I used to work at Dunkin’ Donuts. My manager had it out for me because I wasn’t picking up as fast as she wanted me to. She wanted her kid in the store instead, so she was looking for excuses to fire me.
Well on Thanksgiving I got sick and ended up in the ER, and I get a call from my sister-in-law who worked with me. She said that she heard our manager say I was being fired for skipping a holiday.
I go in as scheduled the next day with my doctor’s note and give it to her. She smugly starts with the attitude, saying that she could fire me. So I turned around and said, ‘No worries, I’ll be done today,’ and then proceeded to make a loud announcement to my regular customers that I would no longer be working for the most selfish boss I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing.
I also let every customer who had ordered food know how long the meat and eggs on their sandwiches had been in the warmer that day (about 4.5 hours at that point). Nothing was made fresh like it was supposed to. I also told them that their bagels and rolls were days old, and to enjoy their food poisoning from the 40+ degree freezer the manager was too cheap to fix. After my announcement, 80% of the people left, and so did I.”
“I worked in a grocery store for several years. The last year and a half, it was like they stopped bothering to try and train anyone else to do anything ‘extra’ because it was just expected that I could handle it.
On top of being a cashier, I was supposed to cover the store’s coffee bar while the morning person went to lunch, take grocery orders over the phone (because some people apparently don’t like using the store’s online order form), get the grocery orders together, do light stock work, train new cashiers…you get the idea.
More than once, I was either given my break at the last possible minute, or, because I was at the coffee bar all day, I would be sent home early since there was no one to relieve me. There was no extra pay for all that, just an occasional ‘good job’ followed by more work.
I was eventually given an opportunity to leave with a safety net. The better half and I were buying a house well away from the store, and he gave me permission to quit whenever I wanted. Finances were good enough to where I could be out of work for a while.
I wanted to make it hurt, though. Years of being treated like a slave made me bitter. I gave my two weeks notice knowing that my last day would be right before a big local holiday weekend when they would need all hands on deck. And no, during that time, they did not bother training anyone else to do the extra stuff.
The best part is that they were blissfully unaware of just how bad of a spot they were in until the new schedule came out that same day, and they didn’t have anyone else to do everything that they relied on me for.”
“I worked at a Dairy Queen when I was 17. It was lunch rush, and since it was Sunday we had a skeleton crew. There were 11 orders on the screen with more coming in, and I was absolutely flying around the kitchen making stuff.
My manager was standing in the doorway, literally just leaning up against the wall, talking trash like, ‘Wow you’re kinda slow today,’ or ‘I thought you were faster than this.’ I was still getting orders out in under 6 minutes, and she wasn’t even offering to help.
I was already sick of working there, but this pushed me over the edge. I asked if she was going to help and she said no. I asked if she thought she could do better than me, and she said ‘of course.’
I told her, ‘Okay then, have fun,’ dropped my hat/nametag on the counter, and walked out. She was yelling, ‘Get back in here!’ as I strolled through the back door. When I went back to get my final check later that week, she was there, but didn’t say a word to me. She just handed me the envelope and walked away.
It felt so good. I got a job two weeks later in a department store making more per hour, with no hot grease, and coworkers who weren’t terrible people.”