He Took The Check And Never Looked Back
“I worked at Chick-fil-A all through high school and loved it. Our restaurant owner treated us super well, paid well above minimum wage, and all of my friends worked there too. Unfortunately, the owner was TOO good at what he did and ended up being pulled up to corporate to train other owners.
If you work a certain number of hours at Chick-fil-A you will get a $1,000 scholarship from corporate. You just need to be recommended by your store’s owner. I worked my butt off for that store in high school, probably putting in around 30 hours every week. The owner told me I was a shoo-in for the scholarship. He wrote me a lovely recommendation right before he left for corporate and I was approved. My check was expected to come in about two months later, in June. That gave me plenty of time to apply the scholarship to my first semester’s tuition.
Our new restaurant owner started in April. He immediately disliked how close our team was (we were a little cliquey, to be fair). He didn’t like that we had come up with our own systems of doing things and didn’t like that we played our own music in the kitchen. He especially hated that we got paid so much. He immediately starts making changes and rubbing people the wrong way. He was especially not a fan of me and the fact that I was going away for college.
Fast-forward to July: I took off two weeks of work to go on my last family vacation and another weeklong trip with some friends from work. I hadn’t received my scholarship check yet, so I called the corporate office to ask about it. They said the check had been sent to my store SIX WEEKS EARLIER. I was livid. When I was home in between my two trips, I stopped into the store to talk to my boss. He pulls out the envelope with my check in it and gives this big, long speech about how only employees who are committed to the company deserve these honors and that I would need to commit to working there at least twice a month after I left for school in order to get the scholarship. I was a dumb, scared teen who desperately needed the check, so I said yes. He gave me the check and I went on my way.
I never stepped foot in Chick-fil-A again. I let my friends know what happened (all of whom were managers) and then ignored all of his calls. It’s been five years now and I still haven’t had that delicious chicken.”
Know Your Worth
“I started my first job at 15 as a dishwasher for a friend’s family’s new Korean restaurant. They were my neighbors.
My typical workday was 4:00 pm-9:00 pm on the clock. Afterwards, I was expected to stay and help close shop. Instead of getting paid for those extra three hours, I was given a meal for compensation. To be fair, there are laws prohibiting minors from working too long or too late and honestly I didn’t mind it as the food was incredible.
After about a year, I’m now 16 and due to the minimal wait staff, I was expected to work as a waiter/busboy in between dishes. Fair enough, I was getting sick of the same old stuff anyway. So, I came in during the week to start training and since they knew I was already familiar with the menu, they just had me on my own and winging it. I made a mistake like not remembering soup or salad, so I went back upstairs to ask and when I returned with my answer, I was insulted by my manager for not taking this seriously enough.
A couple months go by and I’m waiting tables and dish washing all while being micromanaged by my manager. Well one weekend, a Mardi Gras parade was being held downtown where the restaurant is located, so it’d easily be one of our busiest days that year. I was scheduled for 4:00 pm-10:00 pm, but they asked if I’d come in that morning around 8 or so. About an hour or two into my new shift there was a mountain of dishes I was being expected to maintain while also waiting tables. My manager walks into the back where I am and the dialogue goes like this:
‘Hey, what are you doing?’
‘Go ask table six if they need refills.’
I walk out the back and to the front of the store while she’s tailgating me and pick up the pitcher of water. As I pick it up she asks, ‘Do you even know what you’re doing?’ At this point I’m pretty fed up and kindly respond with, ‘Yeah, I know how to pour water.’
She didn’t like that and told me that I need to LOOK at her with respect and that if I didn’t like it here I should just leave. So I left them with mountains of dishes and thirsty customers.
Know your worth.”
Bad Manager Gets Bad Karma
“I was working at Subway in a mall’s food court and the manager was a tyrant of a woman. Denise I will never forget you and your angry eyes and bad breath for as long as I live. As a teenager I was no match for the many years of experience that Denise had being a miserable person.
She was loud, she was mean, she showed no appreciation for anything. My dad had a serious medical issue one time while I was at work, and when my mom called the store to tell me, Denise confronted me in the back room while I was crying and said ‘Is he dead? No? Prep the tomatoes.’
Now, I am in Canada, and Denise was French. She spoke English, but she definitely spoke better French. So, sometimes, she would use a word improperly but not know that she was making a mistake and then when we wouldn’t understand her, she would get mad at us. Mostly on account of her being a raging idiot. This is important.
It was during a busy rush, and busy rushes in mall food courts are just … something else, man. The lines get all mixed up, people are angry, nobody actually wants to be there. They’re just there because they were shopping and got hungry and now they’re stuck waiting in a too-long line that they never planned on being in in the first place.
I was on bread, which means I was the person who just got the bread ready for the sandwich. Cut it (I think it comes pre-cut now), put the cheese on it, move it down the line for the meat/veggies/whatever else was being put on it. So, behind me were the ovens and the proofer for the freshly made bread. There was nothing in them, though.
Denise, down the line, on cash, yelled ‘Hey, close the oven!’ And I looked behind me, confused, because the oven was closed. On, but closed, so I pointed at the door indicating it was closed and went on to the next customer.
Again, ‘HEY YOU! I SAID CLOSE THE OVEN!’ Now, everyone in line is just looking from Denise to me, me to Denise, and watching her yell at me for something that I was clearly not understanding. I didn’t know what to do, because the oven was closed already, so I just kinda stood there.
Denise throws an absolute fit, stomps her way over to where I am, goes over to the oven and flips the switch off. She wanted me to turn it off, but was using the wrong word and asking me to close it. As she angrily switches it off, she yells (so, again, everyone can hear) ‘THERE. CLOSED. ARE YOU STUPID?’
I feel guilty, to this day, that I just walked out then and there (mostly just for my coworkers) but it had to be done.
‘Denise,’ I said while taking off my plastic gloves and that stupid visor they made us wear, ‘You’re a horrible person, and I hope nothing good happens to you.’ And I left.
Fast-forward like 15 years: I’m now working in a busy cardiologist’s clinic. I call in my next patient and it’s Denise. She doesn’t recognize me. I’m just another former teenager she terrorized, probably one of many. But I remember her, those eyes and that breath and that general miserableness.
I check her chart. Heart disease. I guess nothing good happened to Denise.”
How Do You Say “I Quit” In Greek?
“I worked in a Greek restaurant. The owners spoke very little English. Once I was making that tzatziki and the owner started talking to his wife behind me in Greek. Then, his daughter joined in. Eventually, the owner got my attention and started off talking to me in Greek with his daughter translating.
It gradually went from talking to yelling. Both of them. One in Greek, the other in English about how I’m messing up the tzatziki. This went on for about 5 minutes.
I’m just standing there listening to this. Not being able to get a word in until I just snapped.
‘JUST SHUT UP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD,’ I shouted.
They surprisingly stopped and looked at me like I just killed their goldfish.
‘Yeah. I quit,’ I muttered and I just walked out.
The chef followed. We went to a local bar and drank and talked about how absolutely nuts they were.”
Calling It Quits
“I worked in a restaurant in Christchurch, New Zealand. Since the earthquake, there are limited job opportunities outside of construction. The restaurant owner always wanted us to arrive 30 minutes before shift in uniform and work until our assigned time and then clock in. It was a split shift, she wanted us to do the same for the second half of the shift. At the end of the day, she gave us until 10:00 pm to clean and finish and signed us out at 10 before she left. We got dockets in past 10:30. The next morning I was there 30 minutes before my shift and the head chef comes bolting in the door. He asked them if the owner was here yet. I said no. He was relieved that she wouldn’t know. 30 minutes later, I see him clock in.
I was like forget this noise and went to her mid shift and said I quit. She was surprised and surprisingly upset. I explained I’m not working two hours for free every day. She said that she knows for a fact that the doors were locked at 10 the night before. So, I showed her the receipt of five dockets that came in between 10 and 11.
She said she was shocked and surprised and asked me to stay. I said it hasn’t worked out and in fairness to her, she paid me for the full day, and the day before including the two hours and said she isn’t here to rip anyone off. But the problem was, I think nobody stood up to her. With very few restaurants in Christchurch, I reckon the staff just put up with it and accepted it.”
A Holiday Miracle
“I was working as the general manager of a pizza place. A little backstory is needed to truly understand the climax of this story.
As general manager I was paid salary, meaning I was paid the same amount every week regardless of the hours I put in. I was expected to work at least 50 hours per week including mandatory closing on Sunday nights because inventory was due. Working less than 60 hours was considered lazy by the district manager and wasn’t worth the chewing out that followed every week.
This particular day was New Year’s Eve, which fell on a Tuesday. While most holidays increase revenue by a good bit, it was a Tuesday night and that was my only guaranteed day off every week due to my shift managers having school schedules that I agreed to work around (because they were good shift managers).
So the stage is set for New Year’s Eve on Tuesday morning. I’m on the couch with my roommate/best friend Rick playing video games when we both receive an email from our District Manager. At this point, I should point out that my Rick is also a general manager for the same company at a different location.
This email from the district manager flat out states that ALL general managers are required to work 8:00 AM to close regardless of the already approved schedules.
Despite being royally upset, Rick and I both get dressed and head to our stores hours early.
After a few hours of sitting around waiting for the holiday rush to hit, I realize that this job is not worth the 70+ hours a week I regularly commit to it.
I draft up a resignation email to my district manager and I am a moment’s away from clicking send when I get a phone call. It’s Rick and he’s happy. Why you might ask?
Rick tells me that he just quit and is leaving his store to fend for itself!
This only strengthens my resolve. Instead of an email, I call my district manager directly.
He answers and is flustered by the news of one of his store managers quitting on New Year’s Eve. To my satisfaction, I told him that I will also be leaving immediately and never coming back.
I don’t quite remember exactly what he said, but the panic in his voice was so satisfying to hear.
So, Rick and I went to our favorite bar, ate wings, and drank without a care in the world for the first time in months.
The fallout to my store was minimal. As I mentioned before, the store was effective without me and could run pretty well without my direct supervision.
Rick’s store on the other hand was a different story, his decision quit caused a chain reaction and more than half of the employees quit immediately after finding out that their beloved leader had abandoned ship.
One of Rick’s employees, who is still our friend to this day, relayed a tale of three plus hour delivery times, ticked off customers, and a District manager who ended up working open or close shifts at Rick’s store for the better part of two weeks while he shuffled managers around and tried to find replacements for us both.”
Couldn’t Pay Me Enough To Do THAT
“I worked a part-time minimum wage job at a Philly cheesesteak restaurant in a strip mall while I was trying to stack cash before a vacation.
I cooked for two days while my manager screamed at me for taking too long, using too much meat and for not letting the steam cook the skin off my arms. He apparently felt no pain and would demonstrate how little scorching hot steam hurt him. What a freak. Naturally he thought I should also have the same level of pain tolerance. Makes sense. Sure.
I endured this lousy stint until the third day. He handed me a shovel when I clocked in and told me to clean up the dumpster outside. I took one look inside and the thing was CRAWLING with maggots! I’m talking to the point where the whole pile of filth lying around the outside of the dumpster just wriggled and crawled like one giant organism. It looked and smelled like there was a dead body decomposing in there. I had to stop myself from puking. I walked back in and handed him the shovel and told him I wasn’t going to do that. My manager flipped his lid and yelled in my face but that wasn’t going to make me go out to that dumpster again any time soon. Nope, a hard pass for me. I apologized to the other crew working that day and bounced. Forget that noise.
I’ve since wondered how much money it would take before I would have dug in and handled the mess. Maybe $500 in cash, under the table? Probably $1,000 before I would do it happily. $4.25 per hour minimum wage in 1998 dollars was not getting it done, though…”
He Was Going To Make His Job Pay
“My first job was working at a little BBQ place with a drive thru. It was my day off. My manager calls me at 8:30 am (30 mins before we open) saying she doesn’t feel good and needs me to open. I rush in and end up working all day. 5:00 pm rolls around, manager comes in with the owner of the business, who she’s dating. They were at the fair all day and completely forgot they lied to me about her being sick. I bite my tongue and ask if I can go home. They say no and keep me until close (9:00 pm). At 9:00 pm, I took my shirt off, handed them my keys, and said, ‘Today was my last day’ as I walked out the door shirtless.
The best part? When I got home my dad was ticked off that I quit my job. I told him what they did and said I wasn’t making enough money. He looked at my pay stubs and saw they hadn’t been paying me over time the entire time I worked there! He made me go back in and demand my overtime pay. When I came in with the pay stubs, the manager started crying and gave me cash out of the register to cover my overtime and then some. They called me the next day making sure I wasn’t going to report them to the BBB. I didn’t, but my dad did.”
The Last Straw
“When I was a student working as a Pizza Hut delivery driver in the armpit of Virginia, we had this dumb policy where they pick one driver a night to do all the dishes. You’re told to ‘do them in between deliveries,’ but that’s impossible when you’re constantly getting orders. Others are supposed to help out throughout the night, but of course nobody did. I was left with about three hours of washing dishes at around 1am. I had two finals the next day, and was going through really bad family problems at the time.
I got so frustrated that I just walked out, drove home, and had an absolute mental breakdown due to all the stress that had been piling up. I didn’t say a word to anybody and never went back. To this day, I feel absolutely awful I left the manager with all that work to do, though she was kind of a slave driver anyways. Still, I feel ashamed that I just walked away from hard work rather than deal with it.”
“She Had One Of Those ‘I Want To Talk To Your Manager’ Haircuts, But She WAS The manager.”
“My first job at 18 was at a Kroger deli. I was pretty excited at first. It took me a lot of mental strength to go out and find that job, since I was such an anxious teen. I settled in pretty nicely and had a couple coworkers who watched my back.
Then, there was my manager, Karen. Freaking Karen. She had one of those ‘I Want To Talk To Your Manager’ haircuts, but she WAS the manager. She hated my guts.
I thought I was being paranoid too until all of my co-workers pointed it out to me. They told me that she bullied me, she nitpicked, she made me do stuff no one else ever had to do, etc. My manager, a 50-year-old woman, was hazing an 18-year-old for God knows what reason, and my coworkers actively pointed it out.
I had a lot of panic attacks on my bathroom breaks because of her. Maybe too many. Sometimes my bathroom breaks were just ‘Panic And Cry’ breaks. My mental health was already kind of bad, but this was making it worse.
I wanted to go to a concert one night, but they didn’t give me that night off and that was the last straw for me. Make me miserable and then deny me the joy of seeing Fall Out Boy on their reunion tour, hag? I emailed the store manager saying ‘mail me my paycheck, I’m not coming back’ and then I never worked for Kroger again.”
The Moment She Just Lost It
“Years ago, I worked at a place right down the street from the United Center in Chicago. It was before the smoking ban and I was a server. There was a manager who was a total hag and she’d run into the bar to smoke. I didn’t smoke and hated working in the bar.
So this Saturday, I’m assigned to be the server in the bar. At the time, there were no customers. The manager comes in for a smoke, so I slink off and join the rest of the servers in the server area.
Hag finished her smoke and apparently someone came in and had to talk to the bartender for a drink, so she comes looking for me with vengeance. She finds me with the others and starts screaming at me. Just irrelevant bull. Three sentences in, I ask her if she’s done. She gives a look of shock. How can someone talk to her like that.
I was over. I hated that place.
I just laid into her. Insulted her person, her position, her everything, then I grabbed my apron string, pulled it, let it fall, and walked off into the wind.
A month later, my sister was taken here by a date before a Blackhawks game. She mentioned to the server that her brother used to work there. That server told the others and they all chipped in and bought their meal. They told them that she ran to the office and cried for hours and that I had said everything they all had wanted to say to her, hence why they were buying the meal.
Greatest afterword to a job I’ve ever had.”
Take This Job And Shove It
“I worked at a restaurant/snack bar when I was 16. I got there because a friend of mine worked there and told me they needed new people. The owner didn’t like me and, for some reason, expected me to understand everything the first day I started. Like how the anciently old cash register worked and how long food took to be done. I didn’t know anything since I was just a kid and had never worked in a restaurant before. Sometimes she would leave me alone to tend to the snack bar part while she tended the restaurant, even though no-one ever ate there while the snack bar was extremely busy. She yelled at me when I worked too slow or just didn’t understand what was happening. Still, because I was 16 and I just wanted the money, I usually just let it slide.
Three months in, I was struggling with a new problem. She came by and I asked her how it worked. She told me, but followed it up saying how dumb I was for still not knowing, in front of customers. I just said, ‘Well, maybe if you’d explain it for once.’
She didn’t even look at me. She just grabbed my arm and dragged me into the kitchen. She started yelling about my attitude and if I was going to be like that, I’d better just leave. So I responded ‘You know what? Alright,’ and I walked away.
It was a good thing too. That place was sketchy. We got paid cash after every shift, the cook had some unhealthy rumors going on about him, and the place was super gross. Glad I got out when I did.”