Mullen it Over
This is one my favorite stories to tell, and also one of the worse experiences I have gone through. But I think the best stories contain both very depressing and quite happy elements in them, for without contrast we would feel nothing at all. The only real happy part of this story is when the ordeal ends, but I think the rest is yet to come. For example, every time I share what happened I only get closer to bringing this guy down. And be forewarned: this is going to be an extremely long story, but I’ll summarize everything real good in the end for all the lazy ones out there.
So I think it was late May or early June that I found the ad on Craigslist. I was going through a pretty rough time at the moment. I had been supporting myself for a number of years, but last March marked the first time I was really out on my own, paying rent and living with people who were not related to me. I was also been a full time student going to Westfield State. I have recently left for the second time now, as I’ve spent way too much time and money trying to make other people proud of me, who in reality will never be pleased no matter what happens to me or them.
However, I am not even going to get into that discussion right now, but just know it hasn’t been easy financially, mentally, physically, or emotionally. And not that I couldn’t handle it, but the problem is my heart was never in it. Simultaneously, I am going through a horribly drawn out break up with who I figure was my first love, and I am not taking it well. Meanwhile, my roommate has started dating her current boyfriend, which doesn’t help matters, neither does the fact that I can’t hold down a job. The cherry on top is that I’m playing psychiatrist to myself with some pretty large (prescribed) doses of antidepressants. I am on a roll!
No Money, No Problems?
The last employer I had prior to this was Texas Roadhouse. I was working there for various reasons that made sense at the time but kind of make me cringe now. The best part is the hiring process lased longer than my employment there. I am the type of person who really doesn’t do fake and ass-kissing, so I think we all know a restaurant is the last place I belong, ever, but the money is great sometimes.
Once I was on the floor by myself I began to notice that literally everyone I interacted with the most during my job (FOH, more or less) was barely old enough to drive. And they all went to the same one or two high schools, which resulted in two phenomena: I would never get sat because all the young female hostesses up front were up all the other, older (but still in HS) servers’ asses, but my tables would always be clean because the teenage males were trying so hard to get in the female servers’ pants.
And this isn’t even scratching the surface. The owner/franchiser’s son also happened to work at the restaurant, (along with his wife) so logically, he and his friends were the laziest servers, and also the ones who got the best sections, the most tables, and were cut the first.
Another unenjoyable aspect was this guy whose brother used to be the floor manager, but went to work for Ruby Tuesday’s instead because the place was so shitty, even when he was in charge. So this guy is incredibly socially awkward but very sweet, and one day he wants to sit in my section which was (of course) empty, and he would share his food and buy me a drink after work because he was just innocently seeking out company, and I didn’t lead him on or anything, but he was good to talk to. I saw him maybe four or five times and we talked about everything almost. There aren’t a lot of people that can hold me in a good conversation for a while, but when they can I will talk and listen to them as long as possible.
And as soon as it is apparent that I am responding positively to this guy, I go from just being largely ignored by the owners, to being specifically despised by management. And it was very frustrating from my end because it’s not hard for me to determine when someone is lying, and the whole situation stunk.
The owner’s wife was bartending when I was getting this guy, let’s call him Roy, a drink for one of the first times, and she tells me that she won’t make his drink because the guy wrote hate mail to their restaurant and threatened to shoot it up with a gun. When both another girl and I asked her why Roy was still allowed in the restaurant, she tellingly didn’t bother to answer. Later on, I asked him straight, and he told me the full story from his account, which obviously did not include the part where he is a homicidal maniac, but rather paints the owners in a less than satisfactory light.
I am starting to get the picture here, and I’m not liking it. I know I am screwed when the current floor manager leaves to clearly get far away from the place. My shift pickups start getting denied and I get called out of work once or twice. And I know it’s only a matter of time. They have to get me for something, because mostly everyone else really likes me there besides the owners. I could actually feel their brains plotting to get rid of me from across the room multiple times. But I stayed, because it is better than sitting at home and thinking about my man problems. I could have been looking for other employment, but I really thought the whole thing would blow over, it seemed so pointless.
Finally, one night I am doing my side work in the back, when I find out I’ve been triple sat. Once again, I never got tables there, so I am not expecting that. Second, I haven’t had any guests in an hour so I’m not checking every ten minutes. Third, the hostesses weren’t busy it was very late and they could have found me. That is part of their job. So I get out there to put my silverware away, and I see all three of my tables full. I go over, try to smooth everything over, and I might have succeeded if it weren’t for the deuce. This older, black couple is a nightmare table. They type of deal where they want me to mix in exactly two Splendas into the fresh brewed unsweetened ice tea which was already dumped for the night. I combed the place to find the woman some sliced lemons, and in all of the commotion I forgot the app.
The fucked up thing was, the guy didn’t even care. They asked about it after the meal, arrived, having forgotten about it themselves. They did NOT want a new appetizer. But I went to the KM, wanting to be responsible and make it right with the guests. He was was acting manager for the night, gets all sorts of pissed off at me. This is a kitchen manager who can’t manage to plate his food right, as I had to fix almost my entire order up to standards when he was finished with it. He got so mad originally because I had to ring all three meals in simultaneously, instead of wondering why his hostesses let nine people go hungry for who knows how long. At the time I was confused, then I realized this was their excuse.
So when I am checking out with the key holder she goes, “Oh, call Greg tomorrow before you go in, he wants to talk to you about the app.” And she tries to act like he just wants to hear my side of the story, but I know what’s going to happen, and I am completely unsurprised when he tells me not to come in while I’m getting ready for work, because I’m not “the right fit” for them. I didn’t react I just said yeah, okay, thanks, and bye pretty much. I thought that was the worst way I was fired, until Golden Corral made me come in on Thanksgiving Day to fire me upon arrival because it is “illegal to fire someone over the phone”. Really? But Texas Roadhouse could do it and they were right down the road.
Anyway. Texas Roadhouse is undergoing a lawsuit right now because of age-discrimination and I’m not even a little surprised. It was quite obvious what they were trying to do. And that was only a franchise, so clearly there was a problem there, among many others. At the time I thought there was something wrong with me. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) I know that is no longer the case.
I’m going to cut it here, and call this part one. I wasn’t intending to write about this one in that much depth, but I guess I needed to. So, everyone: That was the Texas Roadhouse at the Five Corners Plaza near Boston Rd in Springfield, MA. The owners are Greg and Carol. For me, just don’t go there. Ever. And tell a friend, tell lots of them. Or share this post. I really have nothing personally against the owners after everything, I just want people to know who and what they are patronizing.
Thanks for reading. Cheers.
Read part two here http://wp.me/p4fPNo-6W