Saturday, March 27, 2010

Burger King

Today, I will tell you the experience I had working at Burger King. To begin with, I actually didn't mind the work. Well, somewhat. It's definitely not the worst job you can find, though.

Most of what can be done is pretty easy, but the only problem can be either remembering what to do sometimes, drive through sucks, and closing sucks. I mean, closing anywhere sucks, but closing a lot of places doesn't hold up to closing a fast food restaurant. That's the worst possible experience you can have working fast food, and it's necessary for every employer to do so at some point. Actually, I had to do it three nights in a row. During my first week on the job. During the weekend when the place is open longer. That was not only making me tired, it was making me incredibly physically weak (much more than most people would think, by the way, so please don't give me shit about that), thus bringing down my ability to work. And you know how complaining about something at a job like this works. Don't like what we do? Well, now we're going to lower your hours, put you on your more inconvenient shifts (besides closing time), and put you on a position that sucks worse than your ideal position/the one you're best at.

Either way, though, my hours were reduced the next week. I actually welcomed that fact with open arms because I need a little more a rest after that excruciating first week. Hell, they gave me five more hours than what I asked for anyway, so I figured that balanced things out. However, my hours kept getting reduced for the next couple of months until I was "terminated" (I like that term better than "fired," so I'll use that instead). I was terminated from the job because I "wasn't fit for fast food." Why this is bull shit is coming ahead.

First off, once again, my hours kept getting lowered. I gradually went from thirty-five hours a week (more than what I signed up for) to two. Two fucking hours. It wasn't much before then, either. Now, if you want to complain about performance, that's a big factor in determining that. You know what, of course I'm not going to be fit for the job if I'm barely working there. Because of what they were doing, I was losing touch on how to do things, even making certain sandwiches. That's probably the biggest reason why I wasn't "fit for fast food" as they said.

Now, here's another big thing. I know the business is called "fast food" for a reason. I understand that perfectly. However, that does not mean that literally everything has to go the speed of fucking light. I'm not sure if this is the same for everyone else out there, but at the Burger King where I worked, they expected me to finish mopping the entire kitchen and behind the front counter within just a few short minutes. This is something that's not possible if you want to actually clean the fucking floor, and you should considering that you're dealing with food and want a more sanitary place, not to mention the possibility of people slipping all over the Goddamn place. I know there are work shoes for that, but it can still happen, especially because you have to wait a while before you can get work shoes in the first place. Either way, I think they should allow more time for that kind of thing. It's important, quite frankly. I understand not being too picky about the floors, either, but you don't want to be way too sloppy, which they kind of are. But even for the most important part when it comes to being speedy, the food, they still have high expectations a little too high. I was eventually able to reach their mark (thirty seconds or less) for about two days before the third week hit and I started slowly losing touch. But, you know what, you can still fucking have fast food even if you take a little longer on orders. I know people are hungry, but it's not like waiting an extra ten seconds or more (if I make a mistake, for example, which happens somewhat often to every employee who isn't a fucking android) is going to kill them. Even if it takes a minute longer, it's still faster than every other kind of restaurant out there. It's still fast food. Hell, if anything, this company-wide mentality is just feeding more into the quite high level of impatience in this country anyway. Great job for helping out on that issue.

Oh, and that's another reason why closing sucked, too. They expected you to finish closing within and hour. Normally, this isn't a problem, but I swear, there was so much shit to do within that time, particularly if you where the one cleaning the broiler. That alone takes up most of your time, but then there are various other tasks that . . . well, I can't even remember them all now, but it was fucking awful either way. Hell, I should tell you about the worst night I had working there. The second night I closed during the first weekend. I worked with the second bitchiest manager and an employee who, although was fairly nice, yet expressionless, didn't do nearly as much work as she should have (that night, at least). Neither of them were helping me out much that night. I didn't even want to complain to the manager because, again, she was the second bitchiest manager, so that would've backfired on me. She noticed and didn't even do anything about it anyway. Anyway, the manager was doing her thing until the very end, and the other person washed the dishes and did one other minuscule thing, then just sat and read some shitty book the rest of the fucking night. I had to take care of the umpteen other things that night that weren't even supposed to be my responsibility because of her, which led to us staying an hour over our "limit." Normally, although I'd be pissed, I'd expect to be fine considering it wasn't my fault that happened. However, everyone apparently thought it was. I have no idea why, but I have a feeling one of those two (likely the manager) just said I was and thus I was blamed for it without further evidence to prove otherwise (or even to prove their own case, but I was just the trainee, so they would've trusted them more anyway). That really had me pissed off, and I did complain about that. Nothing. I mean, at least I wasn't punished, but that was such bull shit that I wanted some good out of it. Oh well.

But here's another bull shit thing that happened. This time, it involved the highest manager there, so there was nothing I could do about it. I was helping the cashier person at drive through, giving the food and drinks to the customers and stuff. Pretty easy position, probably the best besides the spec bar (for chicken or fish sandwiches or whatever), the fryer, and the broiler. Anyway, there was a customer who was complaining about not getting the onion rings he ordered. I asked the manager what I should tell him. I can't remember what she told me, but I repeated what she said to him, and he kept complaining. I remember that it was a stupid thing she told me anyway, so I understood why he kept complaining, since I would've as well. At that point, the manager took over, which is what she fucking should've done in the first place. After a short exchange, though, she apologized for what I apparently did, claiming, "I'm sorry, she's new here." That pissed me off, because I knew that I ultimately did nothing wrong whatsoever. If anything, she did, not me. Putting blame on others like that is obviously not a good thing for a manager to do, since that drops morale. I have no doubt that she does that sometimes, and if she does, I hope she at least gets her ass demoted for doing that.

I guess another thing I feel like mentioning is this ridiculous mentality that I'm sure is common among bosses/managers. It's the mentality that makes them think that, since their employees are there to work, they should work the entire time, even if there's absolutely nothing to do. At all. Even if there's truly nothing, they'll tell you to take out the trash even if it's only about a third full, mop a second time (which, in retrospect, might actually help, but still), or even just put a fucking sticker on something or mark it otherwise. I mean, God damn it, is it really that fucking important that you literally have to search everywhere to find even the tiniest little fucking thing to do? Even if there isn't, what's that point then? What would they make you do at that point?

But the last major problem I had working there was this little rule that they had which was extremely contradictory. It had to do with our breaks. Here's the thing: the managers choose when you can have your break. This is fine since you'd think they'd know best for a job like this anyway. However, my managers sucked shit at picking when I could have my only break, and it would typically be about an hour and a half into my shift no matter how long I would be working, or sometimes even before the first hour hit. That's terrible, and there's really no good reasoning for that. I remember even asking them why they did so, and the highest manager told me that it was apparently the only time they could possibly give me a break, which was total bull shit because there were at least three times later on that day in which nothing happened for quite a while, and one or two people could easily handle business in the kitchen (if there was any), and another could've taken a break if they needed one or something. Hell, one of those points I remember was longer than half an hour, which was as long as our breaks typically lasted. You can't tell me that I couldn't have had a break during that half hour. Total fucking bull shit.

But that's still nothing compared to the truly contradictory rule they made up. Smokers had the opportunity to get special little breaks just so they could go out and smoke. During my first couple of days working there, I figured I cold have one, too despite not being smoker, since I'm sure they were moral enough to give everyone a good share on that kind of thing. That turned out to not be the case, though. I had the bitchiest manager there bitch me out about sitting down for hardly even a quarter of a minute before being spotted and told to get back to work . . . which, once again, there was nothing to do anyway, which is why I decided to sit for about five minutes, or until something happened, like an order popping up. She literally told me to put a sticker on something. That was it. She even told me that only smokers get those little breaks. This was the most unfair thing about working there. Why would anyone even consider this? It, if anything, only serves to encourage employees to smoke so they can have a little more freedom at work. Not only that, but it's stupid to consider the "needs" of a smoker over everyone else like that. It's discrimination is what it is, and I fail to see how they get away with it. What a fucked up rule.

Oh, and the managers would complain if I was even one minute late. This is a problem relating just to me, but all of the clocks were completely out of whack. Even the clocks at the job weren't set properly. One clock would be two minutes ahead, another six ahead, another one minute behind, etc. And I knew my clock was spot on. So whenever I would look at my clock and, say, be two minutes early, the manager would look at the clock that's two minutes ahead . . . except it would switch while I'm entering and signing in. But because of her sense of time because of her fucked up clock, I was apparently marked as being late. But you know what, what's one fucking minute anyway? I know there may be payroll complications or something, but come on. Why complain otherwise, especially if the clocks aren't trustworthy? Even if they were, that's quite low to complain too much about one minute. I don't know about any of you, but I hate that kind of perfectionist attitude. Besides, I'm not a fucking moron. I know being late is bad (if you're too late, that is, but not one fucking minute). I don't need a lecture on something completely obvious like that. Quite honestly, I don't think most people need that.

But now I want to be fair. There were a couple of things I did like. Quite a few of the coworkers were really cool. There were even a couple of other nerds there, which was refreshing, but I never saw them again after being let go. Also, even though the management was, as a collective, a total piece of shit (and ultimately the only thing I hated about working there, since they caused almost every single problem), there were two nice managers. I didn't usually get them as often as I would've liked, though, but when I did get them, working was quite a bit easier. And, to be fair, there was at least one position I really did suck at regardless of how much practice: cashier. I suck that badly at Math to the point where I can barely work a cashier job. I've been reluctant to try for that position ever since because of that. To me, that was one of the most stressful positions, and I was so happy that I was let go of the cashier position that I felt the need to let every one of my coworkers know of my joy to be free of that position. Everyone else thought it was one of the easiest positions, but I'm quite adept at English as opposed to Math. Excellent in one, shit in the other.

Otherwise, the job sucked shit. It didn't naturally do so, though. Most people tend to hate fast food jobs, which I can understand, but for me, it wasn't the job itself. It was easily the managers that fucked up my experience for me. Them and them alone. Otherwise, if the management were better, I probably would've worked there for longer than just two and a half months. I doubt I would still be working there by now, but it would've helped to have had that job longer, since I simply couldn't get another one for quite a while (about seven months, I think).

But anyway, now I want to talk just a little bit about the quality of the product there. I used to love going to Burger King. I loved their chicken tenders, then I switched to chicken sandwiches with lettuce, cheese, and ketchup. By the way, I don't like the taste of beef, which is why I don't eat hamburgers. I'm a fairly picky eater, but I don't like being one, trust me. And for those assholes out there who think I can control what I like and don't like to eat, trust me, just like with my sexual orientation, I simply cannot choose what I like to eat. Otherwise, if I could do that, I'd be eating anything, including beef products like steak and hamburger. Simple logic, people. That's all it takes. Anyway, after a while, I started to get sick of Burger King and tried chicken sandwiches at many more places. I figured out my favorite place for getting them: Wendy's. Because of Wendy's, I have not gone to Burger King to eat in about a year and a half's time, maybe longer. I'd still eat at Burger King instead of McDonald's, though. McDonald's isn't too bad, but it sucks shit compared to Wendy's. Hell, I think, if I remember correctly, Wendy's is a little cheaper anyway (than both of them, I mean). Correct me if I'm wrong on that, though. Either way, it's worth it eating there instead. But not even Wendy's is my favorite fast food place. That'd be Little Caesar's. A large five dollar pepperoni pizza that's ready practically right when you come in the door. It doesn't have the best tasting pizza (that would be Piccadilly's), but it's by far the best for it's value.

Anyway, I'm glad I got that rant out there. That calmed me down, and now I won't have to write all of this crap again. I'd suggest possibly coming back to this post at some point, though, because I may edit it with a new point I may have forgotten or something, but for now, it'll do fine.

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