Did I Make the Right Choice

I was up all night last night wondering if I am making the right choice…leaving something known for something unknown.  I’m not a person who makes rash decisions.  I have to look at it, think about it, circle around it, and think about it some more before I finally decide.  Leaving the Harribalsac is a tough decision.

The money worries me most of all.  I make a pant load of money in the summer.  It’s pretty embarrassing.  The new restaurant is very small with a smaller staff.  Will it be possible to make the same amount of money?  My friend Sunni says she makes really good money, and whenever we’ve met up for a beer after work, she’s made more than I have in the same amount of time.  During the winter.  That’s encouraging because I don’t make dick during the winter, which is pretty embarrassing in its own right.

Then there’s learning a new menu.  I’ve never worked in an Italian restaurant so it’s completely foreign (haha) to me.  I don’t have any past experience to fall back on as far as the different sauces go.  Sure, I like pasta, but can I sell pasta?  What about the computer system at the new restaurant?  Maybe I’m too dumb to learn it. 

What if I suck at my new job?  I’ll let Sunni down.  She’ll make fun of me.  I’ll cry.

When I talked to the owner at the new restaurant last night, I told him I was still sitting on the fence and he said to take some time, think about it and drop off the application when I made my decision.  I thought about it until the sun came up this morning, and I shed a lot of tears. 

One thing I was certain of was that I did not have it in me to work my shift tonight.  I felt both hostile and tearful and my nerves felt like they were on the outside of my skin.  So I texted Chetto that I wouldn’t be in tonight and could he let Cora pick up my check. 

He texted back asking who was going to cover my shift.  I replied that I didn’t know.  He said I had to cover my shift.  I texted back, “I asked Amber and she can’t.  I don’t have anyone else’s number and I honestly don’t care.”  I didn’t hear from him so I figured if it was an issue he would have sent me some phone numbers.  Later Amber texted that she was covering my shift, so I didn’t think any more of it.

I decided I wanted to drop the application off and talk to the owner of the new restaurant again.  I had dinner with Cora, went to Walmart and then dropped off the application.  I told the owner I decided I wanted to take the job for sure, and there were smiles all around.

About 10 minutes after that I started getting texts saying, “I heard you quit” or “I heard you got fired” or “Chetto says you got a new job and you’re not working at the Harribalsac anymore”.  WTF?!  So I texted Darren and asked what was up.  Apparently, I quit when I didn’t cover my shift.

I find it freaking hysterical because different people are held to different standards.  People routinely call in and don’t cover their shifts and no one gives a crap, but when I do it, I forfeit my job.  Whatever.  That’s part of the reason why I did it; to see how much trouble I would get in.  Darren said I could come in tomorrow and talk to him about getting my job back, and the ONLY reason I’m doing it is that I don’t want to leave him shorthanded this weekend. 

This, more than anything else, tells me I made the right decision.  It’s more bullshit drama, conjecture, jumping to conclusions, gossiping, and backstabbing.  I’m so freaking glad everyone knew what decision I made BEFORE I knew it myself.  I’m also glad I got zero support from one of my managers.  It was easier to say I quit than to text me a few phone numbers.  It was easier to write me off rather than say, “Well, since she NEVER calls in on a shift she must be having a bad day.”  Finding out I really don’t have any friends at the Harribalsac makes leaving much easier. 

I’ll go in tomorrow and make nice and give my notice, but let me tell you, I’ll be counting the days, hours and minutes until I’m gone.


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DarcsFalcon
    Apr 27, 2011 @ 23:36:26

    Oftentimes, right decisions are painful and wrenching. Having that “peaceful” feeling about a decision doesn’t mean it’s the right one. I think you’ve done a lot of thinking, a lot of preparation (getting another job lined up) and getting confirmation.

    I don’t feel peaceful at all. I feel worried and afraid. But done is done, and it’s time to move on.

    Personally, for what it’s worth, I think you’re doing the right thing. 🙂

    I do too.


  2. An Educated Server
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 00:12:38

    It’s funny you should mention being held to different standards. I see a lot of that going on in my current restaurant as well. It’s so unusual how management tends to turn the other cheek for those people who don’t really help their business, but when a good server comes in late, or makes a small mistake, it’s like the end of the world. I often ask myself what management’s purpose is, but I don’t lose much sleep over trying to find the answer…

    It’s like government spending…there’s no rhyme or reason.

    And don’t lose hope…you’ll do fine at your new place. There’s always a little nervous feeling when you venture into something new, but serving is kinda like riding a bike…even if you get a new one, you’ll still be able to ride it because a bike is a bike! I wish you the best!

    HAHA! That’s a good way to look at it. I’ve also heard sex is like riding a bike…you never forget how to…


    • Rachel
      Apr 28, 2011 @ 16:06:08

      It seems to be the universal tragedy of all restaurant workers who actually have discipline and a work ethic. I’ve actually come to the conclusion that managers ride hard-working employees because they’ve learned to expect more from them…and because getting lazyasses to pull their weight around a restaurant is like pulling teeth. I don’t mind having managers rely on me, and most hard workers don’t–but it is extremely aggravating when those higher expectations translate into bullshitty double standards (such as being fired when you miss ONE shift, while the workplace alcoholic has called in hung over on her past 3), I get mad. Higher expectations should translate into higher rewards…but in the restaurant industry, trying to be a good employee is sometimes like begging for punishment.



  3. skippymom
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 01:43:32

    Well that was an easy fence to be pushed off of. Seems they made the decision for you and for that I say good. They don’t deserve you and if your friend is making bank then you will do just great.

    Take care and don’t worry. It will be fine. 🙂

    Every day makes the decision seem right. I can’t get any more stressed out, that’s for sure.


  4. wigsf
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 04:02:07

    Italian food is really easy to learn. Okay, you got your fatty carbs, your fatty cheese, your fatty cheese-laden fatty carbs. Oh, and your beans, pronounced fa-joel.

    Haha! I’ve heard speaking German is easy too…you sound like you’re about to throw up and gesture a lot.


  5. Ahmnodt Heare
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 05:33:39

    Sometimes the decision to leave is the right one. Like when the alternative is staying only to snap when you can’t take it anymore.

    A snapping with jail time was in the cards.

    You’ll be fine at the new place as you bring a ton of experience and people skills to the new job.

    I’m pretty excited about it.


  6. Sparty Girl
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 06:02:06

    They were taking you for granted, and AES, too. You’re a grown-up, and reliable, and they don’t need to cater to you, because you are going to keep coming to work (because you’re a grown-up). On the other hand, the punk kids who make up so much of food service turn over regularly, and the manager gets tired or lazy and doesn’t want to keep finding and hiring new people, so they make allowances. Poor management, but there you have it.

    DING! DING! DING! WE HAVE A WINNER! This is why so many of the deadbeats who have been fired and fired and fired keep coming back. It’s easier to keep the known evil than to try and find decent help.


  7. thelifeofjamie
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 07:02:07

    When I was waitressing, my boss was a DICK if you got on his bad side, which I managed to do. I tried to make amends and explain my side and he was an ass, so I quit right then and there. It was scary as I was just graduating college, and was planning a trip to Europe, but I did it and couldn’t have been happier. I missed the money (and still do) but it was the right choice. Just remember, when the whipping boy leaves, someone else will take your place. Or maybe they will learn a valuable lesson on how not to piss off their good employees because there are other options.

    I have the funniest story about my other options for another PPP.


  8. tipsfortips
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 07:35:12

    Anyone who has managed a corporate restaurant or has lost a wrongful termination case is cringing reading this post. A lawyer would have a very hard time defending them if they take any of the actions they are threatening. They can’t fire you for turning in your notice. They are damn lucky you have another job because they would get eaten alive in an unemployment hearing.

    Their policy is get someone to quit before they have to fire them so they can’t collect unemployment. They were trying to give me the finger by saying I quit, but when I told them I most assuredly DID NOT quit I think they realized they could end up paying for me to sit on my ass.

    Italian food is simple. If you get nervous, shoot me a link to the new places menu and I will write a post up on the orgins and trivial facts behind some of the classic dishes they serve. I’ve been meaning to do an Italian food post for a while.

    The new place is adrianositalianrestaurant.com. I am familiar with many of the sauces, but I think I’m going to have to sample all of them, maybe several times, in order to sell them. 🙂

    POS systems have been incredibly user friendly for a while. Unless they are running a system that is 20+ years old, you will pick it up in no time.

    I think it’s more simple than the one I’m currently using. The current one is a piece of crap.

    As for the greater issue, it is probably time to leave. When you have spent so long at a restaurant that you feel personally responsible for fixing a place or resolving the drama, it is time to go. Loyalty is a one way street. If it were in the restaurant’s best interest for you to be gone, they wouldn’t show loyalty to you. It is a business and is not owed the loyalty you would give to a friend. Right now you are too entangled in the drama, personality conflicts, and internal problems to have it be just a job. Imagine what it would be like to go to work and not have to worry about anything except doing your job and making money. You can have that at the new place. It is time to leave the old one behind. You will be glad you did.

    As always, you are very wise in all things food service. My whole goal of leaving office jobs and going back into food service was to be able to make money and go home. I’ve turned down supervisor and management positions because I didn’t want the responsibility. Well, I have it and I don’t want it.


  9. Fuck My Table
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 09:22:13

    Fuck them! Don’t help his ass out with the shorthanded situation. He did it to himself. He’s just royally fucked you and you’re STILL being nice to him! Don’t do what I did. Leave and don’t look back. Please.

    I can’t afford to be out of work for 3 weeks, plus this is one of the busiest weekends of the year. I’m only working until the 7th and the money from this weekend will hold me over until I start the new job.

    It sounds like the new job will be at least as good as the Harribalsac money-wise, so grab it by the balls and go for it. I know it’s rough to quit a job you’ve worked for so long. When I quit Chili’s, I’d been there about 3 years. They lost a good server over stupid shit, and I was terrified…but it’s worked out. I’m much happier where I am now. I hope you’ll find the same thing happen to you.

    I know I will be happier. I can be the new person again and not be responsible for everything.

    If you ever need a fellow server to confide in, shoot me a message. I’m great at offering support, even though I’m bitchy to everyone else. 🙂

    HAHA! I’ll keep that in mind.


  10. Em
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 15:46:27

    You’ll do fine. At some point in the past, you had to learn all the things you’re worried about learning again (though at a different restaurant), and obviously did a damn good job, so why can’t you do it again? Good luck!

    I’m just a worrier. 🙂


  11. Rachel
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 16:01:18

    That is BULLSHIT!!! I agree with FMT–if a manager wants to shorthand himself because he wants to throw his ‘power’ around and make you beg for your job, all because you took one whole night off, it’s on him. Honestly, that’s what this sounds like to me, some idiot on a power trip, trying to make you ‘repent’ for not showing up to one whole shift. I wouldn’t give them that satisfaction. If you do work the weekend, please do it because you want money–not to be nice to such royal dicks.

    *Snork* There will be another PPP on this issue very soon.

    I’ve worked Italian food before–it’s not difficult…you’ll find that much of it is variations on the same dishes. There are some things to learn (sauce types, for example…but still, not terrible), and the money tends to be better (more expensive food than your average grill, less ‘white trash’ clientel that stiff you on tips, less coddling of idiots who fail to properly socialize their spawn and then decide to plop them in your section for two hours, exc). I was actually surprised when I went from an Italian place to a sports gril–the SG menu is a friken’ maze compared to your average Italian restaurant. I think you’ll do well. I commiserate about the menu thing, though. I HATE memorizing menus. Serving is my ‘other job’–and while I have a good memory, for some reason, menus don’t stick.

    The Harribalsac menu and POS is something of a nightmare. I don’t know how anyone learns it, plus all the abbreviations for the handwritten tickets. Fuck that. The new menu is pretty straight forward…sauce, meat, pasta, pizza, salad. I plan on doing lots of sampling. 🙂


  12. Jeremy
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 16:25:05

    Wanna know the best part? You’ll be the new person. As someone with experience and a lack of HIAS (head in ass syndrome)they’ll love you, but as the new person if you fuck something up you’ll be safe for at least a month. Good luck.

    HAHAHA! Sunni will rat me out if I try to play dumb.


  13. Hira Animfefte
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 16:54:52

    You absolutely made the right decision! You don’t owe Darren, or the Harribalsac, anything. Hoist them by their own petard. I’d only go back there for the satisfaction of letting them know that, by the way, you already found another job. I am just incensed about the whole thing. Darren done you wrong, Holly. He done you SO wrong. I want to reach through the computer and slap him silly.

    You will do just fine at the Italian place, I am sure of it!

    Watch for another PPP 🙂


  14. DarcKnyt
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 18:10:16

    Nicely done. Bravo. Bully for you and, if I may say so, it’s about time.

    You have said so time and time again. 🙂


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