By - HappyCactuar
Pre-pandemic I’ve left restaurants multiple times and told management I’m leaving because an employee assigned to my table is visibly sick. As a customer I obviously don’t want to catch the illness and I’d like to do my part, however small it might be, to stick up for the servers that are forced to come in sick.
That's why I called out. at best, I'll get my coworkers sick
at worst a guest
I'd say at best, both scenarios suck. Neither your co-workers or guests should be exposed to a sick employee because the business wants a little more money. This was an exceptionally short sighted call on your manager's part.
What if it was/is the 'Rona, and half the staff comes down with it? Bye bye being open for a week or two, and not to mention it definitely would make guests hesitant to go in the next couple weeks after you were open.
Or a guest(s) catches the 'Rona, and leaves a review/files a complaint saying that they saw an employee who was clearly under the weather coughing up a storm and serving them. That shit won't fly well with guests in the future that a restaurant was willing to compromise customer safety for some short term profits? My immediate thought would be, where else is this restaurant cutting corners on safety?
Then there's the even worse scenario of a combination of the two situations above. This manager is an idiot, and if they are only parroting the owners wishes, the owner is an idiot.
I honestly would look bring your concerns to your GM, and if they don't do anything, look for work elsewhere. It's an employee's market and everywhere is hiring. No need to put up with that bullshit.
This is the GM.
I put in several applications today.
Honestly, I want out of this industry
I'm so sorry, that's horrible. Such a shortsighted tool, fingers crossed for you for a better workplace with your applications. Hope you feel better soon!
Yeah, I hear you. I got out of the industry years ago and have never looked back. There's some great tips on this sub on how to build your resume using service industry experience.
Just have to learn the buzzwords, and be able to back them up with examples of specific experience. I know if I see service people who spent a few years in the industry come up on our hiring lists, I usually try get them an interview because I know how hard working and eager to learn they typically are. Best of luck to you! There are tons of us who have made it out, and we're everywhere!
Can second this! I would absolutely grant an interview to people with service experience. Someone took a chance on me once. I would love to pay it forward.
If you have your own vehicle, and enjoy traveling/driving, look in your area for a courier service that is hiring IBO couriers. Best thing I ever did for myself was to take a chance on that CL add. I know, I know CL, but I was desperate to get out of food service or customer service jobs. It's not for everyone, like my sister hates driving, but I love it. I never felt so free and in control of my life as I did when I quit my 3 other jobs and became an independent courier. Best wishes for you either way <3
I did I got on at the Post Office. Not sure actually better or not except. They pay overtime when due. You need to call in they have to allow it. Other than those temporary hires you are most likely covered by the Union. Belong or not. Rural Carrier Associates (subs) are paid a base in the high teens. The work is hard, long, and at times maddening. At times great. And eventually if your stick with it you'll make regular. See thats the key stick with it. Don't let the mail beat you. It will try to wipe the street with you. Things will click into place I guarantee. It takes on average around 3 months to get good at it. You have say 400 boxes with 4 people getting mail plus 4 people no longer there. Plus 2 people that were nevr there. Then you have 5 parallel streets numbered the same. Oh in two of them are the Marshalls , John and then James. No relations in fact they hate each other. ( yes fake names but this actually happened the first 2.5 years I was on.).
Try a temp agency, that way you can try out different jobs.
Manglement perspective: Half the staff is down with ‘Rona? That means half are still able to work, business as usual.
I’ve done the same thing, walked out but slipped the server a $20.
And this is why so many people have quit food service over the past two years; you *know* when you are too sick to work. And you *know* that it is against health regulations to work sick.
But your manager needs you, so it doesn't matter what you or the law says - he/she are employing you. You will hurt yourself and break the law because they say so. Well, go ahead and let them fire you, don't go in sick.
I think they need to take the same training courses that we do because they say not to come in sick. And of course that's magnified a thousand percent now. Like somebody already mentioned it is very short-sighted of management. They just see the dollar dangling in front of their face.
At least every place I’ve worked in the US they have to take a longer course! They KNOW the rule. No one with fever, diarrhea, or vomiting can come in until their symptoms have been gone for 24 hours. Plus whatever local restrictions, new Covid stuff, etc. They fucking know.
I realize that they are getting pressure from above. I did both KM and FOH managing. It suuuuuucks. But I never did and never saw anyone pressure anyone to work sick. We had to send people home because they were trying to be the hero for their coworkers. It can be done. But the only way to do it is for the extra work to fall on the managers.
The unfortunate thing about food service is someone else has to cover your shift. No PTO, and you're leaving someone else hanging. I was throwing up on the floor in the bathroom one day at work, food poisoning I think ( not my place), but I still felt bad leaving my coworkers.
Of course you did! Because you have empathy and know how bad it feels to cover for someone else. Possibly worse than vomiting! I do think part of it is the siege mentality you get from such brutal shifts.
I was not a perfect manager by any means, but I regularly had people in my team express surprise that there was anything fucked up at all in the operation. A good manager smooths the path.
But... here I am not doing those jobs anymore. 🤷🏻♀️
Well if the GM keeps getting flak from his boss maybe they can hire more managers to cover each other's butts when they get sick or tired. Offer up better incentives other than dealing with shitty customers. They always want to run with a bare-bone staff and now look at what happened! We all got fucking exhausted and we all took a step away.
Hell yes! And don’t come back until you’re treated better!
That and my last server was a Banquet waiter/ Bartender in 1988 at that time I made $2.13 plus tips per hour. So if what people say is true the minimum wait staff wage hasn't increased at all in some areas. In 33 years nothing. Hell my first waiter job was $1.65 in 1973. That sucks.
And your first table of the night is one of the top brass in the city health department. He shuts the restaurant down.
What if by making you work the customers get sick too, can the customer sue your place of work for making them sick? Or would they throw you under the bus? Sorry I live in the UK and am pretty sure if you go to work after informing them of your illness the Health and Safety standards say you are not to blame the place of work is.
Most of the US has useless labour boards when it comes to taking care of us, so if u/HappyCactuar (awesome name by the way) were to complain to them for almost no positive effect, going to them could result in unofficial reprisals such as reduced schedule, worse shifts, early cuts, you name it, all of which is legal, just shitty.
Thanks for that.
It's a shame, too, in cases like this it involves public health, but individual situations are usually 'too hard to prove' or 'not worth the effort'.
Like, I work in New Orleans and I threatened to go to the city council for some of the awful things an owner's son was doing and he just laughed at me; he knew they wouldn't do a damn thing if only one bartender came out with one story.
I'm sorry this happened to you, I hope you have a better job now and that place is closed.
There are a few foodborne illnesses where management is not supposed to let someone work, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was a conversation that went like this:
Employee: I just went to the doctor and found out I have Norovirus.
Manager: You need to come in anyway.
I have no idea.
In the US no one is held responsible, that's why they're not afraid to demand that you come in.
For starts, you’d have to prove that you got sick at the restaurant and not like the grocery store or the bank. So pretty much no.
Good thing coughing isn’t one of the symptoms of the global pandemic we’re STILL facing.
What's a little covid with your dining experience?
Part of me is like "what do you expect dining out during a pandemic anyway?"
as is headache.
This is one of the many reasons I hated restaurant industry and finally decided to quit for good. It never sat right with me that we (FoH/BoH) would be coughing our lungs out while running high fever, and we would still be expected to come in and work full shifts, even double or triple because, "We are short handed and there are x number of parties coming." You don't see that crap outside of service industries. As a customer, I wouldn't want anyone touching my food to be anything other than 100% healthy, and yet management only see dollar signs. The disconnect is unreal.
And don't even dare to ask for your federally mandated break. That's not going to happen either
But yet I'm sure when management is sick they don't come in. They do the same thing where I'm currently working at. I also got written up for not being able to come in because I was throwing up smh. I hope you feel better and everything works out!
Things will work out lmao
probably not how they'd like but hey
I hope you’ve sick paid time off. As soon as you feel sick - request that. You shouldn’t have reasons to ask for PTO. Every 40h of employment you get 1 h of PTO. Check it out and use it
*laughs in american*
It is getting a little better in some states. For instance, Massachusetts has put a law in place around earned sick leave. However without a federal law in place most states are happy to back cheap employers.
Hahaha I'm in America and have no such luxuries
It's beginning to depend where you are in America.
Individual cities are beginning to enact provisions ensuring that people working around food are provided sick leave (often linking time off to hours worked so that even part time employees earn sick leave/PTO).
I’m here too. I’ve been serving for 6 years and just learned this: you are getting 1h of sick leave for every 40h worked. My previous f#cking company, where I worked 3 years, never mentioned this. “You need to find a cover” when I was at dentist with infection “Good luck” I told them and carried on. When I came back, company tried to make me sign some bs paper which I refused.
Especially RIGHT NOW we, servers, have a lot of power. Use it! And for the love of God, if you feel sick - don’t show up.
I had a coworker under the weather. I don’t want to get sick. We all have bills to pay , but I simply told manager: I go home or you send *insert server name*. And they did
That’s good for you but I see a lot of servers daily who don’t have the same privilege of skipping the pay check.
I had a convo about this before. PTO pays you hourly, so at least you’ll get some money back.
I just hope that holiday season will make us more money, so we can breathe.
P.s. I need to pay 10 000$ for all of my future dental work. I know that struggle
Dude, you are wrong. There is no federal sick time in America. Those are all state regulations, and only a few states have them. Stop telling this person to take paid time off that they do not have.
At least 10 states have it, and my county has it. Worth to google it? Or you’re that manager which requires their employees to come in sick?)
That one hour for forty rule IS American. Newish policy, make sure your boss actually follows it.
Is it 40h a week ? Because were scheduled JUST below 40
For every forty hours worked, you earn 1 hour PTO. Doesn’t have to be forty in a single week.
Well fuck me
That guy is wrong man
Are you in Colorado?
Pennsylvania. Maybe it’s state by state?
It is. It's not federally mandated. On a state by state basis.
Did they say that in the write up?? Even in the dystopian nightmare state we live in that’s gotta be a slam dunk case to show to…someone. Labor board? Health board? Someone’s gotta care.
Yes they did. They said it was because I came in and went home sick and didn't get a Dr note when I told them I would. I didn't get one because I didn't know it was going to be $120 without insurance to go to a clinic fml
Pretty sure they can’t require a doctors note for missing a single shift but depending on where you live that may not specifically be a protection.
Right to work states can fire you for basically anything.......
They can fire you for NOTHING but there are things they cannot fire you for. It’s close to being the same but if they put in a write up “employee did not allow customer to sexually harass them” or some shit that’s illegal.
The worst is when they require a doctor's note, like????
You don't offer Health insurance but you want me to drag my sick ass to a doctor I can't afford to get a note? Fuck off.
Be sure to keep as many texts and emails as possible. Also document any fever temperature you have. If they try anything like firing you try to talk to an employment lawyer about options.
lol they can fire me
the service industry is so desperate I could walk into a restaurant and work the same day
Most states in the USA are "at-will" employment which means employment can be terminated without a reason.
Make sure to tell them you are sick and most likely contagious and dont think you should come in, make sure to make them confirm that they are *insisting* you come to work sick.
Go to work and tell the customers that you are sick but they insisted you come in.
Share text screenshots with local news and corporates twitter while you look for a different job.
That's completely awful. I was violently ill one time in front of customers, pre COVID, and after I cleaned up they still made me finish my shift. I couldn't afford to quit because I couldn't get to any other place with no car.
Good luck to you and I hope you feel better.
Omg! That's unreal. I wonder how food service deals with the most illness from staff in the building, and everybody else gets sick pay to stay home when they just sit by themselves in a cubicle.
Your boss does not respect you as an employee or a person. You will build up so much underlying resentment. Please find another job - it will make such a diff in your life. You need to stick up for yourself, nobody else will.
I hope it's not the 'rona.
I tested negative twice with an at home kit
Good. Take care of yourself.
You should probably test again in 5-7 days
I wanted to try and get an actual lab test but the nearest appointment is an hour drive and I'm not up for that right now
At home kits aren’t a 100% accurate, my boyfriend tested negative on them but tested positive at the test centre
You're right. I scheduled a PCR test and will l know by Thursday
Better safe than sorry! Good luck :)
I second this. I think it can take 3-5 days from exposure for a test to give accurate results. Better to be safe than sorry. Oh and eff that manager.
And this is why I refuse to go to indoor dining. A buddies gf told me the same thing. "Everyone just goes in sick, we can't afford to take off."
This is one reason I'm afraid to go to restaurants these days. I understand people are very short staffed but requiring people to come in sick during a literal pandemic makes me very cautious. Which then makes things worse for restaurants as I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Hope you feel better soon. Hate that they treat you this way.
My employees get sent home the second they sniffle. This was my rule long before Covid and masks. First I don’t want to get sick, second I don’t want my family to get sick, third I don’t need you getting all the other employees sick, fourth I don’t need you get customers sick and lastly ewwwww I don’t want to be served by someone sick.
um. did you get a covid test? It sounds like classic covid symptoms.
Yes, please go get tested.
I had a negative at home test
Hey, this is exactly how I got stuck serving tables while having COVID (hadn't tested positive at the time). Tell your owner to fuck off.
It sucks because SO many places are understaffed. It’s crazy
Sorry you were sick and were abused. I worked at a high paced upscale restaurant and just got worn out and needed a break. I called in sick, had a lovely day off in the mountains, then came in the next day with no makeup and some pepper in a handkerchief which I'd sniff to make me sneeze. Some co-workers said "Jeeze, you look awful!" I smiled feebly and kept on working while feeling just fine.
I'm so fucking sick to death of hearing about hard working human beings being treated like numberless cattle. So, so sick of bosses, managers, and owners being so goddamn shitty.
I hate that certain companies do this!!!!!!!! Your risking more employees getting sick and the customers! I'm sorry OP, I know this feeling. It sucks.
Almost all manager only care about is THEY might be required to serve that party, stay up front, no slacking off in the office
I commend you for calling in it’s a ring of them for having you come anyways
You have a COUGH and your boss thinks it is appropriate for you to work in the food industry during a pandemic about a virus which makes you cough? This is a prime example of why we need a different measure of success than just money.
My manager called me and told me I had to get tested for covid because I was exposed. I wasn’t feeling well before she called but she needed me to come in if my RAPID test came back negative which it did. The next day I felt awful but still had to work. The day after that I had off and my PCR test came back positive. She thought I was lying and didn’t understand why I got two tests done. I stayed home for 10 days after that and didn’t get paid.
I’d say you should just go to work, but don’t do anything to fix your appearance. Show up looking sick and feel free to cough and wheeze a lot. With any luck one of the people that paid for the event will notice you and demand the boss send you home. Bonus points for apologizing to guests profusely throughout service and telling people you tried to call out sick, but your boss made you come in. Please report back to r/maliciouscompliance when your shift is over.
And don’t worry about the people you sicken along the way. You’ve made your point! /s
This ain't it chief
Go ahead and go in.
Then cough on EVERYTHING.
Don't put on makeup. Don't do much with your hair. Look sick as fuck.
And then when the guests ask if you're okay, be honest. And mention the manager that demanded you come in. By name.
Also, call the health department.
Manager here. Your management should have staff on standby for situations like this, especially during a pandemic, and especially during the start of cold and flu season. If you’re sick, I do not want you coming in. I do require my staff to get their own coverage though and confirm with me.
So you're a bad manager. If an employee is sick, they are sick... all they should have to do is tell you, and then it should be YOUR job to get a replacement. That's what you get paid the real paychecks for. If they're off multiple days... sure, require a doctor's excuse. But they should not have to call all their coworkers to get someone to work for them, you should.
And if you have staff on standby for situations like this... then call one of them. Either you do not have staff on standby like you say others should, or you should not need your employees to get cover.
Good point, but don’t call me a bad manager. If you don’t fully understand what goes into a manager’s day aside from staff management and scheduling, you wouldn’t understand why I ask staff to get coverage themselves.
90% of the time, the call outs I receive go like this: “hey, I’m unable to make it in, Natalie is coming in for me.” The other 10% of the time, I will try to secure the coverage if the person calling out is unable to do so (because emergencies do happen), but this ain’t some fantasy scenario. Whomever needs to call out checks the schedule in the group chat, they see who’s on standby and call whomever that is. It’s that easy. It’s not “you don’t have staff on standby or you wouldn’t have your staff get their own covers.” It’s what we do and it’s worked for us for years.
The reason why this system works so easily at my restaurant is because we are a small team, non-corporate, and everyone is willing to help each other. I get paid a higher hourly because in addition to staff management and scheduling, I handle administrative, maintenance, expo, cash and customer service. Management is also on standby to cover shifts so we don’t overwork our servers. A lot of compassion goes into the policies we have.
I don’t get why people think this is fine. It looks bad for a restaurant if their staff is visibly ill. Let them freaking stay home.
Hope you feel better, friend.
I had what ended up being diagnosed as viral bronchitis. Had started a new job. On day four I rang the afternoon before to say I was getting really sick and could not come. The boss talked me into coming. I infected her. I had the next two days off. Got a doc cert for the Monday. By then she had rang and left a vm saying she was so sick. I had ruined her business and not to bother coming back. I tossed up hassling over it and decided I was doing myself a good deed having nothing more to do with her or her business