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Life is only what you wonder.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ix-Nay On The One-Phay

Memo
To: All employess
Re: Cell phones

This matter is out of hand. Effective immediately, cell phones will no longer be tolerated at all in the restaurant for any reason. Cell phones must be left at home, in your car, in your locker, or in the office. Anyone caught with a cell phone --whether they are on the clock or not-- will have it confiscated and placed in the office until after your shift is over. If you must use your cell phone you must be off the clock and you must use it outside and around the side or back of the building, not directly out front. Too many employees are talking, texting, or playing games on their cell phones when there is work they could be doing. There will be no exceptions.

I went into work the other day and saw this memo stapled to the bulletin board.
(Although the original was riddled with misspellings, typos, grammatical errors and run-on scentences. You'd think management would run a spell and grammar check before they post their little bulletins. It would make them look alot less foolish. I swear, every time a memo is posted I just wanna take a red pencil and start making corrections.
And while I'm on the subject, why must every fricken memo be in all caps, bolded, using the Times New Roman font? Is using the shift key too difficult? They think all caps and bold will make us pay more attention? Selecting a different font -- Courier? Arial? Desdemona?-- is too challenging for them? I'm not saying every memo should look like a love letter from P.T. Barnum, but is a little variety too much to ask for?)

WTF?
I can see them telling us we can't use our phones on the clock. If we're on the clock we're supposed to be working, not chatting or sending text messages. But off the clock is a totally different story. If we're off the clock we should be able to do whatever we want, because we're on our time.

To give you an example how asinine this whole deal is, check this out:
OK, I had gotten to work early. The restaurant opens at 11AM, but it's a little after ten so I make a cup o' joe, grab my newspaper and sink into a booth and start reading. Bear in mind that I'm off the clock at this point. Anyway, my phone rings, so I answer it. I chat for a few minutes and then I hang up. Cathy, the front of the house manager comes up to me and says, "Don't let me see you on your phone again."
And I'm all like, "But I'm off the clock."
Then she says, "Hey, it's not my policy. This came directly from corporate. No cell phones allowed in the building, whether you're on the clock or not. If I see you on your phone again, I'm going to have to take it from you."


What, am I back at school again? Is she going to send a note home to my mom? Make me write on the chalkboard? Send me to the principal's office?
Take it from me? I'd like to see her try it.
The only way you'll take my phone from me is to pry it from my cold, white, dead hands.

And all of this is due to a few misguided individuals who don't know when to hang up and take care of business.
Hostesses who are chatting away when the should be seating guests. Grill cooks (who are in full view of the dining room) chatting when they should be putting steaks on the grill. Servers too busy with their conversations in the Server station that they neglect thier tables.

I will admit to anyone, I love text messaging. The reason I like it so much is because of work. It's much easier to send a text right quick and then tend to my tables than have an actual conversation.

In all my time at this restaurant I don't think I've ever had a complaint about my service.
Ever.

Well, I have no choice but to comply, even though I think they need to alter this rule so it only applies when you're on the clock. If I can sit in the restaurant, off the clock when it's not even open yet and read my paper and drink my coffee, I should be able to chat on my phone if I like.
One is no different than the others.