Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Sadly, I have no questions to answer for today. If you missed my last post, you should check it out and throw in some questions about my personal life for tomorrow. They would be greatly appreciated. Just a quick reminder before I get to my real reason for posting.

Here it is. Work. I don't really talk about work for a variety of reasons. The biggest being that I signed a form when I started prohibiting me from really talking about the place. Which is fine (I won't use a company name). I am a manager at my store and basically make sure that a few shifts a week run smoothly. It isn't difficult with the few people that I interact with on a regular basis, and the rest don't know me well enough to push limits and regulations around me. And although our handbook boasts promoting from within, I'm one of the few that has actually been promoted. Lately, it has been fellow management that has been my source of stress.

I am still "new" as far as the workplace goes. Even among many of the lower level employees, I haven't been there as long. Sometimes I feel that other people at my pay grade have felt they could use this to take advantage of me. I work a lot of opening shifts so it is usually my duty to get the store ready to open every day, including counting the previous days cash, taking deposits to the bank, pulling toppings, and doing prep. While it is not okay for me to leave until all these things are done, it is okay for the closing manager to leave me things to put away the next morning without so much as a note saying why it didn't get done, or (regretfully) an apology. Sometimes I'm busy, I understand that I'm not alone in that, but at least have the courtesy to mention these things, like I've done for them when the occasion called for it.

Communication at work is awful. I feel like I'm the last person to hear about new deals for customers or new procedures. The most recent is having our delivery drivers take food and coupons to local businesses. The drivers for the most part don't mind this so long as they are being compensated for the time in some way. I found out, though, that as managers, we can't be doing this and getting caught doing so would result in being terminated. What's my problem with it? My drivers are tipped employees. They make less than minimum wage and are expected to claim enough tips at the end of their shifts to get them to or above federal min. wage. Sadly, many of them do not reach this amount, being that we're in a college town and over half of the city is gone home for summer vacation. So what happens when they don't claim enough in tips. By law, payroll is required to pay them extra so they are making minimum wage. But when this happens, they get their hours cut for the next week.

So, in short, the drivers have to take these freebies to local businesses while they are on the clock making less than minimum wage, not be compensated, and expected to claim tips for that time even though they can't possibly be making money doing it. Then to top it all off, if they don't lie, they lose hours. I don't think that many of them even know this! Sadly, in this industry, many of the employees are seriously undereducated. And without some secondary education in business law or accounting, how would they know what's happening is illegal! What has higher management said about this? "Claim the correct amount of tips, and it will all average out in the end."

I don't know what to do about this situation. I know I should say something to someone, but I want to give the people higher on the food chain a chance to explain themselves or change the policies before I go to drastic measures. Therefore, I've been spending my time over the last couple weeks looking up payroll laws for tipped employees. I've been checking laws regarding whistle-blowers. I want to make sure that I'm not going to lose my job, and that my employees are getting what they deserve.

Sorry, I rambled for so long. What do you think about this? What would you do if you were in this situation?

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