I have dealt with many managers throughout my career. The one thing that they all have in common is that none of them seem to believe me when I call in sick. I've never worked a 9 to 5 job, so I don't know what it's like to call in sick to those, but with restaurant gigs, you'd better have a terminal illness, or use the "dead grandmother" line. And even if you do, you're going to need a doctor's note just to prove it and to be able to come back to work.
"I'm sorry, but I'm not going to be able to work tonight. I feel like crap," I told my manager over-the-phone one morning.
"Did you get someone to cover your shift?" he asked.
"Nobody can do it because everybody is working tonight."
"It's your responsibility to get your shift covered!" He insisted.
"Right, but I'm sick. But everybody is working tonight. And I won't be much use tonight considering I can't get out of bed."
"Well, you still have a couple of hours before your shift starts. Keep trying to get it covered, and in that time maybe you'll feel better so you can work. It's going to be busy tonight." (Which by-the-way, is the kiss of death when a manager says, "we're going to be busy." It's a jinx, and we end up being slow.)
And of course, customers love a server who is struggling to talk due to a sore throat and chest congestion.
"Welcome everyone. Tonight's specials include the (cough) Ribeye Steak with red wine and (snort) phlegm sauce."
As a server, it's often like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," but the contrary. I'm really sick, but no manager believes it.
Only until I bear down and show up to work my shift and my manager looks at me and says, "You can go home. You look awful." WTF?!! I tried to convince you of this over 4 hours ago!
I'm better off using the "grandmother" line.
Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.
"Bitter. Party of 1? Your table is ready."
The Bitter Bistro
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