Monday, October 11, 2004

Labor Wars

In order to set up some of the following Pizza stories, I need to take a moment (or two) to explain just how the management at my workplace operated (and probably still does) and how I chose to work in that particular environment.

As in any business, different managers managed the business with more or less of a focus on ethics and quality. Generally, this was weighted toward the less side, with a focus on spending less money on employees and pizzas by expecting each employee to do more than their share of work, or alternativly, just not doing anything and leaving the resturaunt looking like Moses just showed up and parted the pizza sauce (all over the walls).

I can't fault the managment too much for this however, they are simply lemings following the leader and trying to get as much out of the man as they can.

Evidence of this can be found most notabally once a year when the company began its infamous "Labor Wars" marathon. "Labor Wars" is a month long contest between all the affiliated stores in the chain, in which each store attempts to spend less than the others on labor costs. Unfortunatly, our store was the largest store and thus required the most labor.

What this meant to me, the employee, was that I could look forward to a month of going home early, when there was plenty of work yet to be done, and getting paid very little due to lack of hours. Often this manifested itself as concern by management that I was not spending enough time having fun outside of work, as they blissfully told me as I showed up, "Well, its not too busy, why dontcha just take off and have a good time."

Actually, I liked working. This is because I liked having money, which can be translated into having gas in my car or going to see a movie. It can also be translated, from a customer's perspective, as "This pizza tastes good. This resturatunt is nice and clean. I like the way my butt squeaks on the vinal seat when I slide into this booth"

Now on to the part about how I prefer to work in such an environment.

Generally, the managers who liked me, would keep me on as the guy who got to do all the work. This was okay with me, since I got paid even though I had to do everyone else's work. I will say though that it always got done, and got well done when I was left to do it. However, several managers didn't like me. I attribute this to my ability and zest for standing up to the man when he tries to bring me down. When encountering a manager who attempts to send me home early and when I'm not done with my work, I would just simply reply, "I'll go home when my work is done, or when my shift ends."

This garnered me a lot of hatred from certian members of management, and a lot of respect from other employees. I was, to some degree, the robin hood of the pizza shop. Attempts to "clock me off" where often met with me "clocking back on" and so forth. The thing was, I was a good hard worker and that made it very difficult to argue that I should leave when work was left to be done. Some of them hated me... I don't mean hate as in dislike, I mean hate as in HATE.

What do you get when your store wins the "Labor Wars"?

A management only trip to Florida.

What does the employee get?

A lot of dried up crud to scrape off the walls and floors while Managment is off in sunny Florida.

No comments: