Ranting about work

I just need to vent somewhere. Not really expecting any constructive replies, though sympathy would be nice.

I am fed up of not being able to keep up with the workload.

I had another stupid open today. That means getting up at 04:00 so I can get to work for 06:00. Then running upstairs to turn the diswasher on, then getting changed, then cleaning behind all the equipment, including putting these vent things through the dishwasher and sweeping and mopping all the floor behind them and swapping the mop heads and bleaching the dirty one. That is supposed to take me less than the hour it actually takes me.

After that I’m supposed to do defrost, which means counting how many of each thing we currently have in the kitchen, comparing that to the spreadsheet, and then getting out however many extra we need from the outside freezer. Then at 07:30 I’m supposed to start turning on equipment, and sort the tablet. The tablet contains a checklist of what needs done and is also used to record temperatures and such. At 08:00, customers start ordering food and all my tasks are supposed to be done. In actuality, I usually haven’t touched the tablet and have to ask whichever coworker joins me at 08:00 to finish the defrost in between orders.

So I’m already stressed with opens since I physically cannot seem to get all the shit done. On this morning’s rota, it said I wasn’t getting a second person in the kitchen until 10:00. So when I left my house to go to work, I was already more than a little stressed. (Some of the stress isn’t work related, my sister has a (planned) surgery today, but this is a ranting about work thread)

When I enter the kitchen to turn the dishwasher on, I notice all of the freezers are wide open, completely empty, and turned off. I close the door of one, press the on button, and nothing happens. Ditto for the other two. So I go to find the manager (today’s manager is the top one of this location I think) and tell her that all the freezers are off and won’t turn on. She tells me that to turn them on I’ll have to plug them back in, but first I’m supposed to thoroughly clean the inside. I also need to restock the freezers. And this is supposed to be done every Monday. Great, I already struggle with doing shit. And now I have more shit to do.

I clean behind equipment as usual, then the freezers. A while back, maybe a month or so, two of the freezers swapped locations because one broke and they were never swapped back. So I find thawed pepperoni in the freezer that didn’t break, which means it hadn’t been cleaned since before the swap. I can’t restock them until they’ve cooled down to the right temperature, and I can’t find the plug for one of the freezers, so next it defrost. The time was 07:12 so I didn’t think I was doing too bad considering I had extra shit dumped on me.

I count the things, and go to the outside freezer. Usually we’d use a trolley to transport things back and forth, but that was full of the stuff that needed to go back in the kitchen freezers. (I’m 99% certain the trolley was stolen from the nearby Tesco’s but it makes our job easier so no one here cares). Since I can’t use the trolley, I’m going to have to haul everything over manually. And there was an unusually high amount of stuff on the spreadsheet for today, at least double maybe triple what I’d usually need to defrost.

I go back to the kitchen to grab a large tub to try and make things easier, and my manager comes in with a piece of paper. I can’t remember what she called it, but she’d wrote a list of yet more extra things I needed to do, and she told me that I needed to plan when people were having their breaks. I bluntly told her that I don’t need to do that and I still need to do the defrost. She told me I just need to decide what times me, coworker #1, coworker #2, and coworker #3 were having their breaks. Thankfully coworker #1 was coming in at 08:00 and just wasn’t on the electronic rota yet, but that’s because she’s very new.

After a bit of back and forth, I left to actually get the defrost done. One of the times I came back in the kitchen I noticed this top manager had filled in break times for me, thank fuck for that. When my coworker came in, I had got just less than half of the defrost from the outside freezer, but hadn’t dated any of it.

Then I heard the beep that means someone has ordered food. And I hadn’t turned on any of the equipment yet. So that was a panic. I asked my coworker to date what I’d got out and put them in the fridge, while I ran around like a headless chicken turning on the fryers and the gas and the grills and the microwaves and pretty much just turning everything on, and then trying to grab all the chopping boards and utensils from their storage places and putting them in the right spots. There was also a panic as the fryer came up with an error message I didn’t recognise, but that went away after a minute so I’m hoping it’s fine.

By the time I’d finished that, the fryer still hadn’t heated up, so I got to helping my coworker putting things in the fridge. When the fryer had heated up I got some orders through, and them the manager came up to check the tablet. I had not even glances in the direction of the tablet because I kinda had other shit I needed to sort.

She was telling me that I had to fill in the tablet, and I was telling her (in what was most likely a less than acceptable tone of voice (this is most likely an understatement)) that I did not have time to sort it. That I still hadn’t done the defrost. That I have to clean behind the fryers because not doing that is a fire risk. She retorted back that well, the tablets legally required so you have to do it. So I got really snarky and asked her what she’d like me to not do, would she like be to not clean behind the equipment? She told me that it doesn’t take an hour to clean back there. IT DOES SOMETIMES! It wasn’t even particularly bad today! I also got asked if I’d done the meat prep, to which I responded that I never have time to do the meat prep, and got told that I need to do it before 08:00.

Anyway, I got told that I had to sort the tablet, and I had to sort it now. Which my coworker was left on her own to try and figure out how to cook the food that customers we’re ordering. Most of the things I flagged as “can’t complete” either because I couldn’t or didn’t know how to. By the time I finally came back to the kitchen (after checking the temperatures of fridges and freezers outside the kitchen, my coworker had barely managed to cook the top ticket. Which is fine I’m not blaming her because she’s new, but also not fine because I was supposed to be cooking and I’d been made to go do other shit.

I get back to cooking, and in a lull managed to restock the freezers. Another manager came in and might have helped finish the defrost, but I wasn’t able to pay much attention because the food would not stop. My water bottle ran out probably before 09:00, and I needed to pee but couldn’t go until I’d cleared the tickets. I did manage to go toilet during a second, briefer lull.

Oh and there were issue with the radio. I though the bar weren’t answering, but them they sent up a message on the food screen that I needed to turn the radio up, and I didn’t know how to do that but I figured it out. I had to let them know we were out of a thing, and when I told her the manager said, well I though we had that.

Second coworker showed up after what felt like an eternity, but was actually at 10:00, she sorted one of the extra tasked top manager gave me ages ago, then told me I should go on my break, which when I checked it was scheduled for 10:00. There’s no clock in the kitchen, but the is one in the corridor outside, but when it’s busy you really don’t have time to check it. Also I was preoccupied with cooking so didn’t realise coworker being here = time for break.

So now I’ve been sat here in the changing room, because once again there are no available chairs in the break room, eating and typing this up to get it off my chest. My break ended 16 minutes ago. When I started by break 51 minutes ago, I wasn’t sure if I was going to have the willpower to go back in that kitchen or if I’d just go home
But now I’m thinking I might be able to finish this shift. But I’m not 100% sure about that. And I need to pee again already which is just typical.

I think I need a new job, but I’m terrified of whatever one I could manage to get next might be more stressful than this one. Second manager just stopped outside the door of the changing room and told me I’m needed, so I guess that’s time up. Only four more hours to go… Yay…

6 Likes

Firstly, I hope all goes well with your sister’s op.

As for the tasks you have to do before opening. I would suggest you ask a manager if there is an efficient way to do all the tasks. It may well be that someone has worked out how to do them all in the time available, and no one has thought to show you.

If they show you how, then excellent! If they realise that it is too much to do in the time available and do something to help, like schedule a second person, or pass some of the tasks to those closing the night before, then that too is a win.

If their response is “figure it out yourself” or “start earlier”, that is the time to start looking for a new job as this one is only going to get more and more stressful.

9 Likes

It sounds like your workplace is one of those where there is a list of things you are officially supposed to do but unnofficially there are certain tasks “everyone” knows to skip but say they did or rush through and half do. Like the freezers that are officially supposed to be cleaned every week but really havent actually beeen cleaned thoroughly in a while like you saw with the pepperoni.

Its not a good situation but unfortunately its not an uncommon situation.

The way you describe it doesnt sound particularly sustainable. So with the thought that something needs to change here are a few options as I see them.

  1. figure out a prioritization of tasks if possible. I.e. cleaning behind the fryers has to happen every time but maybe some other tasks can be done every other day or something like that.

  2. talk to your manager about tasks and how to do them. Maybe there is some more efficient way to do some of the steps or maybe some of the asks can be streamlined a bit.

  3. talk to other coworkers that have to open. If you arent the only person who has to open that means others have faced a similar challenge. Are they able to complete the tasks? How are they able to do so? Maybe there is some trick here or there.

  4. if you find out the “trick” is to half a$$ most of the tasks (which I suspect you might) and your manager doesnt have an answer for how to do everything well and on time. Then I think it might be time to start looking for a different position. The reality is that wherever you go next will have its own problems and stressors. But if where you are now is as stressful as you describe its pretty unlikely the next place would be worse.

6 Likes

@RebeccaBlue Do you have an official job title and job description? If so, then that should specifically identify what your duties are. Irrespective, if the tasks are potentially harmful and/or could hurt someone if they are not done as scheduled or correctly then there should be a formal training record. You could ask for the training and point out the safety issue if there isnt any.

If they don’t have any of those thing then yep, might be time to look for something else.

Also, I HATE jobs that you are somehow meant to know can be skipped or overlooked. Don’t give me a job and tell me its mandatory with a wink because I do not understand that.

5 Likes

The one and only time I tried to as a manager for help, I was told it was a “cushy” shift and he didn’t know what I was complaining about.

I’ve also asked about things like how to check the first aid kit, because there’s supposed to be a list of what in it. But I was told to just look and see if there seems to be enough plasters and bandages and then tick it off.

I’ve also watched people tick off the list at the end of close, and they’ll tick everything even though we don’t have some of the listed equipment and are supposed to flag it as “not applicable.”

Other things I asked about were met with things like “well, you’re supposed to use the spreadsheet to figure out how much defrost to get out, but once you’ve been here I bit you’ll be able to judge it yourself.”

And I know my training was messed up because I had some that was very overdue. Everyone kept telling me to do it at home, except the manager who hired me who told me to do it at work so I get paid. When I finished that training a few months into this job, it was clearly wrote as if I wasn’t supposed to start working in the kitchen at all until I had completed it. So that’s fun.

I need to be looking for a new job anyway, since I don’t think I can afford to live where I currently am. So I guess it’s going to be better to look for a completely new one instead of asking for a transfer.

7 Likes

It’s easier to get a job whilst in a job, so see if you can stick it out while you hunt for work

3 Likes

Don’t let people pressure you into doing work you are not comfortable with. When I worked for a cinema back in the day all the rubbish got fed into an automatic trash compactor but the intake hopper was broken. My colleagues would load the rubbish in, climb on top of it and jump up and down on it until it was low enough to catch and this was judged ‘safe’ because it wasn’t powered on whilst they were trampolining on it.

As far as I know I was the only member of staff who refused and yeesh, the number of people who gave me a hard time over it was ridiculous.

8 Likes

yeah, no.

It’s always powered off, until one day it is, and timmy has no legs no more.

8 Likes

For fricks sake work answer your damned phone! It’s like they don’t want advanced warning I can’t come in today.

Edit: aha complaining worked! They answered just after I sent this. But seriously? “Well if you just “almost” threw up and didn’t actually throw up, then you can still come into work.” Hahahaha no

9 Likes

Get well soon!

5 Likes

So you’d rather me almost throw up at your store in front of people (or work or whatever).
Wait… don’t you work in food service?

3 Likes

Yep. I have yet to throw up though. Think it might have been I was just coughing too hard though. (Yes I did a covid test, no it’s not that)

2 Likes

I mean I still wouldn’t want you coughing on my food either. Like c’mon man.

3 Likes

If they’re not customer facing then, unfortunately, many places in the UK will push that to the legal limit. If @RebeccaBlue works in the chain where I believe they may, then I am not surprised in the slightest.

4 Likes

I wear masks when I’m sick, unlike the majority of my coworkers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of them with a mask. (And yes, I realise now it was probably stupid to have gone in today, but the me of this morning was not thinking clearly at all.)

The longer I’ve worked in the kitchen though, the worse things I seem to see. Almost everyone handles the raw meat with their hands and then don’t bother to wash them. When one of the managers had a cough he still came in and didn’t even bother to put his hand in front of his mouth, just coughing directly onto the food. One of my coworkers came in with covid, and said it was okay to my other pregnant coworker because the goverment didn’t require quarenteen after so many days. That same coworker was guilt tripped by a different manager because she took some time off sick but when he had that illness he came in everyday.

Actually with the power of hindsight, there have been a lot of warning signs. Large flashing neon warning signs.

5 Likes

Oh my gods you need to get out of there!

6 Likes

Did something stupid yesterday, keep expecting someone to tell my I’m fired any moment now. Would deserve it though. Odd nothings happened yet.

4 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.