I worked at a restaurant in a little town right on Lake Winnepesaukee, New Hampshire. It is a beautiful town in the spring and summer, and the rest of New England knows it. Every June, my town holds an annual event known as "Bike Week". For those of you who know about Bike Week, I can only imagine that you've been there, and that you've enjoyed the festivities that it has to offer, for there are many. Biker Bars, live bands, drinking, smoking, bartering; these are only a few of the services this quaint little town has to offer.
Working at this restaurant nestled in the heart of the town, you notice that around Bike Week, the town witnesses a significant change in pace: masses of boats on the lake, increased traffic, bikes roaring down Main Street, and pedestrians crowding the sidewalks. For a restaurant to be in the center of such turmoil is, needless to say, horrifying in nature. As soon as summer hits, the restaurant becomes severely over-staffed, making it hard for one person to work full-time. The problem with working at a family-owned restaurant is that if the family who owns it are all douche-bags, work can become tedious. Every so often, you come to realize that the work you are doing is futile, and that your hopes for achieving a higher rank in the restaurant caste system are short-lived. Most of my employees knew this, but didn't care much about it. I however, did. After nearly seven years of dedication to the restaurant, I had not earned a single pay raise, other than when minimum wage was raised to $7.25 per hour. Things like that can make you question your position in the grand scheme of things.
This restaurant comes coupled with a bar. I turned 21 nearly two years ago in June, and after nearly every one of my shifts at the restaurant, you could find me having a beer at the bar. There is nothing like drinking a cold beer after a hard day's work! Unfortunately, my necessity for having a beer after my shift was recently challenged by my boss. She decided to put into motion a new business idea that was supposed to "limit" mishaps at the bar: employees could no longer drink at the bar after their shifts. This idea was first brainstormed after our kitchen manager got extremely drunk after his shift one day. He was harassing customers, knocking over bar stools, spilling freshly-poured beers, and more or less making a fool of himself. My boss decided that play-time was over, and the new company policy would be put into place as soon as possible.
My boss mentioned this at a manager's meeting, which normal employees are not allowed to attend under any circumstances. I first heard about it during one of my night shifts a couple of weeks ago. I was, for lack of a better word, furious.
Before I get into the next part, I must mention one crucial element that would sway any person reading this into believing I was not out of line. If you know my boss (and you may, depending on where you live, and if you're smart enough to make the connections between the clues I've given in this entry), you know that she herself is a drunk. Quite literally, she drinks a bottle of wine to her dome every night she works. The wine she drinks is by no means cheap; she selects them with care. Not only does she drink the entire bottle, but she does so in front of her employees, and even goes so far as to do so in front of customers. She is a drunk like the rest of the regulars that walk into the restaurant.
I flat-out told my boss that if this new policy was to affect employees, that it should also affect her. I knew very well that saying anything like that could possibly cost me my job, which it did. I essentially called her a drunk to her face, and told her to take the policy and shove it up her ass sideways. Not only was she trying to limit employee's rights, but she also was trying to belittle us. Another policy she tried to implement along with this one was that if a "regular" (a.k.a. drunk) was to walk into the bar at any point, we would have to get up from our seat and let them take it. Now, lets be realistic...am I a black person sitting in the white section on a bus? No. Are we being segregated? Yes. Is all of this bullshit? Yes. Does she realize it? No.