Possibly the worst boss ever
"In high school I got a job working at a 'fancy' 'Belgian' 'cafe' in Chicago. I took the job because it paid $10/hr and it was four blocks from my house. I think, like many restaurant jobs, it was often (mildly) fun, the customers were a mixed bag, co-workers were great, and by far the worst part about the job was the owner. I might even go as far as saying that the worst thing about Chicago is that the dickhead owner has ever owned anything here.
"One very important thing to note about this 'shoppe' was that it was never busy. Never. Not even when the Gay Pride Parade paraded right past our window of free samples. We regularly brought in less revenue than it cost to pay us, let alone cover the rent, utilities, and cost of the 'food' -- but, as long as we got paid, we were mostly happy that the horrible owner was presumably hemorrhaging money.
"Another woman who worked at the store, who commuted 1.5 hours from the far south side on public transportation, was routinely subject to awful comments from the owner about her weight and was constantly sent home early. But she endured all this because the owner kept telling her as soon as her hours increased she would get benefits like health insurance. Weirdly, she always seemed to be scheduled juuuust under 35 hours a week.
"One Sunday I got a phone call from said co-worker asking if I happened to be around the store, though it was pretty hard to understand her because she was sobbing. I told her I was just about to get home, so yeah, I was very close by, and I asked if everything was OK. She could barely get it out, but told me that her grandmother -- who raised her -- was in the hospital dying. The owner was in the store, but he wouldn't let her leave until she found someone to cover her shift. I said, 'Oh my God, tell him I'll be there in 10 minutes, I just have to change. Go be with your family.’
"Ten minutes later, I walked into the place fully expecting my co-worker to be gone. Instead, I saw her up at the counter, dealing with the only two customers in the store with silent tears streaming down her face. I stormed past the owner on my way around the counter and exasperatedly asked him WHY he didn't let her go already, and he started saying words like 'policy' and 'fair.' I rolled my eyes so hard I stopped being able to hear him. Meanwhile, I went to hug her and take over the (extremely uncomfortable) couple's order.
"She started taking off her apron and headed to the back of the store while I exchanged 'waffles' for money with some very nice people who would almost certainly never return to this Belgian-style forced-labor camp -- until all of a sudden, she was back. The scum-of-the-earth owner was insisting we do a full-press shift-change cash drawer checkout. For a grand total of $59 worth of sales.
"Her grandmother died before she reached the hospital.
"A week later, and three days after a fairly well-publicized stranger rape on the same block as the cafe, the owner sent another co-worker home and had me -- a 17-year-old, 110lb CHILD -- lock up the store alone at 1am. I called my mom, who waited outside the store in her minivan while I weighed every gelato container and counted every tea bag. I quit the next day.
"Ten years later, I still despise that guy.” -- Shelby Sieffert
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