Am I wrong to want less responsibility in my job?

I currently work fast food. I could write a whole post about how shitty-by-design fast food work is, but that’s another story. What’s got me going is that not only is my job shitty, but it’s shitty combined with the fact that my employers seem to feel that every employee should be a combination sales promoter/ junior manager in training/ franchisee.

When I got my current job I envisoned basicly shoveling out food, ringing up orders, and doing miscellaneous jobs like cleaning and stocking. What I didn’t envision was having to sell, sell, sell the latest promotion (and there’s always another one). If I wanted to spend all day trying to get people to buy things they don’t want, I could have gotten a telemarketing job. Then there’s being told that our store just isn’t getting enough business and that it’s up to US to somehow attract more customers. But today was a new low. I called in sick for the first time in four months and was told that it was up to me, not my manager, to get someone to fill in my shift. I resisted the impulse to tell my manger “what if I dont?”, and I did call one of my co-workers who (grudgingly) agreed to fill in.

Once upon a time it seemed like holding a job was a relatively straightforward bargain: You worked your scheduled hours, you performed your assigned tasks competently, you got paid. I know that fast food is highly competitive and marginal; but all I wanted from this job was the dull safe position of an employee, and to let the managers worry about the larger issues. I don’t want to work on commission, I don’t want to have to drum up business, I don’t want to be an independent contractor, I don’t want the ultimate success or failure of the store and the continued existence of my job to be my personal responsibility. Is this so wrong of me?

What I’m getting resentful of is having the pay of a manure shoveler and the responsibility of a vice-president.

Isn’t the fast food industry one of the jobs that is considered to be possessing the least amount of responsibility. I even remember a movie where the main character says " I want a job with the least amount fo responsibility" and then goes to a fast food restauraunt. Can’t remember the movie though, I want to say “American… something”

The having to promote products and stuff seems reasonable to me. I kinda feel anything legal action that benifits the business you can do while on the clock should be required. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not.

On the you have to find a replacement thing, I’d be bull shit. My response would probably come out in the form of a question. Do you need me to fill out a time slip so you can pay me for the time I have to spend calling people to find a replacement? If your not going to pay me for doing so why the hell do you think it’s my job to find someone.

American Beauty


I had a job taking care of mentally handicapped teenagers in a group home. I called in sick once and my boss wanted me to call my coworkers and find someone to take my place. It physically hurt to tell him this, but I had to say Are you kidding? I can hardly speak because I have strep throat!

I found the fact that he’d even suggest that incredible, especially since he knew for a fact that I was really sick. (He saw me the day before and knew i was running a 102 temp. in July!)

But at least you get respect. :wink:
I feel your pain. Working fast food nearly destroyed my work ethic (she said, while posting from work.)

Sounds like you need a job with zero customer interaction. Get out of fast food and into some kind of warehouse operation or something like that. But even then, don’t expect to not have to deal with petty politics and other crap. It also sounds like you want someone to create a job that caters to your desires. That’s not only unrealistic, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. At any rate, I don’t think the fast food business is the best place for you. You might not be able to find your perfect drone-job, but you can probably do better than McDonalds.

Human Resources and my direct boss are the only people at work who have my personal number. I have given both of them written notice they will NOT give out my personal phone number. IF they want me to come in on a day not my regularly scheduled one, they have to talk to me at work or on the phone themselves. I would be more than pissed off if they started handing out my personal number like a party favor.

Well, I always say that my perfect job would have twice the pay and half the responsibility. Actually, that would just be a better job. Perfect job would have ten times the pay and one-tenth the responsibilty!

I can’t blame the OP for not wanting to have to sell. I hate sales, and I hate having a fast-food drone ask “would you like fries with that?” My standard response is “Did I ask for fries?” In a drive-thru queue I always end my request with “That’s all” and I still hear “Would you like fries with that?” It fills me with grrrrrrrrrrr.

While your advice is generally good, I think it’s pretty absurd to suggest that “I don’t want to do sales” means “I need a job with zero customer interaction”.

I’ve never worked a customer service job (including fast food for wayyyy too long) that didn’t require you to find a replacement if you were going to miss work. Now, there were some excuses for illness, but even then you had to call in many hours in advance to give them enough notice.

I could never understand why this management style persists. Given that much of the workforce are young, unreliable youths, why would a manager put his reputation in their hands? How many times does the manager get blown off and nobody shows up to work?

That’s pretty rude. If you want to complain to someone about the practice of suggestive selling, start with management. I promise you, the employees behind the counter are not asking just to piss YOU off. They’re doing exactly what they’ve told/demanded/ordered/threatened to do.

Naw, a perfect job would take it to the limit–infinite pay, zero responsibility.

Unfortunately, none of the pantheons are hiring these days.

But the OP had more conditions than “I don’t want to do sales”. He just wants to drone out his work and not be bothered, hence the suggestion. If you have to deal with random people all day long, you’re just not going to be able to do what the OP seems to want to do.

You never saw Bruce Almighty. How would you like getting six billion emails a day (not including spam)?

I don’t think it’s the dealing with random people that he’s unhappy about. It’s the fact that he’s performing a near-minimum wage low skill job, yet being asked to upsell promotions and figure out scheduling. That may be the way it is today with retail jobs, especially at big companies like McDonalds/Best Buy (extended warranties, anyone?) but it doesn’t have to be that way.

He may just be better off with a different retail job, where he won’t be expected to do these tasks, and can have the level of responsibility he wants.

Once I worked for near-minimum wage at a coffee shop. There were a total of four shifts that day: I opened, someone came in an hour later, then after my 8 hours someone would come relieve me, then an hour later someone would come relieve my co-worker.

EVERYONE called in “sick.” My manager was nowhere to be found. I worked the whole day, by myself, because if I closed the store and went home I would have been fired. And no I didn’t get paid twice the salary for doing two shifts at once. I didn’t even get overtime because I was only part-time. And no, we weren’t allowed to accept tips even if offered. (Yes, I’m still bitter.)

At a different coffee shop I was basically expected to be acting manager (because the actual managers kept quitting) even though I was part-time and working for exactly minimum wage (which was $7.45/hour at the time). I ordered inventory, opened the store, came back after my shift to help close the store, you name it.

This bullshit is SOP in these industries. First McDonalds and now WalMart have changed the face of retail forever. Employees are completely disposable and therefore should be grateful that they even have a job. Pile as much crap on them as they can take, because if they complain it’s their own fault for not having sufficient work ethic.

  1. Sounds like bank teller would be a job for you. It pays slightly better than fast food, you don’t get greasy and smelly, and the human interaction is really shallow and low pressure.

  2. This is one of the most anemic Pit threads I’ve ever seen. Can’t this thing get kicked to MPSIMS or IMHO? :wink: