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.