A thread in the Pit about being on-call includes a post about a theater that requires its employees (mostly teenage kids) to be on-call such that they don’t know until an hour before their shift whether they work or not. If they don’t get called in, they don’t get paid, and if they do, they get regular pay only. If they don’t come in when called, they get fired. Nice.
It made me remember something from my first real job, at age 16. I worked at Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizzatime Theater (big awful pizza place with video games and weird-looking animals on the wall singing bastardized and pizza-ized versions of terrible songs made worse by pizza-ization). The owner, Allison, was one of the worst managers I’ve ever had. California law doesn’t allow kids under 18 to work after 10 pm on a school night (or didn’t then anyway). Closing took a long time and was a lot of work, including moving tables and benches, sweeping and mopping several huge and dirty floor areas, cleaning bathrooms, etc. But Allison was too cheap to hire enough people. Two people to close was just barely enough. So. If you had one person who was over 18 and one under 18 who were scheduled to close, when 10 pm rolled around (closing wasn’t usually done until close to 11 pm with two people-- sometimes later), the under-18 person was supposed to stop working. So. What did Allison have us do? Clock out. And…keep working. So, yeah, the child labor laws allowed her to get…slave labor! Who knew? The under-18 person could have left, but we were generally all friends and closing was a nightmare to do by oneself. We would have felt bad leaving our friend with all of that work. Which Allison knew. Of course, we were young and inexperienced, which she was counting on. I can’t believe we actually took that. So, what are your stories?