It’s quickly becoming apparent that the owner of our coffeeshop thinks Audrey and I — the female shift supervisors — are the only people capable of being on time in the morning, and our two guy supervisors, Matt and Joe, are only capable of closing. The two weeks worth of schedules she made out for us in Sarah’s absence have me and Audrey opening just about every day we’re there, and the dudes on evening shifts.
In a way, I kind of understand why. Neither Audrey nor myself have ever neglected to open on time (KNOCK ON WOOD), but accidents happen. The law of averages demands that it happens to both of us at some point in the future. Electricity goes out, alarm clocks are mis-set or just don’t go off, people oversleep. It’s something that used to keep me up at night when I first became a supervisor because I’ve spent the better part of my teenage and adult years as a night owl. For a while, Tylenol PM was my best friend, as it was the only thing that got me to sleep at a decent hour, regardless of how early I’d gotten up that morning. I used to have a hard time getting to work at 9am — when I WORKED AT HOME — let alone figuring out how I could be somewhere at 7, 6, or, now, 5:30 in the morning.
I think little jabs like this, which equates to taking money out of the boys’ pockets because you make your biggest tips in the mornings, hurts morale and keeps the guys from feeling valued. Some would argue that they don’t really do enough to deserve to feel valued, but Matt has definitely been pulling his weight during Sarah’s maternity leave.
But it also makes Audrey and me feel frustrated because we don’t get a morning off and there’s no variety in our schedules. It’s the same thing, over and over again; the same customers making the same small talk and the same stupid jokes every day, the same comments about the weather for hours straight, the same activities, the same shifts. I’m opening every Saturday and Sunday, beginning last weekend, for almost a month. And on the Fridays where I’m not opening, I’m working the whole day. Like, 10 or 11 in the morning to 7 or 8 in the evening. Do I get to go home for a half an hour, or leave for lunch, or sit down for fifteen minutes here and there? Nope. Only if I can do it and no one who knows the owners is there, someone who might rat me out or make a snide remark about how easy we have it, sitting at the coffeeshop and reading a book.
Despite my “condition,” there is no sympathy from our owners. I did it to myself, is the general feeling I get, and it’s my responsibility to stand on my feet for five or seven or more hours every day. If I want to take a break, I can sit down when I pee, which is the extent of my “breaks” every day, assuming I have a chance to get away from the bar long enough to run to the potty without some spoiled customer asking why I’m not sticking around to make their drink.
I guess, in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t that bad. It’s not as awful as some people’s jobs right now, the stress isn’t terrible, and it’s not like I’m in some sort of physical danger. I say this all the time, but I need to be glad I have a paycheck and health insurance (despite how miniscule both of those benefits may be). It’s just the whole feeling of being stuck in a rut that’s getting to me right now.