I think in life we expect people to be better, or more specifically I expect people to be better, by better I mean kind. I expect people to be kind, particularly those who surround themselves in an establishment that aims for a better future in helping our environment and doing all they can to reduce their carbon footprint.
I was thrilled when I first discovered how driven this establishment appeared when it came to reducing plastic and their knowledge of veganism was far beyond impressive. I had stumbled upon a little slice of heaven, a place I could work but did not have to neglect my views as a vegan to do so. I found for the first time I fit in, among people who took my veganism seriously and who themselves were very caring and loving people.
I was contracted for fifteen hours which was great and that was why I took the job, a perfect amount of hours to still continue my work here. Although, that was not the case as I found myself with over double this amount of time within my first week. I do not mind working long hours if given enough notice. I was told I may have a few more hours, but never was I told it would be double. Of course, this did not affect my relationship with the managers or rest of the staff in the workplace as I still enjoyed very much to be working with them.
I was however, shocked when it came to one person, in particular, the general manager. Of course, you would expect me to have nothing but praise for the women running such a great establishment that has won awards for switching to paper straws and wooden cutlery. Although, one of her first approaches with me was in my first few days of employment, when I had been greeted with an aggressive tone because I did not have a bucket of soapy water and cloth at the side of the bar. Something I had been unaware of. I brushed it off and told another member of staff I need a cloth and bucket to which they rolled their eyes as they thought the manager was being unreasonable.
My next encounter with this manager is when I had been told by a member of staff to sort out the salt and pepper shakers, to which the general manager came at me aggressively telling me I should not be doing that as I lose focus. A couple of chefs had caught wind of what had happened and asked me if I am okay, to which I told them how the manager had shouted. This is when I began to see the cracks in the foundation as people began to reveal the issues they are experiencing within this workplace; mostly as a result of the general manager’s actions.
Later in the week, I went to a nearby restaurant with my boyfriend on my work break. Here he was fed chicken, instead, of the vegetarian enchilada. This is something that concerned me greatly. Luckily for them, my boyfriend did not have a meat allergy, but what happens if next time the person they accidentally fed meat to did? I had heard other stories about this restaurant too, such as serving raw meat to customers. This is when I decided to write a review on my Instagram. The review was still positive, as I could not fault my meal at all, although I thought it important that people know this establishment is making life-threatening mistakes.
A few days later I had been approached by my manager who asked me to take down the post in order for her to continue a professional relationship with that establishment. I had agreed but by the time I had arrived home later that night I was torn. It was not in my contract that I could not post about other establishments, and I had promised my followers that I would give complete transparency. I had mulled it over for days; contemplating whether taking it down was the right thing to do. I had many people stating freedom of speech and I should fight for what is right, but my anxiety got the better of me, and I removed the post.
Only a few days after I had seen an article of a girl who died because of a restaurant not stating their ingredients in their food properly. Therefore, the girl assumed it was okay to eat and died of an allergic reaction. This sprung back to the importance of my post; I was making people aware that this establishment is making mistakes, so always check before you eat it because it might cost you your life. Yet it is ok, because my general manager would rather me hide the truth, so she can continue to borrow ice from the establishment next door.
By this point, I had been pretty worn down by my general manager and had spent sleepless nights from the stress this situation had caused me. I loved working here with the rest of the team but every time I saw her around my hair stood on ends. She seemed angry always, and I could never figure out if I had done something to annoy her.
I got ill during the beginning of my time here which, after four days of pushing through, resulted in me having to take a day off to recover. Again this had not been an easy decision for me to make as I spent hours before my shift trying to get better, so I did not have to call in sick.
The next day I had returned to work still ill but not wanting to take any more time off, and I found myself with dizziness and a blinding migraine throughout most of my shift. After sitting at the table with my general manager and listening to her talk rudely on the phone to other establishments, she then told me she wanted to have a word with me. Which of course caused me a lot of anxiety, and I was starting to have enough of her wanting to ‘have a word with me’. Although she did not get around to having a word with me on this day and left me with my two days off sick with stress about what she will say when I return to work.
I had considered quitting several times by now but had enjoyed myself far too much within the workplace when this manager was not around to do so. The staff were great fun to work with and the other managers made it a calm and inviting environment. After the weekend the general manager finally got the chance to have a word with me. She had told me she does not think I am engaging with staff or customers and had asked how I feel about working here. So I decided to be honest with her after bringing this issue up with another manager that was never resolved. I told her I find her aggressive in the workplace not only to me but other staff. She had stated that she only worked two shifts with me, and I am judging this from those two times, yet she was judging my work ethic after only working with me two times. Although, I had seen her in and around the workplace interacting with others, which she did not do so in a calm and professional way.
My general manager then stated I am the first to say this to her, this I know not to be true. I stated that other staff members have spoken to me about issues within this workplace. Although, I left out for sake of this ex-employee what I had previously been told. I had been told by a fellow employee who quit during my two weeks here, that he had spoken to the general manager with issues he had with the workplace. She had told him that she is the manager and if he does not like it there is the door.
This is something that made me extremely reluctant to continue working for her and during our chat, she had given me two options to continue to work and try harder or leave. Which basically left me with the insight that none of my issues were going to be addressed particularly because these issues were ones I had bought up with other managers and nothing had changed. I told my manager, unfortunately, I cannot continue to work for somebody who treats people the way she does.
It is a real shame that such a wonderful establishment full of such wonderful people is run by woman like her, who thinks it is her way or the highway. Now after losing two staff members in two weeks, surely she should question her approach towards her staff and wonder why so many of them are unhappy with this workplace.
I'm just trying to share a little love and make the world a better place! <3