Thursday, July 06, 2006

Evan's Story Part 9: the Job


Evan has an interview at a local restaurant. It is the fanciest one in Our Small Town, I know that is not saying much, but it is a nice place.

I hope it works out. I was not the only one who felt compelled to warn Evan that you have to start at the bottom at new jobs -- pay your dues, prove your willingness to do everything, and work your way up. Unfortunately his response has been, "But I am not starting at the bottom. I already did that -- I was trained at the summer program." I am trying not to borrow trouble. Let's just see how it works out.

Evan rolled his eyes about not being allowed to have the cell phone or computer after 10, but he has not protested. He has in fact voluntarily come out of his room to return the phone. I also told him that I would only excuse him from school if he had a fever.

Evan asked me to tell you that he got the job at the restaurant. He starts today.
Evan worked Wednesday through Saturday nights. Mostly he liked it. Wednesday and Thursday he was able to take a long break and was fed a meal. Friday night was too busy for eating, he burned his hand, and was sent home as soon as the rush was over (9:00). Saturday he was also sent home as soon as the rush was over -- again hungry. The executive cook told him that it was too expensive to keep this many people there and he should go.

As I said, he mostly likes it. He is having difficulties dealing with the staff. They are lewd and crude. Evan says that summer internship people warned him about the sort of conversation one often hears in kitchens. Evan is not "out" at work, and he does not participate in the conversation. He said that there was a time when he could have but now he can't. It is not so much about being a prude -- it is that he is not noticing which waitress or actress is hot and he has simply no imagination regarding what someone might like to do to such a woman.

They also throw around "queer" quite a bit.

Evan is also disturbed by lax standards in other ways. He claims the executive cook was drinking Jack Daniels while cooking and that one of the other cooks was leaving to throw up (flu) and not always washing his hands when he got back. Evan does not think they would pass a surprise health inspection. Evan said nothing about the drinking, did tell the cook with the flu to go wash his hands, and at one point (not the same night as the flu thing) tell the staff that they should watch how they talk -- someone could claim harassment. The cook told him, with respect to that, that Evan needed to toughen up.

It is so hard to eat in a restaurant when you know someone who works there.

I don't think that Evan is disturbed enough by all this that he wants to quit, by the way. He was on-line the other day looking at iPods. He is very excited about the possibility of having money. He also says that though he would rather not work both Friday and Saturday all the time, he is not going to say anything until he has been there a while. Right now he is going to work any shift they ask him to.

I hope that they give him a regular schedule sometime soon. Right now all he knows is that he is supposed to be back on Tuesday.

They did, by the way, initially tell him that he would work a week and they would see how it goes. I hope that they are liking him well enough -- that they are not too bothered by his apparent prudishness and commitment to the health code. And the one time that he accidentally spilled hot water on two plates that then had to be dumped are re-prepared. I imagine that they normally have a couple of accidents with new staff. Evan is probably much more competent then most of the people they have to train.

By the way, Evan keeps saying, "Will you tell Brenda..." and "Will you ask Brenda..." or "Do you think that the program would..." In general I have no problem with being the conduit for information between you and Evan. Sometimes that is the best way. I told Evan though that I was going on strike. You have been trying to set up a time with him and he wants to ask things of you. So I am just going to clam up.

Evan lost his job at the restaurant. He worked a total of four or five days, in a row. He called on Tuesday to say that he was not feeling well and thought he should not come in. They said to come in on Wednesday. He went, but they said that they had already called someone else. He was told to call before coming in on Thursday and Friday. On Friday they told him that they just weren't getting enough business and did not need him -- indefinitely.

I wish he could know for certain if that was the reason. He burned his hand one evening and spilled hot water on nearly completed plates (which of course had to be re-done) another night -- did they decide he was too accident prone? He was uncomfortable with the lewd and crude language and at least once told the kitchen crew that they really should not talk like that -- someone someday might claim sexual harassment. One night when another cook was leaving the kitchen to throw up Evan kept telling him to leave and wash his hands. He told me that he was shocked to see the head cook drinking Jack Daniels while cooking, but I don't know if he said anything. Did they not like the new guy being judgmental? Did they decide he was unreliable when he called in sick? Was it all of these things?

Maybe. Of course if it was I know they would not tell him. What would they say, "We like our relaxed atmosphere and really don't want to work with someone who is going to tell us to follow health codes and fair work-place practices."

Evan's Story Part 1: The Beginning
Evan's Story Part 10: November 2005 Wisdom teeth and school

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