The Break Room: How This Week’s Restaurant Shift Schedule Was Determined

There are 2 types of people in the world — those who have waited tables, and those who haven’t. And for those who have, you know the horrors of scheduling …

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This satirical column is part of our series The Break Room. Each column takes a humorous look at an aspect of the workplace. All the characters and scenes are fictional.

OK, OK, everyone. Gather around. There have been a lot of questions about how we determined the schedule for next week. A lot of questions … and complaints … and whining.

So I just wanted to go through it with you all and briefly explain everything so that you can rest assured that we put a lot of thought into this, and it’s really fair to all parties involved.

Angela, you’ve been here the longest. You’ve had the Saturday night shift for as long as I can remember. However, you asked for one Saturday night off a few weeks ago so you and your husband could celebrate your anniversary at the James Taylor concert and Kristen covered your shift. And I just kind of left Kristen in that spot on my schedule and now it’s been a few weeks and would be awkward to take her out of it. So you’ve got Kristen’s usual Tuesday shift now. I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Brian, you only work part-time, 30 hours per week. So you’ve got:

  • Wednesday night
  • Thursday breakfast
  • Thursday lunch, and
  • Thursday night

That should work out well.

James is new. He’s my softball buddy’s little nephew, so he’s gonna be working Friday and Saturday nights. I know we usually start people off bussing or barbacking but James shows some, um, unusual promise and so he’ll be waiting tables.

Also, Kristen, you’ll need to train him on the job. I’m sure you can handle it.

I know what you’re thinking, Angela. Maybe James should take those Tuesday nights but you know, he’s saving for a car, so he really needs the Saturdays.

Janelle has approached me about the fact that Ricky makes her uncomfortable with some of his jokes and comments. So rather than talk to Ricky about it I’ve just made it so that Janelle and Ricky never work the same shift.

So that solves that.

Janelle that leaves you with Monday breakfast, Wednesday dinner, and … well, we’ll figure out the rest next week.

Eddy and Trish, you 2 went off to college last year like a couple of fancy pants and now you’re back for the summer, and while it is our busy season and I told you we could use the extra help, my resentment toward your ambitions outside of my restaurant quickly bubbled back to the surface and so you’ll only receive shifts sporadically and at the last minute, and you probably won’t make enough money to substantially offset your tuition costs. And it’s too late to find another summer job. So, good luck.

Bo, you gave me an attitude last Friday night so you don’t have any shifts this week.

Gretta, you gave me an attitude last Thursday night so you’re working 3 double shifts this week.

Cheryl, you always have an attitude but I’m used to it by now so you have your usual shifts. Still, I’d like if you could work on your attitude. What’s that? I should go to where? Oh … right. Gotcha. Classic Cheryl.

The rest is really just pulling names out of a hat, which is the fairest way to do it. Ben, I forgot to write your name down and I didn’t want to waste a whole other piece of paper so we’ll see you next week, alright?

I know in other industries people work a regular, predictable schedule that they can plan their lives around, but obviously, that would never work for us because …

… because, um …

… because …

… well that’s just not how it works.

Hope that clears things up for you all! Now, let’s get ready for a great Friday night. I’d stay and help but I should probably go home and start working on next week’s schedule.

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