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Scheduling Woo's and Woes, and: A Sunday of all Sundays

Of all the stories posted about shitty scheduling errors, availability ignorance, and forgotten requests-off, I'd like to post a counter story.

I posted, about a year ago, that all the male baristas at my store (6 out of about 30 baristas) were going camping together. We had so much fun, we decided to do it again, and the male population of our store (6 of about 25 baristas, now) requested three days off.

It was bizarrely pleasant to see our SM run her store around our vacation, and discuss when she should and shouldn't schedule whom.

A delightful role reversal. Io, Saturnalia! You come early!

(She had her revenge for making this difficult schedule by scheduling all of us to open or work morning shifts the day we come back.)

I think I had the worst first hour to a shift ever.

My first three customers, in succession, were:

1. A guy that pulled up the DT speaker, and mumbled something. I asked him to repeat his order, and he simply drove up, ignorant of this failure to communicate. A few minutes later (there was already a line when I came on), he pulled up to the window and handed me a $5 bill, wherein I had to ask him for his drink.

2. A car that simply did not order at the DT speaker. As in, there was a line, his car was idling in front of the speaker, I, ever few seconds, asked to take his order, and he simply did not respond. His window might have even been up. When he finally got to the window, and began to order nonchalantly, I told him we had a speaker; he responded that he didn't know. Really? Because you go through so many other drive thru's where you order at the window, right? Because speakers at the menu where you were parked, where I was talking to you are new and rare, right? This may have actually been the first time I yelled at a customer; he spoke English, but it was clear it wasn't his primary language. So, by the time he finally got to the window (and other things were going wrong in the meantime) I couldn't help but to go off on him; I decided that if I threw in a half-laugh every few words, the guy would awkwardly assume I was making a joke. I was correct. Regardless, this may make me a bad person.

3. My district manager. Enough said.

Now, for the state of the store: Sundays are usually our "we're-not-really-that-busy-on-this-day-of-the-week-so-let's-save-labor" day. The lack of a proper midshift showed, and us closers found ourselves low on lids, cups, half of our syrups, frappuccino roast, and two of the three frappuccino syrups. Worst, the frappuccino roast pump was clogged and nonfunctional for several minutes. I didn't even know it could do that.

By this time, we had a few more customers in near-rapid succession, but not sequential like the first three. They include:

1. A $30+, 7 drink DT order.

2. Two or three more drive-arounds.

3. Innumerable drinks added to DT orders, usually more than one, and usually frappuccinos.

Yes, in my mind, I started cataloging all of this because I knew I'd want to make a post about it.

Then, I checked the time, and it had been one hour and five minutes. Our shift gave us early 10s, and we quickly decided there was but one way to counteract this misery. We each went to the local 7-11, bought cheap malt liquor, or went to the liquor store for airplane bottles, and... ya know. It was necessary. I mean, really, it was so bad, we were driven to drink on the clock. That's pretty bad. Usually, we save it for after work or lunch breaks, but holy shit.

And, at the end of the night, I lost my cell phone. Fuck my life.

Except it didn't entirely end there. We were so busy and understaffed (as a relation to our business), we didn't get to start closing until about 7:00 PM. Yet, we somehow managed to get a good close in order on time. So, what happens the next morning, because two of the three of us worked in the morning? The shift wrote us a letter of all the things we missed; almost all of which are things openers are supposed to do in the first place, that we only do as a courtesy.

Which seems to be a theme at every store I've ever worked at; responsibilities slowly and consistently getting shifted on to closers; things that closers occasionally do to be nice slowly becoming more and more expected and demanded. Unrelated, to the rest of this post, but very annoying.

Openers, appreciate your closers. All that stuff that your closers forgot last night are probably things you should have been doing anyway. Just saying...