Beast of Burden

Over the years, I have always welcomed new responsibilities at work.  Sometimes, I have been too eager to take on some of these tasks and I have come to regret it later on.  I was approached about being a manager at the age of 17.  At the time, I was thrilled to have even been considered for the role, and looking back on things now, I can’t believe anyone would have felt comfortable leaving a 17 year old running their business, but there I was, taking charge of people older than me and enjoying the power it gave me.  At times I wonder if accepting the role of manager was a mistake, as I doubt I would have spent the next 15 years of my life working there had I only been a part time crew member.  I have learned to accept the past and learn from my choices rather than dwell on them, yet I can’t help but wonder sometimes how my life would have turned out had I said no instead of yes.

About a year ago, maybe longer, I was offered the job of creating the weekly schedule at work.  While I worried it was a big responsibility to take on, again, I was flattered to have been offered the job, so I took it on eagerly.  The first few weeks of scheduling were a little tricky, but my boss tried to have patience with me as he knew it was something I needed time to learn.  Recently, however, his patience has thinned quite a bit and I often find myself at odds with him over any small mistake I may make or my apparent inability to whittle the total number of hours for the week to a number he likes, or at least is comfortable with.  He sees every extra hour as money out of his pocket, something I am a little surprised to learn about him.  While of course as a business owner you want to maximize your profit, in years past I had thought he was content paying his employees a little more if it meant satisfying the customers.  Lately however, he wants to limit the number of hours to the absolute minimum in order to increase his weekly take home.  I understand that the economy may not be great and we all will take whatever we can get, but it saddens me to think he is so concerned about his own profit that he is willing to cut costs by limiting other’s hours.

Anyway, my point today is not to criticize my boss, at least not directly.  No my point is to show how this new responsibility of mine has become a burden on my shoulders and while I welcome all new responsibilities they may throw my way, I am growing extremely tired of explaining to others why they are seeing reduced hours every week.  I do my best to place all the employees in the best spots possible, but it becomes difficult when my boss insists on cutting as many hours as he can yet he won’t allow me to make cuts in the most obvious areas.  The Monday through Friday day shift is pretty much a set number of hours.  Regardless of the fact the biggest disparity in hours needed versus hours scheduled runs between 9 AM and noon, he won’t let me cut that by more than a few hours here and there.  His solution is to instead trim hours later in the day and on weekends, often telling me to cut nearly thirty hours over the course of just three days or so.  Often, this means hurting someone’s feelings, and that is the burden I don’t care to carry.  I am often enough seen by the outside world as an emotionless person, but that is far from the truth.  I take very little joy in scaling an employee back, and it is even more difficult for me to try to explain why their hours were cut when they confront me on it.  Today, one of my favorite employees came to me and asked why she was taken off Sunday morning.  I did my best to explain it to her, but clearly she was not pleased with the answer.  I wanted to tell her that in truth I am simply the boss’s puppet and I have to do as he tells me.  Yes, I am the one sitting at the office computer generating the hours,, but I am only doing what he has told me to do.  He gets off scott free as he doesn’t need to offer explanations to anyone even though he is the one demanding the cuts.

I feel bad, it’s that simple, and I don’t want the added stress of hurting other people’s feelings when I have enough other things going on in my life right now.  Granted, if we generated the schedule the way the company actually wanted us to generate the schedule and not the way my boss insists we do it, a lot more people would see changes to their hours, but at least it would be fair to everyone across the board, or unfair, however you want to look at it.  Instead, we do things his way which means catering to some and disappointing others.  I truly hope that the next year will bring about enough changes for me that I will soon be able to find myself a position outside of the restaurant where I don’t have to deal with the stress of upsetting the very employees that do our work for us.  In any case, that’s my rant for today.  Until next time.

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~ by James on October 27, 2014.

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