Monday, January 05, 2009

The Problem of Patience

I work at Subway. It's not the most glamorous job. I smell awful when I leave there mainly because the oven runs all day. I usually end up covered in other people's mayonnaise. And let's face it, Subway doesn't even take a high school education in order to work there. Working at Subway is a relatively simple concept: finish the tasks, help the customers, get paid. If you do your job super-well, your fellow employees will really appreciate you and your manager will notice that you are a very hard worker. . . unless you have the manager and co-workers that I do.

Now, our manager, while she is very nice, doesn't do much and she lets a lot slide. There's an employee that she hired - because her husband is friends with the guy - that is absolutely awful. If I ask him to do something, he gets angry with me. I don't know how many of you have a no cellphone policy, but Subway corporate rules dictate that you shouldn't have yourself out unless you're on break, and never ever have the cellphone out in the view of customers. It's a fireable offense, especially if the DM caught you.

This employee that I have had many, many problems working with has his cellphone out and is using it right next to the cash register. I don't ask him to put it away, I simply say, "Customers can see your cellphone from where you are standing." His reply: "I don't care." He then tells me to go into the cooler, which is where I was headed. I just about lost it. I told him that he needed to come back to work tomorrow night (because, hey, guess what? I have to close with him tomorrow) with at least an ounce of respect for me and if nothing else he should at least respect store policy and WORK while he's there.

His response: "Whatever."

I was so angry I was shaking, which doesn't happen very often. I had to leave before I started screaming at him. I asked my manager to "discuss these issues" with him so I wouldn't have to anymore. Before he left I asked him what his issue was with me and he simply said, "I don't like being told what to do." I told him I was going to give him jobs, or ask him to do things if he's just standing around, which he's doing most of the time. His response? "I AM doing things when you ask me to do other things."

Okay. I've had it. I cannot tolerate laziness. If you're standing around or not working, you do not deserve to get paid. How does a person learn to be patient with people like this? I can be patient with just about anything else, but I can't stand people that are lazy. I finally just told him, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to come off however you think I'm coming off. We'll try a new approach to us working together tomorrow night."

My manager's response? "Maybe you just need to tell him, if he gets testy, that you're trying to be nice, but he needs to get stuff done."

I would have fired him on the spot. Maybe that's a problem. I don't know how to treat people that have an obvious dislike for you, simply because you hold people to the same standards you hold yourself.

How does a person learn patience? I wish I knew, because I need to have some by tomorrow night.

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