Sorry, Kevin. I Can’t Work For You.

Article334875_post-it-noteWe in the world of restaurants are used to working varied schedules each week. For many of us, our days off are different each time the schedule is posted and it’s sometimes hard to make plans far in advance without putting in the ever-important “schedule request.” Luckily for me, I have a set schedule at both of my serving jobs which allow me to plan ahead but that has not always been the case.When a day comes up that you need off and you are scheduled to work a double you have no choice but to ask someone to cover your shift for you. Do you want to trade a shift or just give it away. Most of the time, you hope to trade it so that you don’t lose the money, but when times are desperate, you get to the point of just giving it away. When things are really bad, you may even agree to pay money to someone to take your shift. There are usually the go-to people who are always broke and will always take another shift. We love them. However, if they can’t take your shift off your hands it gets complicated. You have to find someone else who is willing to work for you but then not hold it over your head that you owe them your firstborn child. We know those people right?

“I can work for you, but if I do you will definitely owe me a huge favor.”

Fuck you. I don’t believe that when someone works for you you owe them anything. They may be doing you a favor, but it’s not like they are doing out of the kindness of their bacon-wrapped heart. That person is working it because they want extra money. It’s not like you are asking someone to work for you and then at the end of the night they put all the tips they made into an envelope with your name on it so you can pick it up when you come back to work the next day.

I recently got a text message from a co-worker, who thankfully does not read this blog.

It said: Hey, it’s Kevin from work. Do you think you can cover 9/27, 4:00 to 10:00? It’s my birthday and I was hoping to get it off. Please let me know.

I wrote back the next morning: I am so sorry I just got this text message. I am going out of town that day and not getting back until the day I have to go back to the restaurant.

He immediately responded with: Well, it’s good to know all those covers I’ve done counted for not even one reciprocation.

Followed by my response: So you want me to just cancel my plane tickets? I’m sorry I can’t work for you but I have two other jobs which allow me to pick up a shift only on Tuesday but the restaurant is closed that day.

He did not reply.

I really am going out of town that day (watch out, Miami!) and I worked it around my schedule so that I won’t have to ask anyone to cover for me while I am gone. Kevin may have worked for me once in the past, but I wasn’t aware that that meant I now owed him any kind of favor. I was under the impression that the $125 he made that night working my shift two months ago when I was away at a funeral was payment enough. I have three jobs so no, I don’t have the ability to pick up shifts like some other people. Kevin thinks just because I am only at this particular restaurant a couple of shifts a week, I spend the rest of my time eating bon-bons and waiting for people to offer me leftover shifts.

So, no, Kevin, I cannot work for you on Friday the 27th. When your shift starts at 4:00 I will be on vacation. We land in Miami at 1:00 so by 4:00, I will have checked into my room, unpacked, slathered my self with sunscreen, found a chaise lounge next to the pool at The Raleigh Hotel and ordered my third or fourth frozen daiquiri. Have a happy birthday though. I will think of you that night when you are watching the clock and waiting for 10:00 to roll around so you can punch out and begin your birthday festivities. I will raise a glass in you honor. I will, raise it right up your ass, if you’d like.

Happy birthday!

Click here to follow The Bitchy Waiter on Twitter.
Click here to find The Bitchy Waiter on Facebook.

30 thoughts on “Sorry, Kevin. I Can’t Work For You.

  1. Ashley

    Geez you sound like a real nice person to work with (not). Kevin was probably just frustrated, but you don’t have to be a douche about it.

    1. The Bitchy Waiter Post author

      I apologized for not being able to work for him first didn’t I? And then he got all dicky. I asked him to work via a text message last year. His response: nope. I said that’s fine, but do you have Tony’s cell phone number so I can ask him? His response: nope. Kinda douche behavior, no?

      1. MrsMac

        Yeah, I 100% agree with you bitchy. I will always cover/swap shifts for someone if and when I can. It is a nice thing to do, and if everyone does it, it means we can all accommodate each other as much as possible. But sometimes you just can’t cover that inconvenient shift, especially if it is at the last minute.
        If I continually swap for a workmate, and then he is unable to do the same for me because he happens to have something super-cool planned on that day instead, I totally get it. If I was him, I wouldn’t swap either.

      2. drank slingar

        See if he didn’t work for you in the first place none of this would have happened. It’s Kevin fault. I know 5his chicken with 2 jobs and school. She can’t work for me ever so when she needs a shift covered I make her pay me. I always collect the day of because I owe you doesn’t mean shit

    2. Tic-tic

      He wasn’t a douche about it. He politely explained the reason he couldn’t work for him and when Kevin threw his little fit, Bitchy politely asked him a common sense question followed by an apology. You sound like a fun person to be around, let alone text. Not.

    3. Sayra

      Seriously? You think people should kiss your ass just because you asked them to work for you? My dear dear Ashley, people like you are a dime a dozen. How about this? You fill out an app, get hired, fly to Kevin’s city and work for him. Sounds like a win win to me. But you won’t do that will you? So hush, or go find the Smiley Sever blog. The Bitchy Waiter has every right to bitch! And I’m glad they do! =)

    4. Allison Kennedy

      How is he being a “douche” about it? He doesn’t owe Kevin anything, he never signed his name in blood. Have you ever even worked at a restaurant? Do you know how frustrating it is when someone uses past coverage or their dumb kids as an excuse not to work? He had ACTUAL PLANS. You must have been mad Kevin’s party started after 10.

  2. Carlye

    I have a part-time non-restaurant job in addition to my part-time serving job. I basically wait tables once or twice a week. I pick up extra shifts pretty regularly, too, so I am pretty much everyone’s go-to when they want a shift covered. I feel like everyone forgets that I work 30 hours a week somewhere else. I guess they think I’m a kept woman 🙂 so I get where you’re coming from. And I don’t hold all those shifts I cover over everyone’s head!

  3. Kristy

    When I first started working I was the girl who took everyones shifts, until I realized that when I needed mine taken, no one was jumping at the opportunity.

    So I stopped saying yes all of the time and only did it when it was convenient to me

    Welcome to the restaurant life

    You’d think Kevin knew when his birthday was so he could book that day off, his fault, not yours

  4. Suzy

    This issues isn’t black and white. If you want to switch or give away a shift because you don’t feel like working, that’s one thing. If you have something important come up which requires you to miss work( like a funeral) and NO ONE wants to do it, but there is one individual who said they would do it just to help you out, then YES, you owe them. I agree something like a birthday that you have advanced notice that its approaching, should be requested off. But emergencies do happen, and if your co-workers are able to help you with it, then it should be remembered and returned. Or you can be one of those I’m-only-out-for-myself-F*uck-my co-workers type of person and watch what happens the next time you need a FAVOR.

    1. maxi

      Suzy ——–> *

      The point ———–> *

      Bitchy had a proper reason why he couldn’t cover Kevin’s shift and after he told him Kevin decided to be a douche about it. Fuck Kevin, we swap shifts all the time where I work and no one holds it over anyone. It’s the way its meant to be!

  5. Appleho

    In the world of hypotheticals….
    Maybe Kevin has spent the last few months in a drug induced stopper in his off time, thus leaving him unable to track the days leading up to his birthday.
    Can you imagine??
    …Waking up next to a woman in her late 50’s name Bernice, covered in cheezwhiz and reeking of Bourbon and shame, only to look up at the Calander and realize you’re birthday is just around the corner, and the schedule for the week has already been posted. Oh the tragedy. Oh the Calamity.
    Maybe Kevin doesn’t need the day off for his birthday. He’d probably only repeat the cycle.
    Maybe for his birthday, everyone should pitch in for Kevin’s’ intervention.
    “Surprise!! Happy Birthday Kevin! It’s time we had a serious talk…”

  6. euphoric_mania

    I HATE that guy. It’s one thing for an emergency, but another for a birthday. I get not wanting to work on your birthday, but YOUR OWN birthday is not a surprise. How do you not have the foresight to request that off months in advance?

  7. Cynthia

    I agree with all the people who asked whether or not Kevin knew his birthday was coming up. I work at a factory and all advance vacation time requests for the following year are put in the first week of Dec. I know when my birthday is, if I want that day off I’d better damn well ask for it. If I want time at the last minute I may or may not get it depending on other people’s requests.

  8. Atli Steinn Gudmundsson

    Beautiful, I’ll be dead drunk in Copenhagen that same night, the 27th, taking a well earned break from Norway, work, gym and kickbox training, i.e. ordinary f**king days spent still missing the beaches, gin & tonic and sangrias in Albufeira Portugal six long weeks ago. Retirement, skip those 27 working years ahead and come to me!!! I’ll raise a glass to you and Kevin from there, thanx for the blog!

  9. Meg

    That crap happens all the time where I work. People think because you need a swap once you owe them your immortal soul. We have a Kevin here too – this girl thinks because you swap once with her you owe her 3 swaps. Screw you hippie not how it works. I used to swap all the time until I needed a day off and magically no one could swap. Sorry but you have to think of yourself sometimes.

  10. Powerage

    At my brothers job, most times when a server wants a shift off, that server will offer anywhere from $20-50 for someone to take their shift. If that server is on-call, they usually up the ante.

  11. Jessica

    I kind of do think that if this person covered your shift before, you owe them one. Although, a different one than cancelling plans you already had.

  12. Kathy westbrook

    I would pick up shifts bc i worked w/ morons that would pay u to cover their shifts! Win-win for me! But im also the one who rolled silver for whoever for $20 . If ur dumb enough to throw away ur cash, im there to take it. Besides, i always worked my bday & let all my tables know it…another win-win! who goes out to party b4 10 p anyway?

  13. J

    We weren’t allowed to switch shifts and we had a fixed schedule, but if someone had to took off suddenly that day (either was sick or faking it since taking off wasn’t allowed for abt other reason), management would call around trying to find someone to cover. So we had a secret system where we would inform everyone we were going to be “sick” and take off a certain day, and someone would offer to take it when the calls came around, or everyone would ignore the incoming call from management in (day) if no one couldn’t. (If you answered the didn’t have some valid excuse like being out of town, management would try to guilt you into it or hold it against you for not coming in.)

    So sometimes people that would end up going in because they forgot to ignore their phone and never learned how to say “no” would get miffed if someone didn’t offer to come in when they needed off.
    But honestly you have nothing to hold over someone’s head if you do a shift and you’re getting the money from that shift.

    Also that place was super shitty to work at and I give thanks daily that I no longer work there.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *