A couple of weeks ago, I posted a photo on the Bitchy Waiter Facebook page about how many servers do not get sick days at their job. The photo said, “Hi, my name is Sally and I’ll be your server tonight. I’ll also be giving you my cold because I don’t have sick days and have to come to work sick if I want to pay my rent.” It was a simple little image that I thought would have nothing but positive response and glowing reviews. Was I wrong! Although it was shared by over 1,800 people and more than three times that many people “liked” the photo, plenty of folks had something negative to say about it. All I was trying to say was that it is unfortunate that so many in the service industry don’t have the option to call in sick and still get paid for it, at least a few days a year. Sure, we can try to get someone to cover our shift for us, but that means we are losing the money we would have made that day which means a lot of people would rather go to work sick than lose a day’s pay. To some of the people who disagreed with the photo, I would like to respond in this Comment on Comments blog post.
Mike says: Big problem is all employees use it as a excuse to take a day off, hangovers are NOT sick days. Every Rest. I have managed, real clear understanding right up front. If you are to sick to come to work, then bring me in the doctors note and yes I call and confirm. Sometimes a sick day is just a, I am lazy excuse. Still have a business to run.
Here is the big problem with your statement, Mike. You use the word “all” and assume that every single server in the world is a lazy fuck who spends each night drinking and will only use a sick day when they’re hungover. You sure have a high opinion of your employees and you must be a real joy to work for. And to make everyone who is too (not “to”) sick to come to work produce a doctor’s note is another pile of shit. People don’t go to the doctor for a cold, especially ones who don’t have any fucking health insurance.
Elizabeth says: I’ve had to work with whooping cough, the flu, and a sprained ankle because I couldn’t find coverage.
Just two weeks ago, I caught a summer cold and was coughing up phlegm for six days. I knew it was only a cold and would go away in a week, so I didn’t go to the doctor. What I did do is go to work and every time I went into my manager’s office, I coughed all over the fucking place so hopefully some of my sick ass cold spores floated right into his coffee cup. Would have been nice to find someone to work for me, but I couldn’t.
Linz says: The sad thing is, it’s the nature of the business. Choose a different profession & elevate.
Linz, thanks for the great advice. Maybe I can just elevate myself right on up to CEO of Microsoft and maybe you can elevate your head high enough to get it out of your own ass.
Mike has more to say: If you call in sick, no doctors note.. you loose that day.. but depending on there history or when the employees start talking about what they did that night and how drunk they all got.. you start loosing other days and other income.. again.. you still have a business to run…
Mike, I think you need to learn how to hire better employees, that’s what I think. If all of your staff is constantly calling in sick because they went out drinking the night before, maybe you shouldn’t be hiring 22-year old college kids who are majoring in beer bongs. There are plenty of responsible servers in the world who want to work and will only call in sick if they absolutely have to. And again, no one goes to the fucking doctor these days unless they have lost an appendage or are coughing up blood. To expect someone to produce a doctor’s note for being sick is a joke. Sometimes it takes days to even get a fucking appointment. Also, it’s “lose,” “their” and “losing.”
Lauren says: I had the same kinds of problems when I worked in restaurants — I’m not a heavy drinker and would never call in if I was just hung over. But I have had PINKEYE before and called in and my managers threatened to fire me if I couldn’t come in or at least find someone to cover my shift. Um, okay, I’ll come give all the customers my pinkeye. Sounds awesome. Let’s just break all the health codes.
Yes, this is the world restaurant workers live in. If we can’t make it to work, it is our responsibility to find someone to work for us. I understand if I want the day off to go to a concert that it should be my issue to get the shift covered, but if I am busy sitting on the toilet with explosive diarrhea, it might be nice for the manger to make a few fucking phone calls for me.
Lea says: No sympathy. It is part of the job, take it or leave it.
Yes, Lea, we do take it. And I have no sympathy for you when you take a stick up your ass, you uncaring clot.
Matthew says: Stop relying on the government to take care of your sniffles. Pussies.
I’m not relying on the government to take care of my sniffles, asshole. All I am asking for is two or three fucking days a year where I can get paid minimum fucking wage if I am too fucking sick to cart around trays of Ranch dressing and fajitas. I don’t think that is asking too much.
Shadrach says: Go pound sand. Tough crap you go to work sick or your rent fails gimme a break sounds like you need a crash course in budgeting maybe you spend too much maybe you should save in case of those sick days ever thought of that? Nope we are all supposed to read your stupid post feel sorry for you get the government to force restaurants to pay you more and give you sick days all so we can pay 40 bucks a steak to make your ass happy ? Get a clue. Socialist.
Hey Shadrach, why don’t you go pound Meshach and Abednego, okay? Some states, like New York, have just implemented mandatory sick leave and I don’t think we are living in a socialist society. I don’t know how this new law affects restaurant workers yet, but it’s only fair that if someone who works in an office gets paid sick leave, then someone who works in a restaurant should too. No one is asking you to pay $40 for a steak to make my ass happy. If you are looking for a way to make my ass happy, it does not involve a steak, thank you.
Thank you for all the comments and I hope that some day restaurant workers will have the same rights given to those who work in other environments. Until then, take some Nyquil, pop a Ricola in your mouth and keep taking those orders.