How To Make Sure Your Employees Hate You

Very often, I receive a message from someone who is seeking advice on how to deal with a work issue. Sometimes the problem is about a co-worker or a certain customer or a bit of side work, but most often it’s about management. Restaurant managers don’t have the best reputation. Granted, it is a thankless job; the hours are long, the pay isn’t great and they are the ones who have to deal with the worst customers in the restaurant because for many severs, the mantra is “let my manager deal with that asshole.” This week, a photo showed up in my inbox from someone who wishes to remain anonymous. It’s a photo of a note that was posted by the manger after firing someone because of their availability after the server requested a different night off from the regular schedule she had been working “forever.” The note is rather surprising and I am not referring to the bad grammar and lack of punctuation. (Seriously, my kingdom for a fucking comma or a period.) The note shows an utter lack of respect for the people who work in the restaurant, The Crew in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Attention:

It is spring cleaning time at The Crew, the first cleaning job we are going to start is going to be the schedules. Anyone that cannot work as a team member, or deliver hospitality and take care of our guests will be wiped off the schedule. I would rather work short than be your babysitter also if you think your job is to cause drama and cause me stress, here’s a hint you wont be here long. Also, you work for me, I don’t work for you. You will be scheduled what the restaurant needs, not what fits into your life or plans any problems with that put your two week notice on the corkboard.

We all know that it’s important for a restaurant to be fully staffed in order to run smoothly. We get that. What managers don’t seem to get is that the restaurant is not the number one priority in our worlds. Most of us are going to put our families ahead of our jobs. It’s not like we are saving lives by running trays of wings and pitchers of beer to customers. There is this thing called a “work/life balance.” What that means is that every employee deserves to have a decent balance between their jobs and their personal lives. Some companies understand that and they are rewarded with faithful employees who are happy to work for such an understanding employer. For the the places that don’t understand that concept, like The Crew, they end up having employees who resent their managers and work in constant fear that they will lose their job if they so much as ask for an extra day off to be with their family. That’s why so many of us work this job. We like the ability to trade a shift away or ask for an extra day off.

If this employee was fired for not dropping everything in her personal life and strapping on apron to be at the beck and call of The Crew, that’s pretty low. However, it may have been the last straw for this particular employee who had other issues and management finally decided to cut their losses. We don’t know for sure. What we do know is that if you’re a manager and you leave a note like this on your door threatening people’s jobs and reminding them that they work for you, you probably don’t have a staff that respects you very much.

To that manager I present a challenge:

Try to treat your staff with the respect that you want to receive from them and see if things get better for you. Condescending, poorly written notes are not going to boost moral. If you expect them to be available to work at any time, maybe you should try to return the favor and be available to adjust the schedule when the situation arises. To complain that it’s causing you stress doesn’t make anyone care more about you. It makes them care less. Be nicer to your employees and I guarantee you will soon see employees who want to work harder for you.

By the way, before I shared this photo, I got permission from the person who sent it to me. This person also told me they did not mind if I mentioned the name of the restaurant. Sorry, restaurant…

19 thoughts on “How To Make Sure Your Employees Hate You

  1. Truston

    General Managers everywhere need to be provided with “Note Training.” It’s the simplest training program ever. I’ll sum it up for you: “Writing Notes to your employees: Don’t.” As a general manager there’s nothing less professional. Your job is to manage your business and employees. Don’t expect a piece of paper to do it for you. It NEVER works. From one general manager to all the other general managers: Get that coaching document and make use of it. It will save you time and stress. Set the expectation for your employee and follow through.

    I’m so disappointed this note was hung at The Crew. Been there a few times. Won’t be back.

    Reply
    1. Dani Banani

      Uh wrong. Leaving notes on a communication board is one of the BEST ways to consistently communicate with your employees. What I’m supposed to pull each individual employee into my office one by one and tell them that we have a new provider for beef so customers may notice a difference? No. I’m going g to post a note so everyone in the store can see it when they look at the schedule. For 90% of issues notes work perfectly well in the average restaurant situation. Trusting obviously has zero experience in actual management and a chip on their shoulder.

      Reply
      1. Cindy pacheco

        People need to stop being on a power trip!!! After all, you are ONLY a resteraunt manager. Lol, its not like u own the joint. Please tell me that’s some 20 yr oldbkid n not a 40;yr old , lol. People r human, karma baby!!!!

        Reply
  2. Alex S.

    Just tried to post this note and my opinion on how the ethics of this manager should be questioned. Of course the FB page requires posts to be approved, so FYI to everyone.

    Reply
  3. Madeleine

    As someone who does the schedule for a restaurant – I would LOVE to write this note and post it, if my owner would let me. I feel the utter pain and aggravation of the person who wrote it.

    I work with some of the most awesome people, and also with some of the most drama-ridden, laziest, whiniest, most selfish people on the planet in our small restaurant. Some of my employees have “family emergencies” regularly. It’s ridiculous, and frankly most of them are BS and over-exaggerated. I’m a single mom working two full time jobs (literally, 80+ hours a week) so I know a little something about work-life balance and how to make time for my daughter, and how to juggle emergencies. I also know how to get a shift covered without expecting everyone else to do it for me.

    We cater to our employees in the hope that they will then be there for us… but it doesn’t always work that way – it just creates spoiled employees who need to be hand-held in so many cases. I am happy to create a schedule that makes my employees happy – happy employees are good. But I’m sick to death of some of the entitled, spoiled brats that we’ve created by this process, at the same time. The level of entitlement and expectation and laziness and drama that’s created is entirely too much at times. Not from all employees, but from many.

    Just know that when you’re on the other side – the scheduling side – it can get to the point of ridiculousness. And then you hit the wall and write a note like this. So don’t be so quick to throw this business or manager under the bus. I fully sympathize with them and am sending them good thoughts. It’s a tough balance.

    Reply
    1. Midnight

      From an Owner/GM/Manager for many, many years let me ask you a couple of questions and give you just a little advice.
      Do you schedule your staff pretty regularly or is it willie nillie week to week? How far in advance do they know their schedule?

      When I do schedule it’s up 2 weeks in advance and pretty much a carbon copy week to week. I keep an eye on what is going on in the area and staff up as needed. So, my staff can actually make plans, and have a reasonable expectation of the days they can do so, without wondering if they will be scheduled or not. When a restaurant feel they own their employee’s time 24/7 and keep them in the dark about when they work week to week it’s no wonder they have an unhappy staff.

      A for the drama and your rant about entitled spoiled brats? Well, as a manager much of that lies right at your feet. I know that many times a manager title is an empty thing, but if you truly have management responsibilities then the brunt of the problem staff is of your own creation and your responsibility to rectify.

      I learned these lessons years ago from one of the best managers I ever worked for:
      1) YOU made the decision to interview this person for the job from the pile of applicants.
      2) YOU made the decision to hire this person from all those you interviewed.
      3) YOU were responsible for their training.
      4) YOU were responsible for re-directing when the employee made a mistake.
      5) YOU are responsible if that employee fails. Somewhere along the line you failed that employee. You hired someone who couldn’t do the job, or you didn’t provide excellent training or you failed for follow up on that training with re-direction as needed.

      Yea, you’ll probably rant back at me about how that so doesn’t work that way… but I have a highly successful business and very happy staff.

      Reply
    2. Vivian

      You said it. I own a small restaurant and at any given time ” I need to be off tomorrow ” and you already have 2 others off. You say no and they call in sick. Drama, calling out 30 mins before you are to be there., then I see them at the movie with friends. I’m sorry but like you stated walk in the manager’s shoes for just one week and you will not throw him under the bus.

      Reply
  4. Tracy Fields

    Leaving notes like this is unprofessional. The members of the crew who aren’t “drama ridden” and show up for their scheduled shifts take this personally. As a manager I take problem children in the office and they are allowed to explain their side of the problem and then I explain the consequences of their actions should they continue. After that its termination. I also am not friends with my employees — I treat them with respect and expect them to treat each other and me with the same respect. I don’t have much of a turn over in our place which I am so grateful for. Condemn in private, praise in public is something this manager should adhere to.

    Reply
  5. Squishy Pants

    I’m not in management, but I have seen first hand that if you have to write an note like this then two things have happened. 1. It’s because the employees are getting lazy, calling off, not finding coverage, showing up late, one or two might even be showing up drunk(we’ve all worked with someone like that), and this can reek havoc on a schedule….especially if you’re a smaller establishment. And 2. If you post this, you’ve already lost the battle because those people that give the staff as a whole a bad name will brush it off as not their problem or they don’t care. I’ve seen a version of this posted in one of my former jobs before…… But it wasn’t posted once. During my time there it was at least 3-4 times. And yes we had those list above all working there. I was a server and a bartender but I still sympathized. Sad thing, is that the threat of losing the job is just that….. A corporate place on the other hand…….. Very different than this. You don’t get warning notes on how to adult at your job.

    Reply
  6. Michelle Gothard

    I am a Server who eats at The Crew all the time. I also rrequest A. to be my Server every time. Someone posted on my page today that she’d been let go. I was shocked! She’s been my Server forever there! BW you should check out their page on how this closed down Perkins became The Crew- that makes this note even worse…

    Reply
  7. kc becker

    All this depends on who was there first. If a new mgr tried this crap with older employees he would not last the week. If the mgr was there first then why take the job much less stay there. Never in my 45 years of restaurant experience have I seen a Hitleresque mgr last more than 2 weeks b4 being let go. If by chance the mgr is also the owner why would you even apply.

    Reply
  8. Darlene G

    I am doing this! I want this! You did this!

    This is a memo for a preschool class, not adults. Get this person a coloring book, some crayons and sit them in the corner.

    Reply
  9. Jennie M.

    This server that was terminated has been there for years she was on staff when it was still Perkins. Was was chosen by management/owners, to work with them when they reopened, because A. Is a good employee. Doesn’t call in a lot always on times works longer shifts if needed. This server even loaned the restaurant 2500.00 bucks a year or so ago when construction on the highway crippled their business. The only thing server A. Required was every Friday off as this had been A.s regular scheduled Day off since 2014. The reason being the servers daughter passed away leaving 3 young children with 2 different fathers behind. So server A. gets all 3 grandkids on this day and keeps them overnight so they get to grow up knowing each other and maintaining a sibling bond. The owners/ managentf are aware of why Friday’s are the only days of unavailability as server A.s daughter used to work for them also prior to her passing and yet we’re demanding sever A. start working Friday’s if the server wanted to keep the job. And all because they terminated a shitty lazy server who used to work Friday’s. I May be a little biased as I’m server A.s sister, but I think we can all agree this is not how strong, loyal, valuable employees should be treated. Shame on The Crew I nor anyone I know will ever be eating there again. The Crew Is Boo!!!!

    Reply
    1. Nobody special

      Management always thinks servers are replaceable cogs. Well, so are managers and if the restaurant’s shitty, so’s the restaurant! I think they like to spout the word ‘team’ because it tends to really mean “what can YOU do for ME.” There’s famously no I in Team but there sure as hell is a me.

      Reply

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