In this week’s edition of “Some Restaurant Managers are Complete and Total Assholes,” we have a story from a restaurant called Cafe 72 in Ewing, NJ. Here’s the rundown:
An employee at the restaurant was looking to get her shift covered in order to attend the funeral of a friend. (Michael Sot, a 20-year old student at The College of New Jersey was acting as a designated driver and his car was hit by an allegedly drunk driver.) The employee texted “katie cafe 72”, the owner of the restaurant, to see if a recently hired hostess was able to go it alone.
Basically, Katie said no and when the employee explained why she wanted the shift covered, Katie was less than sympathetic:
Just don’t come back to work. I like you but I’m sick of all staff not taking their job seriously and just fucking expect me to cover all of your shifts. I have a business to run at the end of the day. And a family.
The employee replied:
I’m not expecting you to cover my shift, I simply asked if someone was allowed to host. I am a college student that shows up on time for my shifts, so taking this job seriously isn’t questionable. I’m looking for a cover before calling out. It doesn’t get more responsible than that. Letting someone go because of a death is unethical.
Now, this would be a good moment for the Katie to acknowledge that the employee is in fact being very responsible instead of just calling out and leaving the restaurant in a pinch, but Katie doubles down on the bitchiness:
I’m not playing this game. If you can’t work and there is no one to cover the shift in order for the restaurant to operate I have to let you go. Sorry. I don’t feel bad for you so don’t pull the college student unethical card. It’s not the first time. Go to the viewing. Let me know your decision so I know what my plans are for this weekend.
And just like that, Katie went down in history as one of the most unfeeling and unsympathetic restaurant owners in the whole entire world. Of course once the screenshots of the conversation started to make the rounds on the Internet, Cafe 72 got trashed on their Facebook page so they deleted it. Their reviews on Yelp are also in a free fall not unlike me after three too many margaritas. The restaurant did try to do some damage control by posting an apology on their website and donating $1000 to the GoFundMe account for Michael Sot.
In their statement, they say the employee was not fired and that her last shifts happened to be this weekend before leaving for a holiday break. That also say that the texts were taken out of context, but c’mon. The context doesn’t matter when you’re a straight up cold-hearted bitch with no emotion. “I don’t feel bad for you” sounds pretty bitchy no matter what the context is, and I know a thing or two about being bitchy. They also have asked that people STOP with the hate emails, bad reviews and annoying phone calls. Sorry, Katie, you made your bed, now lie in it.
Here’s the bottom line: if you’re a restaurant owner or manager and you expect your employees to give a shit about their job, then you need to give a shit about your employees. Try being human and treating your staff with respect. When you give respect, you get respect. This employee was being as respectful as possible by trying to work with the owner to solve an issue. Rather than cooperating with the employee all that happened was a “my way or the highway” attitude that created this social media shit storm. In your own words, Katie: I don’t feel bad for you.