To The Bosses Who Expect Us To Work During a Hurricane

As Hurricane Florence makes a beeline for the coast of the Carolinas and Virginia, millions of people are being advised to evacuate the area immediately and take shelter from the massive Category 4 storm. Most people will heed that advice, but plenty of others will be forced to stay and weather the storm because they have no place to go or simply cannot afford to leave. Others will make the possibly unwise decision to stay in place because of a reason that is completely out of their control: stupid ass restaurant owners and managers requiring them to come to work.

Every time there is a natural disaster of some sort, I’m bombarded with stories from servers and restaurant employees who tell me that their boss made them go to work. Such is the case with Beth who, despite living in a mandatory evacuation zone, will get written up as a “no-show” if she chooses to focus on the safety and welfare of herself and her family rather than the livelihood of her restaurant. “Even Wal-Mart is closed,” she says. And we all know that when the fucking Wal-Mart closes, that shit is serious.

I want to take a minute to speak directly to the restaurant managers and owners who are expecting their servers to drive through 125 mile per hour wind and sheets of rain just so they can sit in an empty restaurant making $2.13 an hour: 

Fuck that. If you want to keep your restaurant open during a Category 4 hurricane, fine, but you better find yourself an apron, a chef’s hat and a clipboard because you should be the one who waits tables, cooks the food and seats the customers. Let your servers, cooks and hosts take care of their own property while you take care of yours. You can argue that you want to remain open to help serve the community in this time of need, but you shouldn’t expect your staff to do it. Why would you think they’d want to put your needs ahead of their own? So, what, they work their seven hour shift and then they can’t get home because the road have been washed out and there’s a fucking tree laying on their car? No. Just, no. For the sake of everyone’s safety, including your own, accept that a Category 4 is a major problem and it’s alright to let the restaurant be closed for a few days while you focus on more important things like sandbagging your home, securing outdoor furniture and staying fucking alive.

To all of you who are in the path of this hurricane, I wish you well. I hope it’s not as bad as they say it is and I hope the recovery is swift. Most of all, I hope that if you work for a boss who expects you to ignore this storm and come to work that your boss gets hit in the head by a tree limb just hard enough to know some fucking sense into them.


I wait tables and bitch about it on my blog, The Bitchy Waiter.

8 thoughts on “To The Bosses Who Expect Us To Work During a Hurricane

  1. I’ve always felt there should be a federal law requiring hazard pay for forcing people to work in life-threatening weather.

  2. From someone who has lived in central Florida for most of her life, do not stay open for a 4. We BBQ in 2’s and have houseparties in 3’s, but a 4 is serious and they should be getting out of dodge.

  3. I have been saying for years, I am more than willing to work all holidays all year round. However, seeing as I live up north and horrible snow and ice covered roads are often an issue, restaurants and bars should close when it is too dangerous to drive on the roads. I do not mind spending time away from my family to make money and serve those that prefer to eat out on holidays. I should not have to risk my life to get to work. Also in the event of emergency weather please please please do not go to a restaurant or bar and drink and then drive. Duh.

    1. No fuck that. If you go to restraunts in dangerous conditions please DO drink and drive and kill yourself. Makes easier for rest of us

  4. I worked at a hotel about 7 years ago. I had to be at work at 5:30am to set up for breakfast and we had a blizzard the night before. The roads were covered with sheets of snow and ice. I live in the south so there wasn’t any kind of snow removal or trucks to plow the snow. Of course I was expected to be to work the next day. It took me over a half an hour to get to work and I only lived a couple miles away. I understand a hotel is supposed to be open 24/7, 365 days a year, but it was too dangerous for anyone to be driving on those roads. It was the same as the comment above, even Walmart was closed! Management didn’t care about the safety of their staff, they still expected everyone to show up for work. I’ve also encountered more situations like this over the years. I’ve never worked in a place where the owners/management cared about the employees safety over making money. So many people risk their safety all because they work for greedy people and they can’t afford to lose their jobs. It’s ridiculous.

  5. During Hurricane Irene I worked as a server at an Irish bar in Midtown. The subways shut down at noon but we were all told of we did not show up for our night shifts we wouldn’t have jobs. We all went into the city from each of our boroughs before noon and hung around til it was time for work. Even Bloomingdale’s was boarded up. The police ended up shutting us down around 11pm because it was too dangerous for people to be out. They did put us up in a room at a budget hotel down the street but we were expected to work the following morning even though most were not scheduled.

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