Waiter upset by co-workers' lack of customer service

Waiter upset by co-workers' lack of customer service

Waiter upset by co-workers' lack of customer service

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by Rozanne "Roze" Worrell

WVEC.com

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Dear Roze:

 
It’s one of those weeks where I’m having a more difficult time than usual with a work situation.  I work twice a week as a waiter at an adorable café.  It’s quite obvious many of our repeat customers love it when I not only remember their names but what they like to drink and eat.  And if I ask a question or say something based on what they told me during their previous visit, they light up like Christmas trees and are obviously flattered.  The others, who work full-time, could care less about the customers and have a real uppity attitude.  Our spectacular specialty dishes keep bringing in new customers even though we may lose some because of poor service.  We often get bad reviews about our service from sites like the urbanspoon.com.  My attitude and efforts can’t negate all the poor behavior of my co-workers.  Regardless, none of this seems to bother the café’s owners.  I think part of the reason they don’t do anything about the other waiters’ poor attitudes is because two of the three are the owners’ relatives.  When we have staff meetings, the owners just go over new dishes and discuss admin stuff.  They have never talked about the bad service issue.  Although I don’t agree with the owners’ lack of action, I see why it’s hard for them to reprimand or get rid of their relatives.  But for me, the customers are supreme.
 
Customers reign
 
Dear Customers reign:
 
You obviously enjoy your job despite your co-workers’ behavior and the owner’s lack of addressing it.  I agree that the café’s customers should be of paramount concern to the owners and the other waiters.  Unfortunately, oftentimes, personnel matters are ignored as long as the business is not losing money.  Thankfully, it sounds like the café’s food is exceptional.  That being said, I see no harm with you respectfully bringing up your concerns at the next staff meeting.  And, for sure, do not change a single thing you are doing! 
 
Dear Roze:
 
I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I’ve been the head of my department for almost eight months.  I have four people under me.  Two of them just put in their two-week notices and the two that are staying are incredibly disrespectful and undermine me on a regular basis.  Everything would be fine if the two that are leaving would switch places with the ones staying.  I’ve written up one of the remaining two a dozen times for disciplinary problems.  With his last disciplinary problem, I wanted to suspend him pending termination, but this requires my boss’s approval.  My boss said he would get back to me after he conducted his own investigation into the matter.  When a month had passed and I hadn’t heard anything from my boss, I followed-up with him and he said he hasn’t had the time to get to it.  Now it’s been over six weeks, and I still haven’t heard anything, so I have to assume he still hasn’t done anything and probably won’t.  It’s obvious he doesn’t want to address this.  I think he’s hoping I’ll just drop it.  Sadly, this is just one of many problems I have with my boss.  I can’t work for someone who won’t support me.  I’ve written my resignation letter and I’m about to submit it.  Do you think I’m doing the right thing?
 
Wanted and needed support
 
Dear Wanted and needed support:
 
Only you can make that decision.  I cannot tell you what is or is not the right thing for you to do.  I must recommend, however, that you have a more pointed, but respectful, discussion with your boss.  Not only ask him why he has not looked into the matter, but let him know how disappointed you have been by his lack of support.  There is no telling how he will respond, but if you remain steadfast in your decision to resign after this discussion, be sure you have secured another job before you submit your letter.  Best of luck!
 
© 2012 Rozanne R. Worrell

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