25 January 2010 at 4:56 pm
Whenever I get angry, I have a few steps I take before I confront whatever is pissing me off: I sleep on it, I work out, I write about it, and if I still don't feel better after two or three days, I take the necessary actions.
This is a text I got from my boss:
"Thanks very much for helping out last night. I had a tough day and a rough start to the evening. And that really hurt my feelings at the meeting. So I was not in great shape- and wasn't faking it very well. But it looked like a great party today."
She sent it on a Sunday. Last Friday, I worked a 7 hour shift at the bar. It was a HUGE night, really busy, and I had already worked 40 hours that week and 8 hours that day. My day started at 8am and I didn't leave the bar until 3:30am. It happens all the time, and it's totally my choice to have this schedule, but there's some context.
Saturday, we had a meeting. Meetings are required, but we are not compensated in any way. Usually, we go out to brunch or go wine tasting, which is fair compensation in my mind. If we don't attend, we lose a shift. The last few meetings have been at the bar, with, like, a beer or a glass of wine or something. They last anywhere from one hour to three hours, and a $9 glass of wine is not decent compensation for three hours of my time.
After the hour-long meeting, which was a cut-and-dry "here's everything that's pissing me off" meeting, I came back that night to party with the bands that were playing, and it was so busy I ended up having to work. I got paid for the night and tipped out and was feeling pretty good about the whole thing until I got that text because I feel like she's asking me for an apology, because Kristie and I were goofing off during the meeting, and I am fucking sick of it.
I am sick of busting my ass and being criticized for something like GIGGLING. Or FORGETTING TO TAKE THE PLANTS OUTSIDE. Or NOT FACING THE MONEY. Seriously. So I wrote her an email and am posting it here hoping it will be enough to assuage the frustration:
I am so furious right now, I'm forcing myself to wait two days before I send this.
Though I refer to "we" and "us," I speak only for myself and have not discussed this with anyone else.
When you require your employees to attend meetings without compensating us for our time, when you penalize your employees for refusing to work for free, you are fundamentally telling your employees that you do not value our time. You are also breaking the law; you cannot force us to work for free, you cannot penalize us for refusing to work for free, and meetings are work. Obviously, I knew when I accepted this job over three years ago that you do not run your business by the letter of the law, and all of us make compromises for that.
After a night like Saturday, when not only do I volunteer my time to attend a meeting but then end up working in five inch heels on one of my nights off from my four jobs and the next thing I hear is how I hurt your feelings (and the impression I got from your text is that you wanted an apology for that), I get so frustrated that it cuts into how effective I can be at my three other jobs.
I can't bring myself to apologize for giggling too much at a meeting. I can't justify sacrificing this much time and angry energy for your business.
Obviously, there are a few different layers to this: you were having a hard day having just lost your aunt, on top of the pain in the ass that comes with hosting three bands. I'm sorry for that, but I've been around for your difficult times in the past, and you have definitely taking out your bad days on me, undeservedly and often without apology, and I refuse to accept that behavior anymore.
I'm not sure how to end this. I don't want an apology. I just don't want to feel like you're taking advantage of my time.
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