Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Long story short...(Hahahahaha! Yeah, RIGHT!)

So Leo left his job on Sunday. It was weird that he was scheduled to work that day, because technically, he was already at 5 days/40 hours for the week due to the bereavement days he took on Tuesday and Wednesday. So he asked his boss when he saw him on Sunday, "Am I receiving OT for today? Or am I getting paid for 48 hours this week?" Unsurprisingly, his boss said no. He was only being paid for Tuesday as a bereavement day, and Wednesday was just an unpaid day off.

Which was totally what I suspected was going to happen. So I freaked out a little on Saturday night, and told/asked Leo to make sure to confirm what kind of pay he could expect for the week. So he did. And felt that the answer was total bullshit. And so he quit on the spot.

He's never done anything like that before in all his years in the kitchen. And he feels awful about it. It has been like pulling teeth to try to convince him that he didn't do anything wrong. I blame his traumatic upbringing for his 2 years of devotion to that kitchen. He was willingly being abused on a daily basis. Because he thinks that kind of treatment is normal, or some shit.

Nuh-uh. Not in the least.

Acting as an advocate for the employees there, and also fairly pissed off myself about how my family was being treated by his employer, I wrote them a long letter (no joke...sucker was 5 pages long!) telling them how fucked up I felt the entire situation was when it came to Leo asking for and receiving bereavement time to be by my side for my dad's funeral. And then I shared a little bit more info about what I felt was wrong with the management style his boss employed in that kitchen. I sent it to the President of their Board. And the GM of the place he worked. The GM wrote me back to acknowledge his receipt of the letter, and his intention to look into the situation.

Today, Leo was asked to give back a key he had to a lock in the kitchen, and they would give him his final paycheck in return.

He checked, and sure enough, they paid him for 24 hours of bereavement, and not just 16. Which means he was paid what he was told he would receive before we left for our trip. So the letter must've had some impact.

::sigh:: I hope it has more than just that small impact, though. For the sake of the people who still work for that tyrant they call a chef...I hope they do more.

One of my friends whom I asked for advice from on the letter told me she saw it as being a bit meddlesome. And I get that. I totally do. (Plus, I like her, and I respect her opinion, so I took it to heart.) But the problem is that Leo wasn't the first cook to walk out of that kitchen with little-to-no notice. Throughout his 2 years there, I remember there being at least 4 others that couldn't stand the way they were treated. Maybe 5. And that is a lot, even by kitchen standards! (Particularly by country club kitchen standards, which is where he was working.)

I suggested that keeping quiet might not be the best idea. Everyone else had kept quiet, and that man (i.e. his boss) was just allowed to keep on keeping on...managing everyone through fear and intimidation, yelling and screaming and being mad at them all the time. Threatening them, berating them, mocking them. It's not right. People shouldn't have to work for people like that! I left it up to Leo, though. I've been writing letters as a cathartic outlet for a loooong time, and if he wanted me to fold this one up and put it away, I certainly would respect that decision. But he chose to send it. And while it was from my point of view on the situation that took place, and included hearsay about how his boss manages his kitchen, we also got permission from a couple of those other coworkers who had quit to include them in the list of people that could be contacted to verify what had been said in the letter. That helped a lot. Because that made it so it wasn't just me acting like a crazy-ass, meddling wife, going off on a situation because she didn't want her husband to be bullied anymore.

Anyone out there that has to deal with abuse on a daily/weekly/monthly basis...speak up. Say something. You do not deserve to be treated like that in return for your hard work and dedication to your employer. You don't deserve to be treated like that in your home, either, by someone who is supposed to love you and take care of you the same way that you take care of them. You deserve to be healthy, happy, and productive because you care about your job (or your home/spouse/whatever the case may be)...not because you're being intimidated into doing something you're talented at for money. Or because you're being intimidated into sticking by those "till death do us part" vows. You deserve MORE. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

1 comment:

clw said...

I'm glad Leo decided to quit and go have you mail that letter. Hopefully that boss idiot will get fired and Leo can go back to work there and have a better boss!