Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Donut House

Yes, this is me, my first day of work.  It was fun and I was good at it.  But for some reason, the euphoria didn't last.  Did I lose money from the register?  Maybe I wrung up every single donut for the wrong price.  A customer complaint?  I bet it was the customer that left me a $5 tip that complained about my poor customer service because I smiled too much.  Let's see, what else could have gone wrong?  I may have not used enough soap in the dishwater or I may have stocked the refrigerator to full with milk.  Sweeping under tables and under the fryer was definitely over board.  Does any of this sound incredibly silly to you?  Well apparently the owner/manager of the Hayden Donut House feels these are all very serious offenses.

Saturday morning was cold and sunny.  I was going to get up at a decent time and get the kids a decent breakfast so we could then run some errands.  But my bed was so warm and my body was too heavy to lift itself out of my cushy Heaven.  I finally did, around 10 AM.  I kind of thought about getting donuts but quickly rejected the thought because we don't need to spend money on something silly like that.  Oh, donuts sounded good though.  And fun!  So, of course, I grabbed our change jar and marched us out to the car.

It was really fun and I'm glad we went.  It was cheap and didn't take anything but our leftover pocket change.  PLUS they had a "Help Wanted" sign.  The hours were Tuesday through Friday, sometimes Saturday, 5 AM to 12 PM.  Wow, that couldn't be any more perfect!  I brought my resume into Matt (owner/manager) that evening.  I recognized him from my high school days of hanging out there late at night doing "homework."  He gave me an on the spot 3 minute interview asking me the basic questions like, "Why this job and not one in your field?"  I explained I'm a stay at home mom and not career driven.  I want this job because donuts are "awesome" and getting a second paycheck would help my family tremendously.  I explained we are newly weds with two kids yadda-yadday-yadda.

Matt told me he'd call early in the upcoming week about the job, probably Monday.  He called Sunday night, offered me the position, which I accepted and then asked if I could start the following morning at 5.  He said the girl who works on Mondays is one of his best girls and he wanted me to learn from her. He explained the job is pretty basic: hand out donuts, smile and make some decent tips.  He said the girl who's place I am taking didn't seem to understand the concepts of customer service and her tips showed the fruits of that.

I was really excited.  I scored big!  Everyone told me he's a great guy and he and his wife are Christians.

 I didn't sleep at all that night.  Nerves, excitement, who knows.  I hadn't had a real job like this in a long time.

My first day was great.  Emily, the "best girl" was nice and walked me through everything.  I told her my goal was to learn everything on the first day - which we did.  I asked a little about what Matt is like as a boss.  Emily said Matt doesn't say much, you don't know something is wrong until he either yells at you about it or fires you.  Essentially, this is what happened to the girl I was replacing.  I thought it was great she was getting fired.  "I hate it when the boss doesn't have the cajones to fire employees who obviously are not up to par," were my exact words.

My first day came and went.  I didn't hear from Matt again until Wednesday afternoon.  He left me a voicemail asking if I could work Thursday morning for a 3 hour shift getting better acquainted with the antique register system.  I wished he could have called me about any day but Thursday - I had appointments all morning.  I didn't hear from him again until the following Saturday night.  He wanted me to come in on Monday to work with Emily again and then start my regular shifts on Tuesday by myself.

Monday came and went.  Emily was allowed to leave around 10 because I had a handle on things.  The place was sparkling clean when Matt came in.  He told me good luck tomorrow, just take my time and double check everything.

Usually Matt calls at least a couple of times during the morning shifts to see how things are going.  He did not call once on Tuesday.

I arrived at 5 AM sharp and immediately got busy.  Tuesday turned out to be a lot busier than Monday.  Because Emily told me Matt really likes things to be clean, I was very thorough with my tasks.  My goal - as it is with every job I have had - was to be the best donut girl there.

The sun rose steadily all morning and I could feel that I was getting pretty behind with the cleaning duties in the kitchen.  I simply wasn't good enough yet at juggling all the duties while having a line at the register and a car at the drive through.  I know I did a good job because customers told me that and one guy even left me a $5 bill in the tip bucket.  I was so busy that day I didn't even have time to grab a few bites of my PB&J sandwich.

I am in charge of making the different glazes when they get low.  First was the regular glaze then I needed to make the chocolate.  The white glaze took all morning to make because there were either more customers coming in or a growing pile of dishes.  I wasn't sure which was more important so I did a lot of multi-tasking.  After making the glaze, I really wasn't sure if it was right.  Matt's wife stopped by to drop some stuff off.  I told her a little about the day, how busy it had been and that I know I'm behind on what normally is done by 11:00 AM.  She checked the glaze, told me to add some water, which I did.  I didn't think that is what I should have done but I finished up anyways since it was the owner/manager's wife who told me to do this.

I got the kitchen organized, though not swept, or mopped, or thoroughly cleaned by the time Matt showed up at 12 PM on the dot.  I had just finished making the chocolate glaze.  He looked first at the donuts and said, "Yeah, a pretty decent day."  He went straight into the locked office and was in there for a few minutes.  I wasn't sure if I should leave or talk to him.  When he came back out I just started talking.  Isn't that what you are supposed to do when handing a shift off?  I told him there might be a mixup with money in the first register although it is all there.  I told him how I thought an old man stole a piece of bread in the morning.  I explained my confusion about the glaze and apparently I made the chocolate wrong as well.  His response to all of this was, "You'll get the hang of it."

I left the Donut House feeling like I had failed although I truly had done my best.  I made myself feel better because I knew this was only my first day and my worst day.  Tomorrow would be so much better.

Later that night I got another voicemail.  Why I kept missing his calls, I do not know.  He told me I need more training, to take the next day off, he would call me tomorrow about working Thursday or Friday.

I called him Wed afternoon because I hadn't heard from him.

I called him Thursday afternoon and left a message because I hadn't heard from him.

I called him Friday afternoon because I hand't heard from him.

I was thoroughly confused.  I was elated to have a job and it was fun.   I was looking forward to a paycheck dedicated specifically to groceries and miscellaneous things that arose such as much needed doctor appointments.  But no phone call.  Not one retured phone call.  By Friday Jon and I were discussing the possibility that I had been fired.  He wasn't so sure but I felt confident that for some reason I wasn't wanted there.

  I couldn't stop thinking about the Donut House.   What had I done wrong?  Had I really screwed up that bad?  Am I not a very good employee now that I am a full-time mom and college graduate?  Did I seem too flustered and unable to handle my duties?  What the heck is going on??!!   

Saturday morning Jon and Ciena took me to get my paycheck.  I walked in the same time as a mob of soccer players and their families came in.  I sat in the back and waited.  Matt was there with one other girl.  I was nervous.  I hadn't expected Matt to be there.  I was embarrassed about whatever had happened but I didn't even know what to be embarrassed of.  I had already decided that this job was done.  A very small part of me thought Matt might tell me to come in for more training on Monday.  With knots in my stomach, I would have to tell him I got another job because I didn't expect to still work there after not hearing from him for a week.

The mob died down and I stood by the register.  I was really nervous now.  My heart was pounding and I was also getting more pissed at the fact he had not called to tell me whethere I was fired or not.  He walked up with a big smile and said, "Hi!"  Without returning the smile I told him I was here for my paycheck.  He laughed as he walked away and I realized he hadn't even recognized me.  I could feel me cheeks get hot with embarrassment as I waited for him to get back.  He laughed the whole to the locked little room where he kept the money.  I was mortified and felt very small.

He came back, held the paycheck up, and asked for my key.

"W-what?"  I could hardly believe my ears.  The flush on my cheeks felt hotter.  The knots in my gut twisted a little bit more.  I couldn't believe Matt was asking me for my key as if we had had a conversation about me not working there anymore.

"You're K-E-Y," he pronounced with great exaggeration while holding his free hand up and doing a key lock-unlocking motion.  Did he think I was deaf? Dumb?

"Oh ok."  Again, I was too stunned to completely comprehend what was happening.  My body was shaking and I was getting increasingly nervous.  I absentmindedly reached up my hand to take the check and said, "I'll go get it."  It felt more like a low mumble but whether or not he heard me was irrelevant to him.

"No, no,no," Matt said, stepping back with my paycheck.  I then realized how foolish I looked reaching up to take my paycheck without giving him my key.  This is standard for any job.  I knew this.  But did he really have to taunt me about it?

I turned around to go back out and get the key.  I was pissed that I hadn't thought to bring the key in the first place.  I hadn't even though about the key since I used it Tuesday morning.  By the time I got to the car I was beyond mad about the way I was being treated.  "Bastard. Bastard, bastard, bastard," I chanted the whole to my car.  I furiously opened the car door and found my purse and wallet.

"What happened babe?"  Jon was worried because he could see how upset I was.

"He's a bastard Jon.  He's actually doing this.  I can't believe he's doing this."  I felt tears come to my eyes but I pushed them down.  I was mortified for reasons I did not even know.  Did Matt even know? His wife?  What about the other donut girls?  Did they know?

I marched back inside and when Matt saw me enter with his precious key he put my check on the counter and stepped away.  Without looking up I dropped the key on the counter, grabbed my check and marched my butt out of there.

I opened the check in the car.  It was for all three days of work.  I wouldn't have to go in again next week for another paycheck.  This meant he planned for this.  He knew he would fire me days ago he just didn't have the decency to let me know.

It took me a few days to feel okay about what happened.  My pride took a sever beating that week and telling friends this story helped me let go of the tensions I felt about it.  God makes everything happen on purpose.  It's fine that I'm not working there anymore.  It gave me a taste of getting a paycheck and it left me wanting more.  This has caused me to continue to look for work and I am now working with a local author doing video work.  I won't get paid but I hope this will lead to other paid opportunities.

It still sometimes bugs me that I don't know what I did wrong.  I won't ever know and I have to be okay with that.  I just really wish the whole thing could have been handled better.