Thanksgiving was wonderful. Very low-key, exactly like I like it. Cassie & Toby are here for the weekend. Well, Toby is here half the time and at his parents' house half the time. I don't mind because the more he's here, the more Cassie is here, as well :) It's been a really nice weekend with them. I didn't realize how much I've really missed just hanging out with Cassie. For those wondering, she is doing well. Happy. She could be working more, but eh, not my business, right? She's talking about going to college next fall, so we'll see if that pans out.
Work is good. I'm having a hard time balancing how friendly to be with people because I end up getting shit on. Well, not shit on, really, but, well, let me give an example. One of my kitchen guys, Enrique, is a good guy. He's a REALLY hard worker and he's very reliable. He helps me out to a tremendous degree, being that he's pretty much bi-lingual. His English needs some help, but it's good enough. If a kitchen worker can't come in, they will call Enrique and, 99% of the time, he will find a replacement without even involving me or the other managers. He will just come into work and say "so-and-so can't work tonight, so-and-so is going to work in his place." It's great.
In return for that, I try my very best to give him the schedule that he wants and when he asks for a raise, I push for it (he's gotten 2 in the last year, both with my help). So, this lends itself to a work-friendship, if you'd call it that. I ask him questions about Spanish words, he asks me about English words. We both practce with each other. I ask him to check on workers and make sure they are happy - asking if they have concerns that I can help with, etc.
So, when he gets pissed off, it affects me a lot. Let's use last Friday for an example. Fridays have not been very busy lately. So, we've had 2 guys in the dish pit. On busy nights, we need 3 for sure. Well, we had one REALLY busy Friday hit us with only two in the dish. Yeah, that sucked, but we didn't know it would happen.
I've been asking my boss every few weeks or so if I can start scheduling a 3rd because it's taking them all forever to get out of there on Friday nights (my closing shift, of course) and we're only going to start getting busier soon. He keeps saying no, not yet.
Well, last Friday, Enrique pulls me aside and says "You need to schedule a 3rd person in dish. If you don't, we are not going to stay and help out when we are done, it's too much work." I was FLOORED. And completely pissed off. Seriously, he's going to threaten me when I've gotten him the schedule he wants, fought to get him raises, etc? Really?
I did not take kindly to that. I threw on a t-shirt and start doing dishes myself. He was shocked. He came over to me and said "I was only joking about not helping, we will help. But you need another person on the schedule." I tried to explain to him about 5 times that I AGREED with him, but it was out of my hands. He wasn't getting it and I couldn't explain it. I ended up getting really frustrated, raising my voice, and throwing a plate in the dish pit (not really hard or anything, but it got my point across).
Needless to say, the rest of the night was tense. I did a) apologize and b) talk to my boss about scheduling a 3rd person now, rather than later. Turns out that with the language barrier that I forget is there, he was only trying to make a point - he wasn't meaning to have it come across as threatening.
So, my dilema is this - I think I need to stop being so friendly with my staff. I hate that I have to do that, but I feel like if I had been more "boss-like" with Enrique before, that he wouldn't have spoken to me like that. He certainly wouldn't have threatened John or Dana with not staying.
I want my employees to know that I'm on their side, but I'm still their boss. It's such a fine line. It comes from serving before - I know their frustrations, I know what it's like to feel like you have no voice. I don't want my staff to feel that way, but on the other hand, they need to understand that they won't always get what they want and they need to listen to me.
Whew, that was a book!!!
Our anniversary is on Friday. 11 years married, 13 together. Wow. I have to work that night, but we will go out to celebrate the next night. Going to our favorite French restaurant - we go there every year. I'm looking forward to it!!
Ok, off to take the boys to swimming lessons!!