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Outraged... But can I do anything?

(7 Posts)
mayoandchips Mon 08-Jul-13 00:14:27

Hi all, ill try to keep this as concise as possible.

Basically I work for a restaurant chain as a sort of seating area cleaner/ meet and greet and deal with the hospitality side of things.

Today when it was quiet, I noticed a group with three adults and about six children. The male adult was blowing paper off of his straw, thus encouraging the children to do the same, as they naturally would. This went on until there was about 15 papers on the floor.

I went to the manager of the restaurant and asked him if I should ask him to stop, or give him a chance to tidy after himself, even though he was acting like a grade A twat. My manager told me to ask one of the floor managers (ill call her melanie) to ask him to stop.

I asked melanie to do this, and she came back saying that he said he was going to clean up after himself. Problem solved.

However, after security in the shopping centre phoned in and told us they had left a dog tied up outside and that it needed to be moved, they denied it was theirs and, oh, they wanted to complain about melanie.

The man said 'Is this place not child friendly? It was only a few straws' (There is a difference between mucky toddlrs and actively encouraging 8 year olds to make a mess) and that the party were deliberately going to make a mess and that Melanie had to tidy it up.

The hardest part to swallow was
1. The main manager accepted this after they told him to his face and didnt eject them
2. He was the one who told melanie to confront them about the straws
3. He left work while the party were still there, even leaving on pleasant terms with them saying 'thank you, see you later' even though they had told him they were going to make a shit tip, which they did.

I was astonished. I helped melanie clean up by the way, but I cant believe they were allowed to do this.

What should I do?

2Retts Mon 08-Jul-13 03:20:00

Hey mayoandchips, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but my best advice would be to 'suck it up'.

It's the nature of the beast sadly and a relatively minor incident, all things considered, in the service industry.

If it makes for a catalogue of ridiculous events on the part of your manager then, by all means, keep a diary and present it when you wish to leave.

I would think twice about this though if you wish to poursue a career in this industry...just my humble opinion

2Retts Mon 08-Jul-13 03:20:46

*pursue of course, not poursue

flowery Mon 08-Jul-13 09:53:07

I agree with 2Retts. If your manager not throwing out a group of people because of what in the context of food service was probably a very minor, easy-to-clean-up mess is going to make you "outraged" then I think perhaps you have unrealistic expectations.

Obviously it's childish behaviour, but put it into context. They weren't throwing food, they weren't threatening staff or being abusive or violent. As there are paper-wrapped straws involved and it's in or near a shopping centre, I'm guessing it's some kind of fast food outlet, and on that basis you'll probably see a whole lot worse. If your manager chucked out every group who misbehaved on this level, it would seriously affect profits and may also prompt escalation of incidents from very minor to major so it sounds as though he was being pragmatic and realistic.

You are asking what you should do. What were you thinking you could do?

mayoandchips Mon 08-Jul-13 17:21:25

Its nothing to do with straws. The reason I'm mad is because of the way my manager acted- the man told him, bold as anything, he and the family was deliberately going to make a mess to punish Melanie, and instead of asking him to leave, he left him to get on with it and left work. This would be fine by me if he was going to clean it up, but left it to Melanie (and me).

It was disrespectful and showed he isn't capable of backing up his staff and let them take the flack for something HE did. So Melanie might get a complaint against her for doing his bidding. Is there not something HR can do?

And the place was horrendous. I can't believe I actually seen a grown man tell his kids to throw chips and smear ice-cream on the floor.

mayoandchips Mon 08-Jul-13 17:24:26

flowery sorry just reread your message, they were throwing food. The manager was aware they were going to do this. In terms of what is going to affect profits, if I saw people being allowed to act in this manner by the manager in an eating establishment with no regard for anyone else, I probably wouldnt return.
Its about the other customers too.

flowery Mon 08-Jul-13 19:36:03

Well it sounds like an ill-judged management decision, but presumably he had his reasons for not chucking them out and as the manager, that's his call.

Without knowing his reasons for leaving work it's impossible to say whether he was unreasonable to do so.

What evidence do you have that he won't back Melanie up if a complaint is made against her (which I think is unlikely)?

HR can't do anything about decisions management make on a day to day basis about which customers to throw out and which to pander to. It's nothing to do with them, and managing customer situations is a tricky business. Yes your manager may have made the wrong call this time, but that's the way it is.

If this group do make a complaint about your colleague, and the manager denies that he said she could/should tell them to stop, then that's obviously wrong, but there's no indication that's what will happen, is there? If your colleague does end up in a disciplinary hearing, you'll be able to give evidence on her behalf, but I'm not entirely sure what you think HR can do at this point?

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