Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Anything But The Dots!!

Somehow I've become part of a lunchtime clique. It's odd. I didn't start out to be in one... I would always bring something from home or run out to Burger King or Wendy's for my lunch break here at work. And then a few months ago, one of the ladies that I work with, Ginny, asked if I would like to join her & Prescilla for lunch at IHOP. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I was thrilled to be asked, included in their little group but that's how I felt & of course I said yes. Now it's become a Tuesday night thing... lunch at 1am at IHOP. The two overnight servers know us, know that Prescilla & Ginny drink coffee and I get Pepsi. In fact the last time we went, on the 4th, the waiter Mike (who looks remarkably like Ricky Gervais, the guy who played David Brent in the BBC comedy "The Office") had our drinks to us before we sat down!

That night the place was hopping and they had an extra kid there named Ian who looked no more than 18. Our normal server Mike is a bit on the hyper side but very nice & efficient and Ian came up at one point and asked if he was scaring us. I told him no, that we were used to him by now. Ian didn't think it was normal to be as hyper as Mike was at that time of the morning. Then he mentioned that he had been there since 8am! It was now almost 2 and he wasn't expected to get off until 4am! Then he said he was afraid they would call him at 8am to fill in again. I advised him to turn his phone off!

Hearing this poor kid's tail of woe reminded me about the dotted shifts I used to have to put up with at Fargo's Pizza. When the managers made the schedule, they would have one or two employees each day that were known as "The Dotted People." You DID NOT want to be one of the Dotted.

What it was was that instead of a solid line underneath your name saying you'd work 5-9, there would be dots extending from 4pm until closing. If you were "dotted" you had to call in at 3 and see if they needed you. This sucked. Your whole day was ruined, you couldn't make plans... "I don't know, I might have to work tonight."

When I first started, I was dotted a lot. One particular day, I called in at 3 to be given good news: they didn't need me. Now, I didn't drive then and relied on Mom or Dad to take me. Mom was scheduled to close that night so she was going in at 4 and she would have dropped me off if I had had to go in. Since I didn't, she left. About an hour later, the phone rang - it was the closing hostess from Fargo's.

"I know we told you we didn't need you but we just had a party of 150 call in so now we need you."

"Ummm.... yeah, sorry but you said I didn't need to come in so my ride left for work. I don't have a way there."

"Isn't there anyone you can call? We really need you."

"No. Unless you want to come pick me up." Of course she didn't... probably couldn't. I ended up calling my Mom at work - this was when she was just a stocker, not the big-shot manager she is today - she had to take her lunch break three hours early to come all the way home and take me to work. She was mad, I was mad.

To my knowledge, they still have those asinine dotted shifts. I'm surprised no one had shot the place up yet because of one!

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