Balanced Expectations

For the week of Receiving I have asked that everyone take some time to look at their expectations and attempt to correct their behaviour to balance those expectations and create a healthy attitude of Receiving. As my example of how I have assessed my expectations, I will be speaking of a recent series of events at work.

As you may know, I work as a server in a restaurant. My current job is a family owned restaurant, with a small staff of only 10 front of house staff. The managers are the owners, with the husband in charge of the kitchen and the wife in charge of the dining room. I have noticed that our front of house manager has been having some frustrations with people’s schedules. These frustrations have filtered down to me. Since I am the only server with wide open availability, it always falls on me to pick up the slack when someone needs time off at the last moment. The owner spends only an hour or two in the restaurant a day, and this is at slow times, in order to update the wine list and do some administrative things. I am starting to realize that because she is never there and we have such a small staff, most of whom have been there many years, that there is no real “person to go to” when there is a decision to make regarding the schedule. So the staff just ask each other. And since I always say “yes” it ends up being me that takes all the extra shifts.

This is good for my pocket book, but bad for my mental health. I do not like working tons of extra shifts but I do it anyway, because I don’t want to leave the restaurant hanging, and I can really use the money towards savings, etc. But at the same time I feel like this pattern, if continued all summer, will wear me out.

So what to do? It turns out my last job was as a manager of the front of house at a restaurant. I was in charge of scheduling. We had a staff of 40+ front of house that I was responsible for scheduling. It took roughly 1 to 2 hours a week to do, once I had a system figured out.

Yesterday I contacted the owner of the restaurant and asked her if she would like some help with the schedule. I told her that I was in no way upset, but that I felt that my experience could be useful to her. She seemed pretty happy, actually. She thanked me for caring and agreed to meet on Thursday before my shift to discuss how we might go forwards.

As it stand there is a set schedule, with nothing really posted. If you can’t work your regular shift, it is your responsibility to change it. I would rather work in a system where a weekly schedule is posted 2 weeks in advance. Any requests go through the scheduler, who has access to everyone’s availability. Since no one else is willing to make this happen in my workplace, I will do it.

Balanced Expectations. I expect to receive a certain environment at work, so I must be willing to do my part to ensure that I receive that which I desire. In this case it is a schedule that I can count on 2 weeks in advance. I have made schedules before, and they are not hard. I can do it again, if it helps me to Receive.