There were two major issues that Ehrenreich has with working in the restaurant. The first one is the management and the second issue is the amount of money she makes. The management is views as the enemy to the employees; making new rules for the staff and the endless accusations about the employees behaviors. The salary for restaurant employees makes it hard to secure housing, prescription drugs, and any unexpected expense. “Serving in Florida” written by Barbara Ehrenreich is a reflected recap of her time working in the restaurant industry.
Management keeps Ehrenreich and other employees under surveillance. They monitor the behaviors of the employees for any signs of theft, drug use, sluggishness, or anything that might be concerned worse. The managers and assistant managers are what some employees’ think are “class enemy”. Most of the management is former cooks or clerks that have crossed over to the other side. Ehrenreich views those former cooks that as “corporate as opposed to human”. Assistant manager are paid only about $400 a week and follow the directions of a corporation that exists far away from the actually location of the restaurant. Management only job is to ensure that money is being made and to not cut the employees any slack. “You give and you give and they take”, Gail another employee informs Ehrenreich. Gail vows to never work in management again for this reason.
Management can sit around for hours at any time that they want. However, it’s the management’s job to ensure no one else sits around. Employees keep themselves busy for the manager on duty won’t assign additional task to them like having to vacuuming the entire floor with a broken cleaner. To avoid having to vacuum the entire floor, she keep herself busy by wiping cleaning counters, taking the desserts out of case and fleshing them up, rechecking supplies, and consolidating catsup bottles.
The monthly meeting at the Hearthside with the top manager, Phillip, might give light to the new marketing strategies is what Ehrenreich is expecting. However, Phillips complaints about the condition of break room; crumbs, newspapers all over the place, and the remains of cigarettes in the ashtray. As the top manager informs the staff that the break room is a “not a right” and it will be taken away from the staff. The other complaint Phillip has for the staff is that gossiping must stop, too many employees are talking to each other. Therefore, employees are no longer permitted to dine at the restaurant for the reasoning of “other servers gather around them and gossip”. As the meeting concludes, a couple employees voice their issues about the condition of the bathrooms and Ehrenreich voices about how the vacuum cleaner is broken. As the meeting ends, the employees’ reactions are miserable. Andy, the cook mutters about having to come in on his day off for some “almighty bullshit”.
Several days after the meeting the employees are called into the kitchen even though there are...