It was November of 2017. I had just walked out of my job at a clothing store in the mall, and I need money. So what's the cutest way to do that? By getting a job at the File City Maid Cafe. That's how.
I should have known this job was the drizzling shits when I filled out the application, walked home, took a shower, got out and already had an answering machine message telling me to come in for an interview. Then, the next day, I went down there and met the owners. It was an old couple who was insanely paranoid that everyone who worked for them was out to screw them over. I was just grateful that I got a job so easily, so I didn't question it too hard. Then I went home and as soon as I got in the door I had a message on my machine from them telling me I got the job.
So here's the deal. You start a new job, right? What do they do usually? Train you? Haha. Yeah right, son. You fuckin' wish. I got thrown out there day 1, no training, on a busy fucking rush, having to basically wing it and pretend I knew what I was doing and try to do mental tricks through the motions to learn through implications of the customer. It was fucking ridiculous.
As time went on I got integrated into their system, and so I decided I finally had the chance to talk about my schedule a little bit and try to see if I could get Friday morning/afternoons off, because that was the only time I could get a ride from my friend's mom to go to the store and get food so I could, you know, eat and not die.
I remember walking into the back area and approaching the old woman, who isn't really my boss, she's the wife of the owner. But he lets her do the schedule so she feels like she's involved.
So I walked up to her and said "hey, Friday. Nah." or whatever. I probably said it more articulate than that but I'm stoned telling this story right now and I don't feel like writing some Harry Potter level fuckin' dialogue for this part. But anyway, I remember so vividly this weird way that she went from this overdramatic :D smile to this D:< face in slow motion. It was like I had said "hey can I pee in your eyes?"
She tells me I need to talk to the manager, who is this little Hispanic woman that everyone called The Chihuahua. So really, this is the story about a chihuahua and a raccoon.
Everything she said was laced in absurdity. She would scream "OH GOD" every time someone walked in because she couldn't stomach having to do her job. She was mentally fried from having to basically run this entire diner by herself, as well as dealing with the absolute nutcases that were these two old people. I watched her get on her knees, crying, begging the two old people "don't make me be manager anymore... I'm no good at it! Please." and they just gaslit her into sucking it the fuck up and getting back to work--- and she did.
But that's further down the timeline of events than this incident was. I didn't really know her yet. So this was one of our first real interactions--- well, aside from the first day I started working there and she had to give me a tour of the kitchen, and she kept looking back at me and being like "...have you been here before? You look familiar." and I was like "yeah I've been here twice." and she was like "I always remember a face!" and I was like "cool."
She had a bad habit of covering her mouth when she talked so nobody could understand her. Sometimes she'd gesture at things to do by kissing the air in it's general direction. And when the assistant manager called out 15 days a month (not a joke), my phone always blew up with phone calls of her repeatedly leaving me answering machine messages until I answered the phone and said "alright I'm coming in." Sometimes she'd just flatout say "be here at 8am." and I'd be like "I have today off and I have stuff to do" and she'd be like "aye, you're scheduled now." And I'd be like "it's not scheduled if you JUST wrote it down." and she goes "yeah it is, it's on the schedule."
...anyway. I told her I needed Fridays off and she goes "oh... no. Cannot do that. I already wrote the schedule." So I said "that's alright, I can go without this week, but I really need it in the future" and she outright refused, with the old lady walking up and saying "...you're not being totally honest. It sounds like Friday night is party night."
I rolled my eyes and said "I don't party, I just legitimately can't go food shopping any other time or day." and they wouldn't let me do it. They both started really freaking out and acting like I was being completely unreasonable, so I turned and tossed the plastic water cup I was drinking out of into the garbage can and the old lady snapped and goes "HEY! You could do with showing her some respect."
I froze, turned to her and said "...what?" That's when the Chihuahua cried out "IT'S ALWAYS LIKE THIS!" At that point I was in disbelief and I said "...like what!?"
It dissipated and I told them I was fine with it and I'd figure something else out, (which I had no way of doing), but that wasn't the end of it. in fact, the Chihuahua did the schedule that week and gave me six days off--- except for Friday morning, which I was scheduled to work and it was the only time I had requested off. It was a message to me not to step out of line and think I had any human rights whatsoever.
This is where their abuse of me really began. Ignore the fact that I kept their business afloat. Forget the fact that I came in on zero seconds notice MANY times. They HATED me. Employees would talk about how I was at hard worker, always keep everything tip top shape, have great interactions with customers, etc. Nothin'. Didn't matter. They decided, based on how I look, that I'm a slacker. And no amount of working to prove them wrong worked, because sometimes: when somebody's mind is made up, they will not change their viewpoint even when presented with facts.
I worked at this place for 3 years, and there are a ton of stories from this part of my life that I'll tell here on raCcoOnomicon. But fast forward three years after I started here, my schedule is getting cut again. After a streak of saving their ass from callouts and walkouts, they finally hired enough people to have a schedule going and punished me, because they never wanted me to get the hours that I absorbed from the assistant manager calling out every other day, so they decided I deserved to not have a paycheck worth anything for the forseeable future. Because they never appreciated when I'd help them, they were bitter that it was me saving them, because they didn't like me from day one and nothing I could do ever changed that.
So I got a job somewhere else, and I told them "...look, I'll keep working here, but now you bow to their schedule because they're the ones who are actually giving me one. You guys just keep trying to screw me over, so I have no reason to offer you any loyalty in that regard. But, I'm still gonna work here as my secondary job to get some spare bucks, since that's all you're offering anyway."
I was in the back with one of the girls who worked there, and the walk-in door fell off the hinges when we tried to open it. We were the only ones there since it was night, and we were closed, so we just worked together to hoist it back onto the hinges and then we left.
The next day I got a phone call from the Chihuahua telling me they have security camera footage of me "yanking the door off the hinges, walking out and laughing about it." I said "...that's literally not what happened." and explained it, and she said "no. I'm sorry. We have to let you go. You're done, goodbye." I replied, "...why is it that you people never liked me? I saved that place from disaster probably over a hundred times and nothing I ever did was good enough for you guys to treat me like a human being worthy of respect." She sighed and said "believe whatever you want Sarah, but you're done now. Goodbye." and hung up on me.
And that's the entire skeleton of my time at the File City Maid Cafe, but there are lots of little stories within this three year span that'll be coming to the site later. You're gonna have maid-based PTSD by the time I'm done telling all the stories of how absolutely dogshit this place was.