In the 11 years that I have been in the working industry, I have held many jobs. Very few of them I loved, in fact most of them I hated, but one of the worst was Chuy’s Mesquite Broiler.
Mike and I lost our jobs at the same time when our work burnt down in October of 2010. We were both pretty frantic to find new jobs since our income went from tolerable to nonexistent on both ends. Mike found work at the Yardhouse (which he ended up hating too, but that is a totally different story), I found myself at a divey restaurant/bar called Chuy’s.
Chuy’s was pretty elite, one had to know somebody that was somebody in order to work there. I learned the hard way, just because something is highly sought after, does not make it a great place to be.
Training was ridiculous and far longer than it should have been; those who didn’t take a test covering exactly what were in our dishes (our sloppy, greasy, bean filled dishes) earned half tips. That aspect was pretty fair, if you don’t know the menu you shouldn’t be tipped out completely, but they made me wait and wait to take the test. Finally my boss came to me and yelled “ARE YOU GONNA ASK ME TO TAKE THE TEST OR WHAT?” I didn’t realize it was something I had to ask for, and to make matters worse when all was said and done I was the first person to have taken it that soon. How long are you not tipping people properly? A month? (I think my time frame was something like a week, but I knew the menu after a day and I busted my ass, as I have done every job, ever).
Anyway the test was a joke; my favorite question “Who owns Chuy’s?” Which was never told to me and was also never on the menu, not to mention having nothing to do with the food.
I had to look it up and the answer I provided was wrong. Sarah, a girl whose name you will learn by the time this post, laughed at my answer like I was a half retarded child and she was the school bully. Mike was livid, he had entered the establishment some time before my test was graded (for an end of work cocktail), and I thought he was going to rip her head off… just for making me feel small.
Things were never wonderful at Chuy’s, it was a lot of backbreaking work… cleaning, scrubbing, serving, serving, talking, bitching, serving, cleaning that went above and beyond any job I had ever had before. I was once taken into the walk-in (where drinks are stored) and told to scrub the floors clean. It would have been fine if the floor hadn’t looked like it had never been cleaned before. It was so bad that my pants filled up with a dark brown liquid that to this day I have no idea what it was. We were told to get on ladders and clean the trinket filled trellis, while there were customers in the restaurant, and that we could not go home until it was done. As I perched precariously on the ladder high above people’s heads a man came in and bumped the ladder. It swayed back and forth and a coworker ran over to make sure I didn’t fall. I have never been the suing type, but in that moment I was going to sue everyone. I couldn’t believe they had put my safety at risk to cut corners and save a few bucks on a cleaning crew. The fact that we did it during office hours only exacerbated the situation, as many customers complained about the kitty sized dust balls we kept throwing on the floor. I don’t blame them, I was mortified doing it.
Being paid peanuts and having to clean restrooms filled with other people’s bodily fluids (and pubes… seriously I have no idea what people are doing in bathrooms but gross) was degrading to say the least. We were given Windex to scrub down the toilets, windows, floors, doors, on and on, I stopped using our restrooms. Windex does not disinfect, especially .99 cent store Windex.