Sigh. This is my last Friday off. Well, maybe. Boss put out the schedule and has included Fridays again. He said that because we have a new and massive contract we are going to need to work full weeks again. I have been trying not to get my hopes up that this is permanent, but if you look up into the stratosphere you'd see a package of my hopes flying around. We should be working full weeks right through our slow season (spring and early summer) as we get used to making the new cakes and when the customer starts pulling stock in April. Then the busy season (late summer to early winter) will be upon us with the seasonal cakes. So maybe we will stay at five days. It really depends on sales at this point. January 2009 sales were the worst on record (down 50% from Jan 08) until January 2010, which was 20% down from Jan 09.
As much as I really do need the money, I got very used to having the day off. I mean, it's been over a year now (except for Oct) that we've been working four days. Five days a week is going to seem very long for a while.
Owner has been around a lot more lately. Like daily. She's discovered that things just aren't being run the way she wants and is changing everything back to the way she wants it. Fair enough, it's her business, but change is always hard. She seems to have radar for Stupidity or Lower Intelligence and just zeroes in on people and is relentless in her training.
The Line Manager has given her notice and is leaving because of Owner. Yes, LM is indeed lacking a bit in the smarts department. Every time LM screws up (many, many times a day) Owner is right there to tell her what she's doing wrong and how to fix it. Not nicely, either. I overheard her talking to LM and Line Runner saying "you just don't seem to understand any of this, here, I'll explain it to you again..." and brought out the paperwork in question. What they were talking about wasn't even hard to understand. All product from Cook is labeled. You add up the labels to get the total amount of product. You write down the total amount of product on your sheet. At the end of the run, you write down any leftovers. Apparently LM and LR don't understand the labels. Huh, they have the date, product name (caramel, ganache, espresso, etc), the weight, recipe number, and label number (1 of 8, 2 of 8, etc). I don't see how it's hard to understand unless you are new, and both LR and LM have been with us over a year.
Cook has also been the target of Owner's, uh, training. And Cook has come up short in the brain cell area, most likely due to the copious amounts of pot she smokes. I don't like Cook at all and wish she would quit, but I didn't like to see her cry at work either. I could see that Owner would 'correct' Cook several times a day but I could never really hear what was being said. Even when I strained really hard to listen. Cook told me that Owner has been reading the recipes out loud and saying "melt the butter, that's a no-brainer, can you manage that? Here, let me show you how since you obviously don't know" and "don't you dare interrupt me when I'm talking" and "you aren't allowed to speak to anyone else on the production floor, keep your complaints for the lunch room only". Cook is being targeted. Cook has been in Owner's office for two verbal warnings regarding attitude already. Cook tried to defend herself by saying that when someone talks to her like she's stupid of course she's going to get her back up. Owner found that unacceptable and told her that if she could she'd fire her for her attitude right then and there. The last time I checked, the process to being fired is three verbal warnings, three written warnings, possible three day suspension from work, fired. Cook is on that path.
I think that Cook brought all this on herself unintentionally by calling the Union constantly. She was having problems with me not treating her with respect and when Boss didn't deal with me fast enough she would contact the Union. Owner wouldn't let Cook use seniority to bump someone off the production line to fill her shift (she has had many days of only a couple of hours, she wanted to get a full day and work on the line, Owner said "you are the cook, your place is in Cooking, go home when you are done"). Every tiny little thing that happened Cook would be on the phone to the Union about it. Owner despises the Union. It was a very bad transition to become a Union Shop and Owner has not let go of a single shred of resentment towards the Union or employees who are perceived to be Union supporters. So now Owner is doing the only thing she can do, citing Cook for every infraction with the intention of having her quit or get fired. I find myself feeling bad for her. No job is worth the destruction of your self esteem.