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At working essay Essay

    I once worked as an assistant manager at a very busy, popular Korean restaurant. During the week, the lunch and dinner services were busy, but not unmanageable. Customers were seated within 10-15 minutes of their arrival, and I rarely had to address complaints regarding wait time. The weekends, however, were quite different.  Customers would begin to arrive for dinner at five o’clock, and would continue to crowd the restaurant until we closed our doors at ten in the evening. The store policy was first come, first served, no exceptions. We had a waiting list that we attended to in order of arrival, and we never strayed from this policy. The purpose of the policy, of course, was to ensure that no one could jump ahead in line through intimidation or bribery. We had a good, strong base of regular customers and we often had new customers who would also return.

    Three months of employment passed before I had a problem with the seating policy. It was a Saturday night in August and it was busier than usual due to the nice weather and the fact that only a block away, the local park was hosting concerts on Saturday evenings.

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Customers wanted to be seated and served quickly in order to reserve a “good” spot on the grass before the music began. On this particular evening, every table was full and we had over thirty guests on the waiting list. I was in charge of seating guests that evening, and I knew that the guests who were waiting were well aware of who had what spot on the waiting list. Around six-thirty that evening, my manager pulled me aside to ask me for the wait time. I informed her that it was in excess of thirty minutes. She replied that she had “special” guests coming and that they were to be seated immediately upon arrival. She returned to her office and closed the door before I could reply. I looked at the guests waiting and realized that we would have a crisis on our hands if the customers saw us seating anyone who hadn’t waited along with everyone else. Just a few minutes earlier, guests who had put their name on the list and left for a while to shop returned to glares from other customers who didn’t realize that they had a legitimate place in line.

    Another employee covered my position in the front while I went to speak to the manager in the back. I very firmly told her that I would not seat her guests right away; however, I would put them on the waiting list in order to minimize their wait time. The manager fumed at me and told me that as her subordinate, I was to follow instructions. Briefly, I considered how I could make room for the new impending arrivals, and then I changed my mind. I told my manager that, because I had such a good relationship with our regular customers, I could not bump up special guests to the top of the list. I knew I was pushing my luck, but I continued to explain that our restaurant was one of the few where we treated everyone the same, regardless of who they were and how much money they had. Knowing that I had the skills to find work elsewhere if necessary, I stood my ground and refused her request. In the end, she decided to go with my plan and it turned out that her guests arrived just as their names went to the top of the list, and they were surprised that they did not have to wait.

    It was the right decision to say no to my boss. While I understand that she wants to treat her special guests a certain way, I knew that it was a mistake to give some people more privileges than others. We owe our customers a certain respect, and they come back to the restaurant because they know they’ll get it. My relationship with my manager was not harmed by my stance; in fact, I had more responsibilities and more freedom to make my own decisions after that point. She told me that she hadn’t realized just how well I knew the business and our customers and that she would try to listen to me from that point on. For the most part, she kept her word and I kept my job until it was time to move on.

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