The incompetence of some people

There’s a phrase in German that I’m not too sure exists in English:

Every task takes 90% learning and 10% skill you cannot learn.

In a way that’s true, although everything needs common sense in addition to that.

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog I’m currently working as a temp in a cafe/bar/pub and as I’ve mentioned on Twitter before several times another temp started shortly after me.

The new temp is giving me shit/knows everything better, yet it’s her second day and has never worked in a food/gastronomy/pub before. Mmmkay. – 18 days ago.

Well, this other temp at work was giving me grief, so now I’m letting her do all the work! Apart from that nothing much! – 18 days ago.

Yes, new temp, who annoyed me last week already, referring to me in derogatory terms is the way to go seeing I’m good friends with the boss. – 12 days ago.

I’m a temp myself but I’m competent and come to the cafe on days off. She doesn’t even say hi to customers! – 12 days ago.

Just spent the last couple of hours on the terrace chatting to a customer. Asked annoying temp to bring me a drink, she messed up 4 times.. – Today.

@garymurning LOL, yeah. I mean, yes, I’m a temp myself, but she has ZERO common sense.. – Today.

Seeing I’m still on break for the next 1 1/2 hours I’ve asked the other temp to make me food. It’s anyone’s guess how much she’ll mess up! – Today.

It is truly frustrating working with her and at the same time it’s even more frustrating watching her work which I’ve had plenty of chance earlier seeing I was on a four hour break.

The drink I ordered earlier was a glass half/half with Fanta/Sprite and ice which really isn’t that complicated at all. All you have to do is get a glass, some ice, unscrew the bottles and fill the glass equally. It doesn’t matter which drink is poured first. This is what she brought me after I complained each time for obvious reasons:

  • Fanta with still water and ice.
  • Sprite with sparkling water and no ice.
  • Apple juice and Fanta with ice [which is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever tried!].
  • Fanta and Sprite [yey!] with no ice..

I also ordered some food, a cheeseburger menu which here is a cheeseburger in a bun with salad/sauces/dried onions, fries, added salad and curry powder sprinkled above it all.  Plus a choice of soft drink for which I again chose Fanta/Sprite, but asked her to not pour it until later seeing I had only just received the other glass.

I explained to her what I wanted: A cheeseburger with no salad/sauces/onions/curry and she should give me a shout when they’re cooked so I’ll put on the sauce myself. So effectively just a burger with the meat and the fries with nothing else. I got her to confirm this to me several times. Should be simple, right?

This is what I got: A cold hamburger with gherkin swimming in a sea of ketchup and burgersauce, salad, onions and everything sprinkled with curry. And a drink.

Really, where did it go wrong? There’s not even the excuse that she was busy as it was only me and one customer sitting with me and already had his coffee.

Some other things she’s done in the past weeks either on my shifts or when I was in the cafe anyway:

  • We use special Lavazza hot chocolate which needs to be made with hot milk. She makes it with boiling water, even though she’s been told many times by several people.
  • Customers ask to pay and she takes a half empty [or half full!] glass and pours it into the sink.
  • She doesn’t normally take down the chairs until an hour into her shift. Once it was two hours.
  • Her Latte Machiato doesn’t actually contain any foamed milk.
  • She never greets customers as they come in.
  • Making a coffee takes her about five minutes. It’s about 30 seconds for everyone else..
  • She doesn’t ask customers what they want when they come in. As I was sitting on the terrace with the regular earlier she looked over from behind the bar several times, but never came outside. Seeing I just came off a ten hour shift and only had four hours break before the night shift I didn’t get him his coffee and he cheekily ended up calling the phone inside to order. ‘Twas quite funny, but completely unprofessional on her behalf.
  • She outright says she can’t make cocktails to any customer asking for one. That’s fine, she should just pass them on to me or whoever else is on her shift. Curiously she said in her interview that she could..
  • She doesn’t know how to turn on the stationary PC’s we’ve got in a corner for internet even though it’s just a button. To keep things equal she also can’t issue voucher codes to hotspot/laptop users from a machine that only has three buttons labelled 30mins, 1hour and 2hours.. Rocket science, I think not!
  • All her food is abysmal. She can mess up frozen pizzas somehow..
  • She spent about ten minutes earlier messing up the bar stools by randomly moving them around for absolutely no reason!
  • She spent about an hour reading something while I was on my break instead of preparing for football. Preparation means ensuring the fridge/freezer are stocked so people don’t have to run into the basement all the time, to roll up cutlery in napkins and to just make sure everything’s handy. So once I came off my well deserved break nothing was done and she just moaned that it was so quiet and she had nothing to do. Gee, I wonder why..
  • At least every third drink is either for the wrong person or not what they asked for..

Reading through this it really sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I’m probably missing half of the stuff. I really don’t understand.

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12 Responses to The incompetence of some people

  1. sulz says:

    she sure sounds like a nightmare! :o why is the boss not doing anything about it?


  2. Cat says:

    Well, this place is closing at the end of June, so it’s kind of difficult finding a replacement for just a month and a half.


  3. sulz says:

    ah, i see… i guess you just have to tolerate her then. :| just like i have to do so with mine! :evil:


  4. Cat says:

    Yep, we just don’t have a choice..


  5. Cat says:

    You know, talking about incompetence… In the part week 8 keys have
    gone missing making me and the boss the only ones with keys for the
    backdoor. Seeing the boss lives in the middle of nowhere i’m the one
    that gets called at 4am to close. Which is now..


  6. sulz says:

    grrr! when they annoy you, annoy them back in any (harmless) way possible. :P


  7. Cat says:

    Heh, well, I’m back home now. Not answering the phone any more, that’s for sure!


  8. ellaella says:

    I feel for you, Cat. All my working life I’ve been “punished” for being competent, expected to pick up the slack for those who can’t or won’t do their jobs. It’s infuriating.

    Other than that, gherkin and curry just don’t belong in the same sentence!

    (btw, do you know anything about Bavarian china?)


  9. Cat says:

    Hi Ella. Thanks and yeah, over my working years I’ve always had one or two colleagues at each job that drove me insane. Once someone else got promoted the same time as me even though he was freaking incompetent, but happened to be best friends with the boss..

    I mean it’s not so bad here, it’s just a temp job and even though I moan about it, I actually like it mostly! And thankfully she only works six shifts a month and is just now finishing her last one for this one!

    As a food person [is Foodie the right term?] you’d be in shock at the food here! It’s a sports bar mostly, so we have a lot of ready stuff and the like!

    Depends on what you’re looking for with Bavarian china. I probably don’t all too much, but a friend of mine does.


  10. ellaella says:

    Yep, foodie it is. And I’ll try almost anything once (and absolutely anything without complaint if it’s served to me when I’m a guest; my parents began training me in that regard at an early age) so I will try a bit of curry on gherkins. After all, I had my doubts about cinnamon on chicken and it’s just delicious.


  11. Cat says:

    I love cinnamon and broccoli!

    Don’t try gherkin and curry though, it’s not very nice!


  12. Pingback: In 2009 «

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