Sunday, January 20, 2008

Restaurant Sued For Making Wedding Party Sick!

I saw this on CNN and read it with interest.

It seems this couple is suing the restaurant they had their rehearsal dinner at because 20 people in their wedding party became desperately ill. After much searching by the health department, it was determined that the evil Noro Virus was to blame for the illnesses. This did not placate the couple, who are now suing for basically a "do-over" of their reception and rehearsal dinner. I am not quite sure how they can get their memories back, after all it was their wedding day. I would have just settled for a complete return of my money, medical bills paid, and punitive damages. Now I see a story about a place closer to home for me. The Singer Island Hilton had it's restaurant shut down last weekend, along with most of the hotel in general, because it too was having a crisis. A puking crisis!

There were 83 people there that thought they had been poisoned. They had special events ruined, vacations cancelled, and all kinds of crap going on. They immediately threw out all the food, closed the kitchen, and scrubbed down the place. I was impressed at first, .... then I had a thought. What if they did that , not for the public's safety, but to protect their own liability??

It is a dirty little secret, (NOT), that the restaurant industry treats the people that work in it like crap. Don't believe me?? Just click on Upset Waitress or Raging Server over there on the right and you can read about the daily harassment and crap they get every day from bitchy customers and management! When I worked in food service, both front of house and back, It was a constant battle to keep a balance and keep your job. The restaurant in Iowa that had the sick wedding party blamed the incident on a sick worker who made the salads. They said it was his fault that the people got sick because he came to work. I don't know what everyone else's experience has been, but mine was if you called in on a catering day, you were fired. Period. The End! No hello, good-bye, go to hell or nothing. God forbid you try to reason with these people and tell them about your sickness. No! They heard it all before. Basically, if you didn't show up ready to work, you're gone! I just bet that is what happened at the Singer Island Hilton too! Here in South Florida, we have quite a few Latino people, and for some jerk wad idiots, they fell it is their job to treat these hard working Latin Americans like shit. Never mind they are working twice as hard as the rest of the lazy crapheads. Nooooooooooooo that doesn't matter. So they are already afraid to say anything to supervisors if they feel ill and could possibly transmit anything to the customers. Now, I am wondering if the hasty disposal of the food from the kitchen was to cover up just the same thing from being found out that was surmised at the Iowa restaurant. Was the Hilton trying to cover up a sick employee? Does the food industry in general really care about it's workers?

All the evidence I have ever experienced has shown that the restaurant industry as a whole does not really care about their workers. It's the bottom line that gets the most attention. That is why customers with stupid complaints that you just KNOW are totally bogus get away with getting their meals comped. That is why turn over is always going to be high in any restaurant despite all the rah rah, dumbass programs aimed at keeping employees happy and at work. When it comes right down to it, food service sucks. It takes the life right out of you and after several years, you end up being pigeon holed into it and no one else will give you a chance to do anything different. For example....

When I was in college, I managed a few places. Nothing big, just a few burger joints around Gainesville. I thought I had a pretty good stable of experience to draw from, so when I approached by a head hunter for a job fair, I went with confidence. I was basically laughed at! I had one guy just look at my resume' and say with a straight face, "I have wait staff that make more money a year than you do." Oh boy did I leave there and fast. then there was the dark day that my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes. She was in the NICU, tubes and needles were everywhere, and my regional manager and owner are on the phone bitching ME out that I was going to miss a week of work! Who cares that my daughter almost DIED! Just get your ass back to work and slave away for me!

These restaurants that are suddenly popping up with the Noro Virus are not new, it's just the disease that is being passed on is more able to sicken people and be noticed. How many times has the common cold been passed on by someone who was told point blank, "Be to work, or find another job!" How many times have other employees gotten sick and had to pass it around to each other because they couldn't afford to miss a day? I am telling all of you here and now, the restaurants you eat at are probably just like these places you read about in the news, they just haven't had the Noro Virus show up........YET!

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