What helped was having 8 people on PM shift, not including me, which is 3 more than what my full-time human manager had on the probably miserable Monday earlier this week. That amazingly generous amount of people was all thanks to the swell of new hires entering the magical world of Chipotle's culture where money is the bottom line and their estimated time working at Chipotle is 3 months. We also had a manager from a different Chipotle location come in.
For many of the new hires the training isn't particularly good. Some of the new hires are getting even less training than I did one month ago. One guy ended up working without watching any orientation videos, or getting a tour, getting a chance to shadow someone, or anything. He was put straight on making guacamole because we were down two people and I had to help him out a bit. There was some more teaching when on the line, but most learning was training-on-the-go.
On another new guy's second day, after a day of watching orientation videos I assume, he was put on the PM shift covering dinner peak of the aforementioned miserable Monday with the full-time human manager...who had a matching mood. Talk about brutal.
Conversely, Friday was anything but miserable. Very few people utilized the buy one get one free deal and the day was free of any bumps in the road. The free meals were mostly thrown in by the cash register at the very end where people who didn't even have jerseys got in on the deal. The lines passed by without any major hitches or interruptions, and were just...smooth. What made the day so notable was the full-time human's complete change in character. He was actually acting...nice? He was nicer than he had to be, calm, even encouraging, suspiciously so, and he just had an upbeat and complete reversal of character compared to his usual Friday night self... What a redemption arc... or most likely a temporary reprieve. I imagine his lighthearted mood is a consequence of having another manager present and a full staff for once on a Friday night. Still, I was completely caught off guard, astonished even, especially when I was wary around him considering the events of the last blog.
I only left after seeing I was one hour overtime not realizing how fast the day went by and seeing a fully staffed line for once. I walked back home thinking about how strangely positive today was and I almost was...LOOKING FORWARD to going to work tomorrow? What the hell is wrong with me? In fact I was even looking forward to coming into work today. The emotion rings true...until the next time I have to encounter the full-time human on a perilously understaffed night and I encounter some more BS from managers or coworkers.
I have to concede though there is a satisfaction to working in the stimulating environment of Chipotle that scratches an itch only a hands-on, fast paced, and multitasking intensive job can do like playing StarCraft. I find myself thinking of ways to do certain tasks faster and just having something to put my energy into?
I've also read the Chipotle subreddit a lot and hear about how some Chipotle workplaces are worse than mine. You get people hounded and criticized by managers for not being fast enough when they're only on their 2nd day, unbearable and constant workplace drama, wage theft, sick leave not being respected, grill people constantly quitting, dysfunctional workplaces caused by uncaring managers and even crappier coworkers, refusing raises, scheduling hours people can't work in, and a lot more. Sure, not having such problems is really setting a high bar...or is that actually a high bar for an entry level workplace? Somehow, my workplace has none of those problems by some miracle...except maybe your occasional bad coworker or otherwise less than caring manager, but still. I've come to the conclusion that my Chipotle...and my coworkers...are not all too bad for the most part.
I probably shouldn't be too happy because I'm just a wage slave for a multibillion dollar corporation, and any extra work or motivation I put in won't actually benefit myself. On the other hand though I do enjoy making my job easier by getting all of the tasks done efficiently and challenging myself. I also appreciate a lot of the skills and experiences I've learned at my job. I've learned a lot of basic kitchen skills, customer service, food safety, and experienced workplace politics and...the crushing realities of working for a corporation and how people are when placed in stressful situations.
Damn, to think I wanted to quit this job at 3 different times and felt completely miserable. I feel like I shouldn't get too comfy because tonight, this week, is just a microcosm. I know next week, and weeks after that, I'll have to deal with some moody manager, or some BS from coworkers or customers multiple times. At the same time though I don't take people at my workplace or myself too seriously, or really consider Chipotle as a part of me. I feel I can enjoy what I get out of the job...like the free employee meals, without investing any thought into Chipotle the company or the workplace itself. So far I do see myself continuing to work here. We'll see until the next Friday night.