We’ve all had it where a boss has accused us of not being a “team player” for setting boundaries around our work responsibilities, but former server Caelyn (@midwest.gal) ended up going viral on TikTok after her boss, in response to being called out over not hiring a dishwasher, decided to fire her on New Year’s Day.
“So I worked at a sports bar and grill pizza place, and they only have dishwashers for evening shifts. I’ve never been in trouble with managers before,” she explained in the video, which amassed 2.1 million views as of Saturday. “Never had beef with anyone, always showed up on time, pretty good all round until New Year’s Day.”
She said things started going south when she discovered the dishwasher from the night before hadn’t polished all the silverware he was meant to. Upon informing the manager of this, Caelyn said he told her he would show her how to do it.
@midwest.gal Happy New Year to me!! #waitress #waitressproblems #server #fired #newyear #newyearsday #2023 #managersbelike #waitresslife #story #storytime #waitressing #serverproblems ♬ original sound – Caelyn
“I said that I can’t right now I have to go take care of my tables,” she recalled. “He was pretty upset about that.
She continued, “We were at the food window, and I told him maybe we could hire a dishwasher for the mornings, and he did not like that and yelled at me that I could hire a dishwasher for the mornings, which is not my job. I am a server, it is not my job to hire people.”
Caelyn said the manager then cut her early from taking any more tables, even though “we only had a total of four servers, including myself, and the whole restaurant was packed.”
The TikToker admitted she was upset by this, but did not say anything. She shared how she kept her composure and closed out her tables before going into the manager’s office to get checked out.
“He told me that he called me early for my attitude,” Caelyn said. “I said, ‘I’m sorry if it came across as having an attitude. I did not mean for that.’ And then he went to say if I’m not going to be a team player, that he does not want me here anymore. And I told them that I don’t get paid $16 an hour to do the dishwashers job, and I’m not trained on it. And if those things change, then I would love to do the dishes.”
In a follow-up TikTok, Caelyn added that the manager’s response to this was to point at the door and tell her to get out, and when she tried to talk to the other manager he wouldn’t let her and allegedly yelled at her. She said that after obtaining the second manager’s phone number, they eventually had a phone call during which, she said, the second manager had “already decided” whose side he was on.
@midwest.gal Part 2! #waitress #waitressproblems #server #fired #newyear #newyearsday #2023 #managersbelike #waitresslife #story #storytime #waitressing #serverproblems ♬ original sound – Caelyn
It was then that she was told over the phone that nothing could be done.
“They said, quote, unquote, they ‘hate’ firing people, even though since I worked there for two months, they have hired at least eight new waitresses and fired several more,” she recalled.
The user then advised viewers in her local area to avoid undertaking a server job at the restaurant, which she said was The OP (Other Place) in the Ankeny, Iowa, area because “they neglect to use the three strike rule,” and added that “several of this manager’s comments towards me were very unprofessional.”
She added that the manager is also “unable to control his emotions and be a team leader in the workplace” and that “it was very irresponsible of him to cut me early during a huge rush, leaving them with three servers.”
In the comments section, users expressed their shock at the manager’s behaviour. One suggested Caelyn research labour laws in her area, while several others remarked that if the manager was such a “team player,” he would have washed the silverware himself.
Other users took the manager’s side, saying that learning other jobs that weren’t necessarily in their job description were part of the trade.
However, in response to one commenter saying the TikToker had to “show management [she] care[s]” Caelyn responded, “If don’t do my server job well, then I don’t get tipped.” She added that she would’ve happily helped if she “wasn’t busy doing the job [she] was hired to do.”
In an email statement to the Daily Dot, Caelyn said, “Thank you to everyone for the positive comments. I know there are a lot of people out there who have experienced poor managers. Life is too short to not say what’s on your mind or be walked all over by others.”