Good freaking grief. Can a girl get a break, please?
I have written at length about the struggles I have encountered since moving abroad. The latest chapter in this crappy, yet exciting story, is that I was fired today. Why you may ask? The simple answer is having the audacity to ask for tips that I earned. However, the longer answer is wrapped up in sexism and what happens when you try to step outside the box others have placed you in.
A fan of Foucault, his essay on power seems appropriate here. In a nutshell, he argued that power was the ability to have someone choose to do what you want, without using force. For example, in places like Berlin, you can enter the train without passing through a turnstile. The rules set forth by the transit authority say that you need a ticket to ride, but they do not physically bar you from riding the train if you fail to buy a ticket. Those that exercise the choice to buy a ticket have submitted to the power of DB (the transit authority) and are rewarded with a stress free ride. Those that choose not to have (in an albeit small way) rebuked it and will be subjected to additional attempts to modify their behavior, in the form of ticket checks, fines, and so on.
In my situation, I’m 100% certain that my firing is the result of my employers inability to control me. Now, I don’t mean I was late, rude, disrespectful, or unprofessional. I showed up EARLY, did my job well, and provided excellent customer service. But I refused to work for an unfair wage and used my power to have them pay me significantly more money. This is something that they resented and was even mentioned in my final meeting with them saying, “We heard rumors that you said you forced us to pay you more because we felt guilty.” Mind you, I never said that to anyone. But it didn’t matter. Perception is reality and my boss felt wronged.
And then the tip situation happened, where my manager and I worked together. He had never done this particular job and I had, so he actually asked me for advice throughout the day. And when customers tipped him and left, I asked for my cut. And the motherfucker got PISSED. Like, legitimately angry that I asked for the money I helped earn. And then told the owner that I was “disrespectful” and had a bad attitude. Because I asked for my money.
UPDATE: Because I was trying not to go into too much detail, I may have left out important information. My services was more than just advice. I was the assistant for the day because the group that we had was too large for him to handle by himself. I worked the entire 12 day, by his side and earned those tips. Additionally, he told people that we split tips, because we usually do. He lied and stole, which is why his attitude was unwarranted.
So I leaned in, I fought for what I deserved. And I am now looking for work, again. I would be upset if I wasn’t so fucking tired.