Ok, so here's the background story.
In may I started working at a small made-from-scratch-style sandwich shop/deli in Los Angeles. It was run by the owner, his #2 who ran hot line and a girl who ran register. Simple enough right? I originally started as an hourly employee (at dismal wages), working 40 hours a week with two days off. At one point, the owner approached me about working on a salaried basis, still recieving two days but but better pay with the obvious tradeoff of working more hours. At the time it seemed like a good idea because we closed on sundays and I generally am used to working longer shifts. As time wore on, we started to stay open on sundays to cater to the football crowd, hence the owner and his # 2 losing one of their days off. The more I worked there, I realized that alot of things were really loose, such as the main 2 guys constantly showing up late, being hungover, throwing tantrums in the kitchen etc. Eventually, the girl quit due to her dissatisfaction with the work place and moved home. After a very difficult period of hiring, we finally landed a solid cashier and we thought everything was going to be alight, right? Wrong. The #2 guy had some serious substance problems that were beginning to affect the shop and also my workload. On several occasions, I literally had to work both my station as well as his because he no-showed. Now normally, someone would get fired for doing this but since the two were friends, the owner didn't take any action other than expressing anger toward #2. Things began to get worse and worse until finally, on Halloween night, one of our biggest days of the year, he no-showed while in possession of the owner's keys. I came in on my day off, and literally had to save the day, it was ridiculous. Now, the asshole has left town, we're a man short and I'm working 6 days a week, 12-13 hours a day and NO BREAKS. The owner is always saying he wants us to take our breaks but the fact is, there is no one to work our station when we're gone and the shop is pretty much constantly busy. I'm losing touch with my family, I can't put the time into a band that I drum for and in a nutshell, I'm getting screwed. The owner is trying to find a KM to pickup where #2 left off but even then, I feel like the conditions won't change. The owner has shown many signs of bad management including erroneous paychecks, placing our customers in the middle of the issue with #2 splitting on us and leaving myself and our new hire to basically run the place. I'm at a point where I don't know if I should quit because I have to pay relatively steep rent (remember, this is Los Angeles) or what. The owner has told me repeatedly things will improve but I'm feeling more and more discontent with the situation to the point of breaking down at the end of every day.
My typical service consists of this:
1. 8:30, I open the place up with one other guy, owner arrives around 9, he explains he was waiting for his pants to dry.
2. Owner places the structure of the entire service on my shoulders including specials, prep duties and managing the rest of our staff. (By the way, I left my old job in order to focus on music and not management again. I was not hired to be a manager, nor am I being paid as such.)
3. Owner goes to 3 different places to get produce, proteins, change for our cash drawer etc in order to save money. Meanwhile, prep duties which he claimed responsibility over aren't being done and I'm struggling just to get my cold-line guy and myself up to speed.
4. 11am, we're open. we're scrambling to be ready for service and more often than not, we aren't. It's an open kitchen so the scramble is being witnessed by our customers.
5. On a given day, we'll have a small catering order just before our lunch rush, putting even more pressure on us to prep heavily. There is almost never time to go to use the bathroom let alone sit down for 5 minutes.
6. After the lunch rush, boss goes into his office and does "work". Meanwhile we're still doing orders, prepping and trying to stay afloat. The kitchen has a deli case, a very small dairy fridge and a reach in cooler for storage, totally insufficient of what is needed for proper storing and rotating. This means having large quantities of backup items is impossible.
7. About the time we slow down, the cashier leaves, which means the cold-line guy and myself are stuck with running the place. This means one guy is taking orders, ringing people up and organizing orders, while I'm cooking orders, plating, doing sides and well as expiditing. It's absolutely draining.
8. Boss comes back out, bullshits with the regulars, flirts with the girls and basically does nothing. I have had numerous instances where communicating with him was vital and he was busy chatting with one of our regulars.
9. Close down. Boss cleans the slicer, puts away a few dishes and makes sure we're doing our job right and starts doing numbers. Normally, I would say, "He's the owner, he shouldn't have to do all the grunt work" but this place is in its primordial stages and there are not near enough hands to keep up with the amount of business we do. I have always believed that if I were to start a business, I would be the first one in, and the last one out.
And then I start this mayhem all over again. I feel cheated by not getting breaks and worn down especially now that #2's departure means me working 6 days a week. I need some advice/input bad. Come on, chefs. Give me your 2 cents.