Pros: free lunches during or after a shift, paid breaks, and a discount on certain food, although even thinking about eating the food almost makes this a con after nearly two years.
Cons: 8 hour shifts without a break, a fresh coat of grease on your face after every shift, long spans of time with no water breaks, lazing hot kitchen, and everything else cover previously.
High work loads:
The store I was employed at was busy, mind you, and although the management recognized this, they often did nothing to help the fact that we were severely underemployed. They turned away many good employees and hired incompetent ones who later quit. This wasn't the worst store in town, either. In fact, our franchise owner showed great – more... favoritism towards our store due to the volume that we moved. The point is that the amount of work required at our particular location often overwhelmed the amount of workers in the kitchen, which was usually less than five. Fully staffed our kitchen could have employed up to nine workers at one time but I only saw it this full when we had our yearly anniversary promotional sale. During a lunch rush, it wasn't uncommon to go forty five minutes to an hour without changing gloves while making sandwiches because there was no drop in business. Not only is it ridiculous that there weren't an extra 15 seconds to be had for spans of up to an hour, but it's insanitary and violates all kinds of health codes.
Poor communication from management:
The managers seemed to believe that if you did something wrong, you would automatically know what you'd done and correct your behavior without any intervention. They would thusly become very distraught when mistakes were made repeatedly and after a few times making the same error, whether the employee recognized their mistake or not, the result was a very firm and public correction. Training was carried out by "experienced" employees and often didn't reflect the actual rules and regulations that had been set. It wasn't until I'd been there about a year and started talking with a new manager that I really learned most of what was supposed to happen and why. Despite this complete lack of a basic training, employees were often reprimanded, scorned, and otherwise humiliated in the presence of a customer for not following a rule that was probably never made clear to them. And even when some sort of action was required to correct a negative behavior, it didn't need to occur in the presence of fellow employees, much less, customers. Not to mention the fact that most of the worst behaviors present at our establishment went uncorrected, but I digress.
One of my co-workers was fired due to a scheduling mishap in which the management wrote his hours on the employee schedule incorrectly and he didn't show up when the manager's schedule said he was working. They called him and he said that he didn't know he was supposed to work and that he would be there as soon as possible. When he got to work, the head manager told him that it seemed like he didn't care about his job and fired him in front of the entire crew and a store full of customers.
Poor enforcement of policies regarding lazy workers/illegal behavior/ sexual harassment:
A year ago, a manager was hired who had trouble keeping her employees in line. They would refuse to work and just laugh when she told them to get to work. After hassling the upper management for nearly a year, she still has problems with getting the lazy workers to start working and nothing has been done to correct their lack of respect for authority.
Several workers have been hired who often participate in the illegal consumption of alcohol (underage) and a few who recreationally use marijuana. Not that I particularly agree with the rules regarding these substances and their respective illegality, but in the handbook, which I had to steal because I was not provided with my own copy, specific policies are outlined regarding illegal drugs and alcohol consumption. On multiple occasions, these workers have come into work intoxicated, either by alcohol or marijuana. I'm not saying they were hungover from a long night. These guys were drunk or stoned out of their minds and weren't even confronted by anyone. Drunk and stoned? Business at usual, here at Schlotzsky's!
One worker in particular was notorious for sexual harassment, not only to fellow employees, but also to customers. He would start rumors that he had had sex with an attractive female employee and, for some reason, everyone tended to believe the rumors, thus ruining the female employees' reputation among her co-workers. This behavior has still not been corrected. At one point in time, he was writing his phone number on napkins that were being taken to attractive female customers. In one such instance, this nearly resulted in a physical confrontation between him and a customer''s angry husband. He has since stopped, but not because of any action taken by the management.
Unfair hiring criteria/possible discriminatory hiring:
I understand that it's unusual to be moved around a lot withing a work environment and that the position that you are hired into is usually the one you'll stay in, at least at this level of employment. However, it was often recognized by the management that my personality was not well suited for an isolated work environment (kitchen work) and that I was much more of a people person than anything else, but when I requested to be moved to a cashier/front store team member, they outright refused on the basis that they don't let males work as cashiers because, "girls are more friendly." On one such instance, this reason was given to me the week before they hired a male cashier who quit before the week was out. If I had been moved somewhere where my people skills could have been utilized, I probably wouldn't be talking about this job in retrospect like I am now!
The site asked that I identify the best part of my job and, honestly, the good things like working with my friends or hanging out with co-workers were only loosely related to working at Schlotzsky's and could have very easily not been present. I would say that, of everything that's happened to me involving my employment at Schlotzsky's, the absolute best thing was the uplifting feeling of freedom that I felt after putting in my two-weeks notice. – less