The Corner Pays Pretty Well

All you’re trying to do is get a little change of scenery from your office by going to the coffee shop downstairs and you end up overhearing way too much information about the place you get your latte. The Corner Bakery at 19th and L is right below the building I work in. Occasionally I need to get out of my work space, away from an off-the-hook phone, and away from never-ending e-mails to concentrate. I had to read through a report, and CB and a coffee was going to let me do that in half the time it would take me up here.

While sitting there comparing notes, annual reviews for Corner Bakery employees ensued and I witnessed (read: eavesdrop on) the last two of the morning. I’ve worked at my share of restaurants during high school and university, but this was quite the review process. First, most of the employees at this Corner Bakery speak English as their second language. I love these folks – I see them a couple times a week, and they recognize most of their customers. It’s a friendly place to eat, and because we work upstairs they are familiar with much of our staff.

But you know those people that think because someone speaks English as their second language that speaking LOUDER to them will help with that? Well, talk to the CB manager, because he’s the president of that club. Listen Captain Ridiculous, if they don’t understand what you’re saying, it’s because they don’t – yelling isn’t helping.

That said, I overheard these employee’s entire review, and here are a few data points that you can take or leave. The last one has particularly relevant customer ramifications:

– Corner Bakery – when it comes to quick serve restaurants – pays pretty well. These employees were making over $8 an hour, most in the $8:25 to $8.50 range after being their less than a year.

– Corner Bakery likes to see smiles on their employees.

– Office Space is a movie that they not only like, but might possibly show in their manager training sessions (i.e. comments like, “Yes, hello, how are you feeling, let’s sit down and talk,” and then jumps into a scan-tron style review)

– Look for new uniforms in your local Corner Bakery within the next 10 to 14 days.

– And here’s the kicker… they are having a glove problem. Oh yes, I heard an employee chided for not wearing rubber gloves, then proceed to argue the manager that they aren’t comfortable, and then to have him tell her that she had to and that he was going to “start” being serious about this. Hmmm…

Take what you will from this, the most important thing to me is this glove ditty. I’m not sure what to think, although I’ll say I’m a little grossed out.

(This is actaully kind of funny in light of my inside scoop on their store.)

8 Comments so far

  1. Don (unregistered) on January 30th, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

    Apparently glove usage isn’t as open and shut an issue as I had always thought; when I started bartending in Miami I discovered that there were no regulations on glove usage in food prep. When mentioned my surprise to a chef friend of mine he said that it’s pretty 50-50 on the issue of it being a good or bad thing unless you have good procedures, in which case the advantages are slim anyway. Meaning that people who are not fastidious about their hand-washing and what and when they touch still manage to make the same mistakes and introduce contamination when wearing gloves.

    Which when I thought about it made sense; you’re just as able to touch your eye, pick your teeth, rub your nose, etc, wearing gloves as bare-handed.


  2. Stacey (unregistered) on January 30th, 2006 @ 12:40 pm

    Oh yeah, totally true on the gloves. At this one coffee shop that I used to manage, we didn’t wear them when we were making drinks, only when prepping food.

    I guess the one hole in the procedure thing is the bathroom. If people are washing hands regularlly, etc. then I’m closer to being okay with not wearing gloves. Maybe this is just mental for me, but the problem comes in there not being a check and balance for the hand-washing thing. If they don’t wash their hands after the rest room, gloves are gonna save me from those germs. If they don’t, then I have a bigger chance of eating those germies with my salad.

    Besides that one, I’m with you on the glove thing.


  3. wayan (unregistered) on January 30th, 2006 @ 1:30 pm

    No matter what the restaurant people do, you’re gonna get bathroom germs Stacy. Current surveys say (will hunt for them when I have the chance) after using the bathroom, men wash hands 40% of the time, and women wash hands 60% of the time. No memory if that included soap or not.

    Now you know why Japanese bow instead of shake.


  4. Don (unregistered) on January 30th, 2006 @ 1:40 pm

    Yeah, bathroom hygene is one of my many bugaboos. Whenever I see someone leave the men’s room w/o using the sink I always want to go off a la “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and point at them and howl out in the restaurant. I _have_ yelled at restaurant workers who I saw start to leave the john w/o washing. Disgusting.


  5. David Gaines (unregistered) on January 30th, 2006 @ 2:51 pm

    as far as english being a second language for the employees, who really cares!? as long as i’m greeted with a smile, the universal language for acceptance, and an effort is made for us to communicate my order, i’m cool.

    for the most part, those who do not speak english as a first language have exceeded my expectations for someone who works in a bakery or a cafe, regardless of their primary language.

    ***

    as far as the gloves: i learned a long time ago when i had my run of restaurant jobs that policies, guidelines and signs on the back of the bathroom door won’t affect the behavior of the employees. only the manager’s actions as a manager can. any word on the review of the manager?


  6. Medusa (unregistered) on January 30th, 2006 @ 5:59 pm

    Reading the title of this entry, I expected to find something prostitution-oriented!

    ;)


  7. Michael (unregistered) on January 30th, 2006 @ 6:04 pm

    Captain Ridiculous probably make $9.00 an hour and picks his nose. I wish lawyers like me had cool ranks like Captain. I’ve been a lawyer for 5 years and I havn’t gotten any more ESQs to add to my name or anything. . . talk about ridiculous!

    P.S. I ALWAYS wash my hands ALTHOUGH I heard a science major say that tests have showed that among people who shower daily, there are less germs on male genitalia than on sink handles so washing transmits MORE germs for guys who shake off that last drop of pee than NOT washing. BUT I’d rather have gallons of sink handle germs on me than an ounce of someone else’s pee on me. . . I think.


  8. SJ (unregistered) on February 1st, 2006 @ 9:03 am

    HEY STACEY CAN YOU PICK ME UP A BACON EGG CHEESE PANINI NEXT TIME YOU GO ESCAPE. Not sure if you took my request seriously so I thought I would “scream” it. Screaming always helps.

    But seriously folks, seriously now…who doesn’t love that bacon egg cheese panini??? I dare you to find one person.



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