Pizza Shop overrun with flying insects, I could really use advice properly reporting (kinda long)
I'm keeping things vague for the moment. I work in a pizza shop where insects in the spring/summer are a problem. Before we move forward, I need to mention this one fact: wind curtains were installed in this store over the only employee entrance, but are completely ineffective. I would swear before a judge while connected to a polygraph that I sweep up...not a small but not a large number of insects each night. Maybe 30-40 if I HAD to estimate. Tonight was the absolute worst I've ever seen however — hundreds and hundreds, maybe even 1,000+ flying insects. There was a variety of insects, from crickets to mayflies, but the majority of them were these tiny things that looked like a flea the size of a fruit fly (2-3mm). These are the things I experienced during my shift:
- Opening a previously unopened box (since it was initially folded) and finding four insects that had crawled inside
- I personally witnessed that, in the time it took to get a pizza off the oven's conveyor belt to its box, (1-2 seconds) a flying insect had already landed on it, and it needed to be remade
- While I was tending the oven, in the time it took to transfer breadsticks from the oven to its just-opened-box (again...1-2 seconds), a fly had landed on the breadstick tray and it needed to be replaced
- Delivery drivers had to wait extra time on products that needed to be remade (Any delivery drivers out there know if you're waiting in the store, you're losing money. Tips are delivery driver's lifeblood, and time decides how many deliveries you can take in a shift — the classic 'time=money')
- Swarms of insects crawling on the floors
- Customers were upset with the wait time
- Having to slap or brush away a flying insect off your person every few seconds
- Intense anxiety, tremors, racing thoughts, sweating, feelings of physical revulsion from the swarm of insects. (This one is personal and includes a backstory that I'll tell if there's interest. I love insects - OUTSIDE. They're critical to the nth degree for the services they provide to the environment as well as the food-chain. I respect them, their role in the world, and find their behaviors very intriguing. Inside, and specifically in a multitudinous swarm, it's my own personal hell where they can all fuck right off to and burn to death in fiery pits a million times over . I. Hate. Insects. Inside. Period. Arachnids, on the other hand...we cool 'cause they eat those pests)
(I have pictures and a video I took to back up all these claims, aside from the upset customers, but can't share them since I'm trying to keep things vague until the next step forward is determined, and the pictures/video would immediately identify the business)
I promptly and vehemently lodged a complaint with the shift manager, saying it was clearly a health code violation. This is what happened: my shift manager (SM) contacted the store's general manager (GM) and district manager (DM) about the bug issue. The GM told me that she has repeatedly brought the issue up with the DM and they rarely do anything about it because of the seasonal nature of the issue, and she did nothing to improve the situation. The SM contacted the DM to let him know the extent of the problem, and in typical finger-in-the-dam's-leak fashion, was told that the DM would bring a fogger in the next day in addition to resealing the front door...which...tbh I don't even know what that means...we're doing outside-the-store carryout orders at a pick-up window and don't use the front door currently. That wasn't an adequate response given the number of bugs in the store. I texted the DM directly, here's a transcript of our conversation (I can include a screenshot if necessary)
Me: (DM's name), it's (me). Look, I know you've heard from (SM's name) already, but I need to impress upon the point: we've had to remake things because flies landed in and on pizzas between the end of the oven and being boxed. The amount of bugs here is absolutely disgusting and this store shouldn't be open.
DM: I dont have the authority to close stores. I have worked there as then gm for years. You have to deal with it. Keep doors closed and things covered.
DM: I know it sucks.
Me: This is beyond what we're equipped to handle.
DM: I will reseal the front doors and buy fogger for tomorrow.
Me: Okay, could you please send along (Owner's) # so I can let her know?
DM: (Sends owner's email address)
Me: There's no 'store-emergency-let-(Owner's name)- know' number? It's a health code emergency. We're actively trying not to serve bugs and failing. Remakes, drivers waiting on remakes, (company specific metric's names) probably impacted...it's that bad. Come on, help me out here, please.
DM: She will see the email
DM: Just like a phone call
DM: I have made her aware of the situation
DM: Im in communications with her
This texting occurred while I was out on a few deliveries, but not while driving. I needed to specify that, and add: texts can wait. Please don't text and drive. As a delivery driver, I see a LOT of bad driving. Pull over to to text back, or just wait until you get to your destination to respond. 99.999% of the time, whatever that text message says isn't potentially worth your, or someone else's, life. Digression aside...
I've worked on and off at this pizza store for about 6 years. Upper management has a kick-the-can style mentality when it comes to addressing problems, a refusal to fire problem-employees because of the high turnover employment rate, in addition to a level of penny-pinching that Mr. Krabs himself would be jealous of. Big problems are ALWAYS "worked out" between the DM and owner behind closed doors; all the employees ever get are decisions, not rationales.
I kept taking deliveries, but I was a mess; I couldn't think straight and the the only thing that kept going through my head was having to go back inside. My hands were shaking, I was sweating, and my stomach was in knots. An even more veteran employee mentioned to me that these bugs have been a problem for the last "7 to 8 years". That's in quotes, because she said it, because she experienced it. 7-8...fucking...YEARS!!! Tonight the bugs proved to be an unusual situation that required a unique response. When I got back from my delivery, sitting in my car shaking life a fuckin' leaf during a tornado, I sent the owner this email. Everything in '[ ]' are spelling/grammar corrections
The (our) store is completely overrun with insects. I couldn't get a pizza from the end of the oven to it's [its] box before bugs landed in and in it. It's beyond what any employee should be directed [expected] to deal with, and at this point [is] a public health code violation. I'm physically revolted and experiencing anxiety at the thought of even going back in there, which NEVER happens to me. And I mean ever. Like, ever-EVER. The store needs to be closed down ASAP, and something needs to be done to keep bugs out, because this has been a problem for a loooooong time. Please call [SM's name] and let [her] close the store. Please!
Never heard back from her. So I fought to continue working and gave management time to respond and make a decision. I took another delivery, and when I got back, I saw the DM's car in the parking lot and the overhead lights in the store off. I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking the situation had been properly assessed and the store was closed to clean up the horror within. .........................Unsurprisingly, and of-fucking-course...I was wrong. I had just checked back in from my delivery, walked up to my DM and asked if we're closing, and he says "We can't turn away profit at 9pm at night to close (12pm).".........on a slow-ass Tuesday night where we didn't even have a dinner-rush.
Folks, I about fucking lost it right there and then. It took every figurative fiber of my patience and being to not fucking scream right in his stupid fucking face fucking there and then. This job, as with just about every other job in this fucking capitalistic society...favors money over the health and well-being of the public they're there to serve. It's absolutely disgusting. Abhorrent. It's morally bankrupt to continue serving food from a store in the midst of a severe health-code violation......and yet that's exactly what the owner ordered because she didn't want to lose 3 fucking hours of profit. The DM was there putting up a fan in front of the carry-out window to blow bugs away from it. .........a fucking fan. I didn't stick around, the anxiety I felt just being there was more than I could stand. I gave all my cash-order money to the DM, along with my pizza store car topper, all my tips earned that night, and left without a word to anyone.
When I got in my car, I couldn't hold it back and screamed the fuck word a few times at the top of my voice and pounded the shit out of my steering wheel. I know you don't know me, my personality, or my mannerisms, but imagine if Jesus or Mr. Rogers tripped a leper hobbling down the street then laughed about it while taking a piss on them. That's how unusual it is for me to act out like this. I'm an incredible stoic person by nature, and it takes a hell of a lot to get my goat. I always try to be a good employee, do what I need to do in a shift and a little more so nobody can accuse me of not doing my fair share, and go the fuck home........rinse, wash, and repeat.
This incident reached deeeeeeeeep fuckin' down into a part of me I rarely get to access. It's righteous rage of a good employee scorned. The saying 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned' also applies to good employees trying to just do their basic job in the middle of a powerful torrent of corporate and capitalist bullshit. What fucking dollar amount is it okay to remain open and serving food to the public in the midst of a MASSIVE FUCKING HEALTH CODE VIOLATION?!? It's a rhetorical question, because we all fucking know the goddamn fucking answer to the fucking question!!! FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so fuckin' angry right now.
There's an explitive-laced email I'd reeeeaaaaalllllllly like to send to the owner that I'm currently sitting on, as well as a call to the local health department to get that store shut the fuck down.........but I also realize I'm incredibly upset at the moment and shouldn't be making any decisions. Another thing I'd like to mention as an aside is the acronym HALT. It stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. These are all emotional states that cloud our better judgement. If you realize you're experiencing one of these emotions, try really hard to have a presence of mind to not make any hasty or rash decisions until you've calmed down. People, historically, make really bad decisions when upset some way or another.
So that's where I leave things. I have the contact info for the local health department on stand-by, and at least 6 months of rent in a rainy day fund if I need to say 'fuck this job' while I look for another. How should I move forward? I really appreciate everyone that's taken the time to read this, and doubly appreciate those who responded with their advice.
submitted by 8Gh0st8