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Forbidden to work with extremely childish coworker = cut hours

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I have been working at a new small restaurant in town since it opened about 2 months ago. Since it's such a small place we all have been trained to do multiple jobs. 99% of the time I run food out to the guests and perform wait-staff duties. I originally was working five hour days, six days a week. Until about 2-3 weeks ago I got into an argument with a coworker. She typically works evenings and I work days. Except for on Saturdays when we both work together on days. She works both shifts on Saturday but I just come in for lunch.


On this particular day we were very busy. However, I use to work in a very high-volume restaurant and I am more than capable of performing my duties. She began trying to help me by clearing tables but I did not ask for him AND there were guests waiting at the register for their order to be taken. At first I nicely I told her, "Don't worry about this. I can clean this up." She insisted that she help and complained how there was no place for these people to sit and how they HAD to change their order to, to-go. The table we were clearing had only been empty for one minute MAYBE two. Even though I was highly irritated I let her help me. She walked back to the kitchen with the left over cups while I wiped down the table. This took maybe a minute and as soon as I got back to the kitchen she was picking up food to take out. The order of food had JUST been made. In fact the cook was still plating another dish that went on the ticket. I was in shock. There were STILL people at the register. I said to her, "Dude, I can do my job." She flipped. I took the plates from her and ignored her. Some time went on-- 10-15 mins --and I come back to the kitchen to find her gossiping with the dish washer. She goes off on me saying how we need to talk. I calmly say to her, "There are some guests waiting at the register for their order to be taken." Which was true. She stomped off. The rest of the shift went smoothly.


However, my boss has a talk with me two days later. He decides we cannot work together anymore. He explains I cannot work Saturdays anymore and he's docking her a shift as well. At first I was pleased because this meant I had two days off. But now that I am realizing the effect this has on me money-wise I am not so pleased anymore.


Also, because this is a small place there are only six of us who work there. One woman is very sick currently and two other girls are students. This one lady I work with may not be able to work on Friday due to a death in the family. However, I am concerned about what this means about me working this Friday. The only other person able to work would be the coworker I got into a fight with. It's also got me thinking about what would happen in the future if other people were busy and the only people available to work are myself and this other coworker I am forbidden to work with. I am concerned about my future at my work place.


To make matters worse, this particular coworker is extremely childish. She is a 29 year old woman and acts like she is 13. She chews gum constantly and it very loud, rude, and demanding. Not to mention, she is lazy and half-arses everything she does. I constantly come into her messes in the morning. I complain to my boss but nothing is done and there is no improvement. She has no concept of personal space or how to politely talk to people. She hugs the dishwashers so tightly and they are struggling to get away and nearly wrestles them to the ground (AND THIS DURING WORKING BUSINESS HOURS). She also wears inappropriate clothing to work and has not be reprimanded for it because she continues to wear it. She also stands around and complains about how she is bored and how we need a TV when there are tons of things to clean, dust, bottles to fill, bathrooms that need paper towel refills, trash that needs to be taken out, etc, etc. Oh, and since the "fight" she has been really snotty and rude to me every time I speak to her. She comes in a little early for her shift (10-15 minutes early) and I needed to go to the post office and I asked her, "Are you ready to take over?" And she replied, "Well duh. Don't you see my name written up there on the time sheet? I'm clocked in."


The only reason I was able to get a job at this place was because I was friends with someone. I am assuming that is how she got the job as well. I'm not sure of her connections with the owner but I'm afraid they are closer than mine. I am afraid I will find my hours cut because I am not allowed to work with her. (And even if I wanted to pick up a night shift I couldn't because she works them!!!) I feel under appreciated because I honestly never have half-arsed anything there. I always do my best and work hard.


I feel like this is really long. So thank you for reading. I need advice on this situation! Can my boss legally not allow me to work with her? Can he legally cut my hours like he did? How can I attempt to get along with this childish coworker? Thanks everyone!



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The manager handled this poorly. He should have told you both to act professionally. I know, I know...she's the childish snotty one. But the best way to deal with these people is to simply do your job and ignore their crap behavior. When they realize that you won't play the game and they are making fools of themselves by engaging, then they turn their attention to someone else for some of that drama fix.


You are pretty young, and I guarantee that you will run accross people like this no matter what kind of job you do. It doesn't matter if you work at Walmart or are a high up in a fortune 500 company. Unfortunately people are people and assbags are everywhere.


It is irrelevant how she acts, what is relevant is how you react.


Tell your boss that you are over the drama, over any conflict and that you want to help him as much as possible by taking whatever shift you can.

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I agree. I think my boss handled this poorly. I was fine with carrying on ignoring her to the best of my abilities but he says he cannot have any drama or tension that he cannot work like that. I really don't know how else I could have handled the situation we had that one Saturday. I was frustrated but I did not raise my voice at her. I just wanted to do my work and I wanted her to do her's. I have been ignoring her when she comes in for her evening shift unless it is absolutely necessary that I speak to her. I've had to work with an ex bf in the past and I thought that was tough ... she is a whole other breed of trouble. I just keep my cool when she's around and complain about her to my bf when I get home. I told my boss that I was over the tiss when we had our conversation. But he does not seem to care. He just wants us separated. I need my hours. I want to work. I think it's highly impractical to not allows us to work together especially since it's such a small place.

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If she's as bad as you say, just bide your time, get along with everyone else and let this one hang herself.


Agreed. However, I believe she is friends somehow with the owner/boss. Everyone who works there has a connection somehow to him. People weren't just randomly hired. I'm worried about how close they are...

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I can't imagine the boss would put this girl on the schedule friday to replace the other worker, then take you off. That wouldn't possibly do any good, all that would accomplish was trading 1 for 1 & still be an employee short that day.


For now, I would do my best to continue working professionally. I might also look for another job, in case it comes to that. Maybe find another part time job to make up for the hours you are shorted? You've only been there such a short time; it will take a little longer for your boss to build confidence in you as they get to know you, your work ethic & efficiency. I would tell your boss that you would like to have a 3-way meeting- you, him & the annoying girl- outlining some guidelines for working together peacefully. Such as, you each will stay in your own lane unless ASKED for help, and you will keep calm & not lose your temper when things don't go exactly the way you want it to.


If this does not resolve the issue, I would look for another job, and once you find one, tell the boss you can't afford to continue working less than 30 hours a week, and while you enjoy working there, you simply can't afford it & must take the new job if your hours are not restored.

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I spoke with my bf about this and we both realized as we talked about it that he would prolly call his mother to come in as the replacement. It was like an ah-ha moment. But STILL it is ridiculous nonetheless.


The owner and his partner have been raving about how they think I am awesome... or they were. I haven't changed my work habits at all-- except to mention large messes I find in the morning that I suspect come from her... or somebody on the night shift.


I have another PT job actually. It pays better too... but I got it after the job I have now. I'm planning on picking up more hours there next week. Also, the partner at my 1st job might have another PT job lined up for me in a few weeks. I'm just a little frustrated at this ridiculous situation. It should only be a temporary fix IF even that.


Sadly, I don't think she could sit still for a meeting with the three of us. I predict it would get blown out of proportion, take way too long and be a waste of time. It does sound like a good idea but I seriously don't believe she had the brain cells for it.


I also considered leaving there especially if the pay is continually better at my other job. I'm going to be keeping tabs in a little note pad. It's just a really dismal feeling when your pay check can't pay your part of the rent. If I am lucky I make $200 a week at that place.




I'm getting that feeling. My bf WAS working there too. They fired him on his second day and they told me he was fired before they told him. I was like "double u tee eff" I've tried to forget it happened but it makes me worry how they can just fire people at a drop of a hat and the employees don't have any policies or rules to protect them from that.




Thanks for teaching me the word, nepotism. Anyways, I do get the feeling of that happening... which I despise.

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I've seen this happen a lot in private companies.


You find that there is a lot of nepotism AND favoritism going on, and there isn't much you can do about it, esp if the people are related to the owners or close friends of people in upper management.

I worked for a small company like that once and the owner gave the secretary (whom he had recently promoted from AP like me) a fur coat! I'll never forget that.


My DH is working for a small company like that; didn't get his salary in writing, and the guy has docked his salary every year for 3 years; he's now making $26,000 less than what the guy promised. But we have nothing in writing. You just can't win with a small company, unless you're 100% sure he/she is a person of incredible integrity. Unfortunately, many people who DO succeed, do so because they DON'T have that integrity.

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