No consideration for the homeless…..Applebees Restaurant hostess

I started working at a popular chain restaurant, known as Applebees, during a time in which I had some detrimental hardships. Bottom line, I was homeless and had nowhere stable to go. I’d already been in a lousy financial situation, which hindered completion of college education to get a REAL job, then on top of that, I got laid off from a low-paying job at the mall. So I was in a terrible financial predicament, and now a new problem arose when I was kicked out of my house with no car, no place to go, no way to stay warm in the winter snowstorms.

I was glad when Applebee’s hired me (initially as a hostess, with opportunity to move up to server over time). With my unlimited open availability, I hoped they’d give me somewhere close to full-time hours. Or maybe at least half. No, instead they gave me short 1-3hr shifts–I’M NOT KIDDING WHEN I SAY THAT MY AVERAGE WORKDAY LASTED 2HRS. I’d work the meal rush, then be told that I was “cut” and could go home now–that’s great, but where’s home again?? Exactly.

Also the pay was horrible. I was supposed to be paid $4.50/hr+tips, tips being taken as a share of the servers’ tips. The GM told me their average hostess made approx. $10-12/hr after tips were added. But where were my tips?? I did a good job, even assisted servers with their side duties when I wasn’t busy, yet didn’t see any tips added in to my paycheck–instead, they just paid a straight $4.50/hr with just enough of a “manager’s compensation” to bring my wage to an exact $5.15/hr, which was the required federal minimum wage. Minimum wage?

While I was working at Applebees, I tried to maintain an internal positive attitude despite my bad situation and homelessness. I acted very cheerful, worked hard, and most importantly kept my personal problems to myself in order to save face. The last thing I needed was to be the topic of workplace gossip or the “workplace pariah”. For example, I carried a huge duffel bag containing clothes, toiletries, & possessions, and sometimes I was stuck lugging this bag to work with me. When the GM commented on such a big bag I was carrying, I lied by saying “Oh, I was playing field hockey right before I got here” even though I was one of the most unathletic mo-fos in the world. One time a co-worker offered me a ride home, so I directed him to a town different than where I’d originally said I was from, since this was where I was lucky enough to crash at a friend’s that night. “But I thought you lived in [name of town].” So I just cheerfully told everyone that I was temporarily staying with a friend because my dad was renovating the kitchen at our house, so our house was inhabitable for a short time.

However, my crappy personal problems did catch up to me and the managers were hardly sympathetic. It started when I was scheduled to work on Sunday. This Applebees was located in a very small, upper-class suburb town, so mass transit did not run up this far into the suburbs on Sundays. I spent all day trying to beg friends into giving me a ride to work, with no luck. Finally I had no choice but to call out of work, and while I was on hold to talk to a manager, the payphone cut out & that was the last of my change.

I called the GM on Monday to confirm her knowledge of me calling out & she said I was ok. But on Tuesday when I showed up for my scheduled shift, the assistant manager berated me for what’d happened on Sunday, and wrote me up for it. Now I am not the type of employee who gets written up, so I took this as a huge insult/punishment. At that point, I broke down & explained to the GM and assistant manager that I was homeless, had no way to get around, esp when I didn’t even know where I’d be sleeping the night before. He was like “Hmmph but I thought you said your dad was simply fixing the kitchen?” so after that lie, he just disregarded everything I said as a lie. BUT DO YOU REALLY BLAME ME FOR NOT WANTING TO AIR MY DIRTY LAUNDRY WHEN I FIRST STARTED A JOB?? I was trying to maintain a level of normalcy at this job. Hey, it wasn’t like the managers had a spare room to let me live in or anything. The assistant manager was also mad at me b/c I told him that I would have to work a second job to get nearly the hours I needed, and this job would interfere with the “unlimited” availability. His sarcastic response? “I can tell you this right now: If you’re trying to work, like, 8 part-time jobs, most likely the hours will conflict at some point and the end result will NOT be good. At all.”

But wouldn’t you expect someone to need a 2nd job, if you were only giving them like 7hr workweeks? If I was homeless and had bills and needed to save up for an apartment down deposit, I’d need a leeetle more than $19/week. I tried to forget about this during the rest of my shift, but it was kind of hard when that same assistant manager picked on me the whole night, falsely blaming me for stuff or being overly critical of my work despite my efforts. I guess he already found his reason to dislike me.

A day later, I called the GM to say I quit. 7-hour weeks at barely minimum wage was just not making it worthwhile to trek into the suburbs, esp when the only busses that went to that town stopped running after 7pm and didn’t run at all on Sundays. Last thing I needed was to work in a workplace where now everyone knew my embarrassing homeless story, and people now had “reason” to dislike me or use my attempt to cover up my drama as a reason to distrust me. And how would I ever get promoted from hostess to server now, when I’d been written up less than 3weeks after starting?? It wasn’t worth it. I’d been commended by Applebee’s regional corporates for my good work, but all of this was pretty much disregarded when they found out I was homeless scum and had factors beyond my control that would potentially interfere with ability to get to work. Basically the job woulda been ok, if it weren’t for the management using my bad situation against me.


Old Comments:

  1. I don't necessarily have a computer; in fact, I'm using the public Free Library to use Internet. Things are better now, but they would not have gotten better if I stayed working at a 7hr/week, $5.15/hr job. There was no opportunity for finding Housing Assistance, places to go at night, good availability of mass transit, etc in a small little suburb town; I had to go to the Big City to find any opportunity for jobs, housing, etc.

    Can someone really blame me for keeping my skeletons in the closet, sotospeak?? I was doing exactly what the "ideal employee" is supposed to do, which was leaving my personal problems at the front door, and maintaining a (fake but convincing) cheerful attitude at work. I didn't tell the managers I was homeless because if I did, I would have been the central subject of workplace gossip, esp since most of the empoyees were college-aged kids from privledged, upper-middle-class homes.
  2. Are you okay now? What state are you in?
  3. The *only* reason I am not homeless now is because I put morals aside(why do onto others when other people didn't do good to me? I don't think the Applebees manager was being very moral/nice in what he did to me) and started dancing and using "good-looking guys" to network for finance jobs.
  4. Hard to believe the customers in a strip joint will truly be willing to help you, but good luck.

    Then again, I've never been to one so I don't know what the customers are like, so I may be talking out my ***.
  5. Customers at a strip club DO help me, by tipping me well so that I can afford to keep a roof over my head AND pay my bills. I wouldn't trust all of the guys who enter the strip club, and I DEFINITELY wouldn't extend any "relationship" with them outside the club, but I do run into high-end clientele with jobs as lawyers, stock brokers, real estate appraisers, etc. When talking to them, I often tell them about college and what I'm looking to do after college, and sometimes they give me useful tips on good places to apply and advice on how to enter my field.

    By the way, I just graduated college!! Stripping made it possible to pay back the outstanding debt I owed my college, so that I'd be able to return to school and finish my degree. My last-ever final exam was this Tuesday. This time last year, I was a carless homeless medically-uninsured flat-chested college drop-out, one single semester short of graduation and debt up to my forehead. A year later, I have my own apartment all to myself, a boob job, a brand-new sportscar, 0 revolving debt, and best of Bachelor of Arts degree.
  6. and on top of all that- zero self-esteem and self-worth! I'm trash! Go me!
  7. OK I am the original poster for this story. It took until now before I had to get a username in order to comment. (That, and I only check this site on sporadic occasion.)

    To commenter #7: What the hell do you mean?? Oh, I have no self-esteem? In all honesty, did you REALLY expect me to have any self-esteem if I was homeless and being harassed/interrogated by pretty much everyone? Of COURSE I was already feeling sh*tty about myself at the time, and yes Applebees kinda depressed me further. But either way, I had enough DIGNITY to try and hide my problems at work and "act" as if I had a nonchalant, normal lifestyle. I didn't confess to the manager that I was homeless until I was in a situation where there was no other decent explanation. Maybe YOU are the one who is trash. I'm sure you can't say that you have a college degree or have improved your quality of life by 15X in one year's time. Try accomplishing what I have, THEN get back to me. Oh and by the way, my mother is deceased...shows what you know. I hope you feel really sh*tty now for making that crack about my mom. F*CKER.
  8. Wow! I got my B.A through working three part-time jobs and some student loans...who's the stupid one now, eh!??

    But at the end of it, other than being really tired, I had self-worth, real titties (nice ones too!), and fresh breath (cause I didn't have to suck **** to get ahead - no pun intended!)
  9. This story really pisses me off, I'm not done yet.

    To quote the song by Kanye are a most appropriate example.

    Also, don't expect to get any support from successful females out there in the "real world" honey. No self-respecting woman is going to shoot any kudos your way for takng your clothes off (and we ALL know that is the bare minimum that goes on in strip clubs) to make money. Shaking your booty infront of Doctors, Lawyers and Stock Brokers? So you purposely ask the clients what they do for a living so you may source out opportunities for yourself? So what if your client is a bank teller or works at Price Chopper? You won't talk the same way to him because of what he does? He is no use to you then but for a few bucks and a grind or shallow, self-absorbed opportunist! One minute you are crying the woes of "I was homeless" and then the next moment "I got a sportscar and a boob-job!" How about volunteering some of your time and your so-called fat wallet to put back into the community for the homeless? If you were soooooo affected, you would be trying to help others who are in the same situation you were. Personally, I think your story is a crock of shit. I think you just finished smoking your crack pipe and have no one else to talk to as you have no friends because they see you for what you really are. Research some of the most successful women of our time (Oprah Winfrey, Condoleeza Rice) and you will find they came from nothing but worked hard to get where they are by faith and determination and morals, not the "easy way" in life. I'm sorry about your mother - that is too bad, but ask yourself this, "would she be proud?" As a mother myself....doubt it.
  10. YOU are a big crock of shit. You claim to talk about morals and such, yet you have a name like "evil_upheaval." Ha! That's a good one!

    I don't care HOW pissed off you are. Maybe YOU pissed me off. I can quote SHITTY rap music too. In words of Eminem, "So you can suck my dick if you don't like my shit..." For all I know, you're real name is DINA and you were one of the asshole GMs at the Applebees that I worked at. Did you even read ANY portion of my story at all? Would YOU have continued to work at a place that gave you short little shifts and didn't allocate your share of the tips to you? I think not!

    And what does it matter that you have real titties and that you could qualify for student loans? Are you a "better person" because you were "blessed" with better boobs? First off, I couldn't qualify for financial aide and didn't have the income or credit requirements to get private loans. Next, I DID work 3...sometimes even 5!...part-time jobs, and some of them were okay, and some of them totally screwed me(please read the story about the Halloween store, or Friendlys!). Applebee's is one example. They treat employees like disposable numbers, and they hold things like involuntary homelessness against some perfectly good-natured people.

    You seem very judmgnetal and narrow-minded, and those are things that are immoral, too. The fact that you said that you have "fresh breath"(heh, I doubt it! Hambergers and nasty meat don't do wonder for your breath you know! You sound like an anti-vegetarian) because you don't suck dick, shows that you know NOTHING about dancing AT ALL. Dancing is NOT prostitution; it is simply dancing, conversing, and lapdancing. I've NEVER sucked dick or done "extras" working. I bet you fucked a lot of guys in 9th/10th grade early high school, you slut. When I worked at MCDONALDS, I worked with more sex offenders and cokeheads and manager/teenage-employee affairs than at the strip club! Not one, but TWO of my former McD's employees became registered sex offenders a few years later! I'm not trying to put down McDonalds, but to make a point that strip clubs are not any worse than any other establishment. Obviously you've never been to one to know! And if you check out my story on exotic dancing, you'll see that I have a LOT of support from the females!

    You have a kid? Damn I feel sorry for that kid! Thank God for counselling...kid's gonna need it someday!
  11. How can you speak for my mother? Are you God? Thank GOD you're NOT!! As for my mother, she disapproved of me way before I started dancing! Remember, she kicked me out?(kicked me out because despite my hard work and jobsearch efforts, the only jobs I could get hired at were shit jobs like Applebees and retail) That's why I became homeless and got discriminated against by the assistant manager at Applebees! Yeah, there were times that I held myself back from entering the stripping world, because I was afraid of what my mom would think(even though she wouldn't have to know)...but after she pretty much disowned me, I didn't have anything to lose as far as her opinion!

    Oh and you've LOOOOOVVVVE this mom didn't start talking to me again until I made all kinds of money stripping! She didn't know I was dancing, she just saw that I had a new car and a new apartment, therefore I was worthy of being invited to family holidays again!(so that's the reason I tend to brag about all the stuff I have) Luckily we made up before she passed away. Why did it have to be my mom? Why couldn't it have been YOUUUUUUUUU? I'm sure no one would miss you.
  12. You have a college degree, but you write like you dropped out of high school in the 9th grade. Your spelling is horrendous.
  13. I wonder how some people could laugh at others predicament. Stay strong MinWageJobsSck. These would make you stronger. Good luck to you.
  14. hey girl, that mother probably had her kid when she was 15 so seriously ignore her sorry ass. if she's a mother then the b**** has fu***** problems obviously she is a heartless adolf hitler. she could have been molested by her dad as a child so shes just hating on people who i dont know all of a sudden got a better u. and if the b**** could fu***** READ then she'd realize you tried working at a restaurant FIRST. and its not YOUR fault that the managers at fu***** applebees are heartless mo fos. so you knew you have morals and whatever else the w**** said and realized you dont need that shit from them so yea you had to resort to dancing. and if the b**** would think...MANY STRIPPERS/DANCERS SAY THEY WILL GO TO COLLEGE BUT DONT INSTEAD THEY STRIP/DANCE UNTIL THEY GET TOO OLD AND THEY SPEND ALL THEIR MONEY AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS? exactly. girl, think about that. you made it by what? you have a degree and are good now. like i said people hate. i read your story and what the b**** wrote and she is such a dumbass. remember this: usually people who have bad lives like to make other people feel worse just because it makes them feel better. and yep she sounds like 1 of them... o and i AM sorry about your mom.
  15. Hey all you people talking crap should think before posting. You ever been homless? Never knowing where you next meal/bath/any kind of comfort will come from? I've been homeless and you can't survive without throwing your morals out the door. Besides, even if you aint homeless who you gonna rely on? Yourself.

    I aint gotta tell ya or defend ya
    MinWageJobsSck tell em.
  16. Thanks to the people who sympathize my past situation and support my efforts to get ahead. Snowwhitekitty, f*ck you and your claims that my grammar is "horrendous". Who do you think YOU are? As for Evil_upheaval, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one that sees her to be a narrowminded judgmental b*tch. Heh I laughed when I read the comment about how she "probably had her kid at 15"...I wouldn't be surprised if it's true too...ironically, when I was 15 I was a min wage dishwasher/McDonalds worker straight-A pimply faced virgin who hadn't gone on a single date in my life and wasn't even allowed to wear tank tops. For all I know, Evil_upheaval was one of the b*tches at my high school who dated the guys I liked, mocked me for never dating, and didn't invite me to the parties.
  17. Although much of what you said made me sad, your post was encouraging in that it shows how quickly things can turn around.
    I "googled" homeless no car and found your post because that is where I am right now too, although I expect things will start looking up any day now.
    What inspired me to write was the unkindness of the person who condemned you for dancing.
    I am a Bible school graduate who planned to be a missionary her whole adult life.
    Then, in our 40s my husband didn't want to be married to me any more. I lost every friend I had to a viscious rumour. My circumstances have been very difficult, and although I have never been a stripper, I have compromised my morals in other ways that at times seem very strange to myself.
    It is easy to be judgemental if you have never been abandoned by everything most people take for granted. Although I have no friends, the Lord, who was known as a "friend of sinners" has never forgotten me. I should be cowering in fear/shame but He is "the lifter up of my head" according to Psalms and has been there for me every step of the way, though He has not condoned certain relationships I been involved with. Remember He forgave the woman caught in adultery and told her to go and sin no more, but blasted the religious pharisees who thought they were so good.
    May your life be filled with God's peace. quietlady