Got laid off from Quiznos – no need for pity

At 3:59 yesterday, on Monday of July 6, 2009, I gave a call to Quiznos to see what days I was working this week. I had not seen myself on the schedule for this week, so I thought I should give a call to see if she had made up her mind yet. Turns out she did.

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Nobody answered after a few rings, so I hung up. About less than a minute later, I got a call from some number I didn’t recognize. Turns out, it was Kelly, my manager. Business has been slow, so they had to lay me off. To me, that just feels the same as being fired. She wanted me to turn in my cap and shirt, and get my paychecks. I had already left my cap there on a previous occasion, so I didn’t feel the need to worry about that. Instead, I worried about finding a new job. I felt really sad that she picked ME to lay off. Why not someone else?

I admit, I’d been kinda slow off in the beginning, when I started in January, but I’ve caught up real well in the past few months. I come to work on time, at least 96% of the time (many times even earlier), I usually answered to calls to fill in for someone who had plans for his/her day to work, I sometimes visited even when I wasn’t working and chat with some coworkers, and help them out a bit, and I haven’t stolen any money or items really that I could think of (though I took some paper bags or boxes that were to be thrown out anyway). I’m courteous to customers, I’m pretty generous, and I don’t really complain about anything.

Unfortunately, the only major problem I had was when Kelly assigned days, and there just had to be those few days that I could not work. Just a few. So then she started giving me less days, and now there’s no days. I only meant that I couldn’t work those few days, but I guess I never asserted I could work other days during the week. That’s what my coworker thinks is why I’ve been laid off. I suspect this too. I’m going to turn in my shirt today, get my paychecks, and see if she can give me an explanation why she chose me over the others. If it’s because she thought I didn’t want to work there or work at all, then I’d quickly explain that I can work odd days if she needed me too, and I’d even take a less paycheck if it meant keeping my job. I currently get paid $6.80 an hour, up from the $6.55 I started out with.

Why do I care so much about working at Quiznos? It’s the fact that this particular store fits my needs. It’s not too far away from my home (in the emergency if I couldn’t get a car ride there, I could walk/bike) as it’s seems to be a halfway point between home & school, the work is not too difficult once I got used to it, my coworkers seem amiable and friendly to work with, it’s not usually too busy, and I felt the pay was good enough to satisfy what I wanted. I can’t forget my coworkers.

Victor Albarran is a hard working, weightlifting Hispanic guy of my age. What he doesn’t have in smarts, he has in muscle power. He works many days, and has even been considered being assistant manager or manager or some step above the work crew. He often rides his tiny bike here, since he does not have a car. He’s been taking summer school for English IV so he can get that done with now, so he can squeeze in other stuff during football season. He likes to joke a lot, and mock us. He was in my BCIS class, and I was surprised to see him there one day learning the ropes.

Jessica Krejci is also of my age, white, and she’s more on the popular and well-connected side of my class. She seems wealthy enough, as she has a nice car and nice things, but she probably works to own some of her own money to supplement her gasoline needs and whatnot. She works fairly well also. I had never met Jessica before then, but I was surprised to see we did have a connection with her best friend, Maddie Scott, who happened to be in my English III class.

Lola is this black girl that’s been working longer than either of us. She has some more important jobs like cutting up meats, and she was also born and raised in Nigeria. She likes to chat and text, and she can be really funny. I think she’s been taking a course in economics at the local college. She usually works the morning shift, and she has this nice African accent when she speaks, but she can definitely speak English very well. We chat sometimes about current events, and she’s even perused through some of my books when I came in for my shift, like my sociology book, and my Hercule Poirot book, The A.B.C. Murders

Hillario is also Hispanic, and prefers to work out when he can. He wears glasses, and is just a bit shorter than I am. He just graduated from Langham Creek High School, and has his own car. I don’t know his future plans, but I known in the past, he’s had some trouble with the law. He used to do some drugs, pick fights, or whatever. That was the past, and he’s taken counseling sessions, and has come to work here. He’s also worked at another Quiznos before, but the owners/managers were of a Middle Eastern or Indian descent and didn’t particularly like boys or something like that. Anyway, he also works rather well, and he’s even given me a lift home on two occasions.

Ryan Trygstad attended JVHS and graduated 2 years ago, I think. He has a brother that I know, Kirk Trygstad, who Ryan claims really doesn’t know as much about cars and basketball as much as Kirk thinks he knows. He joined on the crew a few months after I joined, and when he introduced himself as Ryan, I immediately remembered someone on the basketball team, and then I thought he seemed a lot like Kirk, and when I questioned if his last name was Trygstad, it was. I haven’t seen him work much, but I would guess he’s does a fair job.

Andrew Bailey, or as I and his friends call him Andy, joined less than a month ago. I know Andy, because he used to be in the Environmental Club, and I see him at lunch. He graduated this year, and during the last few days of school, I heard he did not work at Krogers anymore, and I suggested he work at the Quiznos I worked at. It turns out he did take my suggestion, and there he was. According to my coworkers, he can be rather slow and he didn’t really like talking to Jessica, which she found rather unpleasant, but I guess Andy needs more time like me to warm up to this job.

Danielle is another black girl, more closer in age with Ryan and Lola, and she is super efficient and is usually a happy person. She also takes on more important jobs like cutting cheese and meats, and she’s swell to work with. Sometimes her brother comes by and orders something. She’s also stopped by on a few occasions when she wasn’t working to buy something or see if a paycheck has come in. Lately though, I think she’s been taking classes, or has another job and she’s been working less also.

These are the coworkers I’ve really met up with most, and I’m going to miss them. It kinda makes me feel sad. I mean, it’s not like we’re all friends and hang out and whatever, but the feeling of having someone to chat and joke with this summer has made me feel better, so work did not seem to tiring.

I took a bike ride yesterday, to calm myself after hearing this news, and I rode all the way to Jack in the Box, the one not too far past my high school. I took a meandering ride through Jersey Village and stopped by Quiznos to get a quick drink and chat with my former coworkers. I asked Victor what he thought about all this, and just thinks that I don’t work enough for Kelly to put me on. Darn. I looked at the schedule to see if I was the only one cut off the crew so far, and to my surprise, I saw this name “Jamie” on the list. Perhaps she’s been here awhile, and I had never been there on those occasions to meet her, but my first thought was “is she here to replace ME?” Seeing her on the list, and with me being laid off and all, I felt like I’d been replaced. I just couldn’t believe it. Maybe she’s been here for awhile though, and I just hadn’t noticed, but still. It kinda hurts when you’re being laid off, and nobody else on the crew has been cut off yet, AND you see another name you hadn’t recognized on the crew before.

Anyway, I do plan on coming by today, and turning in my uniform and getting my paycheck, and seeing if Kelly can explain why she chose me to lay off. I’m going to see if I can get my job back sooner, and I’m even willing to accept reduced days, reduced hours, and even a reduced paycheck if necessary. Quiznos is probably the best job I can get that will fit me, and other potential jobs are too far away without needing a car. This just sucks.

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