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Hi guys, OP here. Just going to give a bit more detail: the restaurant is Chinese, owned and employed by 99% Chinese. Their culture is entirely foreign to me, and while I did my best to understand it, I've come away from this with the thought process that they are just extremely condescending to anyone who is not Chinese/Asian. The owner hired me specifically to be able to communicate with "Western" customers, as while the staff could speak English, it is not the native language of any of them, and they could not joke and chat with customers the way I could; they were looking specifically for someone of "Western" culture (their words). There were multiple customers who: A) quickly became regulars, despite the restaurant having only just opened, and; B) praised me to many members of the staff, including the manager. The first time I heard a customer tell the manager how good my service was, his response was literally an emotionless: "All staff is good." There were many customers who were disgusted with his treatment of them, and while I tried to defend his actions (and I saved the restaurant losing least one customer [who ended up having a nearly $400 bill] by doing this) by explaining his English was so poor that he did not like to keep conversation going too long, I now think he really is just a grumpy old Chinese man. Now, someone hit the nail on the head by suggesting the owner is inexperienced: this is his first restaurant. The manager has 40 years of restaurant knowledge. I have 6, and so while I understand I may be a bit behind in experience, it doesn't take a brainiac to know how to treat people with common curtesy and respect. This manager is extremely short with customers, barely looks them in the eye, and makes them feel very rushed in everything from ordering to being seated to leaving. He also left me stranded at the restaurant late at night when the busses had stopped running, and if it weren't for the kindness of one of the older waitresses, I honestly don't know how I would have gotten home. I had been thinking of leaving for a new job after that was done anyway, because I could not work with people who are so disrespectful and disregarding of others like that. That was the night I got the text message (last night), so obviously the decision was made for me, but I still think it's so shit how everything turned out. In terms of my job description, I did absolutely everything right (and did everything to alleviate the workload of others). It's just that no matter how much I tried, I just could not connect with any of the Chinese staff, and I think that's what inevitably led to my dismissal. Which, again, I think is shit, because the owner was specifically looking for a "Western" assistant manager (which they didn't give me; they advertised and I accepted the role of assistant manager, but I actually ended up being no more than a waitress/hostess, with the added responsibility of opening in the morning). If it was going to be such an issue with the Chinese staff, they should have never brought a "Western" in in the first place.
By browneyedgirlx3 - / Monday 8 August 2016 03:19 / Australia - Pyrmont
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By  browneyedgirlx3  |  8

Hi guys, OP here. Just going to give a bit more detail: the restaurant is Chinese, owned and employed by 99% Chinese. Their culture is entirely foreign to me, and while I did my best to understand it, I've come away from this with the thought process that they are just extremely condescending to anyone who is not Chinese/Asian. The owner hired me specifically to be able to communicate with "Western" customers, as while the staff could speak English, it is not the native language of any of them, and they could not joke and chat with customers the way I could; they were looking specifically for someone of "Western" culture (their words). There were multiple customers who: A) quickly became regulars, despite the restaurant having only just opened, and; B) praised me to many members of the staff, including the manager. The first time I heard a customer tell the manager how good my service was, his response was literally an emotionless: "All staff is good." There were many customers who were disgusted with his treatment of them, and while I tried to defend his actions (and I saved the restaurant losing least one customer [who ended up having a nearly $400 bill] by doing this) by explaining his English was so poor that he did not like to keep conversation going too long, I now think he really is just a grumpy old Chinese man. Now, someone hit the nail on the head by suggesting the owner is inexperienced: this is his first restaurant. The manager has 40 years of restaurant knowledge. I have 6, and so while I understand I may be a bit behind in experience, it doesn't take a brainiac to know how to treat people with common curtesy and respect. This manager is extremely short with customers, barely looks them in the eye, and makes them feel very rushed in everything from ordering to being seated to leaving. He also left me stranded at the restaurant late at night when the busses had stopped running, and if it weren't for the kindness of one of the older waitresses, I honestly don't know how I would have gotten home. I had been thinking of leaving for a new job after that was done anyway, because I could not work with people who are so disrespectful and disregarding of others like that. That was the night I got the text message (last night), so obviously the decision was made for me, but I still think it's so shit how everything turned out. In terms of my job description, I did absolutely everything right (and did everything to alleviate the workload of others). It's just that no matter how much I tried, I just could not connect with any of the Chinese staff, and I think that's what inevitably led to my dismissal. Which, again, I think is shit, because the owner was specifically looking for a "Western" assistant manager (which they didn't give me; they advertised and I accepted the role of assistant manager, but I actually ended up being no more than a waitress/hostess, with the added responsibility of opening in the morning). If it was going to be such an issue with the Chinese staff, they should have never brought a "Western" in in the first place.

Comments
By  huotuotuo_fml  |  13

Something tells me that's the version you like to believe. Surely there's something else.

Reply
  SaltLord  |  10

That was really, really rude #1. You don't know what happened and you weren't there to see it. And OP, I'm deeply sorry you had to experience discrimination to the extreme. Soon, the Chinese restaurant will realize how much they fucked up after the amount of customers they lose for the service they have. Best of luck in finding another job. :)

By  ScratchCatPower  |  29

That's really messed up. Just because the manager can't beat you when it comes to how many people like you doesn't mean that he gets to fire you because it makes him "look bad". That's immature and really unfair.

By  caliguy08  |  17

That's just dumb. You are better off especially if the "owner" can be manipulated by the "manager" like that...it sounds like the owner is either inexperienced or the manager has something to hold over the owner

Reply
  SneezyBear  |  25

#28 Not in Australia it isn't. As long as you've been working at least 6 or 12 months (depending on the size of the business), firing someone for a reason like that is considered unfair dismissal and unlawful. OP's follow up indicates she wasn't working for long enough, sadly, but from her description of the manager and why she was initially hired she could still have a claim for a breach of general protections involving dismissal (manager seems racist).

By  GhostFox  |  33

If the owner is letting that slide, they either aren't very intelligent, aren't capable of common sense, or enjoy shooting themself in the foot. Seriously, what fucking train wreck of a conversation made them support that decision, if they do? Manager: "Oi. Tell -OP's name- not to come in." Owner: "Why?" M: "Because she's popular." O: "Isn't that a good thing? Draw in a crowd and all?" M: "No. She's TOO popular and it makes me look like the trash in comparison. So I need her gone so I can be the star of this place." O: "But won't that just make people call you petty?" M: "-plugging ears- LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU UNLESS YOU ARE BOWING TO MY WHIMS."

By  MidnaLink  |  30

So, you literally got fired because you're really good at your job? Fuck that noise, you walk back in there and tell that manager to get their whiny head out of their tight ass, and give you your job back. If they don't, you should have a wrongful termination lawsuit on your hands.

By  huotuotuo_fml  |  13

While I understand the need to comfort and say nice things to OP; fact is that good workers usually don't get fired for being good; managers get credit for the good work of their employees so it's win-win. On the other hand, I've seen many incompetent workers who genuinely thought they were better than everyone else at work and they had to be fired. In those people's head the story usually goes like: "I got fired because I was so much better than anyone else and made everyone look bad". Then again, OP may be the exception to this observation, so I'm not judging OP here.

Reply
  Bearsmomma  |  30

I have seen many coworkers walked out after sharing their thoughts about how they're "invaluable and I'll never get fired. They NEED me.". Once I hear that bs I count the days for them. Cockiness will give you that reality slap in the face.

Reply

@42, That's exactly the case with me, and that is what I told the owner: I may not be so invaluable that the business will fail, but he will notice my absence when customers come in asking for me, and he will notice it when they are upset I am not there. I befriended a woman who owned a big clothing store right next to the restaurant, and she was always sending in customers and recommending both myself and the restaurant. She is no longer doing that. Again, not bankruptcy worthy, but a burn they could have definitely done without.

By  browneyedgirlx3  |  8

Hi guys, OP here. Just going to give a bit more detail: the restaurant is Chinese, owned and employed by 99% Chinese. Their culture is entirely foreign to me, and while I did my best to understand it, I've come away from this with the thought process that they are just extremely condescending to anyone who is not Chinese/Asian. The owner hired me specifically to be able to communicate with "Western" customers, as while the staff could speak English, it is not the native language of any of them, and they could not joke and chat with customers the way I could; they were looking specifically for someone of "Western" culture (their words). There were multiple customers who: A) quickly became regulars, despite the restaurant having only just opened, and; B) praised me to many members of the staff, including the manager. The first time I heard a customer tell the manager how good my service was, his response was literally an emotionless: "All staff is good." There were many customers who were disgusted with his treatment of them, and while I tried to defend his actions (and I saved the restaurant losing least one customer [who ended up having a nearly $400 bill] by doing this) by explaining his English was so poor that he did not like to keep conversation going too long, I now think he really is just a grumpy old Chinese man. Now, someone hit the nail on the head by suggesting the owner is inexperienced: this is his first restaurant. The manager has 40 years of restaurant knowledge. I have 6, and so while I understand I may be a bit behind in experience, it doesn't take a brainiac to know how to treat people with common curtesy and respect. This manager is extremely short with customers, barely looks them in the eye, and makes them feel very rushed in everything from ordering to being seated to leaving. He also left me stranded at the restaurant late at night when the busses had stopped running, and if it weren't for the kindness of one of the older waitresses, I honestly don't know how I would have gotten home. I had been thinking of leaving for a new job after that was done anyway, because I could not work with people who are so disrespectful and disregarding of others like that. That was the night I got the text message (last night), so obviously the decision was made for me, but I still think it's so shit how everything turned out. In terms of my job description, I did absolutely everything right (and did everything to alleviate the workload of others). It's just that no matter how much I tried, I just could not connect with any of the Chinese staff, and I think that's what inevitably led to my dismissal. Which, again, I think is shit, because the owner was specifically looking for a "Western" assistant manager (which they didn't give me; they advertised and I accepted the role of assistant manager, but I actually ended up being no more than a waitress/hostess, with the added responsibility of opening in the morning). If it was going to be such an issue with the Chinese staff, they should have never brought a "Western" in in the first place.

Reply
  FYlife604  |  18

Well, what did you expect? Chinese are rude, non assimilating culture. all they care about is money. Same crap is going on in Vancouver, Canada... they come over and bring their ways here instead of assimilating.

Reply
  CrassKal  |  27

It seems really petty to me to want to leave bad yelp reviews without having any experience with the business itself. The manager sounds like an ass, but the owner seems mostly naive. And I don't think any of them deserve to have their livelihood and profession ruined because you disagree with their actions.

Reply
  species4872  |  19

Many asians over here find it difficult to crasp aussie humor and our laid back attitude as a result they do not communicate well and they keep their exposure to the locals to only what is necessary. Usually their response are short and to the point devoid of any emotion. The manager probably believes that he's done no wrong despite the fact that you've done what he never could. Don't forget we have unfair dismissal laws if you want to pursue that. If not maybe somewhere else where your talents will be appreciated. Good luck.

Reply
  Rababco  |  29

Is it possible for you to prove some sort of discrimination? Maybe I don't understand your response but it sounds like you might have been discriminated against because you are not Chinese and aren't from the same culture they are from. Plus, it's really messed up because you were fired for doing exactly what you hired for.

Reply
  HeartYou101  |  30

Sorry to hear OP! I had a bad experience working in a Chinese takeaway in my town just 3 weeks ago. I was told I was ONLY going to be answering the phone to take orders, take orders from customers who walk in, work the till and give/receive the order to the chefs to give to customers...I walked in and had an apron and a hat thrown in my face and told get to work by the Chinese owner/manager/chef guy - I had to deep fry and cook some of the food and got in shit by the Chinese guy when I didn't put in enough fries for an order (this was my first ever job, I told him this, and didn't know what to do). I didn't get any break (you're entitled to a half hour break every 6 hours you work) and when I sat down to rest my legs for a sec when it was quite, I was given out to. Basically, I was given out to all night by the guy, even though it was my first (and last night) there and I was SUPPOSED to be given €30 cash in hand per shift (very illegal, but I was stuck for money), which I never received...Not so much as a thanks either. I asked my Malaysian friends who work in different Chinese takeaways in the town and they said the Chinese are awful assholes to work for, but the treatment I got in particular was atrocious. They even said "my boss even gives me food on my break", I said to the boss where I worked that I want to bring food with me because it was too late to make dinner by the time I got home and he said "you better be paying for it" (I was going to pay for it anyways, but when he said that to me I went home and made toast instead). So, I think most of them are like that OP from the sounds of it...I know you'll get hired again soon! The next day after that awful night, I got a job at McDonald's, the guy never rang and asked me to come back, so it worked out for the best in the end...

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  SneezyBear  |  25

OMG OP my husband is going through almost the exact same thing. Cafe owner is Chinese, every worker there is Asian (nearly all are on student visas), he was hired purely because they needed someone who could speak English and converse more easily with customers. My husband was the only one to speak up to the owner about a LOT of issues at work, including - being paid cash in hand, below minimum wage, no breaks for up to 12 hour shifts... owner had terrible customer service and more than once tried to serve food that had been dropped on the floor (my husband basically took it out of his hands and threw it in the bin insisting that it could NOT be served), things were never maintained/cleaned properly, staff were never trained properly etc... work relationship got increasingly hostile until the owner eventually made up some bs reason to force my husband to resign. We are now going through a legal battle and suing him for unlawful dismissal. What made it worse was that my husband was one of the few people who actually cared about the customers/customer experience, had gained quite a lot of regulars and was doing his best to turn the place around. Also got promised a 'supervisor' position but ended up doing supervisory tasks (such as ordering food, handling customer complaints, training new coworkers, conducting interviews) and never got anything higher than min wage (he eventually got minimum wage after 2 months of demanding it, but still nothing more even though he's legally entitled to it according to the hospitality award). OP, I honestly encourage you to - if there's still time for it - look into an unfair dismissal claim. It's only $70 to put in the claim and they will waive the fee if you show you can't afford it given your income/rent etc (we got our fee waived). Takes like half an hour to fill out a form and honestly it's worth trying - you haven't really got anything to lose and if they decide in your favour (onus of proof is REVERSED in unfair dismissal claims - it's the employer who must prove he dismissed you fairly, you don't have to prove anything yourself) you can potentially win up to 6 months pay. I see no harm in getting a bit of justice against a dickhead boss, and I also consider it a public duty to report employers (or anyone) who break the law. Good luck.

Reply

I'm sorry that happened to your husband as well, #46. Unfortunately, I did not work for them long enough to qualify to file for unfair dismissal. But I hope you two win for the both of us. Those who aren't capable of basic human decency should not be allowed to go into customer service.

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  SneezyBear  |  25

#46 Just so you know, a general protections claim regarding dismissal does not require you to be working for any minimum length of time. That is, if you believe that racial discrimination was at least part of the reason you were dismissed, then you have a claim even if you've only been working for a couple of weeks. HOWEVER you need to submit your claim within 21 days of dismissal, or otherwise have a good reason for waiting longer than 21 days. So if you're still within the time frame, and you think that you being not-Asian played at least some role in your dismissal, I'd say it's worth a try. As I said, burden of proof is reversed and it'll likely cost you nothing, so you have nothing to lose.

Reply

I did a bit of research on that just now, and it looks like I can file a claim based on discrimination, as well as the fact that I was let go the day I was told I was not going to be assistant manager but just a waitress/hostess and expressed dissatisfaction with that. I feel that would be easier to prove than discrimination (especially as they were looking for a "Western" employee; why fire someone because they're Western when that's exactly what you were looking for?), but I'll look into filing them both. Thank you so much to everyone for your help.

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  SneezyBear  |  25

I'm happy for you OP :) You just file the one claim, explain what happened as factually as possible. Towards the end of the form you select the sections of the Fair Work Act that you believe your employer contravened. If you asked for a higher rate of pay, for example, based on the job description and your responsibilities (as an assistant manager), and in response your employer demoted you/terminated your employment, you can tick both the options for 'discrimination' and 'general protections'. I honestly believe you have a slightly stronger case for discrimination - the fact that they only hired a single Western employee 'just' so that employee could converse with customers, and then took adverse action against the employee despite acknowledging their customer service was superior to every other worker ... I'm sorry but that is pretty obviously racist. Your race was a reason for you being hired, was - according to you - a reason for the increasing hostility between you and the manager, and very likely factored in your dismissal. You have every right to claim that your race was at least PARTLY why you were treated differently from everyone else to the point of you being fired, and the manager has to prove race had nothing to do with it, which I doubt he could. Unless you desire to go back to work there (which I doubt), under the 'outcome' you desire section put 'financial compensation', and put a figure of 6 months pay based on your average hours/rate. You won't get the full 6 months (at least, I don't think you will), but just put the number up there and if you win the case they'll decide what fraction of that figure you are entitled to. Good luck with everything, and if you need any more specific advice/tips on how to fill out the form or prepare for the telephone conference (they'll call both of you up about a month after you send in the form and ask for both sides of the story before deliberating) just pm me. Because this just happened to my husband and I I'm fully pumped with motivation/justice seeking lol so I'm happy to help.

Reply

This sounds like one of the things you hear on Gordon Ramsay's show Kitchen Nightmares. Where the management can't figure out why they're losing customers and business, all because of their attitudes. It's sounds like you did a wonderful job and helped them. It sucks that some people's attitudes make the final decisions. Good luck in your future career endeavors. Hopefully your old job doesn't suffer too harshly from letting you go. Honestly I wouldn't be able to do the job you had. I can have a very short temper at times and customer service isn't my strong suit. I'm working on it though as part of my job soon will involve customer service. Heaven have mercy on everyone's soul that has to cross my path when I'm still learning to keep my hot-headed and barely filtered mouth in check...

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  SneezyBear  |  25

Just to let you know OP - I replied to your pm last night but I know it won't send you an email notification (you have to go to your fml messages to see it) so I thought I'd reply here too to give you a heads up.

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