David Jacobson 
Member since Apr 26, 2013


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Re: “Lanesplitter Workers Quit in Protest

Hello, thanks for posting this! As a recent frustrated worker who gave three years of my time and quit, I think this very accurately takes a snapshot of the situation. I've seen a massive decline in food quality, employees (their hiring process only required that I was able to stretch a dough to 19", no reference check or anything), and as a result, employee turnover. As a result, a lot of the fault is put on the senior employees in an often unfair way. Lanesplitter is right, they do have an open door policy, but they simply don't have the proper management structure to address anything quickly, and they far too often have too much on their plate. They only accept any kind of criticism, concern or help through email (you often get scolded for taking up their time) and it takes weeks to get a response, if they do at all. Even after I gave two weeks notice, they made zero effort to even acknowledge that they received my email. Taking into consideration how poorly the schedule is typically written, I had no idea if I was going to be taken off the schedule or not.

I will add that during my second year of employment, I had health insurance. I was given $100 a month toward any health plan of my choice, which I personally thought was generous. However, approaching my third year, hours got changed around and shifts were rarely over five hours, making my five day work week no longer qualify for health insurance.

The part that bothers me is that this was the fault of lower management, and to this day I still don't even think the owners know why everyone is complaining, and why people now believe the plan is inaccessible. The owners have nothing to do with scheduling of staff, and I don't think they even look at the schedule.

I have to say, as mismanaged as this place is, I quit for two main reasons. It seems that they will hire just about anybody, and it takes far too long to get rid of people who don't work out. There is a very minimal training process. Like I said, I was hired based on my ability to toss a dough to 19", and was only given what I would call criticism, not actual training. This was because everyone who "trained" me wasn't actually trained either, just told whether they were doing a bad job or not. They are extremely obscure with what they choose to scold you about, and you're rarely told you're doing a good job. (This is coming from someone who was promoted almost all the way up the ladder and have enjoyed several senior employee appreciation dinners, retreats, etc. I know they thought I did a good job, never heard it.) This environment allows people to think they're AMAZING workers and over entitled, when in reality their performance could be subpar. OR they could be drunk with little to no consequence, and it's a hard battle to get things like this taken care of.

The other reason I quit was an extremely rapid fall in food quality over this last summer. A few years back (when I already thought the product was getting poor) almost everything came from Cysco. Toppings were mostly canned, but there were a few things left. The sausage came raw, which we'd have to portion and prep, chicken came raw, which we'd season and cook, and the produce came in whole, which we'd have to cut and portion. The new produce company sends everything already cut in bags and vacuum sealed, including frozen chicken and sausage (with MSG!) The whole idea of wrapping already cut produce is flawed, because it bleeds gases into the bag making things rot faster. The produce company doesn't put a date on any of their packages, and it's often (often meaning some every day) rotten right off the truck. I brought this up to one of the owners, who responded with "I've been to the facility, and it is phenomenal. It must be a problem with your rotation." They are very close minded when it comes to constructive criticism, no matter how open the door to their email inbox is.

Bottom line is I don't think they're bad people, I just don't think they know what they're doing, and there's close to no real communication between staff and upper management. I wish them the best and I do hope they figure it out before having to close all five of their stores...

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by David Jacobson on 04/26/2013 at 9:15 AM

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