Chuck Chirkley, owner of Chuck’s Chicken Chunks in Tampa is having a difficult time understanding why it’s so difficult to hire and keep employees these days.
“You know, here at Chuck’s Chicken Chunks, we’re more than a restaurant that serves the finest chunks of chicken in Tampa Bay, we’re a family”, he said. “But lately, it seems like I can’t even count on my Chuck’s Chicken Chunks family.”
Chirkley said many of the employees that he laid off with no advance notice due to the pandemic show little interest in returning to work for $5.54 an hour (plus tips) with no healthcare benefits and no guarantee of minimum hours a week. “I guess nobody wants to work, with the unemployment and all the stimulus checks. But like I said, I thought we were a family and that family still means something!”
He said the level of disinterest has also impacted the handful of staff who are working for him. “They’re all so ungrateful. I swear, I think some of them wouldn’t even come in if it weren’t for the paychecks”, he said.
“That’s where he’s wrong”, said server Diego Henderson. “None of us would come in if it weren’t for the paychecks. Is he kidding?”
“Yeah, Chuck’s pretty nice, I guess. I’ve had worse bosses”, agreed Diane Morales, another server. “But the whole ‘family’ thing is way overstated. This is just a job, you know? It’s not meaningful except for the money I make which I need to pay my bills. So sure, it’s important but beyond that, I don’t care. And it’s not like he really cares about me for anything besides my ability to be on my feet for hours and hours, on nights, weekends and holidays, slinging these chicken chunks. I mean, ‘family’? He’s never even met my husband or kids.”
“Just a job?!?”, asked an incredulous Chirkley. “I guess everybody is just going to forget that jar I put by the register when Paula got breast cancer, huh? Like that wasn’t meaningful”, he said. “I personally witnessed so many customers drop spare change into that thing. Speaking of being ungrateful, that bitch never came back either.”
None of the staff recalled working with anyone named Paula but Patricia Foster was a server who worked at Chuck’s Chicken Chunks for eleven years before passing away in 2019 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer.
“Okay, I didn’t know that. I just knew she wasn’t here anymore”, he said “I’m sorry I called her a bitch. But still.”
“The point is, I’m deeply disappointed in these people and how they don’t understand that their lack of 100% effort affects my bottom line. Diego, Diane, the cooks, that one kid with the weird hair that busses tables. All of them,” he said. “I might as well be at home with my own worthless wife and kids at this point.”