If you know me, you know that despite my strong, absolute morals, I kind of hate confrontation but you hopefully also know that I do my best to walk what I talk and live my life in line with those morals. Today when I came into work one of my coworkers let me know that he thought my boss wouldn't be paying the teahouse staff I was training to bake while they were working with me. This was then confirmed. I'd like to add that when I started working he required employees to clock out for then ten minute breaks, something you can sued and given a hefty fine for. He also does not pay time and mileage when employees work outside of the teahouse and are required to drive their own vehicles to transport equipment and product, such as to Farmers' Markets. So even though I'm fairly certain my boss cannot have anything nice to say back to me about this and that I'm possibly about to enter into an argument/negotiation when all I really want is to say is "I'm walking off the job, I'm not coming back, don't call" I am sending my boss this email.
I am not comfortable training people that are not getting paid for their time working with me. Time and again I have chosen to work for small businesses though I have the training and capacity to work for larger corporations because I believe strongly in local economies, just and equitable treatment of employees and strict adherence to CA and national labor codes. I find the expectation of employees to come in and do training on their own time, which you could not do if you were hiring a new baker, to show a complete lack of respect for my job and knowledge, for your workers and for the law. Though it seems incredibly unprofessional to give less than two weeks notice, I will not work for an employer that treats their employees in such a way. Expecting labor to go unpaid is simply unacceptable to me regardless of whatever agreements other employees may be willing to make due to inexperience or lack of knowledge.
Please accept this as notice of my leaving my employment at Infusions Teahouse, effective immediately. Keys to the Tierra Vegetable Kitchen and Infusions Teahouse will be left at Tierra Vegetables when I come to pick up my cookbooks/notebooks, no later than May 15th, 2010. A printed and signed copy of this document and temperatures and cooking methods for all caramels will be dropped off as well.
I'm sorry if this seems harsh or unjust to you, but you have crossed, what to me, is a moral boundary. I have struggled with how to convey this to you, but I have no problem drawing a line in the sand.
Maybe this seems unreasonable to you, my insistence on protecting the rights of middle class young women (because there is only one man other than my boss working at the teahouse) working in an environment that clearly caters to the liberal bourgeouisie of this county when I have driven by migrant workers in the vineyards working under probably far more grueling conditions on a regular basis. All I can say is it's been a long journey learning I can't fight every battle, that I can't singlehandedly fix the world but this is a battle I can fight.
This is why I've found foodservice less than fulfilling though I love to bake, create and train, I do not know how to live a life if it is not lived in service. I'm just not wired that way. Things like this happen.