Chipotle exploits their employees!

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Kbright's picture
4.5
Average: 4.5 (4 votes)

My name is Koraan, I was a former service manager of the chipotle in moorestown nj. I began this horrible nightmare back in August of 2015. The first thing I thought I would like is how fast the job was and how nice my fellow crew members were. I started out on cash and as I'm a fast learner and I had it all down pretty quickly. Shortly after I go there the GM was fired because she wasn't not fulfilling the job requirements. That means she wasn't fulfilling "The vision of Chipotle." (The vision of chipotle at the time was as followed "To change the way people think about eating fast food, by creating an extraordinary restaurant experience by creating a team of top performers who are empowered to achieve high standards." At the time time she didn't have a team of top performers achieving the full high standards and also wasn't empowering. So I get why she was fired.) While working everyone seemed to always bombard me with theses questions "What is the vision of chipotle?", "what's a top performer?", "what are high standards?", "what is empowerment?".. I have really good memory so it wasn't long until I memorized all of the answers. At the time I did not realize how brain washed I had become becauseI felt like I needed to always know the answer. The job even went so far as to have all of us keep a journal and every month have us sit down with a "mentor" to complete examples of top performer, empowerment, and high standards. And if that wasn't enough the GM them self would sit us down and ask us these questions again and really drill it in to us until we got it. That means you could sit there for anywhere from 15 minutes to more than an hour. Anyway I was frequently asked these questions day in to day out. Never was there a day someone didn't ask me one of those question! I knew I had to memorize them in order to move up in the business

After a few weeks maybe about two months in I started getting trained on prep. Prep is its own hell. There is always dishes in the back! Piles on top of piles in the back! It's literally the never ending story. While working as prep you have to maintain the dishes and do a million other things. You have to marinate meat which is the grosses thing I have ever done. You have to marinate cases of chicken and steak! Both cases being 40 lbs each. While marinating I have gotten all kinds of blood and bodily fluids all over my FACE, body, and clothes. Then while on prep you have to help everyone else out especially grill because you can flip the food and mix the rices and just help that grill person out when they fall behind. And now since you are so behind after helping everyone else, it's back to the mountains of dishes that accumulated because of the long line of hungry customers. While working prep I was always told I worked too slow when honestly I worked so fast and efficient. What was happening was they were creating a robot. I could only think that I wasn't fast enough so I would get faster and still they would say I was too slow so I would get even faster. After they realized I was brainwashed enough to move at lightning speed they started telling me about upcoming promotions. As a person of course I got excited and wanted better for myself so I worked even harder. By the end of October i was a force all on my own. Asking people question about "The Vision" and taking charge of the store in general. That's when I started getting noticed here's the new guy already getting the gist of the corporation.

That's when I met my field leader (If the devil ever did walk this earth it was this woman.) She started asking me questions about the vision and I told her I was looking to move my way up the corporate ladder of chipotle. She gave me a devils grin and was excited to know they had molded another perfect subject. Now towards December I was asked by my FL to help out at another store, which I was told when people help out other stores they have a better chance of being promoted, so I said yes. I went to the other location in Mt. Laurel NJ.

Immediately I got a bad vibe from the GM. He just seemed to think he was better than everyone. He hated when I questioned some things he would do that I knew were wrong. There were incidents where he wasn't being sanitary and downright rude. While working at this location is when I learned what working a "double" was. For the two weeks I worked there I worked six 11am to 11pm shifts with little to none breaks. Which of course I questioned and never received answers. I would also like to state while working here he threw a young woman on the line who had never been trained. While on the line she got a terrible burn scar from the tortilla press from her fore arm to her knuckles. It's unsightly and the scream she let rip through the building still haunts my dreams. Also while working this job I had gotten strep throat. I know I got this illness because I wasn't sleeping right and taking care of body because chipotle came first. Any other (food)job would have you stay at home but nope I kept getting called into work. Sick as a dog doing all kinds of works that required way more energy than I could muster. Just before my two weeks at the job were up my service manager from the moorestown location told me he had been fired. Finally my two weeks were up and I refused their plea for me to stay another week because I knew I could get the promotion now opened at my location.

When I got back, my store was very happy to see me, and I them. It was upon my arrival that I begun my training on the "Line." I thought it was fun on the line I could challenge myself to be faster and I'm a social butterfly so it was an all around win. Two weeks into training on the line and "opening salsa" I was offered to become service manager in training. Of course I leaped on the offer. Again I was asked the same cult questions that I know knew right off the top of my head. Now that I showed this corporation that I knew my stuff and could get others to be like me I was ready to be a manager. This is where all the pain and suffering comes in at.

Almost immediately into training I was told to do questionable things. I would be told don't clock in but still help the store do this. Don't clock out but finish your work plus some other things like wash 20 dishes. And the one that made feel skin crawl was being told managers don't take breaks. The book for my training clearly stated it takes 4 entire weeks to complete training for the service manager position but as soon as my FL came in she had other plans. She came in 5 days into my training and then went as far as to ask management why I wasn't half way done the book. Fast forward another 9 days and I got promoted skipping a WHOLE lot of essential training. My very first time closing by myself I was there until 2 am because my GM gave me a checklist of things to complete before I left. I should also state that I was told to clock out at 11 on the dot no matter what, and still finish my work. I knew right then and there that I was just another worker ant in this grand corporate pyramid scheme/cult. I knew I was nothing to them but yet because I knew I had bills to pay and my own pockets to fill that I had put up with this charade of business.

The real horrors came with the promotion. As a manager my job was to make sure all crew members get a break and make sure they are doing their duties correctly. Imbed in them the same answer to the same silly questions I was asked. Take care of this temperature log book( which by the way is impossible to do. At one point you had to temperature check EVERYTHING in the store every hour. They changed it to check temperatures before the peak period and after the peak period, but it was still impossible to do.) The log book is almost always a lie. Nobody ever has time to fill it out because the constant need of helping customer gets in the way of recording temperatures. I also had make sure all manager paperwork is getting done. At the end of the night this leaves you so behind because you have to keep stopping from doing what you're doing to help all other parts of the restaurant. This includes all customers incidents and phone calls. Almost every night I was not done my work until at least 1 or 1:30. I started staying clocked in because I figured I'm working I might as well get paid. That's when my GM and FL took notice of my time sheets and tell me top performers get everything done by 11pm at the latest. So again I started clocking out at 11 and working until my work was done. Every shift working for 3 free hours because I was scared I would lose my job because they manipulated me into thinking that way. But winded up losing money anyway because I was working for free. When they "seen" I could "successfully" close as a manager they moved on to letting me open as a manager.

Opening is probably worst then closing! You have to prep, wash and cut everything. Not that it was a problem just chipotle has this thing called a "deployment char." This chart tells us when you "should" be done everything. As opening manager I was in charge of placing people where I thought they were strongest. Dicing jalapeƱos and making guacamole are the two worst things you could ever make anyone do. They almost never get done on time and they both take forever to do. I was told if any person didn't get done on time they could not receive a break. I knew that the deployment chart didn't consider all the variables when it came to doing much of anything. Sometimes the avocados came in the size of golf balls. And sometimes the jalapeƱos and other produce came in very small as well. This was the last straw. I figured we're all busting our ass for this job and they want me to take away someone BREAK?!? Number 1 that is illegal! I couldn't believe I had let myself succumb to the oppression of this giant corporation that not only was I not able to receive breaks but now they wanted me to take that from my crew members?!! I started to fight back not so rough at first but I knew something had to change. I MADE sure everyone got there breaks. I did my best every single day while following the laws and procedures to make sure everyone was safe. Right as I started getting the hang as a manager I did something crazy and made a horrible mistake.

One fateful morning I had to open prep because I was short a person opening. I kept calling my GM begging him for help, but got no resolution whatsoever. Finally he comes in hours later and the store is a mess everyone is on break besides me. I told him I have to cut lettuce and that I have never done it. He gives me an attitude asking "why don't you know how to cut lettuce?" I told him because I was never taught how to do it. He shows me very abruptly how to cut the lettuce and then throws the cutting glove he used to the other side of the prep table. I start cutting the lettuce which is not to "our high standards," and just continue practicing for a bit. I slowly start getting it and BAM! Brand new knife takes off the tip of my thumb. Because my GM was being so mean prior to I was so disgruntled and also because he threw my cut glove I forgot to put it on. Rushed to the hospital I go, where thankfully they save it. 5 ugly stitches and a throbbing thumb later and I'm back to work the next day. Only to have my job threatened because I made a mistake that wasn't entire my fault.

After I get back I work so much harder because I know one more mess up and I'd be out of a job. I start serving customers lighting fast and they love me because I do it with a smile on my face. I do everything Chipotle ask of me because it could mean my last check. Chipotle knew they had this job dangling over my head and that they could make me do anything. They started asking me to stay later and later everyday. If I was scheduled to open and leave at 4 I wouldn't leave until 8pm or sometimes after close. I had grown used to working 12 or 16 hour shifts. They began asking me to drive to other stores and pick up supplies. One Sunday after I had already opened my location the FL asked me to close another location up in Turnervills NJ. That was 40 minutes away!!! That was more than 16 hours of labor plus the drive there and back. And honestly I felt like I couldn't say no because a "Top performer" would do any and everything chipotle asked for.

Now a little over a year later of pain, and suffering. Me going above and beyond for a job, a job because that's all it ever would be too me. I no longer wanted to be somewhere, where I had to corrupt people. I didn't want to work with people who didn't appreciate my hard work and my value as a human being. I wasn't going to throw away my morals and my health because a job told me to. I knew I could find something better. I started secretly applying to other jobs because from working here I knew anyone who puts in their two week notice gets fired almost instantly. I had enough. I had enough driving back and forth between stores to pick up supplies which is also illegal. I had enough working crazy amounts of hours. I had enough being USED! The day I put my two weeks notice in was because I had worked 1pm-2am just to open again the next day at 8am. And that same day I worked from 8am-1am. That's 30 hours working in two days! And they always wondered how did I hit overtime which by the way the hated. But that's when I drew the line. I gave them more then a fair warning in all honesty they had gotten almost a 3 week notice.

The funny thing is I know how chipotle plays its games. I looked to see if I was still on the schedule and I noticed a dramatic change in my hours. They took me off for 4 days in a row and I knew that never happens. I confronted my GM and asked if I was fired. He texted me saying no. He then later texted me saying don't come in that following Monday. I get a call from the GM of another store asking me to come in before my shift. I get there and I notice so is my Apprentice and my GM. They make my Apprentice do all the talking and I could tell she wanted to cry. She told me that because I was stressed out, not doing my job right and not doing the temperature log book that I was being let go. Like a stated before the temperature log book is a lie. No one had time to ever do it.They also made her say that because an inventor log was not done because I had let our KM at the time take care of it that it fell on my shoulders. So now here I am feeling like shit because this joke of a job just "let me go" (fired) me.

I go to my home store to get some personal belongings and tell the crew good bye. A lot are upset because they know what has happened and know it was bs. But I knew it was blessing in disguise, almost immediately I felt just a calm because I knew I would never have to deal with the stress of chipotle again. I thought my horrors with the place ended there but wrong I was.

As a customer now I am greeted by all smiles and happiness. So many bright faces love to see me crew and other customers alike that loved to have me take care of them. Everyone in the building is happy to see me except my old GM. When he is there he doesn't greet me he doesn't smile at me and he doesn't treat me nicely. Where did the vision of chipotle go? I'm not sure but I know that chipotle is the scum of the working world. I even went in recently to get a bowl of food and paid $8 for a bowl of air. The GM was there all I wanted was a veggie bowl and he put the most minuscule amounts of rice and fajitas. I understand that the job is stressful but don't take your anger out on me when you did me wrong as a job and I'm also a paying customer. I believe chipotle needs to be shut down because they don't respect the most decent of human right. Does Steve Ells have no compassion?? Is this what he intended by his "Vision of Chipotle?" I believe every single store needs to be looked into because I am not the only victim of this corrupted corporation. Chipotle owes me so much time and MONEY!! It's not fair what they put me through and so many countless others.There are so many others with stories like mine and even more horrific. If there is one thing you get out of this, make sure you know you human rights and stand up for what is right. Please know you deserve only the best so that you can be the best. And don't eat chipotle because they exploit their workers.