• Ashlynn Crow

Why I Quit My Job To Become A Writer

Most of you who follow my Instagram know that I use to be a stunt woman, but not everyone realizes that I had plenty of odd jobs after my stunt career got shelved.

The short of it is, the writers strike devastated the industry for a lot of people, and after I realized my time in Hollywood was over, I became the best damn restaurant manager ever to exist.

Being a restaurant manager has been a significant influence on why I decided to focus my career on writing. While working in the food industry, I dealt with sexism, work abuse, gender inequality, and I was fighting for the rights of my employees as well as my own on a daily basis.

This is my story of why I decided to quit my salary job as a restaurant manager to follow my dream as a professional writer.

What Happened?

I was often working 16+hour days, six days a week, and even on my day off, I would usually come into work to fix another manager's mistakes or to cover someone else's shift.

My brain was always on work-mode. It got to the point when I could no longer go out and enjoy myself. My life was the restaurant, and everything I did or said reflected upon that restaurant. I lost my individuality. I wasn't a person anymore. I was a machine.

One of the biggest issues I had was dealing with my management team. Our General Manager resorted to bully-tactics to get the employees he didn't like to quit, because he didn't want to pay for their unemployment, and most of the other members were monsters.

I was the only female manager on the team, and my kitchen staff and all my servers came to me for all their problems because they felt their voices weren't being heard by anyone else. I did my best to be empathetic and worked hard to fix every issue that came up, and my staff knew that they could count on me to have their backs.

The owner ignored all complaints about the male management staff, who were in constant rotation, and making my job harder than necessary.

The Male Managers Were All Horrible.

When I first arrived at the company, there was an original staff of managers on the team. The one I worked with first, watched porn all day in the office, and sexually harassed our female servers without repercussions. He eventually left on his own terms and received a massive bonus to do so quietly. The next manager that our GM hired was caught on camera stealing server tips and then taking money from the restaurant's cash drop at the end of the night. He wasn't fired either, and this went on for several weeks until I convinced the owners to confront him about the missing cash. This manager felt the confrontation was too invasive for him, and he quit on his own. The man they hired next was a manipulative liar who was homophobic and verbally abusive to our gay servers. Within a few weeks, he decided to quit because he didn't want to work longer than five-hour shifts.

Then there was the manager who was always drunk on the job and harassed everyone. He was considered a "functional drunk" by the owner's standards, and so he was not fired or reprimanded when he didn't show up to work because of a hangover. He later had a lawsuit personally filed against him by one of our female servers, to which she won, and he decided to quit soon after because of the backlash he faced.

The last guy they hired was our bartender, who was promoted to the management team. He was honest about not wanting the extra responsibility, so I took on most of the work with the expectation that he would eventually quit. It was this person who pulled me aside to tell me that he was being paid $700 more than I was. I was shocked to hear it, and upon further investigation, I discovered that all of the male managers had been making a substantial amount more than me.

Dealing With Sexism

When I found out how much money my male coworkers were making, I asked my GM for a raise, and he told me that I wasn't doing enough to earn one. After pointing out how flawed that assessment was, I supplied him with enough evidence that I had increased sales and reduced spending through responsible inventory control and team management skills.

None of it mattered.

My GM refused to give me equal pay, and he warned me that going to the owner directly wouldn't give me the positive results I wanted. Then he told me to get back to work. Of course, I was angry. I felt chewed up and taken advantage of. I was emotionally and physically drained, and I was bringing all that toxic energy home with me. I had developed an eye twitch that lasted for months, and I started drinking before I went to bed because I couldn't get to sleep without it.

None of it was right, and I knew that I needed to quit. But what would I do for money? How would I survive? I remembered how much writing had called to me, and the desire to go back to it felt like a life raft. I had to save myself.

The next day I put in my two-weeks notice.

What Happened After I Quit?

The owner said goodbye and good luck, but he didn't ask me to stay. It made me feel insignificant and unappreciated.

On my last day, I was surprised to see a line of people standing outside of my office. These people were my entire kitchen staff and most of my servers who all wanted to say goodbye to me. A few of them told me they quit their job after hearing I was no longer going to be their manager.

It was unexpected, emotional, and very touching.

So How Did This Story End?

The only manager that was left was the bartender who got promoted. He said that he didn't want to pick up any of my shifts or do the extra work that I had taken on, and confided to me that he was quitting the team. The owner got wind of this and immediately offered him a raise to stay with the company, and he accepted. In the following weeks, I learned that the owner had to shut down his second restaurant and the one I worked at is slowly going out of business. It turns out the GM was embezzling money from both companies for years, which explained a lot. I was told that he moved to Mexico and is currently living his life as a rich man.

The owner had a heart attack soon after that ordeal, and for health reasons, he decided to step away from the business, and he handed the keys over to his (then) eighteen-year-old son, who now runs the place.

The owner's wife once asked me if I would come back to the restaurant. I politely declined.

Now What?

Well, now I'm focused on writing books and using my mental energy to do something I truly love. I don't regret my decision, and I'm never looking back.