My parents treat me like a slave

My parents own a restaurant. I am employed there, but am looking for a new job. Why? Because I feel like a slave.

Dear Annie: My parents own a restaurant. I am employed there, but am looking for a new job. Why? Because I feel like a slave.

I was hired as a server. But I have to go to work early to start off as a hostess, then hit the floor as a server, and finish off with bussing tables and closing out the till. I show up early when others call in sick, and often stay late to make sure everything is done right.

Yet my dad complains that I’m “milking them for all they’re worth” because I expect to be paid.

If I say anything about it to my mother, she brushes it off.

My parents expect me to become the manager someday, but I have told them repeatedly that I do not want the position. None of my co-workers respects me, and they assume I get away with stuff because I am the bosses’ daughter.

I have worked 11-hour shifts when no one else will come in. I have worked eight days in a row to cover someone else’s shift, but no one will cover mine.

I take no vacations. My dad comes in twice a week to put in the food order and talk to the cooks. He treats my mother and me terribly, but the other employees are golden.

I feel overworked and unappreciated. I don’t want to answer the phone when my parents call.

I know they love me, but I’m tired of feeling like their doormat. How do I continue to handle this stress until I find a new job? — Frustrated

Dear Frustrated: Your parents are grooming you to someday take over the restaurant and need you to understand that the boss has the responsibility to work harder than everyone else.

If you do not intend to follow them into the business, you should inform them immediately, suggest they hire a real manager, insist on being paid and treated as a regular server, and spend more time looking for another job.

Dear Annie: If you can stand one more letter on siblings resembling each other, I want to comment on “Not Her Twin in Tennessee,” who was offended when compared to her sister.

I grew up in a large family, and comments on sibling resemblance happen often.

When my brother is told he looks like his sister, he responds, “It depends where you look.” — Not Offended Out West

Dear Not: We love it. Thanks.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.

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