Primetime 11/10: Fast Food Nightmare

I’m sure some of you must have seen the stunning and horrific story on ABC’s Primetime last night.

For those that missed it Here you go.

Warning: This is not some icky food story. It’s really sad, although the web version fails to convey the same level of depravity that the TV version offered.

This story brought so many issues to mind to me.

-Some people will do ANYTHING they are ordered to do. Nothing new I suppose, but jeez. Helps to understand how people follow religious leaders like David Koresh or how Jews end up on trains.

-Some people really need to develop critical thinking skills.

-A lot of managers see their employees not as people, but as resources that exist to be exploited.

-Whatever happened to sympathy and empathy?

Oh shoot, I posted to the middle of the story. Go here.

Yep. There have been psychological experiments that determine that most people will willingly inflict harm upon another person simply for the sake of compliance with an authority figure. Google “Staley Milgram” for more links.

Indeed. I’m betting that the perpetrator of these phone calls got many, many “rejections”, however.

I’m not sure this is relevant. The people who were on the phone and allowing/performing the mistreatment weren’t more prone to do so because of their position, IMHO. Being a manager might lead you to distrust your employee, and insist that said employee will remain in the restaurant until police arrive to investigate. But going on into strip searches and forced sodomy is well above and beyond some stereotypical managerial mindset towards employees.

Again, it’s a virtual certainty that hundreds of restaurant managers just hung up on the bogus “police office” on the line once the requests got out off line.

Milgram’s experiments describe what happens when authority insists upon mistreatment of others. I’m not sure anyone’s ever determined “why”.


Here’s the BBQ Pit discussion of this..

Before this thread gets reported again as being a CS thread, I’ll note that though the impetus for the OP was a TV show, the subject appears to be suitable for IMHO. I’m going to keep my options open on moving it to GD, though. :slight_smile:

This is a good example of people not knowing their rights and other’s. Someone on a phone calls and idiots do whatever the pranksters ask. The first thing people need to be trained is to never take a strangers word, and call the cops to report the so called cop. The cops can’t ask you do do something illegal and they can’t allow you to do something that a cop would have the right to do. Unless it something you would normaly do arround an employee, don’t do it!

…I could make it half way down the second page… Jesus Christ… that is f-ed.

Actually, it was the first thing I thought of when watching this. It was different thought (to me) because it wasn’t an experiment, it was all staggeringly real. Plus even the victim seemed to accept the voice of authority - at first anyway.

I would assume you’re right, but it worked SEVENTY TIMES that we know about. Although not to this degree.

For sure. I just wonder if the whole manager-employee relationship (especially in a fast food setting) isn’t conducive to desensitizing some people to their underlings. I don’t know. Though it must be said that the worst abuses were not committed by a manager at all.