Whee. I might be losing my job!

I apologize for the length of this. I’m a bit pissed right now.

Sunday night I came into my shift, the place was chaos. Nothing had been done, they’d been busy since lunch, and by the time 5 pm came around, almost everyone was off, and the hell would be left to the closers. I had a headache. I felt like crap. I really didn’t want to be there. So I clock on, see that drive thru has a park out. The kid working the window was a little confused. I asked what he was waiting on, there was a hold on quarter meat. The car parked needed 2 of the big and tastey things. He started to get it together, goes to take it out, it turned out to be the food for another park. He apologized to the first hold, came back inside. Went back outside for some reason, the guy was getting tired of waiting. He asked to see the manager.
So Joey comes in to tell me that he wanted to speak to me, I go to go outside. By this point, the guy’s getting out of his car. He meets me in the hallway. “Are you the manager?” “Yes Sir, what can I help you with?” “Let’s Go! Inside, now!” He claims Joey yelled at him, and threw his drink at the guy. (Joey’s version:he told the guy it’d be another minute, and kinda shoved his hand outwards with the drink.) He refused to put up with this kind of service. I don’t know what he expected me to do, but I wasn’t going to yell at Joey right there anyways, even if he had been in the wrong. It’s one of those things where you take them aside later. So meanwhile, this guy’s screaming in my face, I have a dining room full of people watching him scream at me, and there’s nothing I can do to yell back. I’d lose my job. I have to smile. I was so close to bursting into tears on him, with the way I felt beforehand, on top of his crap, I just couldn’t deal. So the assistant manager was in the office, he heard the yelling and came up. The guy wanted his money back, I went to the a refund, and couldn’t, so I was going to just give him his money and be done with it. My keys were in my car, so I couldn’t open the drawer. I asked Gualter for his, they were in the office. “Doesn’t anybody in this goddamn store have keys?” I ran to the office, got Gualter’s keys, and gave him his money. “I want names. Your name, his name, the owner’s name, that kid’s name, everything. And phone numbers. The goddamn cooperation is gonna hear from me on this.” I still had a shift to run, so I asked Gualter to get the information for him. And I was seriously trying not to cry. I could’ve dealt that he was pissed, but he had to go screaming in my face, like that would accomplish anything.
So he finally left, I went into the freezer to get fries, and let loose. So of course when I came out my face was al lred, because I’d been crying. Gualter kept telling me not to worry about it, he was just an asshole. It wasn’t even him. It was the stress level, combined with my mood alreadyh, caused me to be an emotional wreck.
I just checked voicemail, he called me in. According to the report, it appeared as though I didn’t care. And neither did Gualter. Or Joey. He didn’t mention that he was up in the face of a 19 year old girl…I was a tad intimidated by this old guy. (Okay, not old, but 40ish.) And nobody wanted to take responsibility for running the place. His exact words to me…“Are you in charge of this store?” No, I’m not in charge. I’m a swing manager. If you want the store manager, she’s in charge. I just run the shifts. He asked Gualter if it was his store…nope, that would be Janet, she’s not working today. So it wasn’t that we didn’t want to take responsibility…it was that it wasn’t our responsibility to take. And when he spoke to the corporation, the rep said she would pass the complaint along to the supervisor. “Is that all you’re going to do??” I don’t know what he wants out of us. But I don’t think he’ll rest until he has my job title stripped away. Fine, that’s what you want? Just remember, once I’m not a manager, I can tell your sorry ass off. I don’t have to be polite and courteous while you shove your bullshit at me. Yeah, then we’ll see what’s up. So we have a manager’s meeting tomorrow, I get to tell Janet my side, and according to how far he goes with his bitching, I may have to go before the corporation. And if I lose my job because of this? Yep. Mr. X of Y WILL be getting a phone call from me. And it won’t be pretty.

{Note: edited to remove RL name. I will also edit the following posts for the same reason. Lynn}

[Edited by Lynn Bodoni on 04-12-2001 at 11:43 AM]

Well, if it makes you feel any better, I’m willing to bet the store manager/owner have gone through this before with customers. I seriously doubt it will cost you your job, but frankly if a company is not willing to stand up for you in the face of an abusive asshole and would rather heave you out the door, you would be better off. Be sure to mention when you are asked about it that you felt threatened by him and that he was behaving irrationally. To have engaged in any discussion with him could have been very dangerous to you, and you did the right thing by just getting him out ASAP.

From your posts I can tell you are a really hard worker and are dedicated to your job. Your skills are wasted on a company that will not help you when you need it most. Good luck to you :slight_smile:


“Hmmm,” Muffin wonders to himself, “What would the tab run up to for wrongful dismissal and pain and suffering against the franchise combined with the tort of assault against the customer? Just a couple of nuisance suits probably, but even at that they might be worth a few grand just to avoid litigation.”

Sorry to hear that you are being shit on, Pammipoo. Try not to let it get you down. Give it a few years and some better jobs and you’ll be better able to protect yourself against assholes. Just hold your head high and congratulate yourself for doing the best that you could under difficult circumstances, for that’s all anyone can ask of you. If it is not good enough for someone, that’s their problem, not yours.

Hey, you did the right things there. There’s nothing wrong with being upset, and you held it in until you could do it in private. The mark of a true professional: calm and competent while the bullets are flying and hysterical afterwards.

I can’t really help you with the job thing except to tell you that you should be clear and reasonable when discussing the event with anyone above you in chain-of-command. If you look like you have your act together (even if you know you don’t…maybe especially if you know you don’t) and can contrast that with a screaming, unreasonable customer, that will only strengthen your case.

And anyway, even if worse come to worst, remember to smile and not let them know they’ve hurt you. And maybe they haven’t really. Any 19 year old with potential (as I think you’ve shown you have) will go far.

Sorry that happened, sugar.

I’ve been where you are; handling customer complaints and irritated people is hard no matter what your age. At 19, I’d say you’re doing great.

I did customer service for a homebuilder. People have a tendency to get a little pissy about their $250,000 house having a roof leak. I know where you’re coming from.

However, I can say that from that 3-1/2 years of experience I really know how to deal with people. It’s hard to get me riled up about something anymore. Chalk it up to experience and remember “what goes around, comes around”. Mr. Putz will get his.

You have nothing to be sorry for. Mistakes happen, and sometimes the customer IS just an asshole. Good job on keeping your cool in front of him, I’ve been there, it’s hard. Good luck.

When I worked at Burger King as a swing manager in high school, it was all I could do not to slip out the back door and slash said asshole’s tires.

Well, the whole thing of “being fired and charged with a crime” sort of slowed me, too. But I had GREAT daydreams…

Sorry to hear about that Pammipoo. I really hope your managment will stick up for you on this.
When I worked in fast food, about the only thing that was good about the place is my manager would back us up and no one ever got fired for a customer complaint like that.
You know I hate the fast food industry now, but when I do go there for my daughter, I would never, ever treat someone like you described. I would never try and get someone fired.

Well, my boss called the guy back, and of course he was super calm and collected, not screaming irately. He’s changed his story though…he doesn’t want my job, just Joey’s. I skated through with a warning, Joey’ll probably be suspsended for his inappropriate customer relations, depending on his response, he could get fired. I feel bad for him, I really do. He’s a good kid, and he meant well. Stress is a shitty thing, and for a 15 year old? I imagine it’s a lot worse. At least he’s just at the job for extra spending money, not like he’s living off his paychecks or nuthing. Oh well…I guess it’s a consilation that he gave up on me…

It sucks you got a warning, but good that you didn’t lose your job.

Glad to see you didn’t lose your job.

Foodservice really sucks, doesn’t it?

Next time just tell the customer to get fucked. Jobs like that are a dime a dozen, and at least you’ll get some satisfaction out of it.

Good news, Pami. I admire your depth of dedication to your job and the class you showed through this incident. I wish I had been as mature at your age. That dedication will serve you well in future jobs, too.


Well, now. I hate to tell you, but I think you got screwed over by your management.

Granted, Mr. X of Y is a jerk; it doesn’t take a lot of balls to face down a 19-year-old girl who fears to lose her job. But see what it looks like from his perspective: he’s sitting in line in a “fast” food restaurant and his order is both late and screwed up. Then some kid throws a drink at him. Then, when he goes inside to complain, no one seems to be in charge of the store! Gross incompetance!

If I was him, I’d be pretty mad, too. Now, I ain’t gonna start yelling at people in the middle of the store, but I sure as Hell am gonna call later and complain. I don’t know about Mr. X of Y, but what I’d be after is some assurances that circumstances like that won’t happen again. Some sort of readjustment of management principles so that future situations are sorted out quickly and efficiently.

So where does that leave you? Looks to me like: 1) Whoever was in charge of the store before you left you a mess, 2) Your management put you in a situation where you could not take responsibility (because you didn’t have it), 3) You got no support from your mangement, 4) Training was inadequate for situations like this that should be expected, and 5) You (to some extent) and Joey (to a greater extent) are left holding the bag due to poor management from your superiors.

I hope my point here is obvious: I don’t mean to excuse the customer’s boorish behavior, or blame Pammipoo for what is really not her fault. But if your management puts you in a position where, from the customer’s perspective, it looks like you’re not doing your job correctly, then they should be rethinking their strategy. And they’re not.

[Edited by Lynn Bodoni on 04-12-2001 at 11:48 AM]