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A Satisfying Fall From Grace

, , , , , | Working | December 27, 2021

I worked in a fast food restaurant, and one of my coworkers did an exceptionally fantastic job with any task he was assigned to, whether it was as a cashier or working in food prep. It came to no surprise to any of us when he was promoted to a shift manager position.

Our actual surprise was that he somehow confused the word “manager” with “Gestapo.” He constantly stood next to working people and was either snapping his fingers or clapping his hands: “LET’S GO! LET’S GO! MOVE IT!” Mess up an order? He’d go grab the poor prep worker from the kitchen and then say, right in front of the customer:

Manager: “Is this what you call customer service? How long have you been working here? Apologize to him right now!” *To the customer* “Sir, we’ll get you another order made, and I’m writing him up for this right now! This is inexcusable!”

He would constantly give blatantly obvious instructions to crew workers on how to do their jobs, even though many of them were “veterans” who had been there ten or more years and could recite protocols while in a coma. Write-ups started streaming in from him over petty issues like clocking in two minutes late from break or forgetting to give a customer their receipt, which infuriated many of us since a lot of us had been there for years without a single blemish on our records.

One day, I called in to let my work know I would be fifteen or thirty minutes late because my car was not starting and I was taking a bus instead (I don’t trust Uber), and I was unlucky enough to have him pick up the phone.

Manager: “Why didn’t you prepare to leave earlier? It’s your responsibility to make sure you get here on time! I’m starting to consider having a talk with [General Manager] about whether you should even be here! You need to take your job more seriously!”

I arrived at work on time after pestering my roommate for a ride, and as expected, [Manager] was there driving everyone like sled dogs. As I was listening to a customer give her order, he walked past me, snapped his finger repeatedly, and snarled, “Pick it up!” as though I was supposed to control how fast the customer was deciding. Then, as I was putting her order together, he barked:

Manager: “Napkins! Ketchup packet! Come on. You know the drill already!”

I locked my register, grabbed his hand, shook it, and walked to the back.

Manager: “Where do you think you are going?”

Me: “Unemployment office.”

Manager: “No, stay right there— HEY! [Coworker], that’s too much lettuce! This is the third time—”

Coworker: “Goodbye, sir.”

They walked to the back with me.

We both left just as we said we would, and as word got around, three more employees walked out that same shift. When I returned to the restaurant the following day to turn in my uniform, the general manager met up with me and took me to the office. There, he put me on the phone with the franchise owner, who apologized to me and reassured me that this situation would be handled immediately.

Surprisingly enough, that shift manager wasn’t fired, but please believe me when I tell you that it felt GREAT to come in to work the next day to see him dressing in a common crew uniform, looking completely humiliated. He quit after three weeks of being relegated to all the mundane tasks such as deep cleaning machines and handling delivery all by himself with no help.

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