My first "real job" when I was fourteen was working at a local McDonald's restaurant. I worked about 20 hours a week or so and started out making just over $4 an hour. We had a top-notch management team who, like it or not, taught their team a work ethic that has followed me right into my adult life. I'm forever grateful for the crash course in life that I got working there.
So what, please tell me, has happened in the last two decades that would ever, EVER allow what happened today to go so ruefully unpunished?
I work second shift and my son and I don't have a whole lot of quality time to spend during the week so Saturdays are our days to find something fun to do. In the summertime this usually involves swimming followed up by a trip to our local McDonald's. Well, today, something happened that is making me re-think ever giving the McDonald's corporation another dime. We had just sat down to have our lunch (it's important to note that my son is five years old and has a mild form of Autism which manifests itself - among other ways - with Echolalia...he repeats things over and over again) and there is one of McD's fine female employees sitting at an adjacent table talking on her cell phone and swearing to make a trucker blush. I get her attention and tell her politely but firmly that she needs to watch the language around my kid. Her response to this was, "Whatever."
"No," I said, "It's not a matter of whatever. You need to watch your mouth. There are young kids all around you and I'm not interested in spending the rest of my afternoon doing damage control because you can't keep a civil tongue in your head." I was then told that I needed to "relax." And right on cue...
"Fuck that shit! Fuck that shit, dad!" I can't tell you what music that is to a parent's ear to have thier five year old say things like that. He stops eventually but eventually could be next Tuesday with his condition. Of course pottymouth thinks it's hillarious. It was at that point I decided that I needed to do something to wipe the smirk off her face so, after we had finished eating I went back up to the counter and asked to speak to a manager. The girl sees me talking to the manager and says, "Whatever he's telling you it's bullshit. I was talking on the phone, having a private conversation. He should mind his business anyway!" I thanked her for the demonstration and asked if that was evidence enough that she did what I said she did. This manager was so weak she wouldn't do anything. She immediately escalated the problem to the General Manager who was holed up in a tiny office and, when summoned to deal with the situation looked altogether bothered and harassed. She goes over to potty and after ten seconds comes back and tells me that the situation was dealt with.
"And how was it dealt with?"
"I gave her a talking-to and told her to leave the premises. Her shift was over anyway."
"And by 'leave the premises' do you mean permanently or just for today?"
"She's scheduled to work tomorrow."
"What are you suggesting, sir?"
"I'm suggesting that you haven't done anything to adequately discipline the employee and I'd like to know why. When I worked for this company if I admitted to speaking to a customer the way she did to me or if I used profanity within earshot of a customer I would have been fired. At very least she should be suspended. Maybe losing a week's pay would drive the point home."
"Thanks, but I think I know how to do my job without your help."
"Then please get around to doing it."
I was then informed that the discussion was over and given a phone number to call the area manager. I have yet to hear back from her.
Oh, it gets better....
It would appear that no one bothered to see to it that potty "left the premises" because she was loitering outside the restaurant when we left and as we're walking to our car, yells out, "You should learn to mind your own business, asshole!" I'd love to know how anyone can "mind [his] own business" with that kind of trash-talk going on three feet away. If she wanted to have a private conversation she should have been having it under more private conditions. The fact that these people are allowed to carry cell phones through the door boggles my mind. I was never even allowed an earring, let alone anything that would distract me from my job. I'm sorry, but if this person is allowed to keep her job after all this I can't imagine how totally weak McDonald's management has had to become. Hell, I'm thinking of applying with them now. I could use a part time job AND an outlet for whatever petty hostility might be gnawing at me at any given moment and apparently their customers are fair game...