Olive Garden Manager Fired For Demanding Employees Bring Their Dead Dogs To Work
This week, a rant from a Kansas City (Kansas side) Olive Garden went viral after being posted in Reddit's r/antiwork forum — a rant in which said manager expressed her displeasure with employees calling off work and demanded that if they called off because they were sick they needed to come in and show her or if they called off because their dog died, they needed to bring the dead dog in to the restaurant.
Very normal stuff like that.
Attention ALL Team Members:
Our call offs are occurring at a staggering rate. From now on, if you call off, you might as well go out and look for another job. We are no longer tolerating ANY excuse for calling off. If you're sick, you need to come prove it to us. If your dog died, you need to bring him in and prove it to us. If its a "family emergency" and you can't say, too bad. Go work somewhere else. If you only want morning shifts, too bad go work at a bank. If anyone from here on out calls out more than ONCE in the next 30 days you will not have a job. Do you know in my 11.5 years at Darden how many days I called off? Zero. I came in sick. I got in a wreck literally on my to work one time, airbags went off and my car was totaled, but you know what, I made it to work, ON TIME! There are no more excuses. Us, collectively as a management team have had enough. If you don't want to work here, don't. It's as simple as that. If you're here and want to work, then work. No more complainging [sic] about not being cut or not being able to leave early. You're in the restaurant business. Do you think I want to be here until midnight on Friday and Saturday? No. I'd much rather be at home with my husband and dog, going to the movies or seeing family. But I don't, I'm dedicated to being here. As should you. No more excuses or complaints.
I hope you choose to continue to work here and I think we (management) make it as easy as we can on ya'll. Thank you for your time and thank you to those who come in every day on time and work hard. I wish there were more like you.
The manager was fired, probably not due to Darden's commitment to fair labor practices so much as they probably know that people tend to be grossed out by the idea of sick people serving them food. I am generally not the biggest fan of cheering for anyone getting fired ... but in this case, better her than someone else. Especially a customer who might have gone there for endless pasta and breadsticks only to come home with COVID or the flu and lose their job for calling in sick because they have a boss who fires people for not coming in when they are sick but isn't stupid enough to put it in writing. Or, you know, for something worse than that to happen.
While many were horrified by the manager's attitude (not to mention the idea of someone sneezing into their salad or a dead dog in the walk-in refrigerator), some of the most horrible people on the internet cheered the manager and decried the horrible employees who are obviously lazy and worthless.
Like Matt Walsh, who tweeted "I'm on the manager's side. Trying to run a business and dealing with a bunch of lazy whiners who refuse to put in even the most minimal effort. People are fed up with it. They should be."
\u201cI'm on the manager's side. Trying to run a business and dealing with a bunch of lazy whiners who refuse to put in even the most minimal effort. People are fed up with it. They should be.\u201d— Matt Walsh (@Matt Walsh) 1670620187
For the record, the tipped minimum wage in Kansas is $2.13. You can't really demand much from people you are paying $2.13 an hour.
Here are some of the other very depressing responses from less famous people.
"Pity the 'new' boss. His problems will be the same as the old boss. The managers are not the problem, and replacing them will change nothing. Automation of every single process that can be automated is the only way."
"I used to work 14 hour days as a coder, and go years without a day off besides a holiday here and there. That is just how technology used to be done. I think kids today have no idea how important dedication and being a quality employee is to American culture."
"I had a sick day in 1987. The Guys I worked with pulled me aside and said we don’t do that here. This is grown up work and your not in high school anymore. So suck it up or get out, that was the last call out for me."
"The company I work for is offering $250 a month bonus to some of our entry level positions to simply show up on time for all scheduled work days on top of paying $18 an hour for what amounts to work you could do in your sleep and used to be $14 an hour about 3 years ago"
Companies are not entitled to employees who will work for crappy wages and never take a day off, particularly if said wages would not permit them to live anywhere where the company is.
It's clear from these replies and the replies to my own response to one of them, that there are a lot of very confused people out there, who simultaneously want corporations to have an endless supply of workers thrilled to work their asses off for poverty wages and simultaneously believe that all of those people should "learn a skill" in order to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
\u201c"Kids today are so lazy that they expect to be able to make enough at their jobs to LIVE somewhere. Like royalty!"\n\n(I checked, this ... is not tongue in cheek)\u201d— Robyn Pennacchia (@Robyn Pennacchia) 1670630286
This is not a workable solution. Part of the "problem" with low wage jobs right now is that there simply aren't enough people who are willing to work them — and so those who do have options. They don't have to come into work when they are sick because the fact is, if they get fired for that, there are 12 other restaurants desperately in need of staff nearby. This is what is called "supply and demand." You'd think all of these dedicated capitalists would be familiar with the concept.
The pendulum swung too far the other way for too long, and it very clearly has not worked out all that well for anyone. Desperate workers putting up with incredible bullshit for starvation wages is not the way of the future — and it's not workers but places like The Olive Garden that will either need to learn to put up with some bullshit or offer the compensation necessary to produce the level of dedication they want.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse