Sunday, September 13, 2015

Favoritism and Unprofessionalism Sucks

[The letter I wrote to the owner of a restaurant I worked in. Identifying information has been renamed].

There are multitude of reasons why I have left [your employ], and I’m going to list the main reasons here. I don’t think it’ll do any good, because it doesn’t appear you even care for the average worker in your employ. But at least I’ll have my reasons written down should the need arise in the future that I informed you about what’s going on, from my perspective, in your restaurant.

First of all, what I feel is the outright dislike for my son, Gideon, is very unprofessional. You and your supervisory staff show a great deal of favoritism and have since the very first day I began working at the restaurant. It’s pretty sad, during this second time around (I quit a couple years ago due to the favoritism, and I returned this past February), when people who are new hires actually come up to me and ask why there is so much bullying and favoritism going on. All I can say is I don’t know. And I really don’t.

My son and I have never been part of the inner circle. (Most of your employees aren’t). We were never accepted into it; we aren’t related to anyone in it, nor do we have a romantic relationship with anyone in it. I think a large part of the reason the inner circle doesn’t care for us is because we don’t particularly like having brown noses, nor are we sycophants. (Although I suppose that’s being a bit redundant, eh?)

When I returned in February, the veterans warned me that things had gotten much worse. I had hoped things had gotten better – that there wasn’t so much outright favoritism and double standards for all to see…but I was oh so wrong.

As I said, it’s pretty bad when new hires come up to me and vent; one was practically crying, wondering if she should get more hours at her other job and just quit [your restaurant]. She liked her schedule at your store, but she just couldn’t take much more of the bullying and favoritism that occurs on a daily basis. I commiserated with her because I know exactly how she feels.

It’s pretty sad when most of your workers – who aren’t in the clique – are very unhappy working for you and Bunny [the general manager]. I’ve found there is absolutely NO sense in talking to Bunny because, as it’s often repeated by several workers, she doesn’t care and she wouldn’t do anything about the problems anyway. Well…of course, if one of her favorites was being inconvenienced, I’m quite sure she’d care and do something about it. But I’m talking about those of us who aren’t the favored few. [Someone who recently quit supposedly wrote his own letter to the owner because he knew writing/talking to Bunny wouldn't do any good].

So, let’s see…before I get to the hate-on for Gideon, let me get to a very serious issue. Recently Napoleon, whose apparent intense dislike of my son is absolutely, no-holds-barred palpable, met with my son because apparently my son had to convince Napoleon that a third tier manager, who had been there for almost three years, should have a higher hourly wage than a fourth tier manager who hasn’t been there as long [and is lower in rank]. Seriously? That’s a no brainer, even for someone who is still in elementary school. Apparently, Bunny and Milo tried to convince Napoleon (or whomever) of Gideon’s worth, but to no avail. Or maybe they didn’t really try at all. Who knows?

At any rate, my son had a very serious issue to discuss with Napoleon, but Napoleon kept shutting him down and refused to listen to anything more about [Loose Lips], the fourth tier manager mentioned above, who makes a higher hourly wage than he does. Such a pity, too, because it involves sexual harassment. Yet Napoleon, the sexual harassment liaison (from what I’ve been told) refused to let Gideon talk any further about her [and even turned his back on Gideon and walked away from the conversation. So much for your stated open door policy, wherein employees are encouraged to talk about anything work-related to managers and supervisors]. Since Napoleon said their talk was confidential, (though Gideon didn’t sign a paper indicating that it was), I’m not privy to everything that went on. The reason I know about the sexual harassment issue is because I encouraged Gideon to come forward and tell Napoleon about it in that conversation. But Gideon felt Napoleon was very threatening and intimidating. (I have actually seen Napoleon’s intimidating behavior first hand). So do you really think someone would come forward and complain about sexual harassment to a man who appears to be already predisposed to not caring what that someone thinks? No!

I do find it interesting that Napoleon, who apparently deals with the sexual harassment issues, is so…overly friendly with the young girls at work. Several times I’ve heard him call them “honey.” Um….don’t you believe in giving your managers any kind of sensitivity training or any kind of training that would make sure nothing they said or did could be construed as sexual harassment or sexist? It kind of begs the question, since Napoleon appears to be so clueless on the “honey” issue, does he call black people “Samboes” or “cotton pickers”? I’m not trying to be facetious; I really want to know. Because how can a middle aged man not know that he shouldn’t call an underage girl “honey” at work?? Is he that unprofessional and insensitive?

And then there was the day I had to work with Napoleon in the “bubble,” alongside one of the pretty teens. She was 18, so at least she wasn’t a child. But according to Napoleon, I didn’t exist. I tried to engage him in conversation, and he ignored me or looked right through me, then went on being very cordial to the 18 year old.

And he’s the sexual harassment liaison?! Is that all the better you can do? If so, you’re in a lot more trouble than many people talk about.

At any rate, Gideon has had an incident that is of a sexual harassment nature. Loose Lips, the aforementioned fourth tier manager who has less time on the job [and is lower in rank] than Gideon but yet makes more, spoke sexually about Gideon. They had a very brief sexual fling, with discretion being of the utmost importance. Gideon kept his end of the deal, but Loose Lips decided to talk about it at work. And it wasn’t just whispering to a friend. She was on assembly, so she had to speak loudly enough for the other assembly person to hear. Loose Lips compared Gideon sexually to another worker at the restaurant with whom she had also had sex. (She apparently gets around, and she makes no secret about it). The thing is, revealing such a thing at work is very unprofessional. (Yet she sure is yours, Napoleon’s, and Bunny’s “golden girl,” as was evidence by her higher hourly wage as of August 1st).

Oh, and by the way, what is it with blaming Gideon for knowing what other people make? How the heck is that his fault!?! He can’t help that some people talk about what their hourly rate is! And Napoleon and Bunny apparently have to blame him for knowing it? In what universe is that his fault?

Anyhoo…back to the sexual harassment…

Your golden girl sexually compared Gideon to another employee. She said it loud enough for anyone in grill to hear. When you’re on assembly, you have to speak loudly due to the noise of back wall, grill, dishwashing, etc. Present to this sexually explicit conversation was also a minor. How is this appropriate and professional? Even customers could have heard the conversation as well!

So with Napoleon’s and Bunny’s apparent dislike of Gideon, and their apparent love of Loose Lips, Gideon coming forward about this sexual humiliation and harassment incident would more than likely amount to nothing. In fact, I can’t help but wonder the way Napoleon and/or Bunny would angle it: would they somehow turn it around and blame Gideon for it? (Even though we have text messages referring to the incident in question, even Loose Lips admitting her sexual harassment). After all, apparently Napoleon and Bunny blamed Gideon for knowing other people’s wages (with the dismissive “They’re confidential”), despite employees openly talking about their new raises.

[Bunny told Gideon she had to get Loose Lips’ “side of the story,” which showed extreme bias. There is a diplomatic and neutral way of phrasing it, such as “I will talk her about the incident,” rather than choosing words that indicate Gideon was lying. Additionally, when Gideon said he was uncomfortable working around Loose Lips since the incident, Bunny blurted out that Loose Lips felt uncomfortable as well. Well, golly gee whizzzzzzzzzzzz! I imagine a perpetrator would feel uncomfortable when her dirty deeds are brought to the light].

Now let me put it as straight as I can: If my child was the minor present during this sexual comparison exchange that Loose Lips talked about, you can be darn sure I’d call Bunny ASAP and ask to meet face to face with her. So there I’d be…waiting for my appointment with Bunny to commence, and I’m watching the goings-on at work. I see a 15 year old, a little Asian, pressing her crotch and chest up against a chubby, blonde, obviously older manager. I’d continue to watch, not believing my eyes. And the embrace would continue. The minor is looking adoringly up at the manager. He looks down at her, smiling. They both stare at each other for what seems a very long time…still pressing their crotches against each other. Then she coos at him, and cups her hands around each side of his face, stroking his face and giggling.

I’ve seen that kind of exchange happen on a regular basis between this minor and Olaf. A couple months ago (before the revelations of Subway’s Jared Fogle coming to light), I told Bunny that was highly inappropriate behavior, and that if I was a customer, I would wonder if Olaf was a pedophile because he did nothing to discourage it. In what professional atmosphere is it right for a minor to be pressing her body up against a much older manager? I don’t know why that type of behavior is allowed. It sure seems lurid and inappropriate to me. When you interact with minors, you shouldn’t allow that kind of touching going on! The inappropriate touching between Olaf and this minor has not diminished since I told Bunny about it.

So as I’m waiting for my appointment with Bunny, I also see an older man being pursued by a couple of teen girls. They’re giggling and he’s flirting with them, and I look at his name tag. Hm…Donald. (Of course, he doesn’t get in trouble for such behavior, because he’s good friends with Milo). Then I see the Asian “honey” walk up behind Donald and press her breasts against his back and wraps her arms around the front of his waist, standing for quite some time, while he’s charming the giggling teens.

Then I take a look around and see a white board, by the fries station, with writing on it. I peer closer and see it is a drawing of a naked backside, with the words written above it: “Burt is hot.” Another male manager looks at it and laughs. A female manager looks at it and then writes: “Chrissy is hot.” Then I overhear a couple of 15 year olds saying the “f-word” at the front counter in front of customers.

I can tell you right now, if my child were a minor, I would yank him away from your employment faster than you can say “inappropriately touching children.”

There is no excuse for such unprofessional and illicit behavior. But…of course, it begs the question…why does this go on? Bunny knows it’s going on because I’ve told her of many of these incidents. Most, if not all, of the salaried managers know it’s going on; some of them even partake in it. A lot of the crew obviously see these things going on. But management doesn’t seem to care because apparently the favorite ones can do whatever they want; it appears there are no consequences for their reprehensible, and in my opinion, fire-able, offenses.

So let me extrapolate further. It’s well known amongst many people that Loose Lips sleeps around. She makes no secret about it. (Apparently discretion is hard for her…which means that really…can you trust her to keep your company secrets? Do you really think she can keep anything that is supposed to remain confidential, confidential? She’s proven that she is incapable of keeping a secret…as well as keeping her legs shut). Her latest is that she now wants “black dick.” I personally can’t help but wonder if she wanted to experience the “dick” of someone higher up – perhaps at your home office? I would hope such a thing didn’t happen, but sleeping your way to the top or to better pay happens all the time around the world. I’m not sure if it happens in your company, but gosh golly, it sure looks like a sexually deviant dive to work at, especially where minors are concerned. They have to overhear explicit sexual talk from the golden girl, they also have to be called “honey” by the sexual harassment liaison, and/or they also get to press their crotch up against grown men, or, if they are mature enough not to engage in such behavior, they have to witness it.

Here’s a clue about teenagers, especially girls: they are awakening to their sexuality, and they will try out their charms at any and every opportunity, especially if they are starved for affection at home. It is an adult’s responsibility, especially an adult who is their supervisor, to make sure that everything is professional. Allowing a child to press her crotch and chest against an adult male, and hold them there for an inordinate amount of time, is beyond reprehensible. There is no gray area here. It is wrong. It is disgusting! Is this type of behavior really okay with you and your sexual harassment liaison? [I feel sorry for this touchy feely minor. She is learning through these managers' actions, that she can get higher pay and favored status by using her body. She will carry these lessons throughout the rest of her life because this is such an impressionable age for her.]

Not knowing what is going on in your store(s) is NO excuse. Yes, apparently Bunny turns a blind eye to a lot of what goes on in her store; that’s no secret. In fact, it is talked about quite often. But you have entrusted your salary and other managers to act professionally, and if they can’t even ascertain that a child’s crotch touching them is wrong, then there is something insidiously wrong with those people. Such people should in no way, shape, or form be in your employ, let alone hold any supervisory position. End of discussion because there are no two ways about this. If such actions occur out in the open, many people can’t help but wonder just what is going on in private!

It’s also interesting how this child, who likes to go around touching her crotch up against Olaf’s and other men, has manager codes. I thought you couldn’t be a manger until you were 18. She was 15 when she was first given these manager codes. But apparently being a favorite gets favored status. (Just how did she become a favorite, I wonder. It wouldn’t have anything to do with those inappropriate hugs, would it?) While she is a good worker, she doesn’t warrant making the same hourly rate as an adult third tier manager who has been with the company for almost three years. (Translation: she made the same hourly rate as Gideon as of August 1st. She has told people that she now makes $10 an hour).

Quite frankly, she isn’t that good of a worker if all she wants to do trail after Olaf or other male managers like a lost puppy or listen to him on the headset. One day while I was in the the front booth and she was in back booth by herself, she said over the headset:

“Hello? Are you there Olaf?”

“Yes.”

(Happy contented sigh. Then in an even more syrupy voice): “Oh, good. I love listening to you talk.”

(More happy sighs and some slight cooing). “I’m bored. I just wanted to hear your voice.”

Um…okay. You know what. There are drive-thru order takers who might be trying to listen to what a customer is saying, but she’s too busy thinking about Olaf and wanting to hear his voice that she totally ignored any potential customer there. And does Olaf discourage this kind of behavior? Not that I have seen. It has not abated one bit, even after I mentioned my concerns to Bunny and Olaf.

Napoleon seems to really like Asian “honey” as well. I’ve watched his interactions with her, and I notice that there are other 15 year olds with whom he isn’t as friendly, though they are just as good – if not better – workers. But perhaps he just doesn’t deem them as attractive or worthy of being called “honey”? Or maybe because they aren’t sycophants? Who knows?

Bottom line: a minor shouldn’t be making the same amount as a third tier manager who has been there longer than the minor. The minor regularly presses her crotch and breasts against one manager in particular, as well as other men there. She gets raised to the same hourly rate as a third tier manager. That calls into question why, and many people will have very different conclusions from whatever excuse you may give for such a raise.

I’m also curious, since the Asian minor told me her parents are very protective, what they would think of their daughter’s behavior at work. This touchy feely “honey” told me that her father is going to sell their family business and move to wherever she’ll be going to college when the time comes. That is, indeed, very protective. How would he react if he knew that much older, adult managers allow his daughter to hug them and press her crotch and breasts against them and do nothing at all to discourage her? If I were that parent, I’d question the judgment of the managers and question what kind of deviant place my minor child worked at.

So, how did Loose Lips get to making a higher hourly wage than Gideon? It wouldn’t have anything to do with her willingness to sleep around with as many men as she can, would it? I’m just asking because it clearly isn’t her managerial abilities. As I mentioned above, she has sexually harassed not only my son and this other worker, but it could be construed that she has sexually harassed anyone who was within earshot of that explicit conversation. Seems to me she has a problem with keeping things confidential, don’t you think? Additionally, I’ve been present when she runs shifts, and she is mediocre at best. She is easily frazzled. She is also easily swayed by what her friends want. I remember when I was new in back booth, and I was cashiering. One of her friends was going to be the order taker and training a new hire, but the friend whined and didn’t want to. So Loose Lips told me to train an even newer hire than me. I’m not a crew trainer, and I had only been in back booth a couple times. In what universe is that good management skills?! And how does this serve the customer in the best way!?!

Now let me briefly discuss Gideon’s abilities as a manager. According to his hourly wage (making the same as the touchy feely minor and making less than the very touchy feely Loose Lips before Napoleon’s conversation with Gideon about his wage), he’s horrible. So when was he written up? Should I further compare him with other managers? Well, I’ve witnessed that Olaf does nothing to discourage a minor child pressing her body against him. And that should be a fire-able offense because it repeatedly happens. Additionally, he puts many people in their weakest areas during a rush, which makes no sense. To me, especially during the rush, people should be in their best stations to ensure that customers get served quality food in a timely matter. Then there was a time when Dylan was working on back wall, and he burned himself. Two of his co-workers noticed that he was high; they told me that they could smell pot on him and that his pupils were dilated. (I later saw his eyes, and wow…he was on something to make his pupils so large). They told me they informed Olaf about Dylan being high, but Olaf did nothing about it. How is that being a good manager? This high guy could’ve hurt himself and/or someone else, and you would’ve had to have paid workers’ compensation for that. I can tell you that if I had been injured, or if my son had, and it was revealed that a manager knowingly let a high worker remain on the job, I would’ve raised holy heck and would’ve pursued every legal avenue available to me.

Then there’s Bertha, who was one of the reasons I quit the first time due to her incessant bullying of me and others. [Bertha is the common law wife of Olaf…although can she have a common law husband when she is still legally married, and they all live under the same roof as her kids? Must be very confusing for her kids; I know I’m confused! If you want to have a cuckolding lifestyle, fine, but to do it in front of young and impressionable kids!?!] She changed slightly and stopped yelling and denigrating me this time around; perhaps that’s because she has other targets now? One day I was working in the front booth with a new hire, and she was lighting into him for the least little thing. I tried to talk to him about it and told him to not take it personally. He said he tried not to and stated that she was a lousy manager. (Yeah, no argument from me. If you have to bully because you can’t handle the stress, you shouldn’t be in any kind of supervisory position). I asked him how he felt Gideon was as a manager. He said Gideon was a good and fair one. That’s when I told him that was my son; he had no idea. Fairness is probably why Gideon is not liked by many of the other managers. He just doesn’t play the two faced kiss arse game.

During this time in the front booth with the above mentioned new hire, Napoleon was present. (By the way, the two faced-ness that goes on in this store is off the charts. I’m always amazed at how the very senior managers bad mouth Napoleon behind his back, yet to his face, they fawn all over him. Really interesting to watch, I must say). I was handing out orders to drive-thru, and a customer had ordered [a specialty drink]. I had no idea how to make it, but Bertha was already at that station, making other drinks. I wondered if Bertha saw we needed that particular drink right away. I asked her; she ignored me. After she finished the drinks she was working on, I asked her again. She looked up at the beverage screen and didn’t say anything and didn’t even start to make the drink I was waiting for. By this time, the customer who ordered the drink, was at the drive-thru window, waiting. I asked Bertha again, and she finally got out of her self-imposed stupor, acknowledged my existence and made the drink.

After I handed it out to the customer, Napoleon gruffly asked Bertha why the hold up in drive-thru. Bertha pointed to me and the above mentioned new hire and said it was our fault.

No, it wasn’t. It was Bertha’s. Doesn’t she have the honesty and integrity to admit she messed up? How is that good management skills? How? Can you tell me how? Sure, she’s going through some personal issues, but that is no excuse for what, in my view, was outright lying. Or, is she that afraid of Napoleon, that she had to blame someone else?

This is the type of poor professional behavior that many of us witness on a daily basis, and you wonder why you have such low morale and a high turnover rate in your store. That right there is why, but it’s not just one person…not just one bad manager…not just one touchy feely minor who is in no way discouraged from pressing her body against managers’ crotches…

Then there’s Leslie. Bertha told me that another worker immediately went to Bunny when Leslie returned and said she refused to work with Leslie. Uh…why did Bertha know this? Wasn’t this between Bunny and that worker? And why was Bertha telling me this? Shouldn’t that have been confidential? Ah, but it’s okay. Bertha is one of the favorites, so I guess she can divulge confidential matters and act unprofessionally? The past has apparently shown her there will be no consequences for her behavior. (When I worked there the first time, I overheard Bertha laughing and said she’d never be fired, no matter what she did).

At any rate…Leslie. Yes, the one who comes waltzing in after a long absence and is apparently going to change everything. Well, how about not opening on time? That’s quite a change, eh? One morning, I guess due yet again to lack of reliable child care, she was 1.5 hours late. As the opening manager, she should’ve shown up by 4 am, but she didn’t get there until 5:30 am. And this after she allegedly got a new babysitter who was supposed to be more reliable! So the store was not opened for at least a half hour, and who knows how long it took for them to be ready. Yet everything is just peachy keen because she’s so gosh darn awesome as a manager, even though she has also yelled at employees in front of customers and other employees.

Then there are the shifts where Leslie was late by a few hours because of lack of child care, so the day shift managers had to stay several hours later, one time almost until the end of Leslie’s scheduled shift for closing. Gosh golly, what an asset she is!

And she’s all “yay rah!” for the 15 year olds. She wants to groom them and take care of them and treat them right so they’ll come back next year. Um…well, how about the adults who are there now, who don’t have a school schedule to work around nine months out of the year? They don’t matter? They don’t rank being taken care of and treated right? Real smooth move there. Oh, and how about another smooth move? During one orientation, it was overheard that she couldn’t tell the new hires what they would be making; it would be either $9 or $10 an hour. Haven’t you told Leslie what she’s authorized to tell them? From my experience, people are always told what they’ll be making before they even accept the job. But maybe the new hires were 15 year olds, so they’re more easily led on? Ah, a Eureka moment: is that why you and Leslie want to hire more na├»ve 15 year olds? Because they would be ignorant as to the unprofessionalism that is going on? Also, I have to wonder if the vagueness about the wage is that there is outright favoritism going on, and before the first paycheck is cut, the managers in the clique will determine who will get the $9/hour and who will get the $10/hour. Is there not any guidelines as to what new hires, third and fourth tier managers make, or is it just based on favoritism? It does indeed seem like it’s just based on favoritism since even Leslie didn’t know what a new hire is to make.

So, let’s see. We have Gideon, who rarely calls in, who shows up on time, who doesn’t yell at people, and who keeps things in confidence. He makes no demands on his schedule, unlike the other managers who need to work around their, or their children’s, school schedule. He doesn’t request having nights off or overnights or openings off. He doesn’t use an excuse of unreliable child care to show up to his shifts hours late. He doesn’t even request Milo’s “Nerd Night” off. So how is he rewarded as a third tier manager? By making the same amount as the minor who presses her crotch and chest against practically any male who will let her. And by also making less than Loose Lips, who sleeps around and is damn proud of it and talks about it at work, thereby sexually harassing several employees who are within earshot of her lurid details, because no one should have to listen to such sexually graphic talk at work, and especially be sexually humiliated. But apparently that’s okay because…well…she’s a favorite, according to her hourly wage. I shudder to think what the reasons are because it sure can’t be that she’s a good manager. She has loose lips and is so easily overwhelmed when there’s a rush that it’s pathetic. (Or perhaps she’s merely trying to emulate Bunny in the loose lips department? I’ve heard from several sources Bunny has a habit of gossiping about workers and telling personal details about their lives. She has certainly passed on gossip to me that shouldn’t have been shared. Ah, mayhap Bunny and Loose Lips are birds of a feather?)

Bottom line: Loose Lips, who makes no secret that she wants to have the “college experience” of sleeping around with as many men as possible, is apparently a favorite of Bunny and Napoleon. (Just look at her wage). She has been on the job less than Gideon has and is of a lower rank. As of August 1st, she made more per hour than Gideon. Some people may conclude something untoward was going on that allowed her to surpass his hourly rate of pay.

Perhaps one reason for the apparent hate-on for Gideon is that, when reprimanded, he tries to tell his reasoning for doing what he did. To me, as a formerly trained supervisor and naturally being respectful of people, I would listen. The person might be coming at it from a point of view I hadn’t considered, and I might learn something. Or, if the person is telling me something that simply wouldn’t work out because it’s been tried before, it could be a teaching moment for that employee. Apparently you and your ilk don’t like to think that way, and instead, would rather insult and demean when someone challenges their commands. Napoleon is apparently the type to be easily offended and if someone doesn’t immediately go into sycophant mode with him, he takes grave offense. At one point, Gideon was pulled out into the lobby by Napoleon, just so Napoleon could yell at him in front of customers. This was a day that was poorly staffed (how is that Gideon’s fault? Oh wait…maybe Milo, who does the scheduling, is at fault? Or gosh darn it gee whiz, it might have something to do with the high turnover rate because of the constant mistreatment of the workers at your restaurant. But I digress…)

Gideon tried to explain the poor staffing issues and that he simply couldn’t pull someone at that moment to take care of the lobby. (Gee, maybe he should’ve mimicked Bertha and blamed it on someone else, but Gideon is too honest for that). It begs the question why Napoleon couldn’t take care of the lobby himself. After all, I’ve seen him help out a great many of those teen girl “honeys” when they need help. I heard he also had to run a whole shift at one of your new stores because of the limited staffing.

At any rate, in the time it took Napoleon to look at the lobby and pull Gideon away from a rush to yell at him in front of customers, he could’ve quickly taken care of the problem. Way to go, Napoleon…showing that ol’ team spirit, and embodying the oft-repeated management training mantra of praise in public, criticize in private. Perhaps Napoleon should retake your management training classes. Then again, would it do any good? It’s common sense (and decency as a human being) to not be abusive to an employee, just like it’s common sense not to call teenage girls “honey” at work, especially if you’re a supervisor. At another time, Napoleon made it a point to yell at Gideon in front of the crew. Does it really make Napoleon feel that good to belittle people who aren’t sycophants? Does he really think that will make anyone work better? It’s demoralizing! In the management training classes I attended years ago, not only did I hear of the praise in public, criticize in private mantra, but also that you will not make an employee productive when you create a climate of constant criticism and disrespect. That should be something you and your ilk should know. Alas, actions always speak louder than words, and you apparently don’t know it, or if you do, it appears as if you don’t want to embody it with people whom you deem your inferiors (i.e., not in the clique).

I also wonder if Napoleon should be in the position he is in – not just by his actions, but by his past. It’s known at the store that he suffered a mental breakdown due to stress and had to take a medical leave of absence. (Again, I wonder who had the loose lips to go around telling other managers and even crew members that tidbit of information). It appears as if the job is really getting to him if he consistently exhibits poor managerial skills, and instead reacts out of anger when someone doesn’t get all doe-eyed and arse-kissy in his presence.

And to demean Gideon even further, Bunny and Milo supposedly had these in depth talks with Napoleon or whoever else, trying to get Gideon a fair wage. (Interesting how when the minimum wage went up last year, Bunny mentioned that a fourth tier manager should be making at least a dollar an hour more than an entry level crew person because why would anyone want to have the responsibility of being a manager for so little pay? And certainly third tier managers do a lot more than fourth tier managers. But wait…is this a new rule now that one particular third tier manager should make the same amount as a touchy feely minor and other entry level workers? Just asking).

Let’s face it, no matter how much of what appears to me as a hate-on y’all have for Gideon, no one in their right mind would agree that a minor should make the same hourly wage as a third tier manager, nor should a fourth tier manager, who has been there less time than Gideon, should make more than Gideon. Plus, a third tier manager shouldn’t make what an entry level person makes. Yes, he knows what I make. I haven’t been there long enough to even have a review raise yet, but when you gave raises as of August 1st, I was raised to $10 an hour…and gosh golly, so was Gideon – a third tier manager! I only do drive-thru and front counter; Gideon does all stations and very well. How is he rewarded? Gosh, golly…raised to the same hourly wage as I was. (And I’ve been there less than a year vs. his almost three years). Why on earth would you expect someone to want to remain a manager when they get paid no more than an entry level person or a minor? It’s not a threat to consider demoting oneself because that makes no sense!

At any rate, instead of addressing the discrimination against Gideon (because obviously his low wage was a personal decision, not a professional one), apparently Napoleon had the utter audacity to blame Gideon for knowing what other people make! So is this a new job requirement that Gideon didn’t fulfill and that you’re now holding against him: that he should become instantly deaf whenever anyone discusses their wage in front of him? Tell me, does that new rule apply just to him, or to everyone else?

Then Bunny apparently has another favorite, Whiny, who is supposedly going to be promoted to a manager. He told Gideon to order him some manager shirts, yet Gideon hasn’t been officially told that Whiny is moving up. In fact, another manager told Gideon he isn’t. The thing is, for Whiny to even be considered a manager shows again how desperate you are for managers because many of the good workers have left. It also appears that kissing arse will get you promoted and get you coddled. I cannot imagine someone who can’t run a breakfast grill would even be considered for running an entire shift. When I was the opener, I was taught how the open procedures [and all the positions of preparing and assembling the menu items] all within ONE WEEK’S time. Then I was on my own. That’s daunting, but that’s the kind of lack of support that I received because I wasn’t accepted into the inner circle. I certainly wasn’t supported verbally. The managers on duty were usually very upset with me because they expected me – all by myself – to be up to par and on the same skill level as openers who had been doing it for years. (At that time, the managers were under extreme pressure to make sure their “numbers” were within acceptable levels, or else they wouldn’t get their bonuses). Bear in mind that I learned all four of those stations within a week’s time. Also, bear in mind I had to roll burritos during openings as well. (That’s another thing I learned that week). Then I had to have Bertha in grill with me and denigrating me whenever she was in a bad mood, and oh boy, that was frequent.

So here’s Whiny…now the opener and being considered for management. He gets at least one 6 o’clocker to come in; sometimes he even gets a 5 o’clocker. I never got a 5 o’clocker, so I was in grill, running the whole breakfast, all by myself without any support. Sometimes the 6 o’clocker called in, so I didn’t even have that and was alone until 6:30 or 7 am. Usually it was Denny who called in; he was another favorite. Interesting how he was rehired two or three times after being fired for a no-call, no-show. And you wonder why the morale is so low – when favorites can get away with things that the rest of us can’t.

At any rate, Whiny is so incompetent running the breakfast grill that apparently he whined to Bunny and now it’s required that burritos are rolled for Whiny, so he doesn’t have to do them at all. If he can’t handle breakfast and rolling burritos, I think it’s quite comical that y’all think he can run a shift! Most anyone can see that, and they’re laughing about it. Do you really think Whiny will garner any respect as a manager!?! And how did he get to be coddled in such a way? What did he do to earn that?

[And he apparently has anger management issues. I’ve certainly seen how snappy and gruff he gets, but people have seen him throw things at other workers when he’s mad].

As I’ve stated before, people see all of this favoritism and unprofessionalism occurring on a daily basis. We aren’t dumb. You’ve got veterans who have been there for several years – even decades – and they feel trapped and want to leave. They make just enough to not be able to afford to go anywhere else because of time on the job (and probably because of their age). They have low morale, and that will definitely hurt your bottom line. In fact, I’ve even heard some people say: “It’s only [the owner’s] money” when there’s waste that could’ve been prevented. Another vivid time I recall is a conversation with a new hire. I asked him why he left his previous employer, and he said he didn’t feel appreciated. I think there were around five or six of us in the break room, and we all just laughed. When he looked puzzled, I explained and said something like “You’ve come to the wrong place if you expect to be appreciated here.” Everyone else agreed and laughed again. That’s pretty sad when that’s how most everyone feels. [This new hire has since left. He walked out during one shift; he was that disgusted. He was a very good employee, too].

Soon all you’ll have left are the kids, which is apparently just fine with Leslie. (Did she forget the other nine months out of the year?) Ah, yes, the 15 year olds. The ones who giggle and yell cuss words and who don’t take the job seriously. Most of them are only worth one quarter or one half of an adult worker because of their immaturity. That’s not a denigration of them because most of them ARE immature at that age. That is to be expected. There are some stellar kids, though, but they are few and far between.

Speaking of 15 year olds, there’s one (or maybe he’s 14 years old) who can’t keep his hands off his crotch. He is constantly adjusting, rearranging, or I don’t know what, but it seems like his hands are on the front of his pants before every order. I don’t know if it’s a nervous twitch or that he has ill-fitting pants or underwear, but it’s really quite rude. And it’s especially gross when he fills his orders and handles the food. Yuck! All I can think of is those poor people who are getting more with their fries than they bargained for: they’re getting teenage boy crotch hand germs on their fries! At least older workers know not to do such an impolite and unsanitary thing in public where they will be handling food.

Additionally, you know it’s bad when even a manager is in the break room setting up interview appointments, looking for another job. You know it’s bad when almost everyone, except for the favored few, openly talk of leaving. Or the ones who are trapped, talk of wishing they could leave, but they have nowhere to go because of their age and they can’t start at a wage that they currently have with you. It doesn’t take much brain power to know that unhappy, disrespected, and abused workers aren’t going to try their best. When morale is low at a work environment you will never get the most out of your workers. When there is outright favoritism, sexual impropriety, inappropriate touching with children, sexual harassment, bullying, and intimidation going on in the work place, with the favored managers not caring (and in fact, apparently promoting these behaviors by taking part in them or ignoring them), then you will never keep good workers. The ones who are trapped will never give you their best.

All most of us ever wanted to do was work in an environment where we could be respected, where we didn’t have to be held to a different standard than a very obvious clique, and where we didn’t have to be bullied or sexually harassed. But apparently you and your ilk do not want to provide a work environment like that. Words don’t matter when actions don’t back up those words.

Gideon and I wanted to stay with your company until retirement. We were willing to be that loyal. I’ve heard it said that [this] is your best store [out of the other restaurants you own]. If this is the best you have to offer, then wow! How sad.

Granted, Gideon was raised 30 cents per hour recently, but only after Bunny and Milo supposedly spent a few days trying to convince Napoleon or whoever that a third tier manager, who has been on the job for three years, should make more than a minor, an entry level worker, and a lower in rank manager who hasn’t been on the job as long. That doesn’t say much about the fairness of your wages. And then at first to offer him a paltry 25 cent raise - which is what? A couple bucks a day more than an entry level worker to run an entire shift? What an utter slap in the face after already repeated slaps! [Gideon had his six month review recently, and he received another 30 cents. This amount shows that he did above average work, so why is he deemed less than the touchy feely minor and Loose Lips for the August 1st across the board raises?]

And that is why I left. The last day I worked, I had to see Loose Lips and remembered how she sexually harassed and humiliated my son. I had to witness two other incidents of outright favoritism, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I left before my shift even started. I had planned on giving a two weeks’ notice because I’m professional like that, even if I work in an environment that isn’t at all professional, but seeing more of the same, it was too much, and I walked out.

You will continue to lose good workers or, as I said, the ones who are trapped there won’t give you their best. Enjoy your 15 and 16 year old honeys. Some of them most certainly seem to be enjoying working for you (giggle giggle).

[Postscript. Since sending the above letter, lots of interesting things have happened. Olaf is apparently going around telling people that I quit because I didn’t like where he put me the day I walked out. I had no idea the extent of his ego or that he thought, mayhap, I’m in love with him? No, I’m not like his little touchy feely Asian honey who thinks the moon and stars hang upon him. What he has me doing for 4.5 hours of my entire life is not going to make me walk out of a job, especially a job that gave me the very flexible schedule I wanted and a decent wage since the August 1st raises. I just got a $2/hour raise, for crying out loud! And he thinks I would quit because of 4.5 hours?! Or perhaps he is that frigging egotistical that he thinks my whole life revolves around him. Very pathetic, but very telling and hilarious! I pity the people who actually believed him; their lives must be so empty that they will believe that my life revolves around Olaf and my job.

Additionally, the other employee who had been there for years and was also sexually harassed and humiliated by Loose Lips, also walked out, never to return from his break. Finally, a manager, who had been there for several years, gave about a month’s notice. While running a shift, she threw some bags down on the floor, said something akin to “That’s it!” and left…three weeks’ early.

The sexual harassment investigation continues, despite the witness statements and the text messages showing that Loose Lips said the sexually humiliating things at work, in front of a group of people that included a minor. So much for the employer's stated "Zero Tolerance Policy" for sexual harassment in the employee handbook. This so-called investigation is still going on, three weeks later. It appears, yet again, that favored status gets you perks and the ability to act without any consequences].

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