Kansas Olive Garden manager fired over sickness memo tirade that leaves parent company Darden red-faced while exposing the reality of disposable labor in the U.S and middle management under duress to improve the bottom line. Social media responds.
A Kansas Olive Garden manager at the Overland Park location has been sacked following a ‘mean spirited’ sickness memo ahead of the Christmas holidays going viral.
Parent company Darden fired the un-named worker after the missive caught the attention of head honchos, with social media left aghast as to the tenor and intrusion of the company note, to the chagrin of the restaurant.
Wrote the now fired manager in part, ‘From now on, if you call off, you might as well go out and look for another job’.
The manager went on to note that no excuses would be tolerated according to KCTV5.
‘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,’ the manager raged in the memo.
‘Not aligned with our company’s values,’
The haranguing manager was seemingly fed up over staffing shortages in the service industry post COVID, particularly leading up to the busy holiday period, going so far as to threaten to pry into employees’ personal lives, noting if a worker uses a ‘family emergency’ as a reason for not showing up, they must disclose details.
‘If you can’t say, too bad,’ they wrote, insinuating that the employee would be let go if they could not give a satisfactory explanation.
‘If anyone calls out more than ONCE in the next 30 days, you will not have a job,’ the demanding manager wrote.
The ultimatum-giver went on to boast about their own perfect attendance record across a decade-plus period of employment with the company (do you suppose?).
‘I came in sick. I got in a wreck literally on my way to work on time, airbags went off and my car was totaled, but you know what, I made it to work, ON TIME!’ the manager wrote. ‘There are no more excuses. If you’re here to work and want to work, then work.’
The shift leader concluded their note, saying that while they’d much rather be at home with their husband and dog, ‘I’m dedicated to being here. As should you. No more excuses or complaints.’
‘This message is not aligned with our company’s values,’ a Darden representative told KCTV5 in a statement. ‘We can confirm we have parted ways with this manager.’
The chain confirmed this is from a now former manager at an Olive Garden in Kansas. These power tripping people are unreal. Who doesn’t think twice before hitting send on something like this?
Fortunately Olive Garden fired this manager over this message shortly hereafter.
— Fuck You I Quit (@fuckyouiquit) December 7, 2022
Social media responds
The restaurant industry is in the throes of a staff shortage crisis. Figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics point to 1.3 million job openings in the accommodation and food business, which accounts for 11% of total vacancies across the country.
Tempting workers back into the workplace has proved an almost impossible challenge, with some restaurant owners offering perks including bonuses, wage increases, and free meals in an attempt to woo old and new employees away from the convenience of remote work (and the awkward realization during COVID that service workers are too often expendable with less than stellar pay and benefits). The industry is yet to return to 2020 levels.
Inflation has only exacerbated the crisis, with nearly a third of restaurants forced to cut staff and reduce hours.
And then there were these comments on social media that caught this author’s attention. See what you think?
‘Many people cheer this kind of mentality nowadays. They enjoy seeing minimum wage American workers being trampled, humiliated, and rendered powerless.’
‘These power tripping people are unreal. Who doesn’t think twice before hitting send on something like this?’
‘Huh. I’m befuddled, I figured Darden would be totally OK with this. Well, I guess bad publicity.’
‘Tbf this may well be true of pretty much anywhere that serves food. Minimum wage jobs that provide zero sick days forces people to come in sick.’