It seems companies are looking for any reason to shed employees. You can tell this by some of the reasons they got fired. I was looking for stories of crazy reasons people have been fired. It was tough to pick which one was the most ridiculous, so I settled on the story about a woman who was fired for putting a slice of cheese on a hamburger at McDonalds. Now I am going to break down some of the critical reasons why it happened and some of the reasons for such a bizarre termination. This may sound like something you might read on Cracked.com, but it is worthy of investigation and very amusing.
Hostile ADHD Work Environment
Let us start with the hostile environment McDonalds employees have to work in. It looks like a Chuck A Cheese in some locations with ever updating digital screens flashing in all directions and children screaming from the play area. The employees are asked to wear those degrading cyber trackers on their ear so that every ounce of energy they have can be drained during the shift. This alone would be difficult. You are taking one order on the phone while filling another. All the while people are asking you for things like ketchup packets and complaining.
This being considered I think they should be thrilled the employee remembered anything. The employee probably lost concentration. Think about it. You’re in the zone in your ADHD capable work environment when you lose concentration. Who knows why. Maybe the person just read the newsletter and was stunned since she realized she had under tipped her pool cleaner. Maybe she was in one of those McDonalds where there is the full size likeness of Ronald and she was freaked out by a giant clown ogling her for the entire shift. Maybe she caught the eye of the McDonalds’ founder plague with the watchful eye of Ray A Kroc gazing upon here. Maybe she had McDonald’s food as the last thing she ate and she was in a coma from the inorganic compounds she ingested.
Under the pressure she snaps. She rushes to fill the order and cannot remember anything, not even her own name. Instead of looking at the screen she grabs the most stereotypical item she can find, a cheeseburger.
Prejudice and American Stereotypes
Maybe the management had enough with prejudicial assumptions that the only thing an American would eat is a cheeseburger. Maybe the executives of McDonalds had a secret memo that the stereotypes would not be tolerated. I could see where this could rub people the wrong way. Just because we are Americans does not mean our favorite food is a cheeseburger (It is...read the sign where it says billions served). McDonalds sees themselves as more than some greasy cheeseburger joint. They sell coffee, frappes, cinnamon bun creations and candy ice cream concoctions. They are a virtual cornucopia of junk food, not just a cheeseburger joint. Still it seems a little harsh.
I mean the damage control of an extra slice of cheese has to be pretty small at a McDonalds. If you get fired for the wrong item what is the penalty when a chicken nugget has a beak? I am guessing you get stuffed into a white van and never heard from again. It is obvious that the cheese violation was a really weak reason to cut someone. I am guessing the manager was going to make sure this was the person’s last shift. Cheese violation was just the first thing they could think of.
The Bar Is Raised
They put their foot down here. The McDonalds management finally raised the bar. This cheese firing was their statement that a smarter more responsive employee was the future of McDonalds. Clearly, there is no place for an employee who cannot differentiate an order for a hamburger from a cheeseburger.
I still am not buying it. You cannot get fired for making a mistake on an order. Think of the legal implications of this.
Wrong Order Trauma Lawsuits
This could open the flood gates to a million frivolous lawsuits that make the coffee lawsuit look ridiculous (or more ridiculous). McDonald’s is admitting that screwing up an order is a major offense. This legitimizes that terror to the point where McDonalds is at fault…legally. They see the pain that driving halfway down the road and reaching for fries that are not there constitutes a legitimate reason I should sue them for pain and suffering. Making a screwed up order punishable by termination escalates the mistake to that of civil infraction.
Does anyone know a good lawyer?