Today I want to talk to you guys about Pizza Hut store # 025339.
This store is just down the road from my home, and in the past few weeks I have been witness both first and second hand to absolutely unacceptable behavior from the management. The store manager, Lorenzo McWilliams, has been hiring young, high school aged employees in order to skirt the rules he should be following simply because they don’t know any better. I saw this myself two nights ago when, against both company and federal policy, he asked an employee to remove the crucifix around their neck because it did not comply with uniform. Shortly after, the same employee went to check the posted dress code sign, usually on the wall next to the “deliveries” table, to see if the crucifix did in fact comply under the qualifier “wedding bands and religious jewelry) only to find that the sign detailing the dress code had been removed.
Alongside this, amongst purposeful inventory neglect, Mr. McWilliams and his immediate subordinate, Mrs. Eunice “Tina” Holmes, have made it very clear that they have no regard for the mental health of their employees. Mr. McWilliams has, for the past year and a half, scheduled only one dine-in server for the Friday/Saturday shifts, the busiest times of the week for any food place, and this honor has fallen on Fridays to a very good friend of mine, Jade (tumblr user iamfanfictiongreen). This singular server is also expected, while working the floor on these days, to not only run the front but to answer the phones for deliveries and carry outs on these evenings. The relevant point is that, in Jade’s case (who is also doing much of the manager’s work, trying as best she can to keep up with inventory, and fielding customer inquiries that should really go to a higher up who is often not even present on the floor), this has escalated into a total of four active panic/anxiety attacks this week. Two on Friday alone.
Deciding that enough was enough now that she begins a new job tomorrow, she went in to quit today. I watched her explain to the assistant manager, Tina Holmes, that, because of the undue mental and physical stress, she would be quitting immediately. Pizza Hut does not have 2-week notice requirement, rather they ask only that you give notice of leaving before the next schedule comes out. Jade complied with this, but as she repeatedly explained to the assistant manager that she could not work there any longer, I watched Mrs. Holmes persuade, cajole, and (failing success with those) move on to bullying and guilting Jade into working another shift. Jade continued to give her reasoning, citing her mental health and explaining her panic attacks, and Tina grew angrier and more dismissive of Jade’s problem.
Thought you were supposed to be my friend, why can’t you work this one shift? I don’t have enough people. You should’ve called in before you got here, now I have to scramble to find a replacement. What am I going do now, huh? Now I gotta cover for you.
There were four other free CSR’s in the room at the time who were available to assist her.
Jade had planned on coming in until she realized that afternoon that the trigger to her recent, physically overwhelming anxiety and depression was her workplace, due to the sudden and dramatic reappearance of these issues as we pulled up to the building - to the point where she so desperately wanted to just leave that she began tearing up.
Tina laughed when Jade told her about the panic and anxiety attacks.
This was a mental health issue for Jade. She needed to leave them so that she could actually be safe in her own mind.
I was appalled at how Tina treated Jade, and at the dismissive tone she was using. Watching my friend, a faithful employee for a year and half, be railroaded over by her assistant manger to the point where she turns and flees the building, I very quickly reached the limit of my patience. As Tina, the grown adult assistant manager of the store, called back sarcastically “Have a nice a life!” I stepped in, fed up with her dismissal and her attitude. One year ago, I was in the exact same position, in a job that was affecting my mental health, and though this is not the best situation to quit in, in my case it was handled politely and with respect by the management. This was absolutely unacceptable.
I said that I was sorry that schedules have been disrupted but that it was important on a safety level, for Jade’s mental health, but Tina cut me off with an aggressive "No, who are you, this is none of your business! You get on out too, I don’t care! You have a nice life too! I don’t care! Get out!"
So I complied. But this isn’t fair to everyone else who works there. Many of them don’t know how to make sure that they aren’t taken advantage of; they don’t know what is and is not acceptable for a business or manager to do. In fact, they have all been told that there is no corporate or HQ phone number they can call to alert higher ups to the situation - they have to talk Lorenzo and the HR manager at the individual store. Complaints have come into the store for months. Nothing has changed.
I have already called corporate and informed them of the situation. However, if you are so inclined, please feel free to call into the store -
(804) 222 6840
- and politely explain to them why this behavior is not appropriate from management at a professional establishment.