Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/09/27/welsh_choc/
McFlurry McMisdemeanour costs Welsh lass McJob
Extra choc bits to colleague end in McMarching orders
A 19-year-old Welsh lass has been relieved of her McJob after giving a fellow worker at the Llangunnor tentacle of the fast-food monolith an extra dose of chocolate pieces on a McFlurry.
"Exceptional" employee Sarah Finch, of Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, was given her McMarching orders after responding to a colleague's request to “make it a nice one”, and ill-advisedly sprinkled unauthorised choc nuggets onto the ice cream dessert.
The recipient of the sugary treat was, mercifully, paying for the dessert, so presumably escaped a plank-walking. Finch, however, was sacked for gross misconduct, according to this WalesOnline report.
Before her fall from grace, Ms Finch - who'd been with McDonald’s for 18 months and earned "an average of £180 a week for between 30 to 35 hours work in a shift pattern" - was rated as an above-average employee.
Managers' appraisal comments included: “You are very polite and friendly to all customers, even when they can be trying. Your smile is very welcoming.”
Llangunnor burger aficionados will now have to do without Finch's welcoming smile, while she applies herself to the task of claiming unfair dismissal.
In her submission to an employment tribunal, Finch asserts: “I was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct. I was accused of stealing food. However the matter was trivial, in that I provided a fellow employee, who was purchasing a dessert, a generous sprinkling of chocolate pieces.
“There is no standard for such measures, and they are always imprecise, and will vary among customers. My colleague had asked me to ‘make it a nice one’, and so the measure I gave erred on the side of more than, rather than less than, the mean.
“The issue was that I had done this in response to a specific request for someone I actually knew. Had it not been in response to a request, or it was someone I did not know, then I do not believe there would have been even a warning.
“It is common practice, for example, for managers to give away food to disgruntled customers.”
The Llangunnor McOutlet is run by a frachise called Lonetree. The company's MD, Ron Mounsey, defended in a letter to Ms Finch’s representative, her mother: “I am aware of the circumstances of your daughter’s dismissal, where she has admitted giving away food to someone without receiving payment. This is classed as gross misconduct as per my employee handbook, the consequences is [sic] dismissal.
“My managers acted correctly according to my policies and I fully uphold their decisions. They followed to the letter the disciplinary procedures of my company which should you be successful in taking my company to an employment tribunal will I’m confident be upheld.
“You may feel that it is trivial, but with 740 employees in my business then if my management team were just to overlook such incidents then quickly it would become a free for all.*
“This is and always has been a dismissable offence in my business and there are reminder notices in every one of my staff rooms reminding employees of this policy as well as the Employee Handbook. Employees are aware of the risk they take should they decide to do this. This will continue to be the case.” ®
*Mounsey may have a point. If his 740 employees were each to give their workmates an extra dose of McFlurry chocolate pieces - let's say one gram a shot - every time the greedy bastards wanted a "nice one" - let's say that's one colleague request per employee per day - that'd be 740g of choc bits per day, or a staggering 270kg of chocolate a year.
Since McDonald's allegedly only uses the finest ingredients, presumably similar, for example, to Dark Origin Ecuador (£3.50 for 50g at today's online market price), the potential hit to the company coffers is a McMagnificent £18,900 per annum.
The profligate Ms Finch, before she was given her McMarching orders, was earning around £180 a week. Even on that impressive salary, it would take her a tad over two years to repay the freebie chocolate bill.