I’m so sick of the story that’s gone viral about the girl who claims she was fired from McDonald’s for paying for a hefty food tab for local firefighters in Olean, NY. If you read the whole story, it is clear that she was fired for swearing at her employers and disobeying her superiors. (reportedly she also swore and acted rudely to her employer regarding the situation prior to her firing). Employee, Heather Levia, had asked the McDonald’s corporate offices if they would donate more than $150 to local Olean firefighters and they said no, so Heather then took it upon herself to pay for it anyway out of her own pocket. There were a handful of her co-workers that were not fired for also paying for the donated food. To me the story sounds like a whiney plea for injustice from someone who thinks they are entitled to act poorly, break the rules and have no consequences. Whether she was trying to do a good deed by donating food to local firefighters is irrelevant. She deserved to be fired for two reasons: not following the rules of her job and for her poor behavior.
I know from experience in trying to get donations from McDonald’s for my children’s school that you need to make all requests for donations in writing. Even when parties are deserving, this was not done and I support their right to make policies and follow through. McDonald’s also shouldn’t be compelled to donate to every request that comes through their doors. I understand and appreciate that firefighters are the bravest of heroes, but if they walked into McDonald’s expecting a free meal every time they fought a fire, then that would of course become very costly for the company. Our communities are grateful and indebted to these wonderful public servants, but it’s a part of an entitled attitude that thanks that corporations should be expected to donate goods every time they are asked.
The manager of the store, Tom Meyers, released the following statement:
“The Meyers Organization has always valued the employees who serve our customers every day. We likewise continue to be an ardent supporter of our police and fire departments, along with other first responders. They are always welcome in our restaurants, and we will continue to support them in the future. We are aware that certain allegations have been made concerning the reasons for Heather Levia’s termination. Out of respect for Ms. Levia and her privacy, it would not be appropriate to comment in detail on the reasons she is no longer employed by our organization. Still, it should be pointed out that the allegations are absolutely not true. We would never penalize an employee for showing appropriate gratitude for the work of our firefighters.”