‘If You’re Sick, You Need to Come Prove It’: Olive Garden Manager Fired Over Disturbing Memo to Employees Asking for Time Off
Olive Garden’s unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks offer is well-known, but one former manager said that taking time off should be very limited.
“From now on, if you call off, you might as well go out and look for another job,” the manager wrote in a memo obtained by local news outlet KCTV.
The former manager worked in Overland Park’s Olive Garden, which is close by Kansas City.
” We no longer tolerate any excuse for calling off. If you are ill, you must bring it in and prove it to us. If your dog has died, you must bring him in to prove it to us. If it’s a family emergency and you are unable to say so, that’s okay. The manager said, “Go work somewhere else.”
The memo continued to state that the manager did not want to work late on Saturdays or Fridays, but was “dedicated” to being there. As you should. There are no excuses nor complaints. “
The outlet reported that the manager was fired.
” We strive to create a supportive and respectful workplace for our employees. This message does not align with our company’s values. We can confirm we have parted ways with this manager,” a spokesperson for Olive Garden told Entrepreneur via email.
The Kansas-area crisis comes as workers face a uncertain labor market. While many companies are gearing up for a recession and have implemented hiring freezes, the economy also added 260,000 jobs in October, which exceeded expectations and defied some economic anxieties.
At the same time, there have been layoffs at major companies from Twitter to Morgan Stanley to Amazon and as NBC noted, mostly in white-collar industries. Restaurants, on the other hand, faced an enormous labor shortage during the pandemic that is reportedly still ongoing.
There were over 10 million reported open jobs in October, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The now-fired manager also shared an anecdote in which she claimed that she was in a car accident but still managed to get to work.
“Do you know in my 11.5 years at Darden how many days I called off? Zero. I came in sick. I was in a wreck on my way to work one day, my car was totaled by airbags, but I made it to work on time! Darden, the parent company of Olive Garden and other restaurants such as LongHorn Steakhouse, is Darden. )
When I called the Overland Park store, the person on the phone declined to comment.
Read the whole memo obtained by KCTV.
Our call offs are occurring at a staggering rate. If you call off, it is best to find another job. We will no longer accept any excuse for calling off. You must bring proof that you are ill to us. You must bring your dog in if he has died. If it’s a “family emergency” that you are unable to say, it’s okay. You should look for work elsewhere. If you are only looking for morning shifts, don’t worry. Banks can work for you. If anyone from here on out calls out more than ONCE in the next 30 days you will not have a job. Do you know in my 11.5 years at Darden how many days I called off? Zero. I came in sick. I was in a car accident on my way to work. My car was totaled by airbags, but I made it to work on time! There are no excuses. We have had enough as a management team. Don’t work here if you don’t like it. It’s that simple. If you are here and want to do work, then work. No more complaigning [sic] about not being cut or not being able to leave early. You are in the restaurant business. Are you sure I want to be here until late on Friday and Saturday? No. No. I would rather be at home with my dog and husband, or go to the movies with my family. But I don’t care, I want to be here. So should you. There are no excuses or complaints.
I hope you choose to continue to work here and I think we (management) make it as easy as we can on ya’ll. We appreciate your time. Also, thank you to all who show up on time and work hard every day. I wish there were more people like you.