Saturday, December 02, 2006

I watched a 20/20 special last night on calls to fast-food restaurants in the United States by someone pretending to be a police officer.

According to the report, on numerous occasions managers of restaurants listened to the apparently authoritative voice on the other end of the line and then told employees to strip naked. Several times, cavity searches were done.

I watched this, wondering a couple of things:

* How big of an idiot do you have to be to follow the instructions of a caller on a phone, even if you think it's a police officer? If someone called your house and said, "I'm a cop, and you need to strip, slather yourself in Miracle Whip and run outside singing "Only The Lonely", wouldn't you think twice about it?
* How much more of an idiot do you have to be to submit to the strip and cavity search? You're going to take the word of a McDonald's manager, get butt-naked and do a little digging? Seriously, at what point would you say, "You know what? For $6.15 an hour, I'm pretty sure Wendy's won't cram things up my ass. See ya."

One of the experts 20/20 interviewed made a point about people being trained to blindly follow authority in the States, which is pretty much true. If you look moderately official and can yell loud enough, I'm betting you could get 10% of the patrons of any given mall to throw one another down the escalators.

A victim in Kentucky, Louise Ogborn, has filed a $200M lawsuit against McDonald's, saying managers should be trained not to strip search employees. Surprisingly, the company does have a small section in its training manuals addressing the topic. Not surprisingly, it says perhaps you shouldn't.

But is it really necessary for corporations to have to tell employees not to do things you wouldn't normally expect them to do? Should a McDonald's info packet have a chapter called, "It's Not Necessary To Set Your Fry Cook On Fire If He/She Burns A Batch Of Fries"?

As for Ogborn, she says she's in therapy and is just trying to put the incident behind her. Err, well, all of it except the $200M she wants.

That she'll keep.

4 comments:

The Sarcasticynic said...

She'd rather be a victim of sodomy than to humiliate herself by appearing in public for the fifteen seconds it would take her to run to her car wearing only an apron. Now that makes sense.

Not-so-local-crazy said...

Just a couple of minor details you all might have missed in the 20/20 episode... she didn't have car keys and she was also LOCKED in the room- she couldn't get out. Furthermore, she had been beaten and otherwise brutelized for hours by the time the sodomy took place... and yes, we all know how proud McDonalds is to tell us that 'it is in the training manuel' blah blah blah- go to any McDonalds and I bet you will find as I did over two years ago that NO ONE had EVER SEEN A FRIGGIN TRAINING MANUEL!

Not-so-local-crazy said...

sorry- did not read your entire commentary- ! Please, please investigate this a little more before you post such judgmental and and truly ugly statements. She did not just submit to a strip search... she was not told she was to be strip searched- she was imprisoned by two managers 3 times her size and threatened and in a locked room. I know that YOU would have kicked ass but YOU don't weigh 90 pounds and YOU do not understand or know the entire story at all. Please spare me the how you would have handled it b/c until you are actually in a situation that is sudden, terrifying and surreal you have no clue how you would deal with it. Please investigate it further and see if you still think about it the same way.

The Sarcasticynic said...

After posting, I realized she had no car keys. But I did base my statement on a recollection of her saying she felt powerless due to the humiliation. However, that may have been before the situation escalated.