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  #21  
Old 07-14-2008, 01:34 PM
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Default also --

i am a little suspicious of whether or not the white manager did play the race card? or maybe decided to play with the race card after the customers brought the race card into play? kind of like my brother-in-law did in the example i gave? That maybe or may not be the true inspiration behind the race lawsuit. I dont know the manager like jsu does but I wouldnt put it past him with the little i know of him.

sei'taer - how confident are you that he gave you all vital details to the situation and that he did not withhold any details to save face?

Last edited by NargsBrood; 07-14-2008 at 01:43 PM.
  #22  
Old 07-14-2008, 01:50 PM
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But the idea is that it could have been discouraged had the Manager played it differently. If the manager could not handle the situation better to avoid a law suit then he should not be a manager.
And the point I'm making is that there is nothing the Arby's manager could have done to discourage this type of behavior and avoid said lawsuit. In all likelihood, these people were going do what they did regardless of what the manager did in response. That sort of behavior is inherent with anyone who has an entitlement complex. Telling them no and sticking to that no is the only reasonable and responsible reaction to them.

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that's a very cowardly statement and stance. Where's your courage man?? Straighten that backbone.
WTF Narg? How has anything I've said in this discussion so far warrant these types of ad hominem attacks? How does pointing out that people with entitlement complexes will find excuses to sue no matter what some how equate to me being a coward? Since this is the line of "reasoning" you're going to take, then I have no qualms pointing out that your suggested course of actoin is by far the more cowardly of the two options being discussed. You're suggesting that just because someone comes in demanding freebees, makes a fuss when they don't get them, and then files a frivilous lawsuit that Arby's should abandon the entire point of running a business (ie actually SELLING stuff as opposed to giving it away for free). The lesson you're advocating here is appeasement/pissing yourself in the face of unprovoked aggression. So where is your backbone Narg? If someone comes up to you demanding your stereo for free and threatening to sue you if you don't give it to them, are you just going to give it to them? My guess based upon your response thus far is that yes you would and that is only truly cowardly stance here.
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Last edited by Sinistrum; 07-14-2008 at 01:57 PM.
  #23  
Old 07-14-2008, 02:50 PM
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Default You're right.

You're right on the attack thing. Sorry. I suppose I am trying to say or what I should have said was that If i were in the position i would have tried to appease them at the same time as not giving in to their demands on their terms.

If I did simply say no because it was a policy without trying to give any sort of explanation (which was not given to us in the account iirc) then I would feel like I was a coward blindly hiding behind the policy. I guess that feeling is for me and me alone but If I were that manager's boss I would expect the same out of him to patronize the customer.

I disagree that the people may have come there with the sole purpose of throwing out the race card for an opportunity to sue them. I have more faith in people than that. I dont think it was premeditated. Probably thought up in anger after the fact. And I very seriously doubt that a lawyer in the future would find it easy to take up any racial case by them. And the one that actually took up the case in the first place was a money hungry fool. or a racial crier as well.

I would have tried to patronize them to ebb any ill feelings towards my employer's business which I feel the manager failed to do(again... by the account given) but is obliged to do.

Any situation could be avoided if the person knows what they are doing. And I am not saying that my solution was the best but that the blindly hiding behind the policy was wrong(again, blindly since that's how it seemed in the account given)
  #24  
Old 07-14-2008, 02:54 PM
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Default Geesh - I hate it when I sort of agree with Nargs ;)

You can deny it. In fact, you will deny it. But everyone gives an inch to people they like, or take an inch when it is given. Does it happen all of the time? No. Most of the time you return the extra fries that was placed in your bag. Or you don't take the upgrade that was offered, because you had a bad day and were blaming it on the staff at Enterprise. Yes, of course, you need to be vigiliant, but as far as I can tell, Nargs isn't suggesting that the manager should hand out free drinks to anyone and everyone. The business lost loads of money and time and in fact did change their policy so future customers couldn't take advantage of them in the same manner according to our current legal system. Nargs has offered a few simple tools a REAL manager could have used to make sure that everyone (including all of the people that were in line behind these people) had a good experience that would make them want to return to the restaurant.

This is about business needs, not some moral lesson about teaching the immature that they can't just get a free ride in life. If that manager was smart enough to think on his feet, he would have lost a few free drinks. Instead, they likely lost hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, and in the end the dude probably did go to Taco Bell and get a free drink. You make firm policies, and then you hire managers that have a brain and are looking at the entire picture and give them the capability to make field decisions. Instead of a new policy coming about that made sense, like time stamping glasses when they are filled because a manager noticed that many people were coming in to the drive thru looking for free drinks, a ridiculous policy was crafted because some jackass took advantage of the system thanks to a system that doesn't give the managers the tools they need to effectively make the right decision for the business, forcing a manager to take a "stand!" against a free drink (I know - "it's not about the drink!").

Last edited by Tamyrlin; 07-14-2008 at 03:26 PM.
  #25  
Old 07-14-2008, 03:55 PM
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This is about business needs, not some moral lesson about teaching the immature that they can't just get a free ride in life.
Your right, this is about business needs. And business needs dictate that when you're being blackmailed by the threat of a lawsuit, you don't cave. Appeasement of such threats simply breeds more demands which in turn cost the business more than fighting them in the first place. How long do think it would take before these people tried it again if they were appeased? How long do think it would take them to go bragging to all their friends about how they pulled one over on Arby's? And how long do you think it would take those same friends to consider giving the same thing a try? The real issue is that of opening a flood gate of freeriders trying to take advantage of a business they KNOW they can scare into giving them handouts. Yeah, sure, it probably cost them more in the short term to enforce the policy. But in long term economics they saved a ton by a. getting a lawsuit over and done with on those grounds so that way any future suits of the type can be dealt with quickly on summary judgment and b. not having to eat the cost of giving a ton of handouts to people who, quite frankly, are not good customers and are not spending money at the business, until they finally got fed up and ate the lawsuit.

What is more is that you have to consider the issue of inconsistant enforcement of a policy when it comes to the outcome of a discrimination case. There is no quicker way for a business to hang itself in a discrimination case than to make exceptions to a policy when someone plays the race card. Surely the cost of losing a lawsuit has to be considered in considering whether an action makes overall business sense, right? I still haven't seen this point addressed yet.

Quote:
Nargs has offered a few simple tools a REAL manager could have used to make sure that everyone (including all of the people that were in line behind these people) had a good experience that would make them want to return to the restaurant.
What makes you think, given the facts presented, that these people would come back and be customers by actually paying for their food? And why would a business want freeloaders who aren't making any purchases to come back?

Quote:
If I did simply say no because it was a policy without trying to give any sort of explanation (which was not given to us in the account iirc) then I would feel like I was a coward blindly hiding behind the policy. I guess that feeling is for me and me alone but If I were that manager's boss I would expect the same out of him to patronize the customer.
A. Apology accepted

B. It is not cowardly if you genuinely agree with policy and think it is being correctly applied.

C. The people asking for handouts in this instance are not customers.

Quote:
Customer definition: one that purchases a commodity or service
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/customer
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  #26  
Old 07-14-2008, 04:20 PM
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Why is it that the idiots who started this stupid lawsuit aren't forced to pay all their opponents costs?
That seems the only dependable way of dealing with this kind of nonsense.
  #27  
Old 07-14-2008, 04:30 PM
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Should we make that three then?
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  #28  
Old 07-14-2008, 04:32 PM
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Default I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat
Why is it that the idiots who started this stupid lawsuit aren't forced to pay all their opponents costs?
That seems the only dependable way of dealing with this kind of nonsense.
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  #29  
Old 07-14-2008, 04:36 PM
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He's not eligible, alas.
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  #30  
Old 07-14-2008, 04:41 PM
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What is more is that you have to consider the issue of inconsistant enforcement of a policy
It's called spirit of the law vs letter of the law. It's illegal to murder somone but what if it was to prevent them from killing your family? Sure. those special considerations have already been written into law because they were seen as potential show stoppers previously and dealt with.

that is one of the reasons why we use a jury to take special circumstances into consideration like spirit vs letter.

Do you really think the manager would have received any sort of disciplinary action at all if he decided to give, in good faith, the free drink? No. the decision is actually his. he is the on-site decision maker and has the obligation to make that decision keeping the best interest of arby's in mind. Was it possible for him to foresee the lawsuit? probably not. maybe so?

You say it's all about following the law to the letter? Are you saying that you've never broken a rule? if you have broken the rules? was it for the betterment of a cause? or your own interests?

In this case it would have been in the best interest of arby's to give the free drink away. sure, they might start coming back and word would spread but arby's could have dealt with it at that point, if they played their cards right, without the expensive trial.

And if I were arby's I would counter-sue for the cost of defense. If the customers didnt have the money to cover those costs then I would go after the lawyer who neglegently took on the case.
  #31  
Old 07-14-2008, 04:50 PM
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I agree with Sini. I've been a restaurant manager, and though I've caved before (usually when I'm too busy to argue with the customer), it is exceptionally bad for business to encourage that sort of thing.
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  #32  
Old 07-14-2008, 04:54 PM
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Nargs,

I gave the best explanation I could of what he told me. Of course I paraphrased, because my memory is not good enough to give you a good quoting. I do remember the 5 gallon thing quite well because he seemed to think that was pretty funny. I'm also assuming, because I go in this place for lunch quite a bit, that the woman at the drive thru was black. She is honestly the only person I've ever seen at the drive thru, but that really has no bearing on the story.

I also think that maybe it didn't come through that Marvin is black, now that I have gone back and read my original post. I have talked about his father in a few posts in the past. His father Hardy is the one who despised and despises Martin Luther King Jr. According to him, and this I can quote, "MLK prolonged a problem that was already beginning to be worked out in the general population, and made things worse for the black man with his badly thought out and executed policy." The reason I can quote that is because I have it right here in an email from him requesting a permit be executed on MLK day and after hearing we would be closed he wrote to administration and absolutely destroyed all of their reasons for city offices being closed...after reading it I was in shock tbh. He's a really interesting man and very well educated. Unfortunately he is now in his 70's and has stopped coming to the job sites as much as he used to...something I really miss.

Um, I think I covered all the questions...didn't I?
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  #33  
Old 07-14-2008, 05:12 PM
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I think Sini covered all the arguments. There's a reason he's almost a lawyer.
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  #34  
Old 07-14-2008, 05:47 PM
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Having spent a year working in a fast food place, I can say with all honesty, I would have just given them the refill. The only reason it was an issue was because they asked for it in the drive-thru. They could've walked in and refilled it and no one would've noticed. It isn't like fast food workers spend that much time out in the dining room and who else would say anything or even think they were doing something wrong? Really dumb on their part, actually. And just looking at the amount of soda wasted just by workers, what difference is it going to make?

I'm gonna go with Narg on this one. If it was pretty much anything else, I could see taking a stand behind the rules, but making a big deal about a drink when I dump out more soda even on a short shift than I'd be giving out? Not so much. It's the cups that really cost anyway. And it isn't like they last all that long. If they want to keep doing it, they'd have to come back and buy new ones after like twice. Unless Arby's has the most durable fast food cups known to man...

Anyway, in general principle, they were absolutely right. But in practice, given what it was the people were asking for, they were making a mountain out of a mole hill.

This probably says something unsavory about my principles. :lol I'm reminded of a quote, but I can't remember who said it... "These are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others."


Edit: Oh, and on what I think was the real point, the race card thing is pretty much ridiculous. It's completely messed up that we, as a society, refuse to allow race not to matter.
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  #35  
Old 07-14-2008, 05:48 PM
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It's called spirit of the law vs letter of the law.
I fail to see how refusing to give a non-paying individual a free drink violates the spirit of a policy against giving free drinks to individuals who don't pay.

Quote:
that is one of the reasons why we use a jury to take special circumstances into consideration like spirit vs letter.
No it isn't. When a jury decides a case based upon anything other than the precise letter of the law and how that precise letter applies to the facts, such as improper jury argument, information obtained outside of the court room, tampering, personal bias, or anything introduced not within the scope of the rules of evidence, it is grounds for that jury's ruling to be overturned on appeal (outside of acquitals in criminal cases which cannot be disturbed by the state on appeal for any reason due to constitutional double jeopardy grounds). Juries are to decide cases on the specific letter of the law that applies to the facts of the case only which is why we have judges and procedures in place such as sequestration, voir dire, and rules of evidence. There is a specific term for juries deciding cases based upon the "spirit" of the law instead of its precise language. Jury nullification of the law itself.

Quote:
Do you really think the manager would have received any sort of disciplinary action at all if he decided to give, in good faith, the free drink?
This has never been about the manager being subject to punishment. My argument has always been that the policy itself is worth while in upholding for the reasons I've already stated.

Quote:
Was it possible for him to foresee the lawsuit? probably not. maybe so?
Once again, my argument has nothing to do with whether the manager could foresee the lawsuit. The only way this is a relevant factor is if the people suing were not already at least partially inclined to sue when they walked in there and such a suit is the gravest possible consequence of the situation. Given how they behaved both during the event and afterward it is reasonable to say that they were inclined to sue regardless of what the manager did, and furthermore that such a suit by itself is not the gravest possible consequence, as I've already explained. Thus whether the suit was foreseeable by the manager as a consequence of his actions is irrelevant.

Quote:
And if I were arby's I would counter-sue for the cost of defense.
As a general rule, costs of litigation are not transferable unless authorized by statute and even then you have to show bad faith on the losing parties behalf in asserting a claim or defense, which is extremely difficult to do. Arby's probably wouldn't be able to either assert such a claim or prove it up in court against either the freeloaders or their attorney.
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  #36  
Old 07-14-2008, 05:49 PM
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Default :)

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Originally Posted by JSUCamel
I think Sini covered all the arguments. There's a reason he's almost a lawyer.
lawyers prosecute by the letter of the law at the same time their fellow counterparts defend by the spirit of the law. IMHO, a good jury reaches their verdict with a well balance of the 2.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
This probably says something unsavory about my principles. :lol I'm reminded of a quote, but I can't remember who said it... "These are my princples. If you don't like them, I have others."
I think that it was the founder of the Groucho Marx Club.

Another very good one of his, which could be argued to be relevant, is:
"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five."
  #38  
Old 07-14-2008, 06:32 PM
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Nargs - you never did answer PD's question. How old are you, are you employed and if so, doing what? How often do you come in contact with consumers?

I'm completely with Sini and Sei'Taer on this one. I understand B's point about making a mountain out of a molehill, but frankly, it sounds more like, after the couple were first told "no" it was more about backing up your employees. The window-clerk said "no" -- the assistant manager (a black man) confirmed it, and then the white manager just backed them up -- something I think managers should do, when the employees are actually FOLLOWING POLICY. In addition -- who wants to REWARD a jackass?

Managers don't think, "oh, dear -- they may sue us if I stand by company policy. I'd better cave in so we're in the clear." Yeah, yeah -- I know those aren't the words you're considering. Nevertheless -- managers are trained to follow policy -- not to appease non-customers who are BLATANTLY non-customers.

This couple who wanted the free drinks are not innocent people, Nargs. While I can't say it was stealing, since they could get free drinks by being an inside customer, it wasn't an honest move, either. They set up a situation DELIBERATELY to get themselves a free ride. And then they sued (on false grounds) when they didn't get something they weren't entitled to. And then you want to give them what they demanded, which would fill them (and others who hear about it) with the sure and certain knowledge that they can get anything in the world they want just by being obnoxious about it.

Whoever commented on your parenting future has my agreement. You're in for a nightmare. I actually know a woman with a three-year-old boy that she refuses to say "no" to, "because he's too young to understand English -- I'll wait until he's older..." This makes my hair turn white.

One thing about the story that mildly amazes me is that Arby's didn't lose the suit. I find that rather encouraging, to tell the truth.
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  #39  
Old 07-14-2008, 06:49 PM
Tamyrlin Tamyrlin is offline
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Default Damn boards

Lost another reply and I have to catch a train in eight minutes. A summary of my reply Sinistrum - did the individual at the window threaten a lawsuit, I thought it came after the fact.

Two - Managers should take into account losing a discrimination lawsuit, additionally they should take into account losing customers. I was speaking about other customers waiting to be served while these shenanigans went on. How many pissed off, or actual customers leaving during that ridiculousness, is worth the free drink? We have no way of knowing how many people ask for free drinks or would have in that circumstance, so we can play hypotheticals all day long. In the end of the day, we know that Arby's was out so much money and time they actual decided to hire a second manager or a different race to be on staff. Wait until the Asian and Mexican customers try this stunt. Inflexible command structures often lead to stupid across the board decisions that could have been handled in the field without causing such huge problems.

And I tire of this idea that never saying no is what is being suggested here. Being unwilling to bend as a parent is a ridiculous attribute that has caused just as many problems as always bending. Compromise should always be an option as a parent, and it should sometimes be instituted. My three kids are not difficult, in fact, they are told they are some of the kindest, most well behaved kids around, and I haven't hit them once, nor am I inflexible on family policies.

Okay - train. My arguments were so much better the first time around.
  #40  
Old 07-14-2008, 07:07 PM
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pops taer pops taer is offline
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Default Appeasement!!!!!!!!!

If you believe that appeasement and making "one-time exceptions to the rules" are a way to deter bad behavior, you need to step back and look at world history...Hitler, Mussolini, etc. Appeasement doesn't work.

As a restaurant manager many years back, I had a customer call me and tell me they had purchased 3 double cheeseburgers and fries the night before. All three became ill and attributed that illness to the food. I asked if they had a receipt and if they had saved the rest of the food? No was the answer and all they wanted was their money back and everything would be ok. After a few more questions I asked them to come on by and I would take care of them. Quickly discussing this with my other employees I learned that someone had pulled this on the manager the night before and was given money. I called the police and when the folks showed up at the window they were pulled aside and questioned. Seems they had been making quite a killing pulling the same thing in the area for several weeks. After questioning my assistant managers I learned this was true and we had lost a considerable sum of money to the tale. Oh and these folks were white. Some folks will do anything to get their hands on money without working for it and/or get something free!!!
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