HR Strange But True!
September 09, 2010
Sure, you want your employees to follow your policies and procedures. But do you want one employee to pull a knife on another because they broke a company rule?

Fast-food giant Wendy’s® website states: “At Wendy’s, we won't cut corners on anything. Not on fresh, quality ingredients. Not on how we treat people … And certainly not on being the defender of good taste for people everywhere.” But we’re sure that the company didn’t mean the word “defender” literally.

At the Wendy’s in West Hartford, Connecticut, a dispute arose between two cooks. Various media sources state that the argument broke out when one cook either 1) made a chicken sandwich incorrectly, or 2) dropped a piece of bacon on the floor and then picked it up and plopped it on a sandwich.

When one cook, the appropriately named Derron Cooke, told the other cook not to do one of the above because it was against company rules, he continued, so Cooke reported the transgression to a supervisor. When the word “snitch” was bandied about the work area, Cooke allegedly pulled out a folding knife and threatened the other employee.

West Hartford Police Lieutenant Stephen Estes, explained to the press that according to Cooke, “his purposes were altruistic … he wanted the public to get good bacon.” But the threatened colleague said that version is wrong, and that Cooke had criticized his culinary technique in making the chicken sandwich.

Well, Cooke was not rewarded for defending his employer’s honor—or policy manual; he was fired. He was also arrested for second-degree assault, breach of peace, threatening, and reckless endangerment with bail set at $15,000.

“Any way you look at it, it’s a meaty story,” quipped Lt. Estes.


Hartford Courant

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