So these two unbelievable morons at a Domino’s Pizza franchise in North Carolina did what pretty much every fast-food employee does, or so I’ve heard: dicked around with the food because they hate their jobs. In their case, it wasn’t all that bad – they did it as a joke, and, they now insist, didn’t serve the food to anybody. It was unusually bad in one way, however: they videotaped themselves, using their real names, and posted it on YouTube. So thousands of people got to see “Michael” putting cheese up his nose and blowing his nose on a sandwich before sending it out to a customer, or so “Kristy” jokingly says on the video. Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long for Michael and Kristy to be recognized, identified, fired, and arrested for felonious “delivering prohibited foods”. Domino’s apparently has been fielding thousands of disgusted complaints, and it’s having a noticeable effect on business.
Now, of course these two dipshits are way out of line, in addition to being too stupid to live, and of course they deserve punishment. I’m not impressed with the crime of “defaming a corporation”, that the cattle ranchers of Texas tried to hit Oprah Winfrey with years ago because she said she was a vegetarian – if Domino’s takes its lumps, well, boo fucking hoo. (I just wish right-wing asshole Tom Monaghan still owned the company, so I could take comfort in the fact that it was his money being lost. Too bad.) But still, this sort of thing is bad biznai, and I guess something should be done about it. The “delivering prohibited foods” bit won’t stick – there’s no proof they did deliver it – but I’m sure the authorities will turn themselves into knots trying to find anything to charge them with, for the wounded virtue of a public stock corporation; losing their jobs goes without saying.
But I have just this to point out: This kind of shit happens this often for a reason. (Nobody has posted it on YouTube before, but everyone’s heard the stories.) If working for a living weren’t such a dreary grind, often physically and almost always to the mind and dignity, workers would behave better in their turn. If employers gave the slightest shit about employees’ welfare, employees wouldn’t deliberately undermine, or at least not care about, their employers’ welfare. An industry that pays its employees the lowest legally possible wage and frequently cheats them on that, that actively lobbies to reduce even that wage while claiming it is for the sake of the employees themselves, and that tasks its employees with demeaningly mindless and repetitive tasks while goading them like drill sergeants and watching them like thieves, is an industry that is going to be the target of employee resentment, dissent, and petty vengeance. (And you customers: mistreating or insulting underpaid teenage counterdrones making minimum wage slinging stinky crap for you all day is just asking for something unpleasant to happen. I’m just sayin’.) These companies make a decision to treat their employees the way they do. There is no reason they can, or should, be immune to the inevitable consequences.
This sort of thing almost never happens in “real” restaurants, and is unheard of at very good ones – where, not incidentally, the wait staff make pretty decent wages. Deliberate customer mistreatment (not bad service, but deliberately abusive service) is pretty much nonexistent in most other industries, and especially well-paying ones. Even sabotage is rare, and almost always a component of labor disputes. People with decent working conditions don’t try to make them worse. People who actually like and value what they’re doing will go beyond duty voluntarily. You have to try to create conditions in which workers deliberately harm their own company and drive away customers with consciously offensive behavior – conditions that are roughly that offensive to the employees themselves. That can often be a profitable endeavor, and for some employers that is enough to justify it. But like any business decision it is not wholly without cost, and if the employers are going to make working at a company an actually offensive proposition, well, you can hardly blame the employees for keeping their end of the bargain.
You can certainly say these two Domino’s dunderheads should not have done what they did. You probably can’t say Domino’s didn’t deserve to have it happen. I’m absolutely certain that the people who are the most outraged at these employees are also the ones most vehemently opposed to the Employee Free Choice Act. They want employees to always serve their employers’ interests, while also not having the right to act on their own. And for that they deserve a nice big snot sandwich. As for Domino’s, it seems they probably already got what they deserved – but they can easily keep it from happening again, if they want to.