If Nike's slogan is "Just do it," McDonald's could be "Just wash it."
On the evening of Sun. Dec. 7, a customer in McDonald's restaurant at Main & Terminal near Science World -- that was the day of the Santa Claus parade so it had been busy in McDonald's -- went to the washroom and left her coat on her chair. When she returned, her coat was gone. She asked the cashiers about it and one young male with "Ali" on his name tag said, "I threw it in the garbage."
Ali, who has short dark hair, a calm demeanor, and appears to be of middle eastern descent, walked over to the garbage can and, as the customer watched, fished her coat out. He had to reach down under several trays of garbage and food scraps to find it. 'It had ketchup and grease on it from other people's food", said the customer.
"Just wash it," Ali said calmly, shrugging. The woman was upset and said she thought McDonalds should buy her a new coat. The Assistant Manager, Jennie, a young, thin, white woman with long dark hair, said that wouldn't happen. She used the exact words Ali had used, "Just wash it."
Jennie defended Ali, saying that he had been doing his job as "floor workers" are trained to do it. If there is an empty tray, she explained, the floor workers are under instructions to throw everything away.
When Jennie later realized that this incident was going to be reported on the internet, she insisted that she had never said that tossing coats in the garbage was official McDonalds policy. She asked Ali to back her up on that and he agreed. The boss is always right.
Jennie stated then that if her handling of this incident was reported on the internet, "I'll call the police." She repeated a second time that she would call the police, saying, "It's illegal to put somebody's name on the internet."
Not only the woman's coat but the contents of the pockets ended up in the garbage: her house keys, ear phones, and gloves. She hadn't realized when she went to the washroom that her keys were still in her coat pocket; usually she carries a purse. So she was grateful to find that they hadn't been lost in the garbage. When she got home she noticed that two of the keys were bent though. That could have resulted from the compressor inside the garbage can which presses the garbage to make it more compact. Her ear phones were still in her pocket too. But she was missing a glove.
And McDonald's is missing a customer.
(Above photo: McDonalds at Main St. & Terminal Ave. on the night of Dec. 24, 2008)