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True Stories

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Please share yours.


I'm working as the manager in a five star hotel banquets department. We have a large conference with about five hundred guests to feed. It's sandwiches, salads,fruit,snacks,tea and coffee, juice - the normal routine.
All the obvious boxes have been ticked with client. Dietaries especially, since we are renowned for being good at this, and she picked us for that reason.
On the day, I made special concern to go over the process for dietary guests. We had their names, we had made special meals to accommodate all requirements, I was feeling good and client was happy.

Then, everything went downhill.
Guest came up to me complaining about nuts in the salad she had just eaten. I panicked and asked if she had an epi pen and called my duty manager and anybody who was on site who could help!
This guest (apparently) was anaphylactic to nuts.
We called an emergency ambulance and wrung our hands.

My boss grilled me like Gestapo, asking "how did this happen?"
"She wasn't on the dietary list, boss, how was I to know?"
(It was self serve buffet)
She recovered, but still blamed us for serving her a salad that contained nuts.
There was a sign above the salad bowl that said

"Waldorf salad- please note - contains nuts"
I WAS THE PERSON WHO MADE THE SIGN.

I got fired.
post #2 of 10
That blows, IMO you shouldn't have been fired, you did all that was possible to prevent that situation. The responsibility was hers for what she put into her mouth, even if she couldn't read, walnuts are evident in Waldorf.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
All the obvious boxes have been ticked with client. Dietaries especially, since we are renowned for being good at this, and she picked us for that reason.

I think you said it all right there although it's not your fault. The guests probably thought that you prepared everything for the lowest common denominator- no nuts, no gluten etc. in anything. It should have been made clear by the management to the client that this would not be the case and signs should have been posted more conspicuously during the event.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HalB View Post

I think you said it all right there although it's not your fault. The guests probably thought that you prepared everything for the lowest common denominator- no nuts, no gluten etc. in anything. It should have been made clear by the management to the client that this would not be the case and signs should have been posted more conspicuously during the event.
qq

Fair points, Hal, however the client specifically ordered Waldorf salad at the planning stage and had been cautioned that it contained nuts. All the food was labeled, signs were posted throughout the venue asking guests to identify themselves to staff regarding any dietary concerns, the MC announced at the start of the conference that any one with dietary issues had individual meals prepared for them and to approach staff. I don't think we could have been any clearer.
post #5 of 10
Then I can't see by any stretch of the imagination how you could be responsible. Guess all you can do is chalk it up to corporate politics, they needed a scapegoat to save face and you were it.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oh, it was absolutely political, my boss was a ladder climber. He was ruthless.
I had support from heaps of people within the company- I even had corporate HR offer me a position in one of their other properties. I was advised that I had a very strong case for unfair dismissal, but I chose not to pursue that because I felt that even if I won it wouldn't look great on my resume.
I didn't accept the offer of another position because I told them I didnt want to work for a company that would let this happen in the first place.
I went on to other opportunities, my boss is still there a$$kissing his way to the top.
post #7 of 10
Have you considered an unjust termination complaint with your state board of employment? The boss probably wouldn't prevail unless it could be proven that you were at fault due to negligence or maliciousness.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Brian - see post 6.
Here's a funny one.

So we're setting up the banquet room for a gala awards dinner for The Wheelchair Athletes Association- about 900 guests. The room is having final touches and I'm working with a lovely young staff member, very pretty and with a great personality but very much not the brightest light in the harbour.
I have the seating plan in hand and methodically moving from table to table with (let's call her) Lucy.
"When I call out the position numbers, please remove the chair and just stack them to one side" I instruct.
This goes well for about five tables worth. "Table 5 - position 3,7 and 9, no chair."
I can sense that all of this is confusing Lucy. I ask if she is all okay with what we're doing.
"Well" she says, "why are we taking the chairs away?"
"Because this is where the guests in wheelchairs will be sitting" I say gently.
She nodded and smiled and we continued on. Soon enough, however, I could tell she was confused again.
"Boss..." She said.
"Yes, Lucy?"
"Well, I get that this is where the people in wheelchairs will be sitting..."
"Yes"
"But, umm, where do we get the wheelchairs from?"

Please share your true stories from the coal face!
post #9 of 10
Just as well that you moved on. Labor suits can get ugly... And who really wants their job back if a lawsuit is what it takes for them to come to their senses.
post #10 of 10

Cronker

 

 

"Then, everything went downhill.
Guest came up to me complaining about nuts in the salad she had just eaten. I panicked and asked if she had an epi pen and called my duty manager and anybody who was on site who could help!"

 

"I even had corporate HR offer me a position in one of their other properties"

 

Cronker, sorry this happened to you.  I have found over the years that most of the time all partys involved it things like this are somewhat at fault.  It sounds like you were offered a transfer and you quit and were not fired.  Were you given a verbal or written reprimand?  You say "I panicked", maybe you could have handled it more discreetly. I am not criticizing you but suggesting that it would be wise to take this a learning experience and put it behind you.  Chill out be happy!     

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