Disappointed in Management
WINTER SPRINGS, FLORIDA -- I have written numerous letters to companies in the past and every one was acknowledged with a response. On Sept. 27, 2010 I wrote 3 letters: to the manager at the Tuskawill Rd., Winter Springs, FL, S. Truett Cathy
(Founder, Chairman & CEO, and Dan Cathy (President & COO). For the first time in years my letters were completely ignored. Here is the letter:
Dear Mr. Cathy,
This letter is being written to you specifically because you are widely recognized as a company that respects and adheres to Christian values. Chick-fil-A is also known for promoting family values and sponsoring worthy causes. However, in the case of my son, Chick-fil-A has been a huge disappointment as an employer.
Randy Dannic was hired at the Chick-fil-A at 1455 Tuskawilla Rd. in Winter Springs, Florida after over 6 months of searching. He had previously worked as a dishwasher for over 3 years at a local restaurant until it closed in December. Randy turned 23 in June and had been in SLD classes (for learning disabilities) all of his school years until he was a Sophomore in high school when could no longer tolerate the level of mediocrity and lack of ambition among his SLD classmates. Although his counselors were apprehensive, Randy was switched to mainstream classes and graduated on time because he worked diligently and with commitment.
He had wanted to work for Chick-fil-A for months, so when he was hired at Chick-fil-A, he was ecstatic. He was proud to tell everyone where he worked and was obviously happy and his self-esteem blossomed. He came home after a meeting he had about 2 months after being hired and was extremely nervous and anxious that he could be let go if he could not be faster. He has always been a responsible and conscientious worker, so I assured him that if he is doing his absolute best while continuing to strive to improve, his efforts will be noticed and his work ethic recognized. Last Friday he was let go because he is not fast enough.
My question to management at Chick-fil-A is this:
What holds more value to you: making sure you sell as much as possible for the greatest profit? Or sowing into the life of a human being who puts forth the best effort he is capable of?
I am a single mother who has raised 3 fine young men. One of my older sons is a manager with AT&T and the other is an artist with Universal Studios. I am well aware of my youngest son’s shortcomings, but I am also aware of his strengths and how hard he works. The management at the Chick-fil-A where he was employed was also well aware of his character and excellent work ethic. It was apparent that Randy was dependable, reliable, responsible, respectful, on time, and has an upstanding Christian character. He knows how difficult it has been for me to support us both, so he was so proud to be able to finally contribute to household expenses for the first time in months.
Now Randy is depressed, his self-esteem is crushed and he feels rejected and dispensable. Is this how you illustrate and display Christian values? That when someone very obviously is doing the job to the very best of his ability, you reject him because in 3 months he is not fast enough? I have no choice but to conclude that like most businesses today, profit is of the utmost importance to Chick-fil-A as well.
Have you forgotten the story of the widow woman who gave her last penny as an offering? Was she rejected because what she had wasn’t enough? NO – her contribution was valued even more because she gave everything she was able to give. But this Christian principle does not apply to Randy – he gave everything he had and was rejected. Can you even imagine how this has shaken his faith? He was so proud to be working for Chick-fil-A and felt God’s hand was in the perfect timing of his being hired by a company known to have Christian values. As a mother, my heart aches for my son since his is breaking. What do you say to someone you love who has given his best and in return has received rejection? The message is that profits matter, people don’t. Is that the message you want to broadcast?
If you are truly family oriented and uphold Christian values you would look deeper into the character of those you want representing you. A work ethic like Randy’s is a rare gem – but you have cast it away as unworthy of consideration. Instead of sowing into the life of a God fearing Christian young man and encouraging him to strive, persevere and become an employee you could be proud of, you have crushed his self-esteem and crushed his feelings of worth and usefulness.
Your website states:
Yet, from the beginning, the top priority for Truett and Chick-fil-A has never been just to serve chicken. Part of our Corporate Purpose is to “have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
That’s why we invest in scholarships for team members, character-building programs for children, foster homes and other community services.
Yet you proudly put this message on the website that is a blatant lie when applied to Randy:
Putting People First
At Chick-fil-A, we put people first. We credit our 42 consecutive years of sales growth directly to the outstanding leadership and hard work of our franchised Restaurant Operators and their teams.
In addition, Proverbs 22:1 is quoted on the page for S. Truett Cathy.
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor
rather than silver and gold.”
Are you upholding the principle in Proverbs 22:1? I am disappointed beyond anything words can say. You most certainly CANNOT claim that there has been any positive influence in my son’s life or mine.
To ad insult to injury, my son has been waiting over a month for his Unemployment claim because they are still waiting for Chick fil a to respond so they can process his claim. All I can say is, "shame on you, Chick fil a for being profit-chasing hypocrites."