Heather Levia, a 23-year-old employee of a McDonald’s in Olean, NY used $83 of her own money to purchase breakfast for firefighters that had placed a breakfast order at the restaurant. The firefighters were fighting a house fire in the area. A little while later another fire department placed a $70 breakfast order at the same McDonald’s. Levia asked her boss if McDonald’s would pick up the tab for these firefighters. Her boss said no. She then called McDonald’s corporate office who also denied her request that McDonald’s pay for the fire fighters’ meals. Levia and her coworkers pinched in to pay the $70 for the second fire department’s meals.
The next day she was fired. Based on the information in the story, I would have fired her too.
According to the article some firefighters learned of Levia and her fellow employees paying for the firefighters’ meals. The firefighters proceeded to call Levia’s boss to complain stating management had pressured Levia into paying for the meals.
Levia commented, “It’s just wrong. I wish the communities would change and help each other out.” I agree. It is wrong. It is wrong that she is forced to pay the salaries of these firefighters unlike in her job where people voluntarily pay for McDonald’s products and she would be out of a job if people no longer desired McDonald’s products. It is wrong that she believes that McDonald’s should give away their product to people of certain occupations. What is so special about firefighters? Or police? Why doesn't McDonalds’ pay for the food of garbage collectors since they perform one of the most dangerous jobs in the country and they provide a valuable service that McDonald’s uses every day?
Maybe Ms. Levia would think twice about paying for the meals of government “heroes” if she was aware of how well said “heroes” are doing at taxpayer expense. Below are the 2013 salaries of five (5) members of the Olean fire department. This figure does not include their pension or health benefits. Once pensions and health benefits are counted most NY firefighters easily have a net worth over $1 million.
Although giving free food to government workers is appalling, I would have fired her for making a spectacle about giving away food regardless of the target recipient. This probably won’t be the last time she asks and who needs employees who desire to give away your product.
Robert Bell, $79,504
Michael Connelly, $77,419
James Theodore, $73,288
Sally Bullers, $72,610
Steve Wolfe, $72,268