Can I get fired for refusing to deal with a crazy guy at work?
I could go on and on about how loopy this guy is, but I'll try to keep it short. I work at Panera Bread. There is a man who's been coming in for a few weeks now. He never buys anything; he scams free drinks by telling the cashiers that he lost his cup; he argues with other, paying customers and accuses them of stealing his table. He has multiple personalities and leaves change at numerous tables, claiming them all as "his". When his personality changes, he changes seats. He's Arabic, and speaks in that language when talking to himself or arguing with someone. Every 10 minutes or so, he goes into the bathroom and somehow gets soap, water and paper towels EVERYWHERE. The list goes on... My job at work is to maintain the dining room, which includes the restrooms. I spend a large portion of my time mopping up his swill water in the men's restroom, and clean up the messes he leaves at the four tables he uses, which are ofen nowhere near one another. Recently, he started getting upset with me for clearing his "belongings" (four pennies wrapped in a napkin and some sugar packets) off one of his tables. I have to keep the tables clear for customers; his "belongings" are garbage, and he's clearly seated at a different table. He said "You will learn, you ignorant b*tch" and started speaking to me in Arabic. After work, I was walking to the bus stop, and I saw him start to circle around the parking lot in his car, so I had to get a ride from a manager to a different stop. TODAY, I upset him once again by clearing his trash from an empty table. He started to mutter in Arabic, then headed towards the bathroom. Once he came out, I went to clean up his mess in there, and THE GUY HAD CRAPPED ON THE FLOOR. Guess who had to clean it up? On top of all that, I found out that he's been harrassing the girls on the night staff and asking them on dates. Most of them are high-school age. All my managers are aware of this guy and his antics, as well as the fact that he threatened me and crept up on me in the parking lot (I doubt it was coincidence he was driving by as I left work). He NEVER buys anything, and intimidates other patrons, yet they will not kick him out. I snapped today, and told my boss that I refused to work in the dining room until something was done about him. She told me I had to. I don't know what to do...I'm not picking up a crazy person's sh*t again, and I'm not putting myself at risk of angering him by arguing with him about his trash all day. I apologize for the ramble. Any advice? Any ideas as to why my managers don't see this as a big deal? Oops...one more thing: This guy gives me the creeps right down to the bone. Not the "eew, he's kinda weird" creeps, but the creeps that make me want to take my kids and go hide. Thanks so much, phat woman. I don't have a cell phone, though. I'm thinking mace might be a wise investment. He's an Arab, not an Arabic. He speaks Arabic when he's going nutty. He's an Arab, not an Arabic. He speaks Arabic when he's going nutty.
Asked By: Pimp Stain - 11/19/2008
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Next time have his poop analyzed. Take a picture of him and poke the eyes with red hot needles. If I was there I would do you a favor by grabbing him by the scruff of the neck, then drag him outside and proceed to adjust his attitude.
Answered By: Jimmy J - 11/19/2008
Additional Answers (17)
I count three misdemeanors and a felony. Why is your management team kowtowing to a harrassing nutjob? Why is nobody calling the police? I'd quit immediately and look for a new job.
Answered By: The Divine Bubba Blue - 11/19/2008
Why have you not discussed your situation with company management and human resources? Do it ASAP.
Answered By: wiseguy - 11/19/2008
I would have the whole situation documented - including all the situations. I would take a camera and take photos of the mess he leaves behind. It sounds as though the guy is mentally unstable. I honestly think his behavior merits calling the police. They may be able to take him in for psychiatric evaluation... More
Answered By: Cambria - 11/19/2008
panera bread has a duty to protect you. let your manager know that is something happens to you, your family will be filing a lawsuit on your behalf (if God forbid this guy kills you). allow me to tell you, even though you may be afraid, do not let this man know he scares you. he is psycho and people like that feed off... More
Answered By: phat woman - 11/19/2008
I don't know about where you are, but here in CA, you can get fired for any reason. What I can't understand though is why management hasn't barred him from coming in. I mean it's not like he's buying anything. Possibly they don't see it as a big deal because they're not the ones dealing with him. Is there anyone above... More
Answered By: Cleo - 11/19/2008
Seems obvious to me that 'management' doesn't want to do their job by doing something about him. I bet if they had to pick a turd up off the floor, they'd do something about him. Can you talk to someone higher than your manager?
Answered By: Valkyrie™ - 11/19/2008
I hate to say it but your best option would probably be to quit and find another job. You have managers who probably don't make much more than you and aren't going do any more than the have to. If you contact a regional manager he'll tell you that your managers should handle it. Anyone higher than a regional manager... More
Answered By: Byron - 11/19/2008
Talk to the police. Get the number of the officer who you talk to, preferably one that comes into your work.
Answered By: mrdover99 - 11/19/2008
I'm with Phat Woman. I owned a biz for 10 years..this falls on the owner/ manager to keep it safe. Actually, they have to..it's the law to keep a safe workplace... More
Answered By: Jilibean♥ - 11/19/2008
First I am sorry, very sorry for what you are going through. It must be very scary as well as annoying and upsetting as well... More
Answered By: Bullwinkle J Moose B.A.V. - 11/19/2008
I do not think you can be fired for this, but I could be wrong. Would you be interested in a not so friendly bear to go and talk to this guy for you?
Answered By: Yogi bear B.A.V. - 11/19/2008
I agree with the answers above, but I think you can handle this without putting yourself at risk of being fired. I think you can explain that you are sincerely scared of this guy and you expect the management to protect you. You can mention briefly that you don't want to have to call the police (they don't like the... More
Answered By: belinda - 11/19/2008
Turn him in to the police. That is dangerous to the staff and customers. He is obviously off in his head. I'd be afraid he will do something really bad,
Answered By: Lisa C - 11/20/2008
Kindly ask him to leave the establishment or be removed for loitering and soliciting. If that doesn't go well with your manager then take it to someone higher then that. Good luck.
Answered By: ? - 11/20/2008
I would try going to college so that you can get a real job.
Answered By: dan o - 11/20/2008
first, he sounds schizophrenic, not MPD. Second, you don't have to put up with that. Call HR and complain that management is not taking care of the issue. And next time he comes in and goes nuts, or craps on the floor, call the cops, leave an anonymous complaint about a man "acting strangely". If he behaves anything... More
Answered By: nebit214 - 11/20/2008
I am a manager for Panera. This is not acceptable. He needs to be asked to leave by your GM. If you talked with your GM and he/she is not doing anything you need to call your DM. Then action will happen.
Answered By: Donnao - 11/21/2008
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