Life continues to happen, despite the best wishes of managers worldwide, so a good boss will find ways to make time for those periods when a worker might be struggling. And a bad boss might be defined by the ways they don’t accommodate an employee with out-of-work problems.

An ex-Subway worker shared his anger at being terminated for speaking poorly about his manager to a coworker in a TikTok that went viral. This was the result of a buildup of grievances after his cat got seriously ill and he requested time off to take care of it. As usual with power-tripping managers, nothing was as easy as it should have been.
More info: TikTok

Managers often spend too much time thinking about working hours and forget that employees have lives as well

Image credits: Shane Raynor (not the actual photo)

“Guess who got fired from Subway”

Listen to this s**t. It’s crazy, y’all won’t believe it. My cat Garfield, you guys know he’s sick, he got diagnosed with AIDS about a month ago, so it’s very very unfortunate, but he’s still trying to pull through, still trying to make the best life that he can.

Image credits: prestonwalker__

It all started a month and a half ago. I called off one of my shifts. I called off a couple days in advance. It’s cool, right? I got my shift covered. No problem, at all. Two weeks later go by, I go into work, Emily calls me around 10 o’clock saying “Garfield is very sick. He looks like he’s not doing good whatsoever. He can’t even get up. He can’t walk.” I’m at work, I’m like, “Oh s**t,” so I’m trying to find coverage.

Image credits: prestonwalker__

I asked my manager if I can leave early. I didn’t find coverage, but she allowed me to leave early. But get this – before I walked out and left early, she looked at me and said “Just like Austin said though, this is the second time you’ve called off in two weeks over a cat.” Keep that in mind. Okay. I blew it off my shoulder, Garfield’s more important than arguing over a dumb b****.

Image credits: prestonwalker__

So fast forward all the way to two days ago. I go into work again. Same thing. Emily calls me around 9, 10 o’clock in the morning, saying “Babe, Garfield is tremoring, he’s actually shaking. He’s doing way worse than before.” He won’t move, every time she touches him he’s screaming in agony, he’s in so much pain. I start crying, I start getting freaked out at work and I call the vet instantly and say “Hey, I’m trying to leave work early, I’m gonna get him in ASAP.” They said “Yeah, bring him in. But by the sound of it, don’t get your hopes up. He might not make it.” That’s what the vet said. You do not understand the amount of stress that put on me as soon as I heard that.

Image credits: prestonwalker__

So I’m kind of freaking out a little bit and I’m trying to call off of work. I message the huge Subway group chat around our district that has everybody in the group chat, people that’s not even at my location. Like, people are in it from out-of-town locations. So I’m like, “Something very urgent has came up. Can somebody please come in from now until four and cover the rest of my shift? I would greatly appreciate it.” Tell me why my manager messages me personally and says “I should have been your first notification.” I said, “No,” but this is what her little “rule” is. When you call off, you gotta find coverage and then let your management know after. After! This is what I messaged word for word.

Image credits: prestonwalker__

She replied back with “Ok” – had nothing else to say. I’m pi**ed. When she sent me that message, we’re going back and forth. I’m ranting to her little f**king puppy dog. I didn’t know that she was telling her everything in the book. Get it – I’m ranting with her, so me and this girl that I’m working with at the moment are cool. Like, she even asked me, “You aren’t mad at me, right Pres?” and I’m like “No, you haven’t done anything wrong to me.”

So I’m ranting with her about what my manager just texted me, I’m pi**ed, so in the middle of ranting I said a few slurs but it was nothing like intent— I was just mad. And I kind of slammed the proofer door shut because I was putting bread into the proofer. I got little upset because everything is making me emotional right now. So I slammed the proofer door shut.

Image credits: prestonwalker__

Image credits: Dimaberlin (not the actual photo)

30 minutes later, my manager comes storming in the door. First thing she says to me: “Clock out. Leave, now.” She’s pi**ed. I’m making a sandwich, she looks over at my employee and says, “You finish that sandwich right now, he’s clocking out.” Little did I know, the employee that I was working with had just called her and said that I’m scaring her, to get here because she’s terrified. Guess me slamming the door and cussing was scaring her. I was just ranting to her. I say “f**k that.” I didn’t even say deuces or nothing. I walked right out the door. You want me to go, I’m gonna go. A cat is more important.

Image credits: prestonwalker__

Fast forward, I take Garfield to the vet, then I go into work yesterday, which was the next day after I just had the whole ordeal. As soon as I pulled into the parking lot I see nothing but trouble. All the big boss’s vehicles are there, my manager’s vehicle, the employees – I knew it was bad. Unfortunately. I walk in to go straight to the back and clock in, and then I hear “Preston.”

I’m like, “Oh f**k.” So I turned around and they’re both sitting right there in the booth. He points at the seat in front of him, right next to Austin, and says “Take a seat,” and then he asks, “How are you doing?” And I was like “I’m doing, I’m doing, bro.” And get this – it’s just the two district managers at that booth.

Image credits: prestonwalker__

My manager, my store manager, is hiding in the back avoiding everything. He proceeds to ask, “What happened yesterday?” I said “I have nothing to say, bro. Everybody around here is a hypocrite.” Word for word. That’s all I had to say. They asked why I was yelling slurs and slamming stuff yesterday, I said “What do you mean? I wasn’t just yelling slurs, I was ranting, and I didn’t just slam things around. I just slammed the proofer door shut once.”

So then he tells me “That’s why your manager came in yesterday, because your employee was scared of you yelling and slamming [stuff].” That’s how I figured out why my manager came in. She didn’t come in to cover me, she came in because my other employee felt “threatened.” Yeah, makes sense to feel threatened by me. This was my reaction to it: “Are you serious? She felt threatened? Okay, okay.” Anyways, I was letting them know how stressful it’s been and how nobody understands and Austin was like “We understand.” I look at him – I was like “You did not just say that. You’re the last person that should say that, bro.”

Image credits: prestonwalker__

And remember Austin’s sitting next to me. I’m talking same booth, shoulder to shoulder. I asked him “Just like Katie said, ‘just like Austin said, it’s just a cat.’ What the f**k does that mean, bro?”

He looked back at me and said, word for word, “Preston, I totally understand that you’re upset right now.” That right there? That proved to me and it pi**ed me off. After that, I just cut to the chase, looked at both of them and said “So what’s the word, bro? Am I fired? What am I doing here?” He said, “Yeah, we’re gonna have to terminate you.”

Image credits: prestonwalker__

I was like “Yeah, screw that.” I went to get up and walk out, no question about it. They were like, “Whoa, wait, we need your key.” Oh my god. I was struggling to get it off my keychain. So I walk to the very back behind the counter, where we make sandwiches. I grabbed a knife, and I bet they were like, “What the f**k is he doing?” I got it pried off and walk up to the table, sat it down, slid it towards them, walked out, no question about it.

They were like “Wait, wait, wait, Preston! Come here, man! Come here, man! Come here, man!” They had the audacity to tell me “Wendy’s next door, their management is hiring.” I said “No. F**k that. I don’t even want that.” They were like “You don’t want it?” They were like, “Alright man. Well, we wish you the best of luck. Have a good day. Take care.” I was like, “Yep, have a good one.” And I just walked out, that was it.

You can watch the full video here

@prestonwalker__ I Got Fired From Subway OVER THIS?! What an ABSOLUTE JOKE of a job!🙅🏼‍♂️ #prestontalks #subwaypreston ♬ original sound – Preston Walker

Fast-food management is notorious for its mistreatment of employees

As many of the comments showed, fast food is rife with managers who act like they are running a warship at sea, not a smallish restaurant for cheap eats. Most fast-food restaurants are franchises, which come with their own set of difficulties for management, and unfortunately, it’s the employees who take the brunt of the “damage.” First and foremost, these leaders are appointed by owners who mostly just see the restaurant through the lens of cash flow. The only metric is “Are we making enough money?” Managers are chosen almost exclusively by this criteria, so it’s not too surprising that they would disregard employee feelings so easily.

Unfortunately, the fast-food industry has a stigma of being a place for entry-level workers, high-schoolers getting some pocket cash, or people without skills. This has not been true for a long time, but this image is still likely what many owners have in mind. So employee retention is pretty low on the list of priorities. The (predictable) result has been the “great resignation,” where thousands of workers have quit their jobs due to satisfactory conditions, treatment, or a slew of other issues. Management, typically, has not caught up to this problem, and stores all over are suddenly hit with labor shortages. This puts pressure on the remaining workers, who are then more likely to quit instead of doing more labor for the same wage.

In the long run, OP might get the last laugh

This is little comfort for OP who lost his job in a trying time, but in the long run, he will probably be vindicated. Employee morale at his old store is not likely to be high, after all his ex-coworkers see that time off for a sick, beloved pet is nonexistent and that one can be fired just for venting. It would not be surprising if this particular Subway continues to bleed workers, putting more and more pressure on the existing employee, until it finally falls apart and the power-tripping manager is left to explain why his or her store now makes no money to an owner who won’t care about their excuses.

Commenters shared similar stories of unreasonable managers and empathized with OP