Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Monday, February 23, 2009

A figurative return to Panera

As promised, I spent a lot of time researching the franchise that holds the lease on our Panera in order to file official complaints this morning. I found that Boston Bread Co is the franchise owner and that Boston Bread Company is in Springfield Missouri and does not seem to have an actual office with a human resources department. It's more like a 3-person family that own a lot of Wendy's franchises and branched out to buy and manage a whole bunch of Panera's in New England.

This morning, bright and early, I called the town Health Department and reported the store. To say that the Health Department was annoyed would be putting it mildly. They will be "reeducating" Panera on health dept requirements in their town, which do not include having sick people work or being threatened with firing.

I also contacted the Boston Bread Co with my issue, which they say they'll ponder and get back to me within 48 hours.

I called the Labor department and found that this type of complaint actually goes to Martha Coakley, our Atttorney General for an investigation. Since Panera was requiring the Girl to work until 11 pm (illegal) and to work over 40 hours/week (illegal), they are already up shit's creek without a paddle even before we add the latest issue to the pile. However, everyone in the Commonwealth must have been complaining about something today since the AG's line was occupado the entire morning. Frustrating. I'll be calling again tomorrow morning even earlier.

Much of this is moot, since the Girl is still sick, still running a high fever, and still totally feeling burned by Panera. She called and quit this afternoon rather to continue arguing with them over being at work, sick or not. She had enough, and she came to this decision on her own. I'm incredibly proud of her for trying to stick it out as long as she possibly could, and then determining just how much she could take before she had enough of their bullshit. Compared to most of the other teens that work, she lasted a long time under a lot of pressure. She loved having the money, and she really loved having a job. It was hugely important to her identity to have a good job that paid well in a store people knew and liked. But enough was enough, and today was her line in the sand. She did a great job and I feel like she was as responsible or moreso than many adults I know.

However, several newspapers want to interview her and write up the store, and I'm letting her decide whether or not she wants to do that.

And a certain local Pizza chain is hiring. She's already put out feelers, and is hoping to get that particular gig because it's closer to our house and she actually likes the food there. I don't really care where she ends up. She's an amazingly hard worker and as pleasant as can be unless she's home around her brother, and whatever job she lands, she'll do well.

She's a great kid. I'm lucky to have her.

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Blogger Daisy said...

She may want to wait until she has a job before telling her story to the press. Sad but true, whistle-blowers suffer.

24/2/09 9:42 AM  
Blogger Rhea said...

I love that this is getting attention. This is something that needs to be brought out! I hope she does do the interviews.

24/2/09 10:11 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

One interview is done, and the other is waiting on some incoming info. Health dept visited the store for re-education today, too. So things are getting done.

24/2/09 4:44 PM  

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