My name is Ashlyn!
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When I graduated high school, I was on the hunt for a minimum wage job to get me through the 2 years I would be spending at my local community college. One of my friends told me to apply at Chick-Fil-A. She had worked there for a couple years and liked a lot of the things about the job. Naturally, I put my application in and waited. A few weeks later they informed me that they had lost my application, and I would have to resubmit another one. Instead of doing that, I decided to apply to a different Chick-Fil-A. I got an interview the day I turned my application in, and got hired on the spot. Upon getting hired I was given the Chick-Fil-A rule rundown. No piercings, aside from 1 hole in each ear on females, or visible tattoos were accepted while you wore your uniform. I understood the rules and agreed to take over my nose piercing for work. The rules were meant to make their employees appear wholesome, just like their company, as a whole. I got hired right after the blow up with their company happened. Yes, when Mr. Cathy publically announced that Chick-Fil-A was a Christian organization, and did not support gay marriage or gay rights as whole. Chick-Fil-A received a lot of backlash for this statement, but they also received a lot of support from people who agreed. If Chick-Fil-A went through all that trouble just to make a statement that showed how Christian and wholesome of a company they REALLY were, don’t you think that the CEO of the company would strive to make his (over) 1,530 restaurants a positive and uplifting environment to work in? Well, that’s what I thought. And I was wrong. This is my story.
To start off, let me make this very clear. I am not writing this piece to shame Chick-Fil-A. I am writing this piece to inform future CFA workers of what exactly they are getting into. I do not want teenage girls or boys to go through the shock and humiliation that I faced while working there because I had high expectations for a fast food company that claimed to be more.
I had never worked in the fast food world before, and I did not really know what to expect ,but Chick-Fil-A did not market themselves as a fast food company, but a quick service dining experience. On my first day, I was toured around the kitchen, office, dining room area, and shown how to work the registers. After a few weeks, I was a pro at taking orders, bagging food, and uttering the famous phrase, “my pleasure” to customer after customer. However, something was strange about my experience, and the longer I stayed the more apparent it became. A co-worker of mine went to the back to get some ice during one shift, and she came back with flour all over her shirt and the back of her pants. When I asked her what had happened, she stifled a laugh and said our manager had flour on his hands and tried to grab her. He grabbed her shirt, and the back of her pants… A 16 year old girl’s butt and chest was just touched casually by our 21 year old manager in the middle of a shift, and apparently this had happened before. That night, the grabby manager looked at me after we had closed and asked if I wanted him to walk me to my car since it was dark. My stomach felt sick, and I denied the offer responding that I would be alright on my own. A few weeks later, the flour incident had died out and things returned to semi-normal. I was cleaning out the lemonade tanks when I felt something grab my butt. I whipped my head around and saw one of my co-workers smiling. He couldn’t be more than 15 or 16 years old. I stared at him disbelievingly, and told him not to do it again. He continued to grin at me, and then walked away. This was when I realized that this was the norm for this work environment. I started asking around seeing which other females had been touched by either my manager or my idiotic co-worker, and it was more than just me. They all just ignored it. What a degrading place of employment for females.
I realize that most of what I just stated is, unfortunately, fairly common in today’s fast food world. Sexual harassment is being taken more and more lightly every single day. I wish my story stopped here, but it doesn’t. One night, I was told to help the kitchen close, so I was in the back with two co-workers and my previously mentioned manager. There was another manager working as well, but she was in the office counting the drawers from the day. She was 19 and, also, grabby manager’s fiancé. I was talking to a guy in the military at the time, and my male manager asked me how I was able to handle the long distance. Then he added, “Women have needs.” Well, I for one did not know of these needs seeing as I was a sheltered 19 year old, as well as a virgin. As we worked around the kitchen I noticed my manager staying very close to me. Then he informed me that my co-worker (the one who came out with flour on her shirt and pants) had asked him to have sex with him and he denied. Then he further said, “If you asked to have sex with me I don’t think I could say no.” I stared at my 21 year manager with a shocked expression and a reddening face. He saw my expression and said he was just kidding, but begged me not to tell his fiancé. I hesitantly agreed and tried to focus on my work. Then, my manager and one of the kitchen guys came up to me and insisted that we should all hang out. I looked at these two guys and said, “I don’t drink alcohol, and I don’t smoke weed, so I don’t know what you expect to do with me.”
They looked at each other and grinned, and my manager said, “We can do whatever you want to do.” He drew out his syllables while he spoke. I was confused. In my innocent mind, I had no idea what they would want to do with me if alcohol and drugs were not involved. I went home that night and the kitchen guy started to text me. He sent things like, “Me and —— (my manager’s name) are really good about not getting caught. Just keep your mouth shut and no one will know what is happening” and, “I’m alright with cheating on my girlfriend.” As I read these texts I started to feel sick. The pieces all came together and I realized what they wanted to do with me. More like, I realized what they wanted to do TO me. I knew that I could not work in an environment like this. It was completely disgusting and a degrading place to work. I felt like meat. Like a lamb being chased by two hungry wolves.
I called the restaurant and asked when our operating manager (a manager training to own his or her own Chick-Fil-A) was working. When I found out, I came to the restaurant, and I saw a different manager of mine. She had kids. She had red hair like me, and I loved working with her. She was a mother-figure to a lot of us, and when I informed her that I needed to speak with the operating manager, she could see the hurt in my face and her heard my voice quake. She said something to me that I will never forget. “Is someone messing with you, and are they in the kitchen right now?” I peered into the kitchen and saw him. I honestly thought I was going to vomit right on the floor from nerves and disgust. I looked at my manager with tears in my eyes and nodded. She looked infuriated and stormed into the kitchen.
Just then, the manager I needed to see came out and led me to a far away table where we could talk in peace. I told him, “I have something I need to tell you, and when I do I need to quit.” I told him everything. The request for sex, the butt grabbing, the flour incident, I even told him that a few of our managers were giving weed to our 16 and 17 year old employees. He was so upset that these things were happening in his restaurant. Right under his nose. He asked me to submit a written statement of everything I told him. He also begged me to stay and not quit, but I refused. Not only was I sickened by the look of my manager, but his fiancé (my other manager) was in charge of making the weekly schedules. When she found out that I had reported her fiancé, there was no way she would give me any hours. It was just not a place I wanted to stay at. So I quit.
A few months later, I learned that my manager was suspended, but never fired. He is still a manager to this day. This is the part that angers me the most. When getting hired at ANY job, there is a clause in your work contract that states sexual harassment will not be tolerated. My sexual harassment was tolerated and ignored. My manager still has the ability to ask teenage girls to have sex with him. To grab their boobs and butt. To HARASS them! My female manager actually tweeted about me right after I quit. Her tweet went something like, “You stupid bitch. You lied and ruined everything.” Does that sound like quality, mature Chick-Fil-A manager material? You tell me.
If you work at Chick-Fil-A or are considering it, please remember that just because it is a Christian company on the CEO level, it is not on the restaurant level. I understand this is not the case for every CFA, but this was the case for mine and could be for yours. Be on guard. My story could have been a lot worse especially if I had not reported it. Please report any sexual harassment that happens to you, and please don’t be as innocent as I was. It’s still a fast food joint. And sexual harassment will still occur.
I used to work at Chick Fil A and I ended up having to quit because my manager sexually harassed me. I reported him, and he didn’t even get punished. So much for having high morals as a company, right? Ive been really thinking, lately, about posting a youtube vid about it. Not to trash the CFA name, but to alert guys and gals about dangerous work environments. Even if the company is Christian based. idk though….
5 months ago404,165 plays
Almost 7 months later and my belly button piercing is almost completely healed ^-^