Internet Backs Retail Manager Who Was Fired After 'Fighting' for Employees

Readers have offered their support to a Reddit user who detailed their experience working as a store manager for an unnamed retail chain—and their abrupt firing after trying to "fight" for their employees.

The anonymous former manager, known only as u/Durncha, shared their story in the site's u/antiwork subreddit on Monday. It's since gone viral, amassing over 19,000 upvotes and 1,000 comments.

In their post, u/Durncha wrote that they managed 18 employees at their location of the "medium-sized retail chain," where they'd worked for five years and throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The store showed impressive sales trends under the Redditor's leadership, and their employees seemed to like working for them. "As far as I know, my team actually liked me as their manager," they wrote. "And I had one of the lowest turnovers rates in the entire company."

"I did it by treating my employees with respect and actually trying to make the store a fun place for them to work. If an employee called out or couldn't make it to work, I didn't ask questions or try to convince them to come in anyway. ... And if we couldn't get it filled, then so be it. We took a loss and we did the best that we could," wrote u/Durnch.

However, over the course of their employment, the company's corporate rules "in regard to attendance and calling out sick" became increasingly strict, and the company eventually implemented a "point system." For example, the Redditor was forced to give one employee these punitive "points" due to an unexcused absence after her grandmother's death—leading to her suspension.

In another case, the former manager was forced to issue points to a teenage employee who missed work while taking care of his father, who was struggling with addiction and PTSD. The teen was later fired due to the points.

According to the Redditor, they "continued pushing the envelope" and "continued to argue and push back on their policies."

"The final straw was when one of my best and most trusted employees was 16 seconds late to clock-in and would have received her 3rd attendance point, leading to a write-up and [three] day suspension," they wrote. "So I edited the time-clock to change her time by 16 seconds and it just so happened our Area Manager had our store's time-clock open on his laptop that morning and saw me [adjust] it."

"I was fired that same day. No prior warnings, no prior HR issues, no customers complaints, no employee complaints," they concluded. "I understand being fired, I broke a rule ... [Five] years down the drain just like that."

Readers rushed to the replies to offer the former manager their empathy and support.

"Get a job in a better place, poach all of their good employees," said u/aluked in a top-voted comment. "Best way to f*** with a worthless company is depriving them [of] a good workforce."

"I managed retail in a very similar setting and you are amazing," wrote u/sir_dick7. "You'll be the benchmark standard that your 18 comrades compare all line managers to in the future, and you should be incredibly proud of that."

According to management consulting company McKinsey & Company, "relationships with management are the top factor in employees' job satisfaction, which in turn is the second most important determinant of employees' overall well-being."

Finding good managers, however, is easier said than done. In the same report, the company noted that "in a recent survey, 75 percent of survey participants said that the most stressful aspect of their job was their immediate boss."

Newsweek has reached out to u/Durncha for additional information.

Packing Belongings
On Reddit, a former retail manager shared their experiences battling corporate for their employees' benefit. Natee Meepian/iStock / Getty Images Plus