During high school I was employed at a small café, Green Door Café. This was a café in a very small town with very close minded people. The café was always full of “regulars”, these are people who eat at the café at least once a day sometimes more. My boss always treated the regulars with respect and went out of her way for them. This one particular incidence involved a customer who had just moved from Florida the year before and wore flashy clothes and was loud. A lot of people didn’t like this lady. She had come in the week before and ordered a cake and paid for the cake. On the day she was to pay for it someone let the cake fall out of the refrigerator and it was ruined. When she came to get her cake, my boss claimed she had never ordered a cake and lost her ticket.
The three options that I had during this situation was confront my boss, apologize to the customer, or offer to make her a new cake.
The first option of confronting my boss would have been legal and the right thing to do. After this job I had a job where I would have had no problem telling my boss he was wrong. However, I was only 17 at the time. By confronting my boss I know it wouldn’t have done any bit of good. She wasn’t all that nice of a person to get a long with and she intimidated me a lot. The second option of apologizing to the customer would have been legal, right, and beneficial. It would have made the lady feel like she was an actual person. The third option of making her a new cake would also have had been legal, right, and beneficial.
Since I was 17 I only stood there and said and did nothing. This really bothered me a lot that I didn’t do anything but when you’re that young and need the money it is really hard to stand up for your beliefs. If I had a chance to redo that day I would have apologized to the customer and confronted my boss. I would have explained to her that I didn’t think that was right and what is the harm in making her a new cake? She did pay money for it and she did come into eat several times a month. If my boss hadn’t seen things the way I had I would have put my two week notice in. I never liked working there because a lot of things like this happened and it makes you feel like their actions are reflecting on your character.
My family would have been very supportive if I ended up quitting. They raised me to not be that kind of person and to stand up for what I believe in. Also, I wouldn’t mind if the newspaper posted it either. Everyone in our small town would have had the topic beat to a pulp before it even reached the printing press.
The action I would have taken would have been something instead of nothing. I would have confronted my boss; either bought her a new cake or refunded her money, and apologized to the customer. Sometimes things happen in a busy café. When things happen you have to be prepared to take action and not just sit there. I once dropped a whole hot hamburger on someone’s table. He didn’t yell or anything, I was in tears, and the boss made him a new one. This is what should have happened at Green Door Café.
Elizabeth LampsonETHICAL DILEMMA
Recognize the Dilemma Is it ethically right to cheat a paying customer just because she is different?
The Facts Customer is treated with disrespect because she is different. Paying customer doesn’t receive goods because of managers mistake. Customer is cheated out of money.
Identify your options Confront the boss. Privately apologize to the customer who ordered the cake. Offer to make her a new cake.
Test Each Option Is it legal? Is it right? Is it beneficial?