October 24th, 2012
02:16 AM ET

Ohio fast food employee is fired after fleeing robber

Mary Archer had been held up twice before at the Arby’s restaurant in Fairborn, Ohio, where she was the manager on duty, her daughter said. She came away unscathed both times.

But after the third robbery Friday, when a man with a knife entered the store and demanded the assistant manager turn over the restaurant’s money, her boss fired her.

“I just never thought that this would happen to me, especially since my life was at stake,” she told CNN affiliate WHIO.

Archer was terminated for staying at the restaurant by herself, “long after hours,” which is in violation of Arby’s franchise security policy, said John Gray, vice-president of corporate communications for Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc.

The store location where she worked is a franchise that is not corporate-owned, he said.

Archer was not injured in the attempted robbery, even though she got into an altercation with the knife-wielding intruder.

“I had pushed him away,” she said, “because I’m like, I’m not going to die in Arby’s tonight. I’m just not.”

She screamed for help through the drive-through window, then jumped out of it to get away from the man, who fled. Someone heard Archer and called police.

Later, Archer signed a document her supervisor handed her, stating that she had violated security policy.

It was the end of her employment. January would have marked 23 years with the company, she said.

She crumpled up the security notice out of frustration.

“She had been warned in the past and had received a written warning that if she did it again she would be terminated,” Gray explained, saying that the policy was to preserve employee safety.

Archer said she was at the restaurant late, because she was closing up shop. Then she heard someone at the door.  It was the man with the knife.

“We have no alarms, no cameras,” she said. “That should have been nipped in the bud that very first attempt.”

Archer’s daughter told WHIO the store had been robbed three times in the past six months and that her mother had been on duty each time.

“I don’t want my job back,” Archer said.

She is happy to be alive.

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Filed under: Crime • Fast Food • Jobs • Ohio • U.S.
soundoff (290 Responses)
  1. iamisty

    If company policy was that closers never be alone, the coworker who abandoned her should have been fired, then as well.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lydia

    Terminatig a 23 yr employee because she stayed longer and alone? Where is the firm's sense of loyalty?

    I for one will not go to another Arby's again.

    Give her a fine or deduct some hours because she violated the rule but to fire her is too cruel and inhumane treatment of a long standing employee.

    What a shame employers are sometimes so short sighted.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      did you read where it said that this Arby's was not owned and operated by the parent company? I don't eat there anyway, but Arby's had nothing to do with this incident and has no control over hiring and firing employees at this individual place.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. beth

    Arby's most likely did not want to pay her an earned pension and retirement benefits. 23 years and she gets the boot? Come on!

    October 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff

    Everywhere retail I've worked, there is ALWAYS a two-person in the store at all times rule. Always beaten into our heads that if someone asked us to leave, to the point where only one person was in the store, it was to be escalated to management ASAP. Even nights the floor cleaning people would come in, some lucky employee got to sit around getting paid for doing nothing, simply because the manager couldn't be there by themselves.

    I was scheduled to start a half hour after opening one morning, and showed up with the store manager sitting in his car out front, and a customer or two waiting. Seems the person scheduled to open with him had overslept and not shown, and he could not open the store until someone did. Always reinforced in my mind that that was a rule to never break.

    What are the odds that the lady or her family would have sued the company had she had a heart attack, and no one was around to help her?

    October 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • nojusticed

      Things have changed. For most of my early years in retail the rule was to never be by yourself. As the years went on I found I was working by myself 95% of the time, at first it was 20-30% of the time, then 50%, then 75%. I do not think she should have been fired, as she had work to complete and I am sure that the store budgets out the time to complete a job, so if that is the case then she was practically forced to work by herself because the budget would not allow coverage for those hours. If that can be shown then they may regret firing this woman.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff

    Maybe she wouldn't have needed to be in the store so late had she, the manager, not sent the rest of the help home?

    October 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 747

    Mary ain't fooling me or the company she works for. She was in on all three robberies.

    October 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry Curl

      That is live, live, all the way live

      November 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. john

    Maybe a family member is robbing her.

    October 25, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |


    October 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keepalowprofile

      Neither will I.

      October 28, 2012 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry Curl

      Not me. I'll have whatever she's been eating for the last 23 years.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kris

    My daughter owns a bakery/cafe. My sister was shot (she recovered, it was a minor wound) in a robbery after hours at a pizza restaurant where she was manager. There is no reason for a manager to be there long after hours. None. Closing up should not take that long. An employee should not be there alone (for internal control reasons...I am an accountant) but especially should NEVER be there alone after hours. Never. Both for safety and for internal control reasons. This woman violated policy. and there was no justifiable reason for her to be there. It also sounds like things may not have been properly locked up. She had been warned, and still continued to violate policy. She deserved to be fired, and if she wasn't complicit in the robberies, she is lucky to be alive given her very poor decisions.

    October 27, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. retphxfire

    Anyone who has worked at a fast food, convenience store or other similar business has probably been working in the facility alone and after hours. Many owners just don't want to pay the salary for what I've heard referred to as a "babysitter", someone who is there just so no employee is alone. It's not the official protocol in many instances, but if you need and want your job, you comply. So many quick to accuse woman of being complicit in the robberies. Of course, it's just your opinion and you're not a cynical, prejudiced person (check definition). She may have to be there alone because owner won't pay for someone to assist in cleaning grills, fryers, floors, bathrooms, tables.....sheesh

    October 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frank

    Why would the corporate office care what a franchisee manager was doing if it didn't involve the public?
    They so desperate for business that they don't want to dissuade would-be burglars from coming in during normal hours to case the place?

    October 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marc

    This is a perfect example of how trickle down economics works. God forbid this store had more then one person working. Then when it's robbed, instead of ensuring the security of their customers and staff, they fire a worker. That makes sense. The bosses tell you to violate policy to get the job done but then turn around and fire you for it. If they wanted this lady gone they should have just fired her. Anything to avoid paying out unemployment.

    November 1, 2012 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
    • karen14217

      Marc, she was fired because she broke the company policy, in fact two of them. She should not have been there at that time, nor alone. She put herself in danger because of her own actions.

      November 9, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Chuck

    I've managed a pizzeria before... You can stay there very late! Also, doesn't matter if you keep help there, anyone that has done truck ordering or inventory know's that's a one person job. Arby's manager's have to count every single packet of ketchup, horsey sauce, etc... I used to work at Arby's too!

    November 1, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Umptysquat

    My first thought was 3 robberies? In that short period of time? If I was the police I would be looking at her closely..

    November 1, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • pattysboi

      Why are you blaming the victim? Grow UP and get a life. Move out of momma's basement.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Humanity4All

    when Mitt Romney is President we all get to carry guns and protect ourselves from these idiots, and there will be No cars, he is going to Kick Detriot out and we will have Horses to be cowboys.

    November 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
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