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. Baron

    I would also have fired her as well. Told not to do something before and you still keep doing it. Also I run another Fast food place. The manager that closes the store for the night keep all closing employees in the store till they are complete with all duties 2-3 people to include the manager. Then the all walk out and lockup at the same time. This allows them all to protect each other. The morning manage would not unlock or enter the building till at least 2 other employess arrvied for this same reason. Never been rob in 14 years. The fast food next to use been hit 3-5 times a year.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • JAM

      23 years as an employee and she decides now to rob the place three times in six months? Really? Loyalty like that at a Fast Fod joint should be commended not trivialized. Especially since most employers rob the store a little each day!

      October 24, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Oktober

      I have also worked at a fast food joint and had to stay for closing nearly every night I worked. There were at least four to six people there who left at the exact same time, including the manager, and never once did we have any problems. Sure it was 2-3 a.m. when everyone clocked out to leave but we all knew what was expected of us and we did it without any issues. Not one of the employees were fired while I worked there because we followed the rules. Just because this lady worked there for 23 years doesn't mean she is exempt from following rules and guidelines.

      October 24, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. James

    Three times, if there was another employee they could at least ensure it wasn't a set up. How convenient that all 3 times she was alone. I want to believe she's truely a victim, but as a former employee of Arby's there are some pretty shady people who work there and I wouldn't put it past her to set the whole thing up.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Shuffler

    Bad employees are fired every day. Good for Arby's!

    October 24, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. BigHamp

    3 times in 6 months....hmmmm.....Sounds a little suspect if you ask me.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. h

    Glad things worked for you. Maybe you were lucky but if some one has a gun having more than one person is not going to matter that much. Was she working by herself to try and cut labor costs to earn some non-existient bonus.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. The Aprendice

    YOU'RE FIRED!

    October 24, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Oh no, a third robbery, and this time by a knife weilding idiot. If it was "my" restaurant? I'd hand knife man the money he so richley deserves, "then put him on the recieving end" of a 9mm. But this whipped society doesn't or better yet, can't seem to think outside the box. I for one, don't always, think outside the box.
    After the first robbery, there should have been a serious investigation. This woman was "cased" since the first robbery scenario. Would Arby's Corporate "have the nerve or the guts", to do what she did, or the "stupidity to do what she did"? A lot of streamlined companies today are working overtime, to rid the organization of associates with "tenure", so they don't have to manage and front exhorbitant benifit packages.
    But it all seems so simple and should of been worked out for a win win situation. Sales should be "safed" continually, so there isn't but a minimum in the drawer to count out at the end of the night. Everyone should be told, especially the manager, to leave at the same time. If closing is 10p.m., then lockdown at 9:55p.m. All messes should start to be cleaned up in a "pre-close", so nobody should have to stay over.
    So my question is, how in the world, are they going to prevent a fourth robbery from ocurring with the new manager at the helm?

    October 24, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ca Ed

    I too would have fired her. She was warned about this and she didn't/wouldn't follow policy.
    However, the franchise owner is going to get his/her butter sued off because of prior knowledge of a problem that wasn't fixed. No cameras, lights, alarm?
    When, not if, someone is killed or injured any second year law student will be able to get a large settlement from both the Franchisee and Arby's corporate.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. EatBeefNotChicken

    Can totally understand the reason for the firing. If she had done as instructed and not abused company policy then she would not have been in predicament. Looks like if she is looking for sympathy, she isnt getting any in the comments section

    October 24, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. Really!?

    I'm amazed at the amount of people providing excuses for this lady.

    The corporation I work for says no employees are allowed to work on weekends after 6 PM due to safety concerns (no security on site during those hours).

    You know what I DON'T do? I don't show up after 6 PM on weekends! Why? Common sense.

    Here are the facts:

    – Three robberies in six months (unfortunate, but entirely possible)
    – All three robberies occured under a specific employees watch/shift (getting strange, but still possible. She could just be scheduled during bad hours on bad days.)
    – All three occured when no other employees were present, which is a direct violation of company policy that the owner made that specific employee aware of numerous times. (that's no longer "bad luck")

    Put yourself in the shoes of the owner/operator of this franchise. Are you really going to let this employee continue to work in violation of clearly laid out company policy and sit back why she continues to put your business at risk?

    I will say this, the owner did get it wrong. After the second time this happened, she should have been terminated and/or demoted to a position where it was impossible for her to stay after hours and be the last one in the establishment. The fact that she was allowed to keep her position after a second occurance was completely irresponsible on the owners part.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Name*

    That just shows how much these places think about their employees..Fast food restaurants are often targeted for robberies. How can they have these peoole working there without even any cameras? Arbys should be ashamed of themselves especially since they are pricey for a fast food chain. This is what 20 years of service to this company gets you? You are better off without them.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • lookbothweis

      The headline is misleading. She wasn't fired for running from the robber as the headline states. According to the article itself, she was fired FOR putting her own life at risk BY failing to adhere to company policies designed to protect her... numerous times and after warnings.

      October 24, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. OregonTom

    if you are a manager of any business and are responsible for cash then you pretty much automatically qualify for a CCP. I'm just sayin'...

    October 24, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Martin

    I dont eat at any fast food restaurant the quality of all of them is simply awful but i feel bad for this woman just trying to do her job.

    But hey, its not like she can't get another low paying crap job easily enough.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. yahubetcha

    I dont eat at fast food joints anymore anyway. To many horror stories of what these kids do to the food. I guess if your into spit, pubic hair and buutt cheese wipes on the bun then have at it.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. waf_98

    If she was in the store long after hours with the door unlocked, she deserves to be fired. The headline, though, looks like it was written by an eighth grader.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
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