r/australia – Aussies, what’s your worst boss

The owner of the Maccas I worked at was a sexist piece of shit, on top of other things.

When he lectured the female managers on their management style (most of us in our teens/early twenties) he compared running a shift to “getting your kids ready in the morning”. The comparison he gave the male managers was to imagine they were captains of a sports team.

Three out of 5 male managers were paid more than the female restaurant manager who had more years of experience, more training and worked more hours per week. When I queried this I was threatened with a warning for breaking the confidentiality clause in my contract.

When I complained about work conditions, the owner asked what right I had to “whinge”. I pointed out that I had the fewest customer complaints across all my shifts among the management team, the lowest refund rate, I took zero sick days in my first 6 months and zero annual leave in 18 months, plus worked 7 weekends straight to relieve the store manager who was on the verge of a mental breakdown. Then he said, “But as a woman, you can go and get pregnant at any time which would force me to pay you for not working.”

Incident which triggered me into resigning –

I arrived 30 minutes early for my shift. Male manager who got paid twice as much as me had the place in an absolute state. I took my coffee into the office and started on paperwork. Owner rocked up and yelled at me for being in the office and not helping, unpaid. I told him I literally had not clocked on yet. He pointed at me and said, “How many years of experience have you got? One? Two?” Correct answer was 10 since I had been working at Maccas since I was 14. Then he pointed back at himself and said, “I’ve been doing this for 40 years. You do what I tell you.” I knew he was 48 years old and asked him if child labour laws had allowed him to manage fast food stores at the age of 8. A lifetime of eating Filet O Fish burgers, and his blood pressure rose pretty rapidly, judging by the bulging veins in his neck and head. Then I told him to go ahead and fire me if he had a problem with my work ethic. He said “Be careful what you wish for.”

I took myself home, wrote up my two weeks notice, then took those two weeks off sick with a doctor’s certificate for stress leave. Area supervisor called and begged for me to stay, saying the owner was prepared to do anything to get me to un-resign. The store’s biggest sales week due to a local annual event was approaching and they no longer had me to run their dinner shifts. I told them to respectfully eff off and that I would be pursuing the wage theft too.

A few years later, I’m looking forward to seeing this absolute worm of a human defend himself in Federal Court against the class action I helped start.