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Key Words: Olive Garden manager fired after time-off rant: ‘If your dog died, you need to bring him in and prove it to us’

An Olive Garden Manager in Johnson County, Kan., has been fired after sending restaurant employees a scathing letter about workers calling out too frequently.

The author of the memo has been verified by the company as a manager at the restaurant chain, which is owned by Darden
The memo’s contents were posted to Reddit, where thousands of commenters gave their opinions about the rant.

“If you’re sick, you need to come prove it to us. If your dog died, you need to bring him in and prove it to us,” the letter read. The author threatened to fire “anyone from here on out calls out more than ONCE in the next 30 days,” adding that they have never “called off” in more than 11 years of work at the chain. “I got in a wreck literally on my to work one time, airbags went off and my car was totaled, but you know what, I made it to work, ON TIME!” the memo noted.

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The manager, who was not named in the letter or by Olive Garden when it announced their firing, began the letter by saying a “staggering” amount of employees were calling out lately.

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“Do you think I want to be here until midnight on Friday and Saturday? No,” the manager wrote. “I’d much rather be at home with my husband and dog, going to the movies or seeing family. But I don’t, I’m dedicated to being here. As should you. No more excuses or complaints.”

A spokesperson for the Olive Garden told MarketWatch that the company fired the manager who sent the letter. “This message is not aligned with our company’s values. We can confirm we have parted ways with this manager,” they said.

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In 2022, there were 2,230,240 U.S. Google

searches looking for reasons to miss work, according to recruitment company Frank Recruitment Group, representing a 1884% spike from 2020 levels.

Such search trends do not mean Americans are looking for excuses to call in sick when they were feeling fine. It’s quite possible they may have been actually sick, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic raging through the country.

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