The media and blogosphere jumped on a story last week about Heather Levia, a 23-year old mother of twins who had been working at McDonald's for 8 years and is putting herself through nursing school, who allegedly lost her job after paying for the meals of two fire departments' worth of firemen who had spent the night fighting fire on a neighbouring building.
She had reportedly asked her manager if the restaurant was going to foot the bill for the first crew, and upon hearing they wouldn't, opted to pay for their breakfasts herself; hearing of ''free food'', a second unit came in and were offered the same treatment.
She was fired when she came in to work the next day. The company claims the reason why they fired her wasn't that she made the company look cheap - or anything to do with that situation.
Personally, my thoughts on the affair go like this: on one hand, she was insubordinate, and should have been reprimanded because this could potentially open up a huge can of worms where public servants of every level would start expecting the same treatment, first when working near there, then at all times; first firemen, then policemen, then ambulance drivers, then the whole Village People crew.
On the other hand, she did a good deed and should be congratulated. Especially on a shitty McDonald's wage.
But that's where it starts not making much sense: she's a mother of two, working at close to or spot-on minimum wage. She has time to go to school and raise her kids on the side. She's a nice person, in 2014, in North America.
She cannot possibly exist. As described, I mean. And in the PR-led world we live in, McDonald's would have put up a statue of her in its parking lot - or at least named her employee of the month - to cash in on her actions, not risk alienating the last few people who still eat there.
Could it be she knew she was going to get fired for whatever reason and attempted one grand gesture to keep it?
Who the fuck knows. One thing's for sure, though: in the age of Twitter and Facebook, even a low-level manager at McDonald's knows better than to bring this much bad publicity towards their employer. And journalists should wait until having both sides of a story before sensationalizing it to the max and having it spread worldwide. In some reports, she is even made the store's manager (though they still stick to the claim that she texted her boss, would that have been the regional director?); in another, she just ''donates food''; some just mention she paid for $83 worth of food (which is just one of the two orders).
Something is fishy with this story, but it would help if it started with actual facts.
Also, word is she was offered many jobs since. Good. If she had been a bad employee, she can now change with the good actions he's made; if she really is pure of heart, she deserved better than to work at that shitty job for so long. She's a hero now, it comes with both perks and responsibilities.