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January 02, 2009

Boycott Lacey's Pizza Time

King 5 News did a piece tonight on the freaking nutcase beyotch who owns the Pizza Time in a Lacey, WA strip mall. This piss-poor excuse for a human being has permanently shut off all the heat in the store because one night employees forgot to turn the furnace off when they closed up. (Gee, I wonder if that might have been during our recent snowstorms?) So now she's freezing them out -- literally -- in order to teach them a lesson. She says if they can't stand the 25 degree working conditions they can quit. Some of them have. Minutes ago, another employee was given a two-week suspension for having the guts to speak on camera to King 5 News about the situation.


Turns out that while she's intentionally freezing her employees, she has equipped her own office with a space heater. Another coward acting like a bully.


WA State Department of Labor and Industries says she is not breaking any labor laws. Uh-huh. I can't wait until she gets taken to court for creating a hostile work environment.


Boycott Lacey's Pizza Time. Force the freak into bankruptcy.

*I don't know why the hyperlink posted in deep purple (hard to distinguish it from black lettering) but here's the King 5 story link again.

Posted by shoephone on January 2, 2009 at 10:32 PM in Current Affairs, Food and Drink, Media, Washington Culture | Permalink

Comments

you must take care of your employees for them to take care of your business. The attitude of the owner is immature/reckless/causing bad work relations! How selfish can a employer be?! The only lesson she is teaching her employees is to disrespect her as a "manager"; she will not succeed with this attitude towards the people that are trying to make her business prosper. What a shame/sham!

Posted by: Rhonda | Jan 3, 2009 4:10:25 AM

they say... the owners of this lacey pizza time have not done anything "illegal" BUT watch KING 5 Video... the dumb-ass, applies the "cheese" with NO Plastic GLOVES ~~~yuck vomit

Posted by: Kat | Jan 3, 2009 8:49:49 AM

Let's picket the Lacey Pizza Time store. I live in Tacoma but would gladly drive down to support these kids.

Posted by: Boycott Pizza Time | Jan 3, 2009 10:31:40 AM

i want to meet the owners.
no really. i want to ask them if they have any human decency at all.

Posted by: FLabio | Jan 3, 2009 10:48:27 AM

Good post.
FYI... FranchisePick.com, The leading blog in the franchise industry, has awarded the Lacey Pizza Time its Franchisee From Hell! Award. Check it out, leave a comment and a link back here if you'd like:

http://www.franchisepick.com/franchisee-from-hell-awards-luke-benjamin-pizza-time/

Posted by: FranchisePick | Jan 3, 2009 5:52:54 PM

It seems no article nor blog mentions the female owner's full name, Gretchen L Benjamin. This was easily obtained from the Washington State Department of Revenue site.

The two different Pizza Times in Olympia have had labor problems. Please take the time and write reviews on Yelp.com about Pizza Time and Accurate Accounting.

Posted by: Don | Jan 4, 2009 4:19:05 PM

I got it posted up at consumerist.com.

http://consumerist.com/5123166/pizza-time-owner-cuts-off-heat-tells-employees-to-work-in-subfreezing-temperatures-or-quit

Posted by: Charlies | Jan 4, 2009 9:33:54 PM

I work two jobs, one of which is for the Lacey Pizza Time. I walk away with twice(hourly) what I make doing drywall. Let's talk about work conditions and not belonging to a union. How many of you "outraged citizens" have worked construction? How many of you "informed consumers" have tried to own your own business and succeeded? Dan Baxter is a tired man who would rather throw a stink and cry to the news for pity. Think about the angle being projected. We could all find reasons to dislike who we work for, but if we all just stomp our feet and point fingers we help no one. Save the anger and pity for the people who truly deserve them. Get the whole story and think before you react.

Posted by: Jacob | Jan 5, 2009 11:09:47 AM

First off, Jacob, you should know I have been a painting contractor for many years and I have owned and run two businesses (one of which was a food business) since 1994. I've had to follow both WA State Health Department codes and OSHA and L&I; rules. And I've never treated employees, customers or clients with anything less than respect -- because it's bad business to treat people badly. It's downright stupid. So your argument is going to fall on deaf ears here.

Secondly, as someone who has worked on dozens of remodel projects, as well as new contruction, I know very well what drywallers make in wages and salary. So I think you're full of baloney when you claim to make more money as Pizza Time employee.

Third, I think you are a "plant" from the Lacey Pizza Time, in which case, take your b.s. elsewhere. We deal with facts here.

Posted by: shoephone | Jan 5, 2009 11:23:25 AM

Jacob then you must be the worlds worse or slowest drywall hanger. I'm a journeyman drywall hanger and taper, and I can guarantee you that you would never make double doing pizza delivery than doing drywall. I've done pizza, the difference you are moving much heavier and faster doing drywall, so you kind of keep your own heat up. And when you are doing drywall taping you get heat, otherwise the mud wouldn't dry in this climate in the winter, and in fact crack if it freezes. We use those big kerosene heaters that look like jet engines. So I'm calling bullshit on you.

Posted by: Charlie | Jan 5, 2009 5:05:16 PM

BTW he Dan Baxter got fired.

http://www.king5.com/topstories/stories/NW_010509WAB_pizza_time_cold_suspension_TP.4029b08e.html?ocp=1

Posted by: Charlie | Jan 5, 2009 5:06:26 PM

Cowards acting like bullies? There seems to be a lot of that going around.
The owners obviously mishandled this. However, there's no evidence they kept it colder than 55 except Dan Butler's say-so. And despite what Butler says, pizza ovens throw off heat... even with exhaust.

Have you considered that Butler was already suspended, an employee with a DUI at a business based on delivery (and a fatality a few years earlier caused by a drunk Pizza Time delivery driver), and probably on his way out? Think he might have exaggerated just a bit?

Butler was on FranchisePick.com trying to solicit donations, and may have been pushing for a $10K+ settlement from the owners to make the controversy go away. My suspicions are posted here:

http://www.franchisepick.com/pizza-time-whistleblower-gets-fired/

Still eager to call for this business's demise?

Posted by: Franchise Pick | Jan 6, 2009 12:07:03 PM

Cowards acting like bullies? There seems to be a lot of that going around.
The owners obviously mishandled this. However, there's no evidence they kept it colder than 55 except Dan Butler's say-so. And despite what Butler says, pizza ovens throw off heat... even with exhaust.

Have you considered that Butler was already suspended, an employee with a DUI at a business based on delivery (and a fatality a few years earlier caused by a drunk Pizza Time delivery driver), and probably on his way out? Think he might have exaggerated just a bit?

Butler was on FranchisePick.com trying to solicit donations, and may have been pushing for a $10K+ settlement from the owners to make the controversy go away. My suspicions are posted here:

http://www.franchisepick.com/pizza-time-whistleblower-gets-fired/

Still eager to call for this business's demise?

Posted by: Franchise Pick | Jan 6, 2009 12:08:14 PM

Franchise Pick -

If the information in the KING 5 piece was inaccurate then it's the news organization's responsibility to correct it, don't you think? If they publish or broadcast a correction, I will as well. To my knowledge, they haven't done so. I notice their comment thread has over 300 comments posted on it, and most are very negative towards the franchise owners. Apparently, this story resonated with a lot of people who watched the video interview and formed their own opinions about it.

This element of the story is not in dispute : The owner wrote the sign saying, in effect, "The heat stays off. Lump it or leave it." I think his (and his wife's) callousness is what's so off-putting to the public. And in the KING 5 interview the husband tried to pass the buck (so to speak) onto his wife, who, according to him, calls all the shots. Accountability anyone?

So, okay. Let's NOT call for their business to fail. However, I seem to recall that your website suggested that the parent company take the franchise away from the couple. True? Not true?

The news video is there for all to see. People will make their own judgements. I imagine the local the marketplace will respond.

Posted by: shoephone | Jan 6, 2009 2:22:43 PM

Franchise Pick -

Ah, I see the error of my ways. I just took a gander at your website and you did not say the franchise SHOULD be taken over. You said it COULD be taken over:

"The franchisor can certainly put pressure and even pull the franchise rights if the franchisee is damaging the trademark and harming the chain’s image. But they would be much better off helping these owners see the error of their ways and stop self-destructing.

This is more a PR crisis than anything. These guys aren’t running a forced labor camp, just a cold pizza joint."
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I guess we will have to wait and see what the franchisor's response is.

Posted by: shoephone | Jan 6, 2009 2:34:29 PM

I think everyone involved is wrong to a degree (except you and me, of course).

Owners comments (deleted from King 5) suggest Dan Butler was already suspended for other reasons, and he called up King 5 because he was pissed off and may have been on the way out. After all he had a DUI and was working for a business not only based on driving, but one where another driver had killed a father of four in 2005 while delivering drunk(!)

So between video games, Danny calls King 5 and they slant the interview toward the sensational - and it works. However, Dan is the only one who ever said it was "like" 25 degrees. (The idea that pizza ovens don't give off heat is preposterous to anyone who has worked in a pizza kitchen.) King 5 further stirred it up with the 2nd interview by accepting as gospel that Butler was called back to work, then fired. That was his version... and unlikely. More likely that he was called in to meet with them, was told if he'd shut up, they wouldn't contest his unemployment claim and if he didn't they'd sue him and fire him for cause - no UC.

Danny gives in, his 15 minutes of fame lasting only 5 minutes and no takers on his plea for donations... No doubt, employers are lined up to hire the Che Guevara of Lacey, WA.

The franchisor company was a no-show, which is ridiculous. Think McDonald's or Pizza Hut would something like this escalate without helping their franchisee do damage control... or issuing a stock press release about their commitment to employees?

Bad boss. Bad employee. Bad franchise. Good story. But I've decided to donate a free ad campaign ;) to help Pizza Time get back on its feet. It's called, "Open the door... It's Pizza Time!" This it will help? See it here:

http://www.franchisepick.com/wordless-wednesday-open-the-door-its-pizza-time/

Posted by: Franchise Pick | Jan 7, 2009 11:18:12 AM

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