- UPDATE AT BOTTOM -The manager of the McDonald's in St. Paul's Midway area was fired yesterday, one day after video surfaced of one of his employees going on a profane, destructive rampage while he looked on.
(You can watch the viral video for yourself here, but be warned -- it contains lots of profanity.)
Reached for comment today, the 29-year-old says he "loved working there, loved my job."
"Hey, every job is stressful, but I don't think I deserve to be fired for it," Robertson continues, adding that he was in the process of filing for unemployment benefits when we talked to him on the phone this morning.
"I don't know if I'm going to get it or not, but I just want this whole thing to be behind me," he says. "It's not right."
Robertson says the owner of the Midway McDonald's, Courtney Henry, told him he viewed the video as indicating he didn't have control over what was happening in the restaurant. But Robertson says there was little he could do to stop the 17-year-old's rampage.
The teen worked at the McDonald's for about six months, Robertson says, adding that he thinks the outburst might have had something to do with him wanting to put on a show in front of his camera-wielding friends.
"He was a good employee of the store but the past couple weeks he was going through some stuff," Robertson says. "He told me he got kicked out of his home."
In a statement sent to the Minneapolis City Pages, Courtney Henry, owner of the Midway McDonald's, said, "The conduct shown in the video is unacceptable and we have taken appropriate action."
"The well-being of our customers and employees remains McDonald's top priority, and we apologize to our customers who were in the restaurant at that time," the statement continues.
Robertson was a "people department manager," as he puts it, and was responsible for scheduling. He says he made $11.75 hourly, which, with overtime hours, translated to about $28,000 yearly.
"I was always dependable for my general manager, they can't say anything bad about me," he says. "I never had a write-up, never been disciplined -- this is the first time anything like this happened."
Robertson lives in St. Paul with a domestic partner. Asked whether he'd consider another job in fast food, he replies that it's too early to say, but is worried about how employable he is now that the viral video has resulted in his face being splashed all over the internet.
During his five years working at the Midway McDonald's, Robertson says he never had to deal with a situation like the one captured in the video.
"That situation right there was unusual," Robertson says. "People usually lose their jobs there for being rude to customers."
"He had to go," Robertson adds, speaking of the rampaging employee. "He can't be around customers like that. They're paying our salaries."
:::: UPDATE ::::
Today, a PR company that represents local McDonald's sent us this statement on behalf of Courtney Henry, the Midway location's owner-operator:
"We regret the unacceptable employee outburst that happened in our restaurant Saturday and has gone viral leading to much speculation and inaccurate claims. While it is inappropriate to publicly discuss personnel matters, rest assured that we took the appropriate action to address the entire matter and not just what was seen on video.
The well-being and safety of our customers and employees remains our top priority, and we apologize to our customers who were in the restaurant at that time. As this is a personnel matter, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further. I am proud of our role in the community as an employer and neighbor, and the opportunities we provide."
– Owner-operator Courtney Henry