The frigid winds whipping across lower Michigan a couple of weekends ago did nothing to warm a Taco Bell
manager's cold heart.
He fired 17-year-old high-school junior Holly Cook — for daring to put on a coat.
"It was so cold that my hands were going numb," Cook told the Lansing State Journal, describing her shift at the Charlotte, Mich., fast-food restaurant's take-out window on Jan. 25.
The problem, explained her manager, Mike Swank, was that she wore her own coat, not one of the Taco Bell-logo coats the store kept on hand for cold days.
"I wouldn't have been so hard on her if we hadn't gone over this before," Swank told the Journal.
Cook said the regulation coats were taken that day. Swank doesn't believe that — though he concedes Cook was a good employee otherwise — and thinks she just wore her own jacket because neither he nor other managers were around that day.
But Cook hadn't counted on an undercover visit by what's known in the trade as a "mystery shopper" — someone sent by the restaurant chain to check up on franchises.
The inspector cost the restaurant 28 points out of a perfect 100, Cook said Swank told her.
Still, Cook told the newspaper, "I couldn't believe they fired me."