That was undoubtedly the worst boss she had ever worked for. She was fed up with all the abuse and condescension. She had only been there for five months, but it felt like an eternity.
But that manager at Red Robin didn’t know something: the waitress she had been mistreating with such callousness and disregard had heard a few things about him. Now it was time for her to get some payback.
But how did it get to that point? It wasn’t like that from the get-go. Every time she started working at a new place, she made it a point to do her best and just give everything that she had.
However, this time she was pushed to the limit, and at some point, she saw that there was nothing else she could do. They gave her no other option.
This story took place in a restaurant in Delaware, Ohio. Laura Townsend, aged 23, was a waitress there; she had been working in that restaurant for a few months now.
It wasn’t her first time working as a fast-food server, and thus, it hadn’t been difficult for her to get used to the place and learn its ins and outs. At least, that’s how it was at the beginning.
Laura didn’t think much of the job. To her, it was a way to pay her bills as she completed her bachelor’s in French Literature at the University of Delaware.
She had worked as a waitress before, and even though it wasn’t her dream job, she found it comfortable enough. She never had a particularly bad experience working in the service industry; until then, that is.
At the start, right after learning the ropes of the place and getting acquainted with the rest of the staff and the regulars, things seemed all nice and dandy.
Even her boss, the restaurant manager, seemed like a nice and welcoming person. However, it wouldn’t take too long before he started showing his true colors.
He made Laura work hard and stay in the restaurant for long hours. Still, that wasn’t a problem for the young woman; after all, that was what she was there for, and more hours meant more money.
But after a while, things started getting grimmer and grimmer. And it got to a point where Laura would end up regretting ever having accepted that job.
Laura’s manager stopped paying her for her overtime. When she brought up the topic, he just said that if she didn’t like the job, she could just go get a different one.
He mocked Laura’s studies and made a comment implying that she would spend the rest of her life being a waitress. And that wasn’t all.
All of Laura’s 12 waitress co-workers were women. Laura had years of experience in the service industry, and most of her female colleagues had been working at the restaurant for years.
But, when a position for an assistant manager came up, her manager did something so belittling to them all that it felt like a slap in the face.
All the waitresses were excited about the open role and all hoped they’d be the one to get the promotion. But Laura’s manager didn’t even try to fill the assistant manager position internally.
Instead, he hired his friend – a man who had no restaurant experience. The man had never even worked as a waiter before. Laura was furious. But she’d soon get her own back.
When the new assistant manager didn’t work out and left a few weeks later, Laura and her colleagues begged their manager to consider one of them for the role.
They knew all the ins and outs of the business, so It made sense for one of them to get the promotion. Days later, the manager made his decision. He hired one of his friends’ sons – who again, had no experience. Little did Laura know, there was a nefarious reason for that.
The manager would often invite his friends to the restaurant. These were all shady-looking people with whom he met in his office, who acted like the restaurant was theirs, and who never tipped at all.
One time, one of the manager’s friends went so far as to make a gross comment about how Laura looked in her uniform. And to add insult to injury, Laura’s manager laughed at it! But that wasn’t the worst Laura heard from those people.
One day she was sweeping the floor, and her activity took her near the boss’ office, where he was hanging out with his shady buddies. They were talking about something.
Laura was the type of person to mind her own business, and even more when she crossed paths with sleazy people like that. But this time, moved by a sense of morbid curiosity, she stuck her ear to the door.
Laura couldn’t believe what she had just heard. The worst she was expecting was gross jokes, comments of poor taste, and the like. But something a lot worse than that had been said inside those walls.
She was absolutely disgusted. But now she had some doubts: should she tell someone about it, or should she just stay out of trouble and pretend she didn’t know?
For a while, she just thought that her best bet was to keep minding her business, don’t get involved in what these people were up to, keep working for the rest of the month, get her money, and get out of there as soon as possible.
But something happened that made her rethink her choice. And then, she made a decision, even though she knew it could be risky for her: she went all out with the boss’ secret.
The end of the month came by, and she was ready to get her salary and announce her resignation. She went to talk to the boss, and she told her about her decision to leave. She didn’t intend to speak about what she had heard a few days ago.
But the boss refused to pay her; he used all types of excuses, said she hadn’t worked enough, she hadn’t given him enough notice, etc. He just wasn’t willing to give her that months’ salary. Then, he told her about an unbelievable new dress code.
As the manager told her about the dress code change, she couldn’t believe her ears. On top of not receiving her pay, the new male assistant manager was given the easy job of staying behind the counter while the girls were now expected to wear skimpy black dresses and dangerously high heels while serving customers.
When Laura began to protest that she couldn’t wear six-inch heels throughout her entire shift, the manager said three words that made her blood boil.
The manager expected them all to just “suck it up.” That was all there was to it. Combined with a not-so-veiled threat that if they didn’t like it, they could quit. Girls like them were dispensable.
Simmering rage began to course through Laura’s veins. That was when she knew what to do. She pretended to accept it all and keep working there. But she had a trick up her sleeve.
Laura could barely breathe when she tried the new uniform on. It was so intentionally tight she could feel it squeezing the air from her lungs. And the heels were so high that after ten minutes, she could already feel the tight pain in her calves.
Every part of her being was screaming at her to rip everything off. She wanted to unleash a tirade on her sexist bosses and storm right out of the building. But that wouldn’t help the other girls. She calmed herself and schemed until she had a brilliant idea.
On the last day she worked at that restaurant, there were nine police officers having lunch at one of the tables. Laura clocked out before her shift was supposed to end, ripped her uniform off, and changed into her regular clothes.
The manager saw this and ran towards her, asking, “What do you think you’re doing?” He suddenly realized that the nine officers had gotten up from their table and were standing behind him.
Laura had been holding onto the vital information she’d overheard until exactly the right moment. She’d put up with her rude, sexist manager and his new dress code until the perfect opportunity presented itself.
She knew the group of cops would be coming over for their usual Wednesday lunch. Her manager was also entertaining his group of sleazy friends in his office. It was almost too perfect.
Laura pretended to continue to work, but she was actually gathering evidence against her manager and his friends.
After she’d discovered the shocking truth about the restaurant’s owner and manager, she began to secretly record their private conversations as they spoke about their crimes in the office. The day she saw the group of cops come in, she slipped them the recordings.
Laura’s manager had been running a money-laundering operation in that restaurant for years. Those friends that usually came over and met in his office were his partners from Delaware’s underworld.
The conversation that Laura heard through the door had given them away. Initially, she intended to stay out of it; but when her boss refused to pay her and made her wear the demeaning uniform, she decided to tell the police about it.
The cops listened to Laura’s recordings and set up a sting operation. They made a call to freeze the restaurant’s assets and get a search warrant, arrested the manager and his friends, and conducted a search of the restaurant.
While the other waitresses had no idea what was going on, Laura watched it all go down with a giant smirk on her face.
The restaurant owner, manager, and his shady accomplices were indicted on numerous charges, and they’re currently awaiting trial. They might face up to 30 years of prison.
As for Laura, she got paid for her last month and found a job in a different restaurant shortly afterward. She’s still studying French literature and working hard to support herself. But how had the manager gotten away with it for so long?
The restaurant’s owner and manager had been disguising the source of their dirty money by hiding it in the restaurant finances.
The restaurant was owned by a man with connections to an prolific organized crime ring and had placed two of his accomplices in managerial roles to oversee the operation. But how does that work exactly?
The owner of the restaurant bought the established business to cover his crimes. To launder money successfully, the waitresses shouldn’t have even been aware that it was taking place. And they weren’t, except for Laura.
“If I’m a drug kingpin, the last thing I would want is one of the waitresses having any idea what I’m doing. You essentially want it to be a legitimate business,” explains Professor Kerry Myers, who specializes in forensic accounting and money laundering at the University of South Florida.
The manager was in charge of taking the dirty cash from his boss and putting it into the restaurant’s system to make it look “clean.” His “friends” brought the dirty cash in a suitcase each week to be mixed in with the restaurant’s cash.
It worked for so long because the waitresses at the restaurant worked hard to retain customers, so the business was legitimately turning a good profit. However, the profits still weren’t enough to explain the manager’s flashy parade of new cars.
The popular restaurant had been the perfect smokescreen. “You don’t want to pick a front company,” explains Myers.
“If I’m going to launder money, I would want a business where, if the FBI or IRS stops by, there are a lot of customers coming and going. That way, the revenues are justified by the clientele.”
Laura’s manager and his “friends” were able to enjoy their dirty money without arousing suspicion from the authorities.
But, sadly, money laundering is not all that unusual. In fact, around $300 billion in ill-gotten money is laundered through the United States each year. Money laundering is said to account for 2-5 percent of the world’s total GDP.
Besides being part of an organized crime ring that was involved in terrible things, Laura’s manager was also a terrible person. He treated his employees badly and had no respect for women.
But he never expected his newest waitress to bring his whole world down. And, even though all the waitresses were left jobless, their experience soon saw them in new positions that paid and treated them the way deserved.