Entertainment And News

Restaurant Manager Requires Employees To 'Turn In' Their Phones Before They Start Their Shifts — 'This Is Absolutely Crazy'

Photo: pondsaksit / Getty Images via Canva; insta_photos, ANGHI / Shutterstock
A photo of a boss and an employee

Should employees be able to use their phones at work? A restaurant manager found himself at the center of controversy when he demanded his staff to "turn in" their phones before starting their work shifts.

However, one employee did not approve of the new rule. He posted the story to Reddit's "r/antiwork," a subreddit described as a place "for those who want to end work... and want personal help with their own jobs/work-related struggles."

A restaurant manager required employees to 'turn in' their phones before they start their shifts.

The server who shared the story works at a humble seafood restaurant, a place with seafood boils and fried food. The food is simple, with chefs primarily tasked to heat up meals, yet it's the place the server had been calling "work" for over two years.

Photo: Reddit

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"We had a meeting tonight," they wrote. In the meeting, the restaurant manager laid down a rule that was, to many, a stark intrusion on personal boundaries. The server shared that they had been singled out for a compliment from a customer earlier that day, reinforcing their commitment to their role.

However, the new rule was "absolutely crazy" and went beyond acceptable boundaries. "I'm 38 years old, not a child," they wrote.

The room, filled with other employees, fell silent as the server voiced objections. Their disagreement with the new policy was met with indifference, leading to an increase in their frustration. "No one else really said anything when I started to argue," they wrote.

And in a spur-of-the-moment decision, they left the room, storming out of the meeting. The server, later thanking the community for their responses, pondered the next course of action.

An interesting suggestion had been made: to intentionally provoke a flurry of phone calls during work hours as a form of protest. On top of that, workers decided to have all employees' ringtones set to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up."

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People were quick to express their solidarity, offering advice and sharing their own thoughts on the situation.

"Don't comply. They have no rights to your personal property," one person wrote.

The same person questioned whether the manager would require employees to surrender their car keys or wallets next, and suggested that the employee demand a printed copy of this new policy and compensation for the potential risk to their personal property.

Photo: Reddit

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The general consensus was that the manager was exceeding his boundaries. One user pointed out the irony that workers often accept unreasonable demands from their employers, something they would never tolerate from anyone else in their lives.

"Even if their mom requested that, they would never comply," they wrote.

Another user emphasized the potential risk associated with the manager's demand. "Unless it's a company phone paid for by them the answer is no," they replied.

They noted that in this digital age, our phones carry our lives within them — personal data, private information, and access to various accounts. The thought of handing over such power to an employer was utterly unthinkable.

As the responses poured in, the server found affirmation and a hint of amusement. However, is it legal for your boss to take your phone? Well, according to KHOU 11, it is technically legal as long as they don't take it with "unlawful force."

Still, there's something to be said about the way workers are treated by management.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.