A Michigan gas station manager was fired after her callous response to an employee’s request for time off to be with her son, who was reportedly placed on life support, went viral.
Crystal Fisher, of Albion, told FOX 17 that her son Jason, 18, was rushed to the hospital on Thursday after his temperature spiked to 104 degrees and he had “low oxygen.”
Fisher had her 14-year-old daughter, who was not named in the report, contact her boss at PS Food Mart to let them know she could not make it to work due to her son’s illness.
“[Fisher’s daughter] said, 'Can you have somebody cover mom for [Friday], my brother’s really sick, they’re going to have to ventilate him,’” Fisher said. “And the boss, I could hear her over the phone and she told my daughter, 'This ain’t the way we run things, you’re mother needs to be the one calling me.’”
Fisher said she was told by the doctors that her son needed to be transported to the University of Michigan.
"[The doctor] came in and told me that they were going to have to tube him and transport him to [University of Michigan],” she told FOX 17. “I lost it. That’s my kid.”
Fisher said she was told her son had a bacterial infection and that he would have to be placed on life support.
She then sent a text to her manager, whom she identified as Dawn, on Saturday, letting her know that she would not be able to make it to work until her son's condition improved. Fisher said she was shocked by what came next.
“I text her Saturday and said 'Hey just letting you know that I’m not going to be able to come to work until further notice at least until he’s off life support,'” Fisher said. “She automatically came back with 'Oh so you’re letting me know you’re quitting.'”
Fisher said she was shocked by the response and replied, “Ok so how do we do things when my child is on life support? I never said I was quitting so I take it that you’re firing me?”
“If you can’t come to work that’s you quitting,” Dawn allegedly replied.
Fisher explained she was letting her know “ahead of time” that she cannot make it to work “due to my child’s life on the line.”
Dawn allegedly replied, “I will not get into [this] with you on here but I’ve been more than accommodating during this allowing schedule changes and such. There is no reason you can’t work and I will not tolerate drama. End of conversation. If you aren’t there to work your shift tomorrow then I take that as you’ve quit.”
Fisher then said that she would be contacting corporate. The manager supplied the mother with the corporate office’s number, but Fisher had one last question.
“Would you be able to go to work and function if your child was on life support? I don’t know if I’m coming or going and you expect me to work?” she asked.
“Yes I would, I still have bills to pay and something to keep me busy and occupied. We don’t just get to come and go as we please at Folk Oil. I have tomorrow and Monday covered. Your son is in the best place he can be. I have a store to run and that’s my focus,” the manager allegedly replied.
Fisher posted the text exchange on her Facebook page, where it went viral. She said she was shocked by the feedback and attention the post has received.
“My 14-year-old she was like ‘Mom, mom so many shares.’ And I’m like I did not expect it to take off like this,” Fisher said. “But when I have people in my inbox ‘Hey I’m from Australia praying for you,' you know, I’m just, I’m overwhelmed.”
Fisher said she was contacted by Folk Oil’s corporate office following the viral post. The office told her to take as much time as needed and the manager was terminated following an investigation.
"We investigated and have found that the situation was handled improperly and without the compassion that we value as a company. For that, we are very sorry,” the company said in a statement.
“As a result of this finding, we took quick action and that manager is no longer employed by PS Food Mart. We have also reaffirmed to our employee that she will be able to take all the time off that she needs during this difficult period,” the statement concluded.
Fisher said doctors told her that her son may have a type of sepsis.
“My concern is when my son does wake up and when he does open his eyes, he sees mommy there,” Fisher said.