Owner Quits, Employees Don't

What would you do if your boss stopped coming in to work?

That's what happened to the employees of a Quiznos Sub (search) sandwich franchise in Seattle when the store owners suddenly dropped out of the picture, reports the Seattle Times.

But instead of quitting, several employees carried on, keeping the shop open by themselves despite no paychecks, no food deliveries and increasingly irate customers.

"Due to bad owners, we are out of a lot of things. Please do not get mad at the employees and manager," read a note on the shop door this past Tuesday. "This [is] out of their control. We are so sorry for the problems. Thanks."

Things started going south in November, store manager Dawna Lentz said, when the owners of the month-old store went AWOL. She wouldn't be more specific.

So Lentz, 25, rallied the three other employees who didn't quit when the paychecks stopped coming.

Food supplies were bought with cash from the register, as was the special Quiznos bread, which she got from other local franchises.

Wages were also paid with what cash was available, with Lentz carefully tallying each worker's hours and how much he'd been paid (or not) on the back of his worthless last paycheck.

"I like working here," said employee James Zambrano, 26, even though he was still owed about $450. "Everybody gets along like family."

Nevertheless, the shortages started adding up. A list of what the store didn't have in stock was posted on the door, until it got to be three pages long and was replaced by the more general plea above.

When the Times reporter visited last Tuesday, there were no desserts and no chips except for jalapeño.

The soda machine had little Post-It notes reading "Out of Order" stuck on every self-serve spigot except for Vanilla Coke and lemonade.

"I'll have a large Out of Order," said one customer.

"Is that with ice or without?" replied Lentz.

"You're doing good for what you have to work with," said another customer, though Lentz said many others weren't so sympathetic.

"I've been called 'stupid,' 'incompetent,'" she said.

The Times got in touch with the Quiznos company, which sent people down last week to check out the situation.

On Thursday, food deliveries were resumed, staff was added and employees were paid back wages, according to Quiznos spokeswoman Stacie Lange.

Lange added that the franchise ownership was being transferred to a new set of owners.

As for Lentz, she had feared that she'd lose her job in the end, despite having worked 12-hour days and racking up $900 in unpaid wages, not including overtime, during the crisis.

But as of Thursday, she was still the manager, even though she wasn't allowed to talk to the media any more.

"The employees who were there yesterday are still there today," explained Lange.

Just Doing a Little Research

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A senior assistant state attorney general was hit with pepper spray and mugged after he called an escort service to a hotel, police said.

Assistant Attorney General John Rimes was beaten and robbed of about $500 on Jan. 27 while staying at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore (search), according to a Tampa police report.

Rimes, 54, was treated at St. Joseph's Hospital (search) for three days, hospital officials said.

The police report states that two women arrived at Rimes' hotel room late at night after he called an escort service for female companionship.

Police said Rimes had $200, but the women told him he needed more. He went to an ATM and withdrew $300.

After Rimes returned, someone knocked on his hotel room door. Rimes saw a well-dressed man through the peephole and opened the door, police said.

That's when the man used pepper spray on Rimes, beat him and took the money, police said. The women left, and guests who were affected by the spray called security, the report said.

Attorney General Charlie Crist said he will ask the inspector general of his office to look into the incident.

— Thanks to Out There reader Harley W.

Parents Name Son 'Jake 2.0'

OLALLA, Wash. (AP) — "Jake 2.0" didn't cut it with viewers, and a couple who named their son Jake Matthew Thompson 2.0 are finding the numerical part doesn't cut it with businesses and government agencies.

Although decimal designations are commonly used for successive versions of computer software, many computers can't seem to handle it for human names, parents Kyle Thompson and Dawn Carpenter have been told.

Their son was born on Feb. 4, 2004, a couple of months after the UPN science fiction show was canceled after less than four months on the air, but they still liked the name.

"He's like an upgrade of us, the better version," Thompson said.

The state birth certificate reads "Jake Matthew Thompson Two Point Zero," while the child's Social Security card reads simply "Jake Matthew Thompson." Gerber Baby Foods (search) was unable to fill an order for a "Jake 2.0" spoon, sending one that said merely "Jake" with the birth date.

Officials at the Social Security Administration and state Health Department said their equipment can handle only letters with hyphens and apostrophes.

Carpenter, a housekeeper at a convalescent home and an aspiring actress, said some co-workers have told her that when her son reaches school age, classmates will make fun of his name, "but I don't worry about it.

"They made fun of me because my nose is small," she said. "They make fun of you no matter what you do."

— Thanks to Out There reader Will S.

I Am My Brother's Biter

WILLMAR, Minn. (AP) — Police say a man lost his cool and bit off a third of his younger brother's finger on Thursday night after a vicious family dispute.

A criminal complaint filed in the case said Jose Juarez, 45, got into a fight with his younger brother, Roy Juarez, on Jan. 27.

Witnesses said Jose Juarez insulted his brother's daughter, and the fight began. At some point, Jose allegedly bit off a third of his brother's middle finger on his right hand. According to the complaint, police said Jose appeared to be quite drunk.

Jose Juarez acknowledged that he bit his brother and that alcohol was a factor.

"Yeah, I'm not proud to say I did, but it happened so quick," he told KMSP-TV of the Twin Cities. "We were both kind of intoxicated. I didn't sit there chewing or gnawing or anything like this."

Roy Juarez was taken to Rice Memorial Hospital (search) where doctors reattached the piece of finger. It's too early to tell if the operation was successful.

Jose Juarez was charged with two counts of assault and one count of domestic abuse. He was released on his own recognizance.

— Thanks to Out There reader Angie K.

Woman Busted for Selling Fake 'Simpsons' Beer

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — A woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to selling on eBay three nonexistent cases of Duff brand beer — the favorite of cartoon character Homer Simpson (search).

Tara Edith Woodford, 28, pleaded guilty in the Mackay Magistrates Court in northern Queensland state to three charges of dishonestly gaining money by false pretenses.

Prosecutor Gavin Burnett told the court Woodford was paid a total of 1,951 Australian dollars (U.S. $1,511) by three separate buyers after advertising the bogus beer on the eBay Internet auction site.

Duff is the beer brand of choice for Homer Simpson and his barfly friends in the animated U.S. television series "The Simpsons."

In the mid-1990s, two breweries released their own "Duff Beer" in Australia until legal action by the creators of "The Simpsons" and the Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. took the beer off the market.

Fox has a policy of refusing to license The Simpson's merchandising for products that would be detrimental to children.

Duff beer is now a collector's item and cases can sell for as much as A$1,000 (U.S. $774) on eBay, according to Lorraine Gledhill, the treasurer of the National Beer Can Collectors Club.

Buyers paid money into Woodford's bank account, but contacted police when they never received the beer.

Woodford was caught because she listed her correct name and address on the auction site, the court was told.

Woodford's lawyer Phillip Moore said she committed the scam to buy Christmas presents and clothes for her four children.

Woodford was placed on 18 months' probation, and was ordered to reimburse the money and undergo counseling.

Doctor in Trouble for Faking Insanity

OSLO, Norway (AP) — A Norwegian doctor called in for military service would have made Cpl. Klinger (search) of the American television series "M*A*S*H" proud.

The doctor rubbed sour cream in his hair, poured sticky liqueur in his shoes, spilled beer on his clothes and sat in a closet smoking 40 cigarettes at once in a bid to convince the military that he wasn't fit mentally for service.

And just to be sure he looked and felt his worst, he stayed awake for two days before his physical, the Fredrikstad Blad newspaper reported Thursday.

As part of Norway's compulsory military service, veterans — such as the doctor — can be called back for refresher training or longer service.

"I used a made-up life story about how things had gone downhill from being a student in medical school to be being down and out," the doctor told the newspaper on condition his name not be published.

It worked, too. He was so convincing that the military doctor alerted the national health authority about the man they had licensed to work as physician.

But an analysis of his records showed that not only was he not insane, but he had received high marks from his patients. Now, the doctor is facing likely disciplinary action from both the military and the medical board.

In a letter to the Norwegian Board of Health, obtained by the newspaper, the doctor claimed his behavior was no worse than that of many patients.

"It is well known that the information a patient gives his doctor seldom is based on reality," the letter said.

Compiled by FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil.

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