An Arby’s Restaurant assistant manager in Dayton, Ohio was fired after she jumped through the store’s drive-through window in order to escape a knife-wielding robber. The fast food chain says she violated a company rule, specifically being alone in the store after hours.
Mary Archer, 56, told WHIO-TV in Dayton, Ohio that she had been closing up the restaurant when someone rang the doorbell. Thinking it was her co-worker who had just left, she unknowingly opened the door for an armed robber.
“Give me the money,” the robber reportedly demanded.
“I really thought I was going to die,” Archer told WHIO-TV. As she told herself “I’m not going to die at Arby’s tonight,” Archer pushed the burglar away and made her way towards the drive-through window.
After jumping through the window, her loud cries for help eventually attracted the attention of police.
Surviving an apparent near-death experience is tough enough, however, when Archer returned to work the next day she was shocked to find out that she had been fired after 23 years with the company.
“I just never thought that would happen to me, since my life was at stake,” Archer said.
“I don’t want my job back,” she continued. “I just want everybody to know what kind of company this is. They said I was not supposed to have been alone in the store.”
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That, indeed, is Arby’s position. In answer to a request for comment from ABC News, a spokesperson for Arby’s Restaurant Group says in an email:
We consider the safety and security of our guests and employees to be of utmost importance. We’re extremely thankful that no one was injured during this incident. While this did not occur in a company-owned restaurant, we understand from our franchisee that the employee was terminated for her second violation of an important safety and security policy; namely, being alone in a restaurant afterhours.”
Arby’s rule says at least two employees are to be on duty at any time. Efforts by ABC News to contact Archer were not successful.
Archer says there are no alarms or cameras in the Arby’s restaurant despite two previous attempted robberies at the location. She argues precautions should have been taken after the first incident.
Regardless, she is thankful that he life was “spared.” The robbery suspect is still at large.