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Sewage is flooding the kitchen. Can we close early?

A while ago I was working in a small outsource call centre in the UK that’s now closed. We handled various overflow and out of hours calls from various companies. One of them is Maccy Ds company line. Most of their out of ours calls were pretty standard, trying to contact someone at head office who has gone home for the night, calls about damaged restaurants, the old “We accidentally locked the keys in the safe” thing.

This one was different. It was a little after 10pm. A call came in from one of the restaurants. Some trainee was on the phone.

Trainee: Hi, can I close the restaurant?

Me: I’m not sure. You should ask your manager.

Trainee: He’s gone home for the night.

Me: Then ask whoever is in charge.

Trainee: I don’t know who that is. It’s just three trainees.

Me: Can you call the manager?

Trainee: We he didn’t leave us his number, just this one.

Now I don’t have access to store manage numbers but I do have area managers. While looking this up I chat with the guy on the phone.

Me: When was the place supposed to close?

Trainee: Not for another hour. The manages is supposed to be back to lock up then.

Me: You probably shouldn’t close before then.

Trainee: I know, but there’s something wrong with the toilets and sewage has leaked into the kitchens and the drive through.

Yes folks, not only had this places manager left 3 trainees to look after a restaurant unsupervised the place had leaky loos that backed up and flooded the kitchen and the staff hadn’t instantly closed the place down!

Call centre policy meant I could not order them to do something but I strongly suggested they do close up as I was fairly sure this was a major health and safety violation and told the poor trainee that I’d get the area manager to call ASAP.

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