Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cafe Worker Fired Because Souder Didn't Get Toasted Sandwich

UPDATE: The fired cafe worker has reportedly been rehired according to a source who has been in communication with Rep. Souder's office. The source says Souder personally contacted the House Administration Committee and urged the rehiring of the fired worker. The Journal-Gazette's Sylvia Smith writes more about the story here and learns from Souder the dispute was over a pastrami, not a turkey sandwich.

Here's the original post:

The chairman of the House Administration Committee is fuming after he learned that a cafe worker who waited on Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) when he blew up and stormed out because his sandwich came grilled instead of toasted has been fired from his job. The Hill reports on the outrage:

House Administration Committee Chairman Robert Brady (D-Pa.) is fuming after a cafeteria worker in the Capitol lost his job days after Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) left the establishment in a huff because his sandwich was grilled, not toasted.

Kennison Battle, better known as “Mohammed,” was fired this week following the Souder incident. However, it is unclear if Battle’s termination and Souder’s stormy exit last week are related.

Regardless, Brady — who has jurisdiction over Capitol Hill campus issues — has been trying to get Battle his old job back.

“It’s ridiculous,” Brady said Wednesday. “Big guys gotta bother the little guys? What the hell is the matter with them? I don’t think he deserved to get fired. … It’s a shame.”

Brady spoke with Nicole Hall, the café manager, who told him she didn’t want to fire Battle, but was forced to.

“She was upset she had to fire him,” Brady said. When Brady asked to speak with David Anderson — Hall’s superior — Anderson declined to discuss the matter.

Brady subsequently approached House Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard about the firing and is awaiting a response.

Battle’s former colleagues said he was well-liked.

“He seemed to be a pretty good gentleman,” said James Gaylor, a temporary sandwich and dessert maker at the café. “I knew him for four days.”

A female café employee who spoke anonymously said she knows that “Battle was a good employee” who “talks well with the customers.”

The Hill reported on the Souder café incident on Tuesday. Earlier this week, Souder spokesman Martin Green stated in an e-mail: “Mr. Souder was asked for — and gave — his order three times. After around 20 minutes, he was still waiting, so he canceled the order and walked out so as to get to his next meeting on time. Despite the poor service, he decided not to file a complaint.”

The sad thing for this poor cafe worker is that nothing would have happened to him had The Hill not reported on the incident. You know those gossip column items like this one came from a Capitol Hill staffer who witnessed the incident. It is unlikely the cafe worker took the time to call up the newspaper himself and tell on Souder. I can only imagine the phone call which took place between the worker's boss and Congressman Souder's office following the publication of the sandwich incident.


Anonymous said...

Now, are we talking about toasted as in "on toast"?

Because where I come from toasted and grilled are synonymous. I think "grilled cheese" is more commonly used (here anyway), however, "toasted cheese" means the same thing in my world. Or is "toasted" something you make in a toaster oven (an appliance, which, I have to say, I don't totally understand).

We also had "toasted PB&J" by the way. You make the sandwich then fry in in the skillet in butter like a toasted (grilled) cheese, and all the peanut butter melts. Mmmmmm.

I don't want to question The Hill's journalism, but I think these are facts we need to know!

Anonymous said...

I have interacted with Souder multiple times. He's not going to be attending any Mensa meetings. And I detest his politics.

But I don't think he has it in him, to insist on a cafeteria worker's firing over this incident.

No one is that mean.

Well, Cruella DeVille maybe...Souder is a goof, but he's not this kind of vindictive.

I'm hoping no one is.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Grilled means the bread is heated on the grill. Toasted means the bread is toasted in an oven. If it's grilled, it picks up other food flavors from the grill, right?

Anonymous said...

I'm chuckling thinking about an ancient joke my dad used to tell about a sandwich "cut up not toasted" and also had the phrase "shoulda had it toasted" in it.

I know none of that made sense, but the joke has to do with acronyms and name calling...

Anonymous said...

I feel really bad my family has been misuing the term "toasted" all these years...

On the other hand, nice to hear the guy got his job back.

Anonymous said...

You don't think Mr Buyer is arrogant and mean enough to have a low-level guy like this fired? Have you met him?

I once watched him berate an auditorium full of 7-12th graders because they didn't participate enough in the flag ceremony before he spoke. This in front of their VOTING teachers... and to his hometown school.

No idea how Souder performs, but one can imagine that power gets its way. I'd also leave after such an incident... and like Souder would never ask for the employee to even be disciplined.

Zappatista said...

I grew up in Souders district, ugh child hood....anyways he and the religious right stroke each other, so it begs the question does he follow what he preaches? You know the whole treat others as you would want to be treated.

Anonymous said...

As a past customer of the House side cafeterias I must point out that a favorite feature at the deli locations is turkey pastrami. They also feature traditional pastrami. Not saying that the meat was the source of the conflict, but just that's it's not as clear cut as the article makes it seem. Back to important stuff.

Anonymous said...

Souder is a bully and should be ashamed. If the voters dont dump him this time, it is a shame.