The McDonald's Manager Who Dealt With Epic Employee Meltdown Has Been Fired

The struggle is real
The struggle is real
Brandon Robertson's Facebook

On Saturday night Brandon Robertson was faced with a full-blown crisis just 15 minutes into his shift as the overnight manager of the Midway McDonald's in St. Paul.

One of his employees, a 17-year-old who Robertson says had been recently kicked out of his house by his mom, launched into a furious tantrum, smashing and shouting his way to viral stardom. See also: Watch a St. Paul McDonald's Employee Have an Epic Meltdown After Getting Fired

When a cell phone video of the incident was posted yesterday we watched, laughing, or at least morbidly fascinated, as the employee rampaged around unhinged. Robertson did his best to calm the employee, shepherding him toward the door and pointing to the exit, saying, "you need to leave."

"I tried to secure the place," says Robertson. "I couldn't tackle him or put my hands on him. He's a minor. So I did the best I could to settle him down and get him out of there."

McDonald's management disagreed, and Robertson was fired yesterday.

"[Management] felt like I didn't have control of the store," says Robertson. "This story is worldwide now and they're looking at it like if I did something to solve it before it got all over the world they wouldn't be getting all of this attention now. They don't want all of this attention, and they're blaming me."

Franchise owner Courtney Henry issued a statement yesterday, but his spokesman said last night he would not comment further. The statement reads:

"We regret the personal dispute that unfolded in our restaurant between two of our employees. The conduct shown in the video is unacceptable and we have taken appropriate action. The well-being of our customers and employees remains McDonald's top priority, and we apologize to our customers who were in the restaurant at that time."

UPDATE 12:35 PM: Henry issued another statement this afternoon:

"We regret the unacceptable employee outburst that happened in our restaurant Saturday and has gone viral leading to much speculation and inaccurate claims. While it is inappropriate to publicly discuss personnel matters, rest assured that we took the appropriate action to address the entire matter and not just what was seen on video.

The well-being and safety of our customers and employees remains our top priority, and we apologize to our customers who were in the restaurant at that time. As this is a personnel matter, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further. I am proud of our role in the community as an employer and neighbor, and the opportunities we provide."

Robertson said he had to close the 24-hour store for a half-hour after the tantrum to clean up the mess and painstakingly scrub everything to avoid cross contamination.

"It was just terrible. The whole night was terrible. Then afterward everybody is coming through the drive-thru saying, 'Oohh you guys are gonna make World Star!'"

Robertson still isn't sure what set off his employee. The dispute originally began over a request the employee made to clock out early. Robertson said he told him that was fine, so the meltdown was confusing.

Robertson speculates the employee might've been putting on a show for his friends, who filmed the ordeal, or he might've just reached a boiling point over troubles at home.

Regardless, Robertson, who spent more than four years working for McDonald's, is now looking for a new job to supplement a part-time gig he has at SuperAmerica. He's worried about how the viral video will affect potential employers' perception of him.

"My face is everywhere now. Who's going to hire me? Nobody," he says. "I was doing my job, but I only make $11.75 an hour. Come on now. What was I supposed to do?"

Send news tips to Ben Johnson.

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