2005-12-16 / On Second Thought

Ron’s arrest becomes a PR crisis

It’s 1:30 in the morning. After a long, busy day, Wendy’s is closing up for the night. All the tables and chairs are wiped clean, the floors are swabbed down and fingerprints polished off all the glass.

Ron, a counterman, goes to the safe where the manager has just finished preparing the bank deposit. Ron sets aside a small stack of bills, then secretively slips the money into his apron pocket.

What Ron doesn’t realize is that Aaron, Wendy’s manager, has been watching him and witnessed the theft.   Aaron calls the police who arrive a short time later. He always encourages a prompt response by offering the cops a bag of leftover burgers to take back to headquarters for a late night snack — a free gift from Wendy’s.

After Aaron talks with the two cops, and at the urging of the manager, Ron hands over his apron. One pocket in the apron contains money taken from the safe. Aaron counts it out — $120 in 10s and 20s. That amount balances with what’s now missing from the safe.

Ron is arrested on the spot and charged with larceny. He’s handcuffed, put in the cage unit in the back of a patrol car, then whisked away to headquarters. Aaron closes up the restaurant, then follows in his car. During the booking process, Aaron talks with two detectives about the case.

Aaron tells the cops he’s worried about the potential for negative publicity. The detectives ask him to explain.

Aaron says Ron was hired several months ago by Wendy’s even though they had some concern about his name.

“What’s his name got to do with anything?” one of the cops asks.

“His full name is Ronald MacDonald,” Aaron replies. But I promise you, he’s not related to the clown, Ronald McDonald — the guy who works for you–know–who.


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