Can I Refuse Bible Tracts from Customers?
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29-03-2015, 06:48 AM
Can I Refuse Bible Tracts from Customers?
I've been working at McDonalds since April 2010. I usually take orders on front counter or in the drive-through. Every few weeks or so, I get a customer who insists I take a bible tract. I swear they act like they're giving me a ten dollar tip or something. >/ So for four years, I reluctantly accepted the tract with a curt "thanks, I guess" and ripped it to shreds as soon as the customer's back is turned.

Having been viciously bullied to the point of contemplating suicide by evangelical Christians as a kid (that's another story for another thread), I have issues with this sort of thing. My dad says I'm handed tracts because I'm a 'captive audience'. Well, I really want to say "no thank you" to proselytizing Christians and get back to my job before I relive things Sigmund Freud wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. But I don't know what my legal rights are. Can I politely decline a tract without getting fired?

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29-03-2015, 06:57 AM
RE: Can I Refuse Bible Tracts from Customers?
IMHO.....
Since it is a a business environment, what does your boss/manager say about it? I would ask them first.
But until then, I would keep doing what you're doing. Might not be a great situation to be in, but again, it's a work environment, so I'd say you're being professional about it. Take the tract, say thanks, move on to the next customer. If at any point the person wants to talk to you about it, you can remind them you don't have the time because you have a job to do. If they then catch you when you leave work to talk to you about it, then you can let your real opinions be known. Wink

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29-03-2015, 07:13 AM
RE: Can I Refuse Bible Tracts from Customers?
I agree with LostLocke. Take the stupid things and toss them in the trash.

My first inclination was to suggest you take it with a smile and an enthusiastic "Thank you!" and toss it in the trash immediately, so they can see you doing it. Your boss cannot legally fire you for refusing to accept the tract, or for accepting it and throwing it away.

However, if your boss is a religious bigot he could easily find another excuse to fire you, and you could never prove in court that you'd been fired for refusing a religious tract. So if you want to keep the job, it would probably be best to take LostLocke's advice. Unless you can find out what your boss's feelings are on the subject. A lot of religious bigots and moderate believers object to being offered tracts by people of other religions than their own, so your boss might have no problem with my first idea above.

Whatever you do, however, be polite and smile. No boss wants you being rude to customers.

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29-03-2015, 07:17 AM
RE: Can I Refuse Bible Tracts from Customers?
Tell Ronald. He can harass them. Everyone is scared of clowns. In all seriousness though, I would talk to your boss about it. Just say it made you uncomfortable and you would like some guidence on what to do. You don't have to bring your beliefs up or anything. Even if your boss is a hardcore fundie I bet they wouldn't like a JW harassing them at work. I think it also depends on the state you live in whether they can fire you for no reason. Correct me if I am wrong.

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29-03-2015, 07:19 AM
RE: Can I Refuse Bible Tracts from Customers?
I agree you should check with the manager or company policy first but maybe you could refuse it with something like "Thanks, but I already know about it" or "Thanks, but don't waste that on me" or something else that the giver can take however they want to.

On the other hand, you taking it and throwing it away keeps it out of the hand of somebody who may be more gullible so that's a small positive.

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29-03-2015, 07:23 AM
RE: Can I Refuse Bible Tracts from Customers?
A simple "No, thank you" should be fine. It has nothing to do with you job.

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29-03-2015, 07:33 AM (This post was last modified: 29-03-2015 07:58 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Can I Refuse Bible Tracts from Customers?
(29-03-2015 07:23 AM)Chas Wrote:  A simple "No, thank you" should be fine. It has nothing to do with you job.

It's a power game, used by the powerless. An attempt to intimidate you, by leveraging their position as a customer, (who "is always right"). That's why it so disturbing/annoying. They're telling the McD worker they "know better" and have "the answer for them", and are morally superior. The "inappropriate advance" (and yes it is one), should be dismissed with equal power. Not only, "No thank you", but also an additional, "Now was there anything else you were going to order ?", (put the subject back to work, and why both you and they are there). When the answer is "no", get busy with someone/something else. Change the subject, and let them know who's in charge of your time at work.

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29-03-2015, 07:48 AM
RE: Can I Refuse Bible Tracts from Customers?
I live in Pensacola, Florida.

A few coworkers (including two managers) know I'm an atheist because a couple of years ago, proselytizing coworkers kept asking what religion I belonged to because I don't wear a cross around my neck. They proceeded to make me their project before they moved on (high turnover rate and whatnot). The managers who know are ok with it. I know at least one of the two is an atheist himself, and he handles tracts by shredding them in front of the customer. I can't speak for everyone else though. The manager who shredded the tracts obviously wasn't fired, but I'm not a manager.

If either of those two managers are on duty, I may try saying "no thank you" to the customer and see what happens. I'll ask the other managers what they think about it.
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29-03-2015, 07:52 AM
RE: Can I Refuse Bible Tracts from Customers?
I agree it's enfuriating because it's this kind of power play mentioned above where they show their superiority to someone who, as an employee on the job, is in a vulnerable position and not free to react. It tells you a lot about the mentality of these people.

It's possible that at the end of the day the managers simply want you to play nice and enthusiastic in front of the customers in order to make the maximum number of customers feel welcome, for profit.
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29-03-2015, 07:53 AM
Can I Refuse Bible Tracts from Customers?
I'm finding the thought of this very irritating just reading about it. It's not so much of a problem in the UK.

I agree with the advice about safegarding your job but refusing this sort of nonsense should not be subject to any employment conditions. Perhaps print a pile of notes with a pertinent Dawkins or Hitchens quote so you can take their scripture with a smile and politely hand them yours, something like “We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.” 

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