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Olive Garden manager fired after time-off tirade: ‘If your dog died ... prove it to us’

In the over-300-word rant, the now-former manager tells staff, "We are no longer tolerating ANY excuse for calling off."

The manager of an Olive Garden who gave workers an ultimatum over their employment is now out of a job.

On Dec. 6, KCTV5 published the contents of a tersely worded letter sent to staff from a manager at an Olive Garden in Overland Park, Kansas. A spokesperson for Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden, confirms to that the manager who penned the note is no longer with the company.

In the rant, the manager, whose identity has not been confirmed, laments that employees have been taking too much time off and sets some new ground rules.

Signage outside an Olive Garden restaurant.
Signage outside an Olive Garden restaurant.Getty Images

“Our call offs are occurring at a staggering rate. From now on, if you call off, you might as well go out and look for another job,” reads the letter. "We are no longer tolerating ANY excuse for calling off. If you’re sick, you need to come prove it to us. If your dog died, you need to bring him in and prove it to us. If its a 'family emergency' and you can’t say, too bad. Go work somewhere else."

In the over-300-word tirade, the manager tells staff to “go work at a bank” if they only want to work morning shifts.

They go on to talk about their own track record, including times they’ve come to work managing a restaurant while actively sick.

“If anyone from here on out calls out more than ONCE in the next 30 days you will not have a job. Do you know in my 11.5 years at Darden how many days I called off? Zero. I came in sick,” reads the note. “I got in a wreck literally on my [way] to work one time, airbags went off and my car was totaled, but you know what, I made it to work, ON TIME! There are no more excuses.”

Speaking for the management team “collectively,” the manager had more unfriendly words to share, including asking for “no more complainging [sic]” about being able to leave early, reminding wait staff that they’re “in the restaurant business.”

“Do you think I want to be here until midnight on Friday and Saturday? No,” reads the letter. “I’d much rather be at home with my husband and dog, going to the movies or seeing family. But I don’t, I’m dedicated to being here. As should you. No more excuses or complaints.”

The manager closes the treatise by sharing that they hope workers “choose to” continue to work at the Olive Garden location and that they think “we (management) make it as easy as we can on ya’ll [sic],” thanking workers who are punctual and hardworking.

“I wish there were more like you,” concludes the letter.

In an emailed statement to, a Darden spokesperson said, “We strive to provide a caring and respectful work environment for our team members. This message is not aligned with our company’s values."