The Surprising Reason This Subway Employee Got Suspended After Fighting Off A Robber

In a story that may leave people scratching their heads, after fighting off a robber a Subway employee has been suspended for ... reasons. "They did not want anyone to know, they wanted to be private that it happened to me and that I fought back, but I think they did that because they do not want corporate to know," Araceli Sotelo told WTVO

This, it should be noted, was after Sotelo drove an armed robber from the premises, saving the store but losing her purse and breaking her phone. No one is sure how the surveillance footage of her confronting the robber got onto Facebook, but her courage quickly received acclaim from viewers. In a text conversation shared with WTVO, Sotelo's manager explained that her suspension will last for as long as there are videos online. In other words, indefinitely. 

The strangeness of this response by the franchise owner is arguably twofold. First, they've probably ensured the video will spread further by adding this extra hook to the story. Second, if they are afraid of corporate finding out, it's already happened. Carsen Anderson, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications at Subway, gave a statement to the Daily Dot that expressed concern over the incident and a request for patience as the franchise works with the police. 

The bigger picture

Perhaps one of the biggest questions about this Subway location's response was indirectly raised by Araceli Sotelo. How would the widely circulated videos be removed? As Sotelo pointed out to WTVO, "I have no ability to do that." Unfortunately, it seems she also has no ability to make that case to the owner, who refused to answer her calls.

The suspension of a worker who risked her life for a Subway restaurant might make a little more sense when you consider how some franchise owners characterize the relationship between the franchisees and the franchisor. QSR Web noted that letters from a couple of hundred franchisees stating that they were unhappy with how things were being run and describing it as "a nightmare" to own a Subway. And one anonymous owner suggested a dysfunctional dynamic was at play: "As a franchisee, it feels as though Subway corporate is working against us every day. Personally, I think they want us to fail."

We can't speak to whether the owner of  Sotelo's Subway is fearful of corporate's reaction or exactly how that would factor into her suspension, but if fear is a factor, it could shed some light on why the location would be so desperate to keep corporate in the dark about the daylight robbery.