Why These Texas Chipotle Employees Reached Their Limit And Quit

There have probably been times in all our professional lives where the day has gotten so out of control, the work feeling so unmanageable, that we want to walk out of the door right then and there and never come back. For a lot of people, this may just be a dream that helps you get through the week. But at a Chipotle based in Austin, Texas this is exactly what five workers did.

It was reported through Insider this week that the group of workers turned in their name tags and uniforms at the end of their shift one day after the store got out of hand. According to the report, the working conditions were no longer manageable and many of the workers who quit felt like it was their only option. Of all the employees that quit, who ranged in roles from line workers to the general manager, there was one common symptom: overwork.

Understaffed and overwhelmed

According to the report by Insider, the ex-general manager of the Chipotle location, Peter Guerra, explained, "My store was severely understaffed. We struggled just to keep our heads above water." He and the other employees that left could barely keep up with the onslaught of orders. He said was often scheduled to work 80 hours a week and didn't feel like there was enough support from upper management in the tough conditions. "I thought, 'this is literally going to kill me if I keep it up,'" Guerra added.

One of the big issues was the stream of online orders coming in while also trying to manage the in-person customers. The pressure to maximize the number of customers served while having minimal employees to help was too much. The store's kitchen manager also quit after working a 16-hour shift and feeling – in his words – "stretched infinitely too thin." The employees' decision not to return briefly forced their location to shut its doors.

This isn't the first Chipotle restaurant where employees became fed up this year. As Newsweek reported in early November, a Kentucky location saw half its staff leave, forcing a temporary closure. One person describing themselves as a former service manager, Sidney Plogsted, cited intolerable treatment by customers. Plogsted said in a Facebook post that the Chipotle workers were "threatened, had food thrown at us, and [were] called degrading and dehumanizing things over something as simple as a messed up order." Clearly, some people have had enough.