Tim Horton's Fires Single Mom For Giving A Free Donut Hole To A Baby

We pause this blog to bring you a message from Canada: A single mother has been fired by the iconic Canadian donut chain Tim Horton’s for giving a free donut hole to a fussy baby. The chain said the worker was caught on video “stealing” the donut hole, which, in the mysterious Canadian language, is apparently called a “Timbit” and looks freaking delicious. Reader Chris, who alerted us to this story, explains: “It’s important to understand that Tim Horton’s is a Canadian national icon. That makes this story so much sadder.”

From the Toronto Star:

Nicole Lilliman, 27, was fired yesterday from her Tim Hortons job for giving one of the 16-cent blobs of fried dough to a tot.

“I have been fired for giving a baby a Timbit,” Lilliman said yesterday.

“It was just out of my heart – she was pointing and going `ah, ah…’ I should have gone to my purse and got the change, but it was busy.”

Lilliman, who has worked at the store for three years, said she thought little of the incident since Timbits are often doled out to dogs and children.

She said the baby was about 11 months old, and she gave her the treat to quiet her, since her mom – a Tims’ regular – had been “having a bad day.”

“I could see (the dismissal) if it was a sandwich or something,” she said. “But it was a Timbit.”

Three managers greeted her yesterday, saying she had been caught on video giving free food to a child.

“They said, `Remember, Monday you gave out a free Timbit,’ ” she said.

“I had to think, then I was like, `Oh yeah,’ and I smiled because I thought I’d get a warning.”

Instead, she was fired for theft.

That’s harsh, Tim Horton’s. Very harsh.

Tim Hortons fires single mom over free Timbit [Toronto Star]

(Photo: FlyGuy92586 )

UPDATE: Hey, she’s been rehired!“We’re working with the store owner on this policy,” said a Tim Horton’s spokesperson, calling Lilliman’s firing “an overreaction and not appropriate.”

Comments

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  1. homerjay says:

    See??? Its not just us, America!
    Phew!

  2. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    They give free donut holes to dogs?

  3. statnut says:

    There’s got to be something else at play here. What store would be stupid enough to fire someone for giving a 16 cent freebie to a regular customer?

  4. attheotherbeach says:

    It’s the baby’s fault for going to Tim Hortons! Little tyke wasn’t taking it seriously!!

  5. MPHinPgh says:

    Wow…that’s cold.

    So, who’s going to be the first to “blame the victim”?

  6. Daemon_of_Waffle says:

    I blame the victim.

  7. attheotherbeach says:

    I beat you to it!

  8. Bladefist says:

    does “single mom” make this story worse? i smell mongering.

  9. farmerjoe says:

    Absurd. I regularly get ‘extra’ Timbits with my orders out of the generosity and seeming discretion, of Tim’s employees. It was probably a store owner with a grudge. Hopefully this will raise some hairs at corporate.

  10. bohemian says:

    So if it is a well known act to give a single donut hole to a dog or a kid, why did they fire her?

    I’m guessing there may have been some pin headed boss behavior in play and someone was just looking for a reason to fire her.

  11. Bladefist says:

    I’m wondering if they wanted to fire her for something else, perhaps attitude, work performance, etc, but needed an offense that could be proven, to protect them from law suits. Then this happened, and it was all they needed.

  12. buzzybee says:

    The principle: if you don’t own it, it isn’t yours to give away. If she didn’t have permission to give away free product, she clearly violated policy.

    They had justification to fire her and show other employees that employee theft is not tolerated. Just as I would fire any of my employees caught stealing from my company.

  13. Rupan says:

    We have Tim Hortons here in the Detroit area. I don’t go there too often but those Timbits are good.

    This story though is just silly. Why couldn’t they just ask her to pay for it? Is firing someone over .16 cents that common? There must be something else going on with her performance. This doesn’t make any sense otherwise.

    • Anonymous says:

      The management of Tim Horton’s locations is comprised of high-school dropouts and housewives. This incident is a reflection of that. The coffee and food are consistent from one place to another, but the management and workers are lowest common denominator. Unskilled. Tim’s needs to take a look at McDonald’s approach to hiring and training their management people. Maybe this would lead to fewer of these types of incidents.

  14. B says:

    I blame the timbit for being so delicious. If they didn’t taste so good, the baby wouldn’t have thrown a fit, and the employee wouldn’t have had to steal one to placate the toddler.

  15. mgy says:

    This is similar to what happened to my brother about 10 years ago at Target. It was his first job, so he was pretty enthusiastic and well-intentioned. A lot of new Target employees are forced to work the food court area before they “move on up the chain”, so that’s where he was. Anyways, whenever they had extra cookies left over at close, they were instructed to throw all of them away. He always did this, but if there were chunks of crumbs left over in the display case (like from M&M cookies..mmmm) he would just pop them in his mouth and think nothing of it.

    Fast forward a few months. He got to work and was pulled upstairs with the security officer and two managers who accused him of stealing somewhere along the lines of $2000 worth of cookies over the course of several months and said they had video evidence and were moving forward with prosecution unless he signed some forms, got fired, yadda yadda yadda.

    My brother, who was 16, was obviously not prepared to handle this, was in tears, didn’t know what he had done wrong, etc. My mom worked in the Prosecutor’s Office for my county helping to track down deadbeat dads, and luckily, was good friends with the prosecutor/several other attorneys who offered to make up some legal documents challenging target’s claim, threatening to sue, and all of that.

    Eventually, everyone involved met together where the Target district manager accused my brother of being a pussy and a little rich boy (for knowing a lawyer – my mother and step father didn’t make very much money and never went to college), amongst other things. My brother quit and is still banned from all Target stores.

    I’m still trying to decide if the managers of these two establishments have no heart or no brain. I’ll get back to you on it.

  16. SkokieGuy says:

    Does this manager have the unhinged head thing like the Canadian baby on Southpark?

  17. buzzybee says:

    @Bladefist: It’s highly likely that they were looking for reasonable cause to fire her. Especially with multiple witnesses there to convey the termination message.

    In sort, she probably wasn’t the best employee to keep around.

  18. nikkomorocco says:

    @SkokieGuy: i’m not your buddy guy!

  19. Daniels says:

    The principle: if you don’t own it, it isn’t yours to give away. If she didn’t have permission to give away free product, she clearly violated policy.

    Then charge her sixteen cents and tell her not to do it again. She didn’t give away an HDTV.

  20. drzombie says:

    I’m from London and would really like it if someone could find the address or at least the general location of this Tim Horton’s.

  21. katylostherart says:

    @buzzybee: actually if a food joint is looking for reasons to fire an employee the employee is usually great. if the employee’s crap at their job, late all the time, steals regularly, mouths off to customers and generally is an ass you don’t need to look for reasons to fire her. if you need to search for valid reasons to fire someone it’s because they aren’t giving you any and you just have the crosshairs on them for whatever reason. managers find stupid reasons to fire perfectly good employees all the time just because they don’t like them.

  22. nikkomorocco says:

    @buzzybee: you’re probably not liked very much by your employees.

  23. madrigal says:

    My friend once worked at a Winn-Dixie. They have those stupid reward cards you scan so you can get the sale price of items. Someone came through the checkout and didn’t have one, so he scanned his own. He got fired for it.

  24. in2insight says:

    Wow, that is harsh.
    Maybe we are missing some details?

    Customer service can be emailed at:
    customer_service@timhortons.com

  25. laserjobs says:

    When I think “27 year old Single Mom”, I don’t think timbits. Lapdance maybe but timbits, no.

  26. buzzybee says:

    @nikkomorocco: I’ll ask them today. :-)

  27. MadelineGauzer says:

    Comment on Tim Horton’s Fires Single Mom For Giving A Free Donut Hole To A Baby She got her job back and Tim Horton’s apologized about their
    overzealous manager.

    http://news.therecord.com/News/BreakingNews/article/347363

  28. VnlaThndr775 says:

    They already rehired her: [www.thestar.com]

  29. MPHinPgh says:

    @mgy: I’m still trying to decide if the managers of these two establishments have no heart or no brain. I’ll get back to you on it.

    If it ever makes it to a vote, I’ll choose C: all of the above

  30. @VnlaThndr775: aha so it does look like a single store manager/owner was a spaz! thanks for the link.

  31. Eilonwynn says:

    I worked at a timmies for one ill advised time in my life – the last shift, they had no drinkable water, but a) kept the store open and b) made me carry boiling pots of water across the store in order to fill the coffee makers. The management at these are generally the very lowest form of scum. Horseshit they give away dayold timbits – they make you COUNT the timbits and then throw them out – and they absolutely refuse to donate them to charity. One night we threw away 12 dozen apple fritters, that i’m sure some group would have been happy to have.

    Yup, i’m still bitter.

  32. drzombie says:

    @in2insight:

    That won’t really accomplish much. Tried emailing them once when they stopped doing “roll up the rim to win” on small coffees, still waiting for my response

  33. chartrule says:

    its good that she was rehired

    strange that she would be fired in the first place for something timmy’s does on a regular basis

  34. matt1978 says:

    @buzzybee: If you were going to fire someone over a .16 donut hole, then I’m sure they’d be really forthcoming on if they liked you or not. Good luck on getting the truth, tightwad!

  35. AlexDitto says:

    @buzzybee: That’s a great way to never get any customer loyalty, ever. The way you keep customers coming back is by at least pretending you have a heart, that you care about them. A 16 cent item for free probably made that mother a lot happier. Maybe she’ll buy a donut with her coffee next time, and you’ll recoup the 16 cents. Maybe she’ll buy three dozen donuts from you next time she runs a bake sale, and you’ll make it back in spades.

    The point I’m trying to make is that being a hard-ass and always watching your bottom lines and cutting corners is not the way people should run their businesses.

    It’s not like she was eating them herself, which I would see as a much more serious offense. She’s being a good employee and providing good customer service.

    People like you are why half the stories on this blog come up, because business owners have all lost their souls.

  36. AlexTNOA says:

    That didn’t take long:

    [www.thestar.com]

  37. chrisjames says:

    @Bladefist: I figured that since they were watching closely enough to catch a little incident like this, and she admits that stuff is given away all the time, that they were cracking down on employees giving away free food. Maybe they had already given a warning to her, another employee, or everyone.

    But damn. Even if they had plenty of reasons to fire her, it seems so sneaky to call her out on 16 cents. There’s just so much dishonesty surrounding this incident.

  38. B1663R says:

    @farmerjoe: i agree! they never count timbits where i live. if you ask for a snack pack of 20 there is usually 25 or so.

    btw the free timbits they give to dogs and kids are day olds that were destin for the dumpster

    hey, is this a scam to flush out canadian commenters?

  39. kyle4 says:

    @AlexTNOA: Meg, would you be able to update the story with this? She was rehired the next day at a different location.

  40. Bladefist says:

    @chrisjames: Ya I agree. There is often a lack of information. I don’t think a company would terminate someone over .16. She could claim unemployment and they would have to pay her for however many months.

    It would be cheaper just to part time her out and let her sit on her ass. There is more to this story.

  41. courtarro says:

    @homerjay: for the record, Canada is part of America :D

  42. bonzombiekitty says:

    I’m with those who are thinking that there were probably other issues at play and management needed a solid, verifiable reason to fire her. I’ve heard a lot of stories like that. An employee for some reason earns the ire of management, either legitimately or not. Management for one reason or another cannot fire the employee and looks for something they can prove (no matter how small of an action) as grounds for termination.

  43. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Why couldn’t they just ask her to pay for it?
    @Rupan: That was the first thing I thought.

    They had justification to fire her and show other employees that employee theft is not tolerated.
    @buzzybee: Wouldn’t it make more sense to just fire those employees who also give away food if theft is not tolerated? Why make an example out of just her? If the penalty for giving away food is termination shouldn’t that be the case for everyone who does it?

  44. Roxie says:

    Wow, harsh. I have to wonder what else was going on here. Aside from the other folks here talking about how it’s possible this employee wasn’t the best one around and Management just needed a reason–any legit reason–to fire her, I have to wonder what else was going on here with the order itself. At Dunkin Donuts here in Chicago, anyway, if you order less than a dozen Munchkins–say, three of them–the people behind the counter will usually just give you a handful. They aren’t going to count how many they actually give you. But they aren’t going to just give you one if you didn’t order any to begin with. In the case of what happened at Tim Horton’s, well…if the mother of the fussy baby never ordered any Timbits to begin with, maybe that made all the difference? But it’s still pretty dumb, firing someone over a 16 cent blob of dough. Jeez…. :(

  45. heyimbobo says:

    Good news! She was rehired.

    Tim Hortons rehires Timbit donor

    [www.thestar.com]

    Sheesh — sounds like the manager that fired her was from the U.S.

  46. armour says:

    [www.thestar.com]

    she was given the Job back at another location with the same franchise owner as she didn;t feel comfortable working at the same location and they are paying her for any loss time.

  47. picardia says:

    @Bladefist: Yes, there’s NO WAY an employer could ever be an asshole! And yes, you’re right to be wary of single mothers — God knows nobody has more reason to slack off and risk getting fired than somebody who is supporting a kid on her own. You’re SUPER SMART.

  48. iliveinyoureyelid says:

    I think what many of you don’t realize is that theft under a dollar is a felony in Canada. She’s lucky they didn’t prosecute her it carries a punishment of up to a decade in prison or a poutine enema.

  49. juiceboxonfire says:

    Great. Now I want a donut for breakfast. Thanks Consumerist.

  50. kallawm says:

    I hope that manager got spanked BIG TIME. He potentially caused a lot of PR damage over a 0.16 Timbit.

    @buzzybee: Guess I should have been fired long ago. I give clients post-its and paperclips and copies that don’t belong to me ALL THE TIME. I’m pretty sure if I refused, that would be MORE grounds for me being fired. We’ll be watching for when your business goes down in flames.

  51. Megatenist says:

    @VnlaThndr775

    It’s great she got her job back, plus at a different location,no less.

    Those Timbits must be pretty good if you can get fired for giving a baby one.

    And I thought people getting worked about Krispy Kreme was bad…

  52. Concerned_Citizen says:

    Too bad. Does she think this is the only store that has strict policies? I know people who work at other types of stores with very similar policies. It’s a rule that is easy to follow. Don’t give out anything free.

  53. Firing her was probably an overreaction. However, where do you draw the line?

    If someone’s a really good employee and really needs the money, and they steal a CD from Best Buy where they work, should they be fired? Yeah. So where’s the line?

  54. LucyInTheSky says:

    why didn’t they just ask her for the 16 cents?

  55. Kajj says:

    @laserjobs: Wait, what the hell? You’re saying you think of all single moms as strippers? What the fuck is wrong with you?

  56. shanecrow99 says:

    @Bladefist:

    Claim unemployment? I don’t know how they run things in Canada but in the US if you are fired for stealing from a company then you don’t get unemployment, period.

  57. ChicagoAndy says:

    She’s been rehired, the next day – by the same franchise owner. Owner called it an over-reaction by a manager. She’s been paid any missing wages.

    [www.thestar.com]

  58. hi says:

    @nikkomorocco: I’m not your guy friend!

  59. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @buzzybee: Ya that goes over well with consumers. She was just doing good customer service, too bad you and the idiot boss didn’t see that.

  60. RookOmega says:

    @ Hi
    I’m not your friend buddy!

  61. I’m sorry, Canada has national icons other than the maple leaf and Wayne Gretzky?

  62. bms says:

    Zero tolerance!

  63. lizk says:

    She’s been REHIRED?? Why on Earth would she want to work there again?

  64. quagmire0 says:

    1. Don’t stuff a donut hole in a kid’s mouth to keep him/her quiet, what a bad example that is.

    2. There’s obviously more to this story than one person giving a donut hole away. I feel bad for Horton’s though, as this is a real black eye for their PR.

  65. diddy0071 says:

    I would say FUCCCKK you, not take the job back. That’s pathetic. Fuck them.

  66. BrianU says:

    The manager should have had a police officer there when he fired here. So when she showed signs of being upset the cop would have justifiable cause to use his Taser on her “to control the situation” and protect himself from possible harm from an accused criminal “acting aggressively.” If the Taser and the usual multiple further shocks given because they either move, or don’t/can’t move from the effects ( officer’s discretion ) didn’t kill her, then a good beat-down with his nightstick would be in order. Obviously Canadians aren’t as serious about crime as us Americans.

  67. mariospants says:

    I blame Wendy’s. Tim Hortons would never have been like this before the take-over and subsequent ipo.

  68. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @InfiniTrent: She didn’t steal, it’s called customer service. She didn’t take anything for herself. Good Customer Service in this situation means that mom says hey I got great CS from this store, it helped quit my kid down, reducing my stress, now I’m going to talk to all my friends about my experience. = More money. Not a hard concept to follow. Well maybe for some people.

  69. AlmaEquiette says:

    Comment on Tim Horton’s Fires Single Mom For Giving A Free Donut Hole To A Baby You should know that this woman has since been rehired.

    http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/422936

  70. balthisar says:

    Guys, we’re losing sight of the scope of the crime, here. Remember, to you and me, it’s only 16 cents, but don’t forget that these are Canadian cents; the extent of this crime is much worse. We’re talking the equivilent of US$0.20 here!

  71. ShirtGuyDom says:

    Those donut holes add up! If they start giving out free donut holes to every whiny baby that comes strolling in, they’ll go out of business in a week!

    Oh, right, I forgot, no sarcasm. Yeah, this is pretty dumb.

  72. stupidjerk says:

    @buzzybee: you are a sad example of a human being. Tim Horton’s has made a sad example of how to treat its customers and has since changed its stance on the corporate level.

    Hopefully the manager that pulled the trigger on her will be disciplined for jumping to such a harsh punishment.

    Would you recommend firing an employee for dropping a ‘timbit’ on the floor, thus rendering it unsafe to consume? it’s not theft, but it costs the company the sale of a ‘timbit’.

  73. hexychick says:

    @buzzybee: Read the re-hire article on the star that people have linked. It says right on there that have no policy against this.

    @queenlizzie: They called her within hours and hired her back at a different location the very next day and are paying her the lost wages for the time off. I’d say that’s pretty awesome management.

  74. weakdome says:

    @laserjobs: 27-year-old single mom makes me think lapdance, too.
    “27yr-old single mom OF FOUR” makes me think… you can keep that lapdance :)

  75. macinjosh says:

    @buzzybee: Or they could have just docked the 16¢ from her paycheck….or someone’s couch cushion.

    I wonder if it’s coincidence that “Canadian Idiot” started playing while typing this.

  76. @buzzybee:

    You don’t have a company. If you did, you would run it into the ground.

  77. Parting says:

    Probably her manager hates her, and jumped to the first occasion to fire her on any pretext.

    Corporate, then kicked his ass, and said that he had to re-hire her(or lose HIS/HER job).

    Thankfully, Tim Hortons corporate seems knows a lot about good PR. Most of Tim Horton’s profits are based on the affection Canadians have to this chain, and bad PR would be disastrous.

  78. bbagdan says:

    There was definitely something more going on. Tim Hortons is desperate to attract and retain employees, and even gives iPods to new hires. There is no way with the tight labor market in Canada that a company would fire someone over this, particularly when there is the potential for bad publicity.

  79. no.no.notorious says:

    @buzzybee: over a donut hole? so how about firing everyone who surfs the net during company time, or construction workers who take a 5 minute water break while still on the clock? it’s nickels and dimes. sure they add up, but it’s still a fraction of profits these companies are making. especially food chains, who have a 2-3x mark up on everything.

  80. Jmatthew says:

    Let’s talk about bad managers!

    When I worked at wal-mart we had a new assistant manager transfer into our store. He decided we didn’t work hard enough, so come the end of our shift he told us to clock out, then come back, because we were gonig to clean the store off the clock until it was spotless to teach us to work harder during our actual shifts.

    Since I was a college student who didn’t actually need the money I told him to go stuff himself and went home. The next day the actual store manager called me and apologized and let me know the new assistant had been severly reprimanded (I thought he should have been fired, but hey, who was I?).

    I was kind of worried about working under him again, but he seemed more scared of me than I was of him (not used to being stood up to I guess?) so it all worked out okay.

  81. t325 says:

    @RookOmega: I’m not your buddy guy!

    These timbits sound good, it makes me want to hop on a plane bound for somewhere in Canada.

  82. timmus says:

    Well this is not Tim Hortons’ fault — it’s the fault of asshole managers. I would still eat at other Tim Hortons stores unless the corporate culture is so oppressive that it causes the managers to act like this.

  83. camille_javal says:

    @InfiniTrent: Lord, a slippery slope argument.

    In addition to the fact that it wasn’t her chowing down on Timbits, but her engaging in customer service, most people have an instinct as to where to draw the line. I’m pretty sure that line is somewhere above $.16.

    @balthisar: As of today, CA$0.16 = US$0.157889, according to XE.

  84. tweaked says:

    this is funny, i was just talking to my grandpa last week about this – it was always store policy to hand out free plain timbits to dogs, up until very recently. he always went to timmy’s with his dog and friends from the dog park and they would get one with their coffees for the dogs… but in the past few weeks it seems like there has been an edict from On High over at timmy’s HQ, and this is no longer acceptable practice. i can’t imagine it had been costing them so much as all that… funny that it would lead to a PR disaster so quickly!

  85. camille_javal says:

    @bbagdan: Well, that seems to be the problem – “a company” didn’t fire her; the company doesn’t even have a universal free-food policy. A short-sighted manager who quite possibly had it in for her for some reason fired her.

  86. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    @RookOmega:

    I’m not your Buddy, Guy!

    Oh wait, I am.

  87. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    And for the record, my screen name here was devised before the South Park gag. It’s using the deadspin “First Name/Last Name” wheel of fortune nomenclenture.

  88. AstroPig7 says:

    @madrigal: At Kroger, cashiers will typically scan an unregistered card for me and just put it back. I won’t get a card because I don’t want to be placed on a marketing list, and since every cashier with whom I’ve dealt has done this without asking, I assume that it’s unofficial policy.

  89. shaken_bake says:

    OK, everyone, calm down… this woman has been rehired, by another TH outlet.

    Let’s go get our free Timbits there! I’ll cry until she does!

    [www.thestar.com]

  90. drkkgt says:

    @busybee “Just as I would fire any of my employees caught stealing from my company.”

    So out of curiosity, are you at work now, while you use the web to surf?

  91. Televiper says:

    What makes it really bizarre is my dog gets a free Timbit whenever we go through the drive-thru. She got fired for a normal every day practice. She got fired for something she was probably more than willing to rectify by paying the 16 cents. You don’t suddenly fire people for a minor rule that everybody breaks.

  92. cronick says:

    Well, I’ll remember that the next time I walk past a Tim Horton’s.

  93. Televiper says:

    @shaken_bake: You don’t need free Timbits. They’re a $2 for twenty.

  94. ChuckECheese says:

    @iliveinyoureyelid: And don’t forget, 16¢ is like, $250 U.S. now, with the exchange rate, so a considerable sum of money was involved. Poutine jokes are the best!

    @t325: You don’t even have to go to Canada. Some Tim Hortonses have slipped south into places like Maine, NH, WA, maybe even North Dakota.

  95. itmustbeken says:

    I used to work at the Gap/Banana Republic and I know how they dealt with managers who did bonehead moves like this…a slow and long career death until they take the hint and work at Wal Mart…or worse yet, Levi’s.

  96. Megatenist says:

    Where’s Kyle’s mom to sing “Blame Canada” when you need her?

  97. Ecks says:

    The article title and body is misleading, the product is NOT free, they do cost money.

  98. ChuckECheese says:

    @itmustbeken: “…or worse yet, Levi’s.”
    Or Chess King.

  99. frndlybnny says:

    Well, that should teach her not to be be so free with giving away Tim’s bits…

  100. Rajio says:

    WTF is a donut hole? Hey yanks, they’re called Timbits! And no, they’re not free. they do cost money. Likely this wasnt the first time she’s been caught giving food away and this was just the final nail in the coffin. What, baby’s can’t afford their own timbits now? I’m pretty sure theres more to the story. Would a manager really want to go through the trouble of fidning, hiring, and training a new employee just for a Timbit? Thats a lot of work for a missing twenty cent item. If a consumer was shortchanged by a timbit I’m sure you’d all be up in arms (especially if it were a baby/kitten!)…but when the shop is shortchanged by a timbit, who cares, right? Fairness works both ways.

  101. Asvetic says:

    I’m really starting to hate the word, Policy.

  102. lightaugust says:

    Good God… someone overreacted, somebody redacted the overreaction, and we’re all over it. What mighty contest arise over such tidbitty things.

  103. mstevens says:

    I used to like to go to Tim Horton’s when I’m in Portland, Maine. I’m interested in what their corporate response is to this.

    Yes, I know Timbits cost money. I just don’t think this tempest fits well in the teapot (coffeepot).

  104. banane says:

    @drzombie:

    It’s the Wharncliffe/Baseline location. It’s infamous for terrible owners and power tripping managers. I avoid it (and the grocery stores that owner also owns) at all costs.

  105. carbonmade says:

    @Jmatthew: that manager should have been fired, not just reprimanded. Did you know that it is against the law to work off the clock in the US? The company must compensate you for the time you spend working in the store-no matter what. If you had reported them, they could have been in legal hot water and that dip shit manager would have been fired–perhaps the store manager as well for not taking appropriate action with the assistant manager.

  106. ThunderRoad says:

    Well, it is 16 cents Canadian, which is like fifty bucks US, right?

    (Glad she got her job back)

  107. glorpy says:

    @ThunderRoad: Sadly no. That 16 cents Canadian is now worth 16 cents US.

    I long for the day not that long ago that the US dollar bought lots of buying power on my trips to Toronto, even with the GST and PST.

    And as a Western NY resident, I can confirm that yes, Timbits are really good. The day Tim Hortons came to the US was a happy day indeed.

  108. b-real says:

    @Bladefist:

    Uhh yes, b/c a SINGLE mother lost her only source (most likely) of income to, you know, support herself and her child.

  109. rg says:

    The “poor single mom” shouldn’t have been stealing from the company! What if she gave a free Timbit to ALL babies coming in? She should have asked her manager if it was alright. We coddled Americans will hopefully learn someday that stealing is stealing. It doesn’t matter how little or how much. It doesn’t matter if your a single mom or a rap star.

  110. kabes says:

    @AlteredBeast:

    yes they give free ones to dogs. If your dog is with you at the drive-thru they’ll usually give you a plain timbit (not chocolate of course!) for the dog.

    yet she’s fired for giving it to a child.

  111. balthisar says:

    @Rajio: what do you call ‘em at other doughnut shops, eh?

    I heard that Tim Horton died in a car accident shortly before Timbits came out, and, well, there was some discussion about what constituted the orginal Tim’s Bits?

  112. Well, as the update has shown she got rehired, most of the Tim Horton’s are franchised stores, not Corporate owned.

    My personal take is the “Manager” was just on a power trip. It’s pretty retarded, I have lived off of Tim Horton’s on more than one road trip and in most cases the experience with the people was pleasurable and yeah, they do give extra bits and pieces here and there.

  113. baristabrawl says:

    She was rehired. [www.canada.com]

    Also? I figured that she was probably a bad employee that they were having issues firing. However, she worked there for 3 years. I ask you, a donut hole?

    I work for SBUX and we get in trouble if we don’t give away the free occasional beverage to regulars.

  114. MotherFury says:

    Timbits are like doughy, delicious crack. Clearly this was a situation where she was providing a controlled substance to a minor and that’s why she got fired. TimmyHo’s soon realized though, that much like the tobacco companies, they have to start hooking them as young as possible.

    mmmmmm.timbits.mmmmmm.

  115. glater says:

    Uh, to those of you freaking out over this 16 cents and making comparisons to theft and shortchanging and all that:

    The store stands to gain a lot more by giving away once in a great while an inconsequential item for the benefit of a customer – trust, loyalty, the likelihood of people (like those who read the Consumerist) to say “hey, that’s a cool company, I’ll do more business with them”. There’s no loss of consequence to the store, everyone is happier, they get repeat business, and some good word-of-mouth. Wins all around.

    If it’s a huge stinking deal, and your store will be BROKEN by SIXTEEN FUCKING CENTS, ask for the change for that one fucking donut hole back from the employee, you greedy fucking whores who can’t see past a few nickels for the people you’re serving. You can probably dump that much out of the “take a penny” tray, you fucking hosebag.

    Asvetic: Policy is a 4-letter word.

  116. trk182 says:

    @courtarro:

    For the record when anyone on this planet says America they mean the USA and Canada is the only Douchebag country that seems to whine about it.

    You are not part of America, you are part of North America.

  117. TPS Reporter says:

    If the employee had eaten it, I would say fire her. But this is plain customer service. That mom is going to remember this long after the bean counters have tallied up that months profits or losses.

  118. LordofthePing says:

    This Tim Hortons is about 2 miles from my house. Thankfully there are literally about 30+ others within a 10 minute drive. Plus, McDonald has better coffee at a better price.

  119. LordofthePing says:

    @drzombie:

    Wharncliffe and Baseline (really its Wharncliffe and commisioners), then one in the plaza with No Frills and across the street from a Volkswagen dealership I think.

  120. tinky XIII says:

    Great, my dog was reading this with me and now he wants to take a trip to Canada.

    Up yours, Tim Hortons!!

  121. algormortis says:

    that was pretty quick!

    and no we don’t have tim hortons in WA, at least not yet. supposedly soon, or so they tell us. i realize that much of Washington is completely indistinguishable from Canada other than the flags…and the lack of tim hortons. i wanna double-triple. :)

  122. jenl1625 says:

    @AlteredBeast: Yes, they do. ;-)
    It’s specifically the plain Timbits (no sugar-coating, icing, jelly, etc.)

    My doglet gets *really* frustrated if I take her through a drive-thru that doesn’t result in a Timbit.

  123. @Rupan: not .16 cents…
    16 cents
    or .16 dollars
    unless you work at verizon, of course…

  124. When I “gave away” free food at TGIF, like chips or an extra breadstick, they just took it out my check. This always yielded more generous tips, so the 10 bucks was no big deal. Lost 10, gained 50.

  125. Rajio says:

    @balthisar: In Canada we don’t recognize any other donut shop. That would be sacrilege!

    THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE.

  126. Comms says:

    That’s weird. Whenever I’d pull up to a Tim’s with my dog they’d always give him a plain timbit. Even the managers.

  127. brookeln says:

    What the heck difference does it make that she is a “single mom?” Is mentioning this in the article trying to gain our sympathy, as if it’s somehow worse to fire someone for stealing if they are a single mother as opposed to a single child-free person, or married father, or whatever? The fact is, her marital status or if she has children has no relevance on the story or on whether she should have been fired or not. I hate it when the media does that!

  128. edcrowle says:

    i used to work for a large US pizza chain. every day we made several extra pizzas and put them in the freezer. once a week a man from the local homeless shelter came to collect them for dispersal among the needy. when the corporate office found out about our *unauthorized* giveaways, they commended us rather than penalized us…

    some managers have no heart

  129. trujunglist says:

    @Bladefist:

    You’re really fishin ain’t ya? They said she’s been working there for 3 years. You’d think in that amount of time something would come up a little bit better than that.
    Yeah, people get fired for stupid shit. My ex got fired from her job because she was in Hawaii and there was a major earthquake, knocking out power, water, etc to the entire island. Incredibly scared and alone, she called the people she was working with at the Hawaii office and they ignored her calls and never called to make sure that she was OK or needed anything. She called her boss back here in SD to see what was happening and he launched into a tirade about how they’re not responsible for anything and then fired her. He had also not called her to make sure that she was OK, yet they all had her cell number (which wasn’t working that well due to the massive amounts of calls) and her hotel # and room #. Pretty lame if you ask me.

  130. Rajio says:

    @brookeln: I agree

  131. Televiper says:

    @brookeln: To be honest it tells us a bit about the character of person that would give a fussy child a Timbit. They’re simply giving you background on the subject of the story, a PERSON who was fired for giving a baby a Timbit. You know… “WHO, what, why, where, and how?” If they didn’t tell us who it was, the blame the victim crowd would be speculating on a person who they felt deserved to get fired.

  132. amiableCDN says:

    “They give free donut holes to dogs?”

    Yes they/we really do.

    If you want to see outrage go to the CBC page discussing this story.

    http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2008/05/08/timbit-lilliman.htm

    We really, really do care about being human up here. Come up and visit sometime.

  133. b-real says:

    @brookeln:

    More facts give you a fuller picture of both the story and the impact of the situation on the players involved. It’s up to you as the reader to decide whether or not the info is relevant. I’d rather have too much info as opposed to too little.

  134. Hey, in Canada 16 cents is no small deal. I hear my usually level-headed friends up north get all excited over the US Dollar vs. the Canadian. In all seriousness though, mentioning she’s a single mom was unnecessary. If it was a fat middle-aged virgin who trolled people online would that suddenly make it alright to fire them over such a small thing?

  135. bdgbill says:

    I agree it was stupid to fire this woman but what does the fact that she is a “Single Mom” have to do with it?

    Would it have been any better to fire a “Married Mom” or a teenage boy? No.

  136. the_wiggle says:

    @MadelineGauzer: so far as i’d be concerned, they can keep their damned job after some bs stunt like this. you just know that woman will be watched til she quits or goes insane.

  137. the_wiggle says:

    @trujunglist: wtf?! glad she’s ok but man sounds like so better off than working for that asshat & his company.

  138. farmerjamesd says:

    I find it hard to imagine a company that makes millions. fires a worker who may have created a client for life that is the child by giving one sample. Over zealous junior manager fires this lady yet 2 other managers where sitting there did nothing made her sign a statement of guilt she had handed out the sample.This sample may cost 2 to 4 cents to produce.This young lady may have her job back when and where in london yet to be determined . Unfair dismissal charges against this company should be leveled. Chances of me ever going to a Tim Hortons again are slim to none.
    i remember getting free samples at baskin and robins, there staff was encouraged to give samples.
    This black eye will no go away Tim Hortons Company it should extend to the company that owns Tim Hortons as well .

  139. Ninjanice says:

    I still love Tim Horton’s and will continue getting my coffee/donut fix from them. You just have to be selective about what Tim Horton’s you go to- the vary quite a bit from store to store. Unfortunately, I used to work by the best Tim Horton’s ever, but I transferred to a different location and the Tim Horton’s here sucks!

  140. YashwantScorpion says:

    WOW…is all I can say…but I won’t. I am going to tell you my point of view of the whole thing.
    You guys have to look at the whole picture and quite taking sympathy out on a “SINGLE MOTHER OF FOUR” That’s not Tim Horton’s fault that she is a single mother of four. SO WHAT??? And So what that she makes min. wage, again that isn’t Tim Horton’s fault. You don’t like the wage your getting….get another job. Tim Horton’s or any other restaurant/coffee shop is not going to pay you more based on being a single parent. Now that your all getting a grip on the real issue here…lets move on.

    Some things that you should take into consideration before passing judgment::

    You don’t know if there has been food cost issues at the store, you don’t know if there have been memos posted reminding employees that handing out free food is theft.

    You don’t know if the employee has been talked to previously about this or other theft related issues, such as eating food without paying for it herself.

    You don’t know if she has been a problem employee?

    In other words you don’t know the whole story, so it isn’t fair to pass judgment on Tim Horton’s.

    I would also like to add one more thing….No Tim Horton managers I know have the time or the inclination to seat and watch the monitors to see if an employee will hand out a free Tim bit, usually things like this is reported by a co-worker and than as a manager. They must investigate the situation. GOOD GRIEF, for you to think that a manager has that much extra time on her hands.

    And furthermore as the saying goes: THEFT IS THEFT, CAN BE OF PRODUCT OR TIME. SIGNING IN WHEN YOUR NOT REALLY THERE, TAKING LONGER BREAKS THAN YOUR TO BE TAKING.

    Now saying all that. If by chance this was the first incident, no past reprimands, than I would agree that this was not handled correctly. But without knowing all of the details. I am not judging.

    Now everyone “pitter patter and get back to work”

  141. Oroka says:

    OMG! This story happened where I live (Port Elgin, ON). I was in there today getting a IcaCapp. The store has new owners as the last batch were ‘fired’ by the coporation for tax evasion!

    Giving timbits to babys and dogs has been a common pratice in this town for a LONG time. It was a bit of a ‘scandle’ here in town and alot of people were pissed about it.

    Glad to hear she got rehired!

  142. CarloNanget says:

    Working the Drive Through at Tim Hortons was my first job as a teenager. I
    worked there for 2 years and during that time, we (the staff) must have
    given away hundreds of Timbits to dogs and young kids. It’s not a unique
    incident. I eventually became the baker for the afternoon and weekend shifts
    and discovered that it only took about 2 minutes to make a batch of over 200
    timbits. I also discovered that Tim Hortons turns a profit of about 300% on
    their doughnuts and timbits. I remember reading this story on the front page
    of the newspaper, and my initial reaction to this incident was disgust, a
    sentiment that was shared by most Canadians.

  143. D-Bo says:

    Looks like it’s time for an update post. They have not learned thier lesson.

    [www.thestar.com]

    Headline: “Tim Hortons in a new PR jam. Good Samaritan scolded after buying a homeless, pregnant woman food – then leaving her to eat it”

  144. elmo3 says:

    My guess is that the manager came on to her, she said no, and he looked for an excuse to fire her.

    Hence this story.