Jasmine Edwards

This is Jasmine Edwards:


This picture is from an incident on February 2, 2014, involving an acquaintance, Jazmine Bryson. Bryson is currently being held on Class C felony charges for the injuries Edwards sustained. Now the details are sketchy, but according to a news report on the incident, these facts can be established:

  1. Jasmine Edwards, 19, and Jazmine Bryson, 20, are acquainted
  2. Edwards and Bryson allegedly had “ongoing problems”
  3. Bryson entered the IHOP where Edwards works
  4. At some time after entering the IHOP a confrontation between Edwards and Bryson was initiated
  5. That confrontation escalated to where Bryson threw a glass at Edwards’ face, causing injuries requiring stitches at a local emergency room

On Facebook, Edwards is alleging that the confrontation led to her termination:

My name is Jasmine Edwards i worked at ihop in Evansville indiana as you can see i got hurt at work.A lady hit me with a glass of milk and i had to get 8 stitches. My boss told me that it was fired and that my people didnt know how to act,I didnt do anything wrong customers even said that i handled the situation very well.Any way he fired me and another lady for standing up for me.This is not right and i ask that you Please Share-thanks

So let’s talk about this incident a little. Presuming she was terminated, I’m of the conclusion that her termination was completely justified. Now for those thinking that I don’t understand what it’s like to be in her shoes, bear in mind that I do have experience working retail, and I know that retail and service employees don’t have many options when customers start getting hostile. You walk away and you can be written up for providing bad customer service. If the situation escalates, regardless of how or why, you can be fired.

The one thing many forget is that every confrontation involves at least two people, meaning one person always has the ability and power to end the confrontation by walking away.

In retail settings in any confrontation between an employee and customer, the employee is always presumed to be at fault in the confrontation. Now you might see this as unfair, but it’s part of customer service. I’ve had my share of asshole customers during the time I worked in fast food and retail, so I know what it’s like. Sometime you just need to suck it up.

If a customer starts getting unruly and starts a scene, the employee needs to just walk away. In part the burden is on the employee to walk away, to terminate the confrontation if one starts and to not initiate contact if an escalation to a confrontation of some kind is predictable. It’s best to be written up for failing to help a customer than fired for confronting them, especially if that confrontation turns violent, as it did in the case with Bryson and Edwards. After all the manager can always get the customer to leave, calling police if they refuse.

Had Edwards not initiated contact, or not acquiesced when Bryson initiated contact, the entire situation could have been avoided. Regardless of who started it, the onus was on Edwards to walk away. If Bryson was seated at one of Edwards’ tables, she could’ve asked another server to take the table, with a brief explanation being all that is necessary.

Edwards had more than enough opportunity to avoid or terminate the encounter, and she instead participated in it, and the encounter escalated to the point where Bryson threw a glass at Edwards, causing the injuries she sustained and putting other employees and patrons at risk of injury.

As such Edwards’ termination, presuming she was terminated, is completely justified given the circumstances.