What Made the Entire Staff Walk Out of Marshall’s Tavern in Amarillo?
You’ve probably seen a few TV shows or a movie or two that shows a well-liked manager who is suddenly let go or fired. When the employees find out, they immediately quit and storm out in a show of support for their fearless leader.
It’s a grand gesture to see on the big and small screens….but it’s not reality. People come and go in the grand scheme of the workplace. When one manager goes, someone else gets a chance at promotion. It’s the way the world works.
So, when I saw that the entire staff of Marshall’s Tavern on 6th Street had quit on the spot and stormed out when informed of their beloved General Manager’s firing...I remained skeptical. I wasn’t quite willing to accept that each and every staff member had willingly walked out in a show of support. Why? Consider the following:
- All the staff are women. The majority of which are the breadwinners of their households
- Nearly all the women have children to support
- It’s the holiday season, why on earth would you up and quit right when the holidays begin? Especially in the service industry.
But as I read through the accounts of what happened at Marshall’s Tavern it began to dawn on me that this might be something worth talking about.
Let me ask you this: How bad do you think it has to get for that to transpire? Do you think that an entire team of seasoned bartenders who are working mothers would just up and quit over something small?
I have never been to Marshall’s Tavern. All I know of the place is that it was one of the first Amarillo bars to take advantage of the “food establishment” loophole that enabled so many bars to stay open during the COVID lockdowns.
So I started reaching out to the people who worked there. I first reached out to Liz Kirkland, who I knew was the General Manager. She declined to answer any questions, citing an NDA she had signed.
But with the next two people I reached out to, I was astonished at the answers I was given.
“We quit on the spot because we stand with Liz and we’re not comfortable working with management who assault members of our staff.” said Jordin Messer, who worked as an assistant manager at Marshall’s Tavern.
“They kept all of our tips and I’ve filed charges against the person who assaulted me,” said Wendy, another assistant manager at Marshall’s Tavern.
Those are two of the most problematic quotes I’ve gathered from the women who walked out. Here’s what I think happened. I think Kirkland was concerned about something and upper management sacked her. And in response, her entire staff handed in their immediate notice rather than work for anyone else. And somewhere in there, tips were withheld and Wendy was allegedly assaulted by upper management.
That tells me there is a problem with Marshall’s Tavern as a company. For an entire staff to quit this close to the holidays rather than stick around in hopes of a promotion is quite telling of the environment in the place.
A brief look at the company’s facebook page shows me that the bar is completely closed until new staff are hired and trained--and the comments are conveniently turned off.