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Interior Design Hell: Boss Suspends Mom For Taking Phone Call From Her Soldier Son While Working


From NumismaticNerd (a numismatist is someone who collects rare bills and/or coins):

Long story short, woman's son is deployed, she answers cell phone on salesfloor, she gets suspended for three days (retracted after a lot of bad publicity)

The story:

I've always been in awe of military moms. They are a strong group. Because underneath the intense pride that comes with watching your son or daughter defend our country, there's a fear rippling below the surface that most of us can't identify with.

And yet every military mom I know stands tall and keeps a smile on her face. The average empty nester is worried about how little snookums is going to make it in the big, wide world. But a military mom knows her child has chosen a path that will likely put him or her in harm's way at some point. So you had better believe when a phone call comes in from her soldier (or sailor, or airman, etc.), there's nothing that can keep that mom from the phone.

Now imagine the boss who says, "Sorry, lady, but you can't talk to your child who is calling you from Afghanistan today and doesn't know when he'll get to a phone again because work comes first." You're thinking he'd be a complete jerk, right?

The boss at Crane Interiors of Woodbury in Tennessee went even further. They suspended Teresa Danford for three days for answering her phone during working hours when her son, Lance Cpl. Mark Rhyne, managed to grab a few moments to make a satellite call from Afghanistan. Pressure on the business since her story went public has made them retract the punishment, but it speaks to a national problem. Soldiers need their moms too!

Sure, we like to think of the members of our armed forces as these strong, macho types, prepared for battle. Nothing should faze them. But you try telling a military mom that her baby doesn't need her anymore, and it may come to blows. When a teenager walks out the door and heads for boot camp, he or she may be shedding childhood, but they're still somebody's little boy or girl.

When the going gets tough, the average human could use a little bit of moral support from mom -- especially when you're an 18-year-old away from home for the first time. And in military moms, you find a special kind of toughness, the kind of "buck up, we can get through" attitude that a soldier worn down by war could use.

Want to help the young men and women of the military to succeed? Give them phone calls to mom, and don't punish her for taking the time to answer. She's doing a service to the country too.

Know a military mom? Go give her a hug today!




If I was a customer and the sales person had that call, I would sit and wait gladly until they were done, and waited forever if it came to that.

My time is not as important as a soldier and their mom's time to talk to each other.

I would have whupped that business so hard for doing that, they wouldn't have sat up for weeks.

The Admiral

Every time my home state is in the news it's bad. If it isn't something like this it's naked people brawling at Waffle House (two different couples, different locations, different days - seriously). We clearly need to get our shit together here in Tennessee. On behalf of all of us, I'm sorry.


My sister is military and when my mom and I first read this story, steam started pouring out of our ears. We drop everything when she calls. She's stationed in Alaska, but why risk missing her last call?


Seriously? Tennessee: The Volunteer State Somebody didn't know their own state slogan. I only lived in Tennessee a few years when I was in my teens and I remembered it. None of my kids are in the military (although it wouldn't hurt my son to do a few years and grow some) but when my daughter was near delivery I would sure hope that when my daughter was ready to deliver I could take a call for a couple minutes and not get a three day suspension. People just don't know how valuable life is anymore whether its just coming into this world or whether it may be taken out.

Burger Bitch

I'm with Dianne, I would have gladly waited for the woman to finish her call.

My step-mum recently retired from the Military (She was in charge of the soldiers funds over-seas) and she saw so many people go off to war and got phone calls from so many spouses and parents that it made her cry every day.

Anyone who can watch their spouse or child go to war is a hero, I could never do that.

WMart's Bitch

I've been a devoted reader for a long time and tempted to post a few times. This time I couldn't resist. My son is serving his first deployment and I have not had a phone call from him in 4 months. We use Facebook chat, but it's not the same as hearing his voice. If I were at work and he called me, you'd better believe I'd be on that phone in a heartbeat.
To the woman in the story- Thank You to you and your son for your service to our country.
To NumasticNerd- thank you for recognizing us military moms and understanding what we're going through. Pride (LOTS) and fear (even more) are my daily companions.
Now I'll go back to counting down the days until he is home on R&R...unless it gets changed. Again.
Stay strong, fellow slaves!
You can call me WMart's Bitch ( I call myself that daily)
On a retail related note... I've been with WMart for over 10 years. As you can imagine, I have alot to share, someday soon.


Spouses, too! When my husband deploys, I don't think I'll be working (I'll have a newborn, -and be living back home, booo!), but I would hope people would understnad if sometimes I answered a call from my deployed husband! Now some get to call daily, or several times a day, from what I've seen here in Texas, but many may only get to call a few times during deployment. I'm glad the business retracted her punishment, but they should have been understanding enough to not punish her in the first place!


Seriously, how fucking stupid is this store? Could they not see the horrible PR coming from this? Since this state was famous for the " monkey trial". maybe they should go back to the primorial sludge.


My sister was the one who showed the link to me (she goes on the cafemom site all the time) and I KNEW it deserved to be posted here.

I just cross my fingers that my second post comes through now ^.^

Misanthropic Barista

I'm pretty sure that any employee of any of Slaveway's various divisions would have been given the same punishment. Slaveway doesn't seem to be bitched about much on this site (maybe because they leave us so dispirited after a full workday that we just don't have the energy to post anything?), but they are one of the most insensitive employers I've ever come across. And I've worked for a lot of insensitive assholes in my 20+ years in the workforce.

This story made me very angry (who WOULDN'T be angered by it?), but yet it didn't surprise me, because I know just how hateful and insensitive employers can be.


Sadly I'm not surprised by this story either, but still: what they were thinking? How hard is it to comprehend that this situation is a special circumstance? Obviously someone in the military can't just call home whenever they want, it doesn't work that way.


I'm not the least bit surprised. Most employers care about one thing - Money. That's it.

I'm not american, nor do I have any family over seas atm, but never the less I feel for this woman and this story goes to show - it doesn't matter where you are in the world - heartless bosses are everywhere.

I just don't understand the suspension ? Or their line of thought. People in the military don't have 24/7 phone access so it's not like this was an every day call - this was something incredibly important. It wouldn't and shouldn't have been hard to understand "Hey, this is her son calling who she hasn't spoken to in fuck knows how long. This is a time for bending the policies"

The fact that they lifted the suspension really doesn't matter. It doesn't change the initial act. They don't understand that they're wrong - they just don't want the bad publicity.


I think its a little late for worrying about the "bad publicity" at Crane Interiors. I hope everyone who shops there reminds the manager how stupid he was of the suspension so he has to eat crow for a very long time. I think if it happened like that to more businesses, policies would change.

In case you aren't familiar, there was a big campaign against the companies that were paying for advertising during the Michael Vick Show. People e-mailed and called the sponsors and boycotted the heck out of them during the time of his show. By the end of his show, there was maybe one sponsor and the tv station itself filling in the commercial time slot. Everyone else had jumped ship like a Norway rat on the Titanic. The problem is, with places like Wal-Fuck, they are so busy hemorrhaging money right and left because some customer puts up a stink to some spineless manager that nobody would ever dream of boycotting them unless it wasn't the only place within 100 miles to shop or they hadn't worked there previously.

Cargo Wench

My brother in law was stationed in Afghanistan for 8 months, and when he managed to call my sister, she would drop everything, it wouldnt matter if she was with a client at work, or talking to the manager. They all understood that he didnt get to call very often and they would never stop her or punish her for talking to him during work hours. Maybe Australia is more lenient? Douchebags like the above can shove it up their asses, and maybe they should go into a war zone and see what it is like, and how precious been able to talk to your loved ones is.


if i was serving this customer, i would have said, 'yes, no problem, and tell him thank you for serving our country.' support our troops, and support their families!

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