Beer vendor iced after botching ID check
Baseball fans are crying foul after a popular Toronto beer vendor at the city's Rogers Centre was fired for failing to ask a customer for proper identification.
Wayne McMahon, 61, whose signature "Ice, cooooooold, beeeeeer" line made him a fixture with Blue Jays fans of the stadium's 100 level, has been sent packing after nearly seven seasons.
The decision to fire McMahon was made by Aramark — the American company that operates concessions at the Rogers Centre.
McMahon struck out with the company policy that requires identification for any customer who appears to be under 30. He didn't card a so-called mystery shopper — people used by a company to measure service — who turned out to be 22.
He said he was devastated to lose his job.
"I took this job part-time to get me out of the house to give me something to do and I never expected it to grow this size. It's just been a wonderful, wonderful experience," he said.
"I go down the aisle. [They say] 'Ice cold beer guy stop and say it.' So I say it going down, I say it coming up. By the end of the seventh inning sometimes my voice is a little harsh."
McMahon said he hopes public support will win back his job. So far, a Facebook petition has garnered nearly 3,000 names.
"He's a fan favourite down there. I sit in his section probably every weekend series and attendance clearly is a problem. This really isn't a step in the right direction," said Blue Jay fan Sean Taylor.
"Give the guy his job back. Fans love him. They gotta have something to cheer about."
Daniel Lublin, a lawyer hired by McMahon, said the company went too far.
"There ought to have been a less severe sanction that should have been used instead. A warning letter, a discussion, perhaps some form of corrective discipline rather than just immediately firing the guy."
Lublin said a wrongful dismissal suit is possible if McMahon isn't put back into play.