In May 2001, I was hired at Oasis Drinking Water, a company based in Santa Ana since 1964, as a route sales driver. The company began a transistion to company-operated routes at that time, and I was hired as the first driver in this program. During this time, Ed, the sales manager who hired me, and myself went out and saved at least a hundred accounts, if not more from two different route areas that was abandoned by an independent driver. Eventually, I recruited two other drivers from another water company and added two more route areas. I was later assigned to the Pomona area, where I remained until a change in management brought me back to Santa Ana.
In October 2002, I was wrongfully dismissed by this once-proud bottled water company for reasons other than work-related. A sales driver named Shawn and I was assigned to deliver bottled water in Riverside, with the second driver soliciting for new customers while I was serving existing customers in that same area.
After some three hours of serving approximately 50 customers in this area, the second driver and I went out to solicit for new business or new customers for approximately 2 and a half hours, with little or no luck; as is the case with other water companies we would leave brochures and flyers at every door and with customers who refuse water service or will think of starting up service at a future date.
Upon returning to the office in Santa Ana at 3:30, the sales manager who had little or no prior experience in the bottled water industry asked how many new accouts we set up. The driver that was with me said he did not get any new accounts because he felt the area was "unsolicitable", and he has a valid point having been in the bottled water business for some 15 years. The sales manager, named David, at this time, was enraged. He asked the second driver to leave the office and then engaged in a profanity-laced tirade against me, saying that I only solicited for 45 minutes as opposed to two-plus hours in Riverside!
In a professional and proper way, I explained my situation to him, and the sales manager screamed and used the BS word, used every F and S bomb in the book, calling me a fat a** and used other racial slurs directed against me. David then proceded to bring in Ed, another supervisor who actually hired me originally and was the prior sales manager, and then David proceded to say that he was the boss and Ed wasn't, and said I had to do whatever I was told, which I understood. But Ed was management and also had a say in what was going on, which David refused to acknowledge. I then waved my hands up and said forget it, and at that point David fired me on the spot and escored me off the property.
The real kicker in this is I was refused unemployment benefits because I was insubordinate towards a supervisor and claimed that I yelled at a second supervisor, which was not the case. Eventually I won that case in a Los Angeles Courtroom.
Since my dismissal (and before that time for that matter), the current sales manager has engaged in numerous shouting matches with drivers, the on-site mechanic, managers, production workers, etc. and since taking over all operations, sales has decreased signficantly and several customers have discontinued water delivery because of bad service. Recently, the company was forced to forefit a section of property because of failure to make payments to the owner of the property.
Since then I have been unable to find a decent lawyer in Southern California to help me sue this company for wrongful termination, emotional distress, punitive damages, and other related damages as the result of my dismissal from Oasis Water.
I have lost every financial account, had my automobile repossessed, have gone through all kinds of emotional distress, am on the verge of bankruptcy, and have never really recovered from this horrible experience.
Please help. I want revenge against this company, but as I said, no lawyer is willing to take on this case. I have witnesses, documents, etc. that supports my claim.
Los Angeles, California