ED Magedson – Founder
Octane Coffee & Cocktails21 Bullsboro Drive Newnan, Georgia United States of America
I recently responded to an employment ad on accesscoweta.com for a cooking position at Octane Coffee & Cocktails in Newnan. I began working on December 16th 2010. I immediately loved the quaint little place and the owners, but things suddenly took a turn for the worse.
After a couple days of working and not discussing wage amounts I inquired with Marlene Welch, the owner. She asked me if I would accept payments of cash, under the table. I was leery at first, but decided that since I had been paid this way before, it shouldn't be a problem. The agreement was that in addition to nightly tips I would be paid on Fridays for my hours. There was no "set" hourly amount, just that my tips and wages were to equal $250.00.
I repeatedly confirmed with Marlene about the agreement. I even kept my own hand written record of the hours I worked and the tips I made each night, which Mrs. Welch was aware of. Between 12/16 and 12/23, I worked a total of 43.5 hours, and made $119.00 in tips.
When I went to Octane on the afternoon of 12/24 to receive my remaining $131.00 I was asked to come back in one hour. I waited in the parking lot, as I did not have gas to drive home and back. Upon returning inside I took a seat at the bar to wait. Mrs. Welch then approached me & said she was not going to pay me & that she had never agreed to do such. I was completely shocked! Here it is, Christmas Eve, I'm expecting, and depending on that money, and now I was being told I wasn't going to get it.
I actually had to call the Newnan Police Department to come to the location. Upon the officers' arrival they informed me that four previous employees of Octane Coffee & Cocktails had also called law enforcement in order to attempt to receive unpaid wages from Marlene Welch. This business has only been opened since the summer (June/July).
I immediately began posting warnings and reviews about the place on-line, including: Octanes Facebook page, Urbanspoon.com, accesscoweta.com...etc. Suddenly I began receiving emails from others who had also been negatively affected by Marlene and Octane Coffee & Cocktails. Obviously this has been a habitual situation, that I believe to be premeditated. I think they are purposely taking in new hires and working them until they quit due to non payment.
My first "red flag" was on 12/13, the evening I took in my resume & met Marlene & her husband for the first time. While there she asked me to, "hang out for a bit." I ended up staying two hours, demonstrating my skills in the kitchen. While doing so, an ex-employee came in, pretty upset, demanding money she was owed. I was also told by another employee of Octane (who wishes to remain anonymous), "Make sure you get paid." I quickly began to notice that even collecting tips (which we split with all employees) was like pulling a lions tooth. There always seemed to be an excuse to not hand out tips immediately, some reason to have to wait until the next day to get them. The entire situation started smelling very fishy.
Octane Coffee & Cocktails still owes me $131.00. I know it is a minimal amount of money, but it's the principal of the matter. Ok, they only owe me $131.00, but how many people do they owe 'x' amount of dollars?? I did receive another email from a woman named "KIM" stating that she (or a business she worked for) did work for Octane & never got paid in full. They are still unpaid in the amount of $700.00!
I think there are just too many factors in this equation to let it keep going on. We need to do something about this scamthat is happeningin our community, affecting our community. Please help us get this story out there so that others are aware of the ways of Octane Coffee & Cocktails.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/28/2010 02:23 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/octane-coffee-cocktails/newnan-georgia-30263/coffee-shops-tea-roomsoctane-coffee-cocktaoctane-coffee-cocktails-octa-da796htm-676028. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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