Today is the final day of a little-known rite of passage for Chik-fil-A employees: Chick-fil-A Rumspringa.
“It’s rare when Christmas falls on a Saturday. This year is the first time it’s happened since 2010 and the next time will be in 2024. Since we’re closed that day as we are every Sunday, we allow our Team Members to take the occasion to go out into the world and experience life beyond what we have here”, said Chik-fil-A human resources spokesperson Cathy Truit. “The idea is that they learn that the outside world is dark, twisted and unforgiving, which makes them more appreciative of Chik-fil-A, where everything is always wonderful and not at all gay.”
At sunset on Friday, Christmas Eve, each Chik-fil-A employee is issued $400 in one-dollar bills, a carton of 305’s cigarettes and a quart bottle of Hennessy and sent out to do whatever they want. Chik-fil-A Rumspringa is over when all the cigarettes, liquor and money are gone or at 5 AM the following Monday, when the stores re-open, whichever happens first.
From there, the employees are free to do whatever they want, including patronizing strip clubs and other pursuits. “Yes, even gay stuff”, said Truit, visibly shuddering as she spoke. “Of course, we hope they don’t make those choices but this is really the best way for them to discover how terrible everything is out there and how fortunate they are to be blessed in the blood of Chik-fil-A.”
“When they say, ‘My Pleasure’, we want them to mean it and really understand the commitment behind what that really means”, she said.
Front of House Team Member Lonnie Cheevers, who has been with the company for two years, working at the location just south of Raymond James Stadium on Dale Mabry in Tampa, is going through his first Chik-fil-A Rumspringa and had this to say about the experience: “Yeah, sure. But what nobody seems to understand is that it’s just another fast food job, not an actual religion. I already go to 2001 three times a week anyway. I do appreciate the $400 though. I didn’t even spend it all on strippers; I also bought more booze and cigarettes. I guess there’s a lesson in that? I don’t know and I definitely don’t care.”