Used Car Dealer Caught Taking Unauthorized Beach Vacation After Bumping Into Company Director In Portuguese Bar – Car Dealer Magazine

A used car dealer thought his bosses would never know his whereabouts when he took an unauthorized beach holiday, but he didn’t count on meeting his employer in a bar in Portugal.

Gary Maloney went AWOL last October, leaving employees at Bill Griffin Motors “in the lurch” due to his unexplained absence.

But the mystery was soon solved when he entered a bar in Albufeira in the Algarve region and came face to face with one of the company’s directors, Robert Griffin.

The incident led to Maloney leaving the Dublin-based car dealer, but he has now taken the company to an employment tribunal, saying he had been unfairly dismissed.

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) was told Maloney initially requested leave around three months in advance for the week commencing 10 October 2022, but sales director David Griffin told him he needed all staff at the dealership because he was due to attend a family wedding. .

“I didn’t get a yes, and I didn’t get a no,” Maloney testified, and claimed that Griffin told him, “Oh, it should be fine.”


But bosses at the agency denied that was the case, according to the Irish Times, and said Maloney had left around 20 bookings – as well as several leads – unaccounted for.

David Griffin added: “He just left us in the lurch.” We had a lot of clients trying to contact Gary. We received a lot of complaints and a big sale, a €60,000 XC90 (Volvo) that Gary had sold, was cancelled.

The company insisted it did not know where the seller was, but everything was revealed thanks to a chance meeting in a pub.

After seeing Robert Griffin, Maloney reportedly nervously asked, “Uh, is Dave (Griffin) here?” He imitated the “hide gesture.” The couple then took a selfie together and it ended up being passed around among employees in the showroom.

David Griffin finally arrived for the wedding the next day and saw Maloney at a restaurant but chose not to “bring the HR issue into a family holiday.”

The Irish Times reported that Maloney then returned to work the following Monday, when he was confronted by chief sales officer David Fleming.


“I asked, ‘Where have you been?’” Fleming testified. Obviously we knew because of the photo. shrug. He said he had to go.

‘Were you a little angry?’ Yes. Was I screaming and screaming? no.’

“(He) turned around, shrugged, handed the laptop back and said, ‘Don’t worry about it, I’m done, make sure I get paid,'” Fleming added.

“He handed the laptop back with both hands: ‘I owe a few pounds, make sure they pay’ – that kind of thing.”

“Either you or me”

In his testimony, Maloney denied verbally resigning from his position and said he had been “unfairly” dismissed by the company.

He told WRC that upon his return, Fleming angrily asked him: “Where were you last week?”

Number one, he said, well, he knew where I was, I was out in the sun because I had a tan. Second, you were aware that the person you sent the photo to had distributed it to all other employees.

“I was told to go home.” ‘I was told to leave the laptop in the building and that Dave would come home on Tuesday and call me.’

Maloney added that this was how strongly Fleming felt about the incident, telling him: “If (Dave Griffin) comes and offers you your job again, it’s either you or me.”

Fleming refuted Maloney’s version of events and said he had no authority to fire Maloney.

Appearing for Maloney, Eoin O’Connor BL said the dismissal was unfair because no allegation had been made against Maloney, and there had been no investigation.

But Hugh O’Donnell BL, a representative for Bell Griffin Motors, told WRC that Maloney went on Monday to “verbally hand in his resignation” and that the company had not fired him, the Irish Times reported.

Court was adjourned for two weeks last week for further submissions from Maloney, with Bill Griffin Motors also given permission to request another hearing to cross-examine Maloney, although that may be dealt with in writing.

Judgment will be issued at a later date.

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