Michael Haute, Wichita Eagle Northside Reporter
Witchita, KS Imagine Joanna Rinwole’s surprise last Friday when she was called in early to work. Her regional manager Jonathan Peddy called to inform her that the restaurant had a new owner. The Wendy’s Restaurant she had been manager of for three years was being sold by the management company to a private investor. Joanna arrived early and was greeted by her regional manager Mr. Peddy and newly hired cook Roger Steinbaum of North Newton. These two men were sitting inside the dining room chatting like old friends. It was Jonathan who broke the news to her; her new boss and owner of the restaurant was Roger.
As she looked for the cameras like this was some kind of practical joke she quickly realized that Roger wasn’t the same man she thought she’d hired only two weeks earlier. With a valid resume that only indicated a brief stint as a greeter in the local Wal-Mart and work as a Navy chef from 1967-71 Roger seemed the right person to fill the vacancy of a cook she had been seeking to fill for over a month. She recalls, “He was a pleasant man who said he was just looking for a job to keep him busy.”
What Joanna didn’t know is that Roger was interviewing her. “I needed to be sure the manager of my store was someone I could trust, someone who treated her customers and employees the way I thought they should be treated”, recalls Roger still smiling after revealing the charade was over. “She passed.”
Roger a 57 year old lottery winner has been making investment in companies and people since he won the state lottery in 1993. “I’m just an old man with a silly heart. I think people are as good an investment as companies. You can’t have a successful one without the other.”
Roger smiles with Joanna who agrees they need to find a new cook – a task they can work on together.