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After waiting 30 minutes for his order on a recent Saturday, Matthew Rose contacted Wendy’s customer service to complain. It’s supposed to be fast food, after all.

A few days later, Rose had another bad experience at the Wendy’s in Wareham, so he e-mailed the corporate office.

On Monday, he got an apology. Of sorts.

In an e-mail, the chain’s district manager, Keith Edward Helger, blamed a limited “talent pool” of employees for the poor service, adding that many job applicants are “recovering addicts.”

“Not an excuse, but the town of Wareham has little to no talent pool to hire from,” Helger wrote. “We are constantly interviewing and hiring any and all qualified candidates. Unfortunately those candidates are hard to come by, as most of them are recovering addicts, and we cannot hire them.”

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Helger could not be reached for comment. Rose provided the e-mail to the Globe and has posted them on a Wareham community Facebook page.

Rose, who has lived in Wareham for 20 years, said he was offended by the remarks.

“Unless I know that the store has changed for the better, I will never step foot in it again,” he said.

In a statement, Wendy’s said “these comments are inconsistent with our company’s values and do not reflect Wendy’s hiring practices.”

“We work hard to create a welcoming and inclusive environment in our restaurants, and will address this appropriately,” the company said.

In 2018, Helger was ordered to appear before the Wareham Board of Health to address multiple complaints “regarding the cleanliness of the establishment,” according to minutes from the meeting.

“Helger stated it is difficult to obtain help at the food chain,” the minutes read.


Sofia Saric can be reached at sofia.saric@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sofia_saric.