Give this man a medal…and a job.
Posted by sanityinjection on October 21, 2009
Today’s example of the lack of sanity in our modern society comes to us from Ocala, Florida, in the person of one Josh Rutner. Mr. Rutner, you see, was until recently employed by the local Wal-Mart as an “asset protection officer” – essentially, a store detective whose job is to identify and stop possible shoplifters.
Earlier this month, while Mr. Rutner was on duty, a man tried to steal forty bucks worth of golf balls and a chicken dinner without paying. Mr. Rutner, following store policy, radioed for assistance and with the help of two other employees, collared the thief just outside the store’s door. But then, the suspect pulled a knife and fled on foot. Mr Rutner gave chase and tried to knock the guy over with a shopping cart. He was eventually apprehended by police.
The next day, Mr. Rutner was called into a manager’s office at Wal-Mart and fired. Why? Because store policy strictly forbids detectives from giving chase to armed suspects once they leave the premises.
Now, one can understand why Wal-Mart might have such a policy – to protect its employees and to protect the store itself from liability. But as Rutner states, he felt he could not allow someone he knew to be dangerous to run free and possibly attack someone else. “I didn’t get hurt. They got their merchandise. And yet I got fired.”
Rutner knowingly violated store policy and should certainly be subject to some sort of discipline for that. But to most of us, he’s a hero – and that should count for something more than being tossed out on his tuchus. The one time somebody tries to go above and beyond the call of duty – rather than just getting by with the minimum amount of effort – and what happens? He gets punished for it. So much for civic-mindedness. So much for incentivizing excellence, which is probably mentioned in Wal-Mart’s BS employee materials. The message Wal-Mart is sending is “Screw the community, all we care about is ourselves.”
Wal-Mart can of course do what they want – but here’s hoping that if Josh Rutner doesn’t get a medal for his bravery, someone will at least offer him a new job.