Interview With Good Samaritans Results in More Questions Than Answers

Perhaps in the executive offices of Sprint there has been little if any attention paid to the plight of two Denver retail store employees who were terminated for apprehending a shoplifter while on break in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Certainly the company’s senior management are savvy enough to know that all stories which flash across our collective consciousness ultimately burn out into at best a faint recollection of “do you remember those two young fellas who apprehended a thief in a shopping mall a got fired for their troubles?”

It is after all human nature to move on to the next big story whether it be about a mega-merger that creates the world’s largest airline, to a study about television making tots less intelligent and a little chubbier, to the most recent report of the Sandra Bullock – Jesse James marital challenges.

I do not know if the Denver Samaritan story is a sad reflection of the limited attention span of society in general or the smug cynicism of another corporate entity that values profits above people (refer to my recent post on AstraZeneca who in an effort to illegally push their anti psychotic drugs as an off-label treatment were fined $520 million – a mere pittance when you consider the profit levels of pharmaceutical companies which is almost 3 times higher than any other industry sector).

One thing that I did not miss was the subtle yet significant comment by both Mike and then Paul regarding their suspicions that something was afoot when shortly before their termination, they were asked to provide their employer with a written statement of what transpired on the 16th of April when they responded to the call of an aged mall security guard.

Nor was I surprised at the efforts of Sprint to justify that which is unjustifiable, through the ambiguous suggestion that the reasons for the termination was somehow linked to past misdeeds by the dynamic duo.

Even the fact that the company has been slow to pay Paul and Mike their final checks for the period worked just prior to being fired is more disappointing than unexpected.

At the end of the day, and this is what is relevant readers, is the umbrella of avoiding possible litigation under which Sprint is purportedly seeking shelter, that should send a collective chill throughout the land.

Think for a moment about the “logic” behind this mindset. Shoplifter steals from a store. In the process of committing the crime, two citizens hear a call for help and capture the thief. The thief being caught sues the the company for which the citizen’s work.

Perhaps I am being a little slow on the uptake here . . . the effects of playing one too many football games without a helmet, but at what point does a thief have more rights than those of honest, hardworking citizens?

If I am not mistaken, the proceeds of a crime can be seized by the authorities. Are we now at the stage where criminals can sue the government for unlawful seizure of personal assets?

Perhaps we should post signs in stores indicating that while shoplifting is illegal, help yourself because no one is going to stop you!?!

Based on the above Paul, who is a volunteer fireman, would have to ignore a burning building if he was off duty.

I know that this is perhaps taking the matter to a ridiculous extreme, however if a somewhat obscure policy can be leveraged to fire employees – one of whom has been with the company for several years, I do not believe that anything is out of the realms of possibility. Do you?

In the end, all we can do is express our appreciation for two young men who when faced with unpleasant circumstances, chose to do what we all can only hope we would do in a similar situation.

Hello Sprint . . . can you hear me? It’s time to switch to Verizon.

If you did not have the opportunity to catch the live broadcast last evening, here is the link to access the on-demand version: “How To Get Fired: Help Someone In Need!

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