Meijer Store Greeter Claims He Was Fired For Leaving His Post To Help Customer Put Out A Fire

At a Meijer store in Michigan, it appears that where there’s fire, there’s an employee claiming he got fired. A store greeter says he lost his job for leaving his post, which is against the rules, but he only walked away to help a customer put out a van fire in the parking lot.

He says he figured he was doing the right thing last month even though he knew that he was violating company police, reports UpNorthLive.com, but that the customer came first in this situation.

“When the guy came in and said his dashboard was on fire I grabbed the fire extinguisher and I followed him outside and sure enough his dashboard was on fire,” he explained, adding that they were able to put out the fire quickly and he returned to his post.

As quick as that was, he claims he was called into the store director’s office later where he was suspended for his actions, and was fired later that week.

“The one supervisor told me that my heart was in the right place, but my brain wasn’t,” he said.

Meijer didn’t comment on personnel matters, instead simply saying in a statement:

“The safety of our customers and team members is a top priority at Meijer. We have a very specific protocol in place for our team members to follow when emergencies occur and we can’t allow any deviation from the policy that could put our customers or team members at risk.”

For the guy whose truck was on fire, it’s all very confusing, as his truck would’ve been completely burned if the fire had kept going, he said.

“I just think it’s ridiculous why should you be penalized for being a good Samaritan,” he said of the helpful employee. “I thought that was what we were supposed to do, you know you have somebody that is in need, don’t you help them, but I guess not.”

Though this wasn’t the first time the worker was suspended for leaving his post β€” he chased a shoplifter several years ago β€” he says he doesn’t understand how you could lose your job over such a thing. He’s currently looking for a new job.

Employee fired after helping put out van fire [UpNorthLive.com]

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  1. Cara says:

    Doesn’t *not* responding to the fire “put our customers at risk”?

    • C0Y0TY says:

      I think what they mean is legal risk, and they don’t want to be sued for anything not according to their script.

    • Xenotaku says:

      I think this goes along with the “give a robber what they want” thing, too. If he had’ve gotten hurt putting out the fire, the company could be liable through L&I, since he was on the clock at the time.

      While I disagree with the firing, I can understand that they don’t want to encourage people to do things like this, when they could’ve grabbed security or someone else with more training or something.

  2. PhillyDom says:

    “[V]iolating company police” certainly sounds like a firing offense to me.

  3. CzarChasm says:

    Unfortunately, in this litigious society, this is pretty much how you HAVE to handle things. What happens if that truck explodes and the worker gets hurt? That’s right, workers comp for life.