Hurt the Help
June 1, 2010 by admncc
I don’t like to cut and paste stories too often, but in this case, my complaint was already built in. This story appeared in print through McClatchy Newspapers in an article by Carrie Rengers. I later found an expanded version of the story on Rengers’ blog.
“Heather Ravenstein tried to save Wal-Mart some money Friday by foiling a shoplifter’s plan to steal a $600 computer, but it cost her her job. “I’m a single mom, and I don’t know what I’m going to do,” says Ravenstein, who is 30. She has worked at a Wichita Wal-Mart for almost two years, most recently as a customer service manager. Friday night around 10:20, she was standing near some registers when she saw a man with a computer coming up the main walkway of the store. Ravenstein says the man set off an alarm. She went after him. “Let me see your receipt, and then I’ll take this off for you,” she told the man, referring to a sensor on the computer. Ravenstein says the man refused and kicked her. “And then he punched me in my shoulder, and then he finally gave up and just let go of the computer.” The next day, about two hours before her shift was over, Ravenstein says an assistant manager told her it’s against Wal-Mart policy for anyone but a manager or someone in asset protection to try to stop a customer from stealing. “He said there’s really no gray area,” Ravenstein says. “It just goes straight to termination.””
“When asked about the situation, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Anna Taylor e-mailed this response: “While we appreciate her intentions, Ms. Ravenstein’s actions put her safety – and perhaps the safety of our customers – in jeopardy and, in the process, violated company policy as it pertains to how we treat people in our stores. As an unfortunate result of these circumstances, Ms. Ravenstein is no longer employed by our company.””
It’s time for the readers of The Constant Complainer to be the jury. Is a policy a policy or should the retail giant have thanked Ravenstein and/or dealt with her in a different manner?