70-year-old veteran and Home Depot employee, Jim Tinney, made headlines recently when he noticed three men shoplifting at the Home Depot in Pearland, Texas. What Tinney did next, cost him his job.
Tinney witnessed three shoplifters gathering tool sets worth thousands of dollars and running out of the store. His natural reflex to stop these criminals is what caused him to lose his job. To slow the thieves down, he threw a paint roller extension towards their feet.
The shoplifters were not hurt and, unfortunately, got away.
"In the Army, they train you to do things like that," Tinney said. "I just automatically went like this and threw the stick at their feet."
Tinney thought the whole ordeal was over until two weeks later he was pulled into his boss's office. He was fired.
Tinney said the Home Depot's policy on addressing shoplifters was clear — no employee should confront shoplifters. However, Tinney believes he was just trying to do the right thing and that the punishment didn’t t fit.
"I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me, but terminate me? That's pretty strong," he said. "I'm 70 years old. I need to work. I needed that job. I enjoyed working with customers figuring out what they wanted to do. It's fun."
Home Depot spokesman, Stephen Holmes, said that this policy is in place for everyone's safety.
Holmes told ABC13, "We have a strict policy that only our trained security personnel can pursue and engage shoplifters. We've had deaths and serious injury over the years, and no amount of merchandise is more important than the safety of our associates and customers."
These policies are not just at Home Depot stores but at most retail companies. Though, you can understand their logic, Tinney makes a valid point as well — final written warning would have sufficed.
The lesson was untimely, especially for a 70-year-old veteran man who's been around the world serving our country.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe he should have gotten fired for this? Let us know in the comment section. In related news, this man was fired from Home Depot after he was trying to stop a child abduction!