When Policies Make No Sense

October 20, 2013

Sometimes it seems as though policies are made by six-year-old children because they make no sense to an adult. Case in point, an employee of a large retail chain was taking his third shift lunch break in the store’s parking lot at 2:30 a.m. when he saw a man physically harassing a woman.

When he heard the woman screaming for help and saw the man physically grabbing and pushing her into the car, he walked toward the couple and asked her if she needed help. She pleaded for help and he extended his hand to her and the man grabbed his outreached arm, “ripped” toward him, and punched him five or six times.

The employee’s fight or flight response kicked in and he was able to get the man to the ground after several minutes of fighting, but then he was kicked and grabbed by two other men who knew the man.

The next night, his shift supervisor told him that he would have to suspend him even though he thought his actions of the previous night were brave and selfless and said that he would be given the opportunity to tell his side before they made a decision.

That never happened. The day after that discussion, the employee was called into a meeting with his supervisor and manager and he was fired and escorted from the building. His termination papers read. “After violation of company policy on his lunch break, it was determined to end his temporary assignment.”

He said that even if he knew that he would be fired for protecting a woman from her assailant, he would do it all over again because it gave her time to escape.

And this makes me wonder about several things . . . who makes these dumb policies, who interprets their meanings, and what did the policymakers have in mind when they wrote those policies?

I would be willing to bet that the shift supervisor and his manager would have a completely different viewpoint if the shoe was on the other foot.

For argument’s sake, let’s assume they would have followed company procedure and NOT tried to rescue their spouse or their children if they saw them being physically violated and screaming for help.

But I would bet anything that if THEY were the ones who were being physically violated, they would be screaming their heads off for help and not caring who got fired for rescuing them.

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