Fired For “Misconduct”

5 Sep

Have you ever been fired from a job for “misconduct”?

I quote the word because usually when someone loses a job for “misconduct” the very meaning of the word suddenly becomes subjective to opinion, as in employer vs. employee.

Gosh, there are so very many reasons one can be fired from a job, so many sticky situations. Think about it: most people do something “fire-able” at each and every job at some point.

For instance, do you “steal” office products? Those cute purple clicker ink pens you like so much? Paper? Make copies on their dime? Talk on the telephone for two hours a day (15 minutes here, 30 minutes there)? Do you “steal” away time during what should be your one-hour lunch break? File your nails? Snoop in confidential files?

I could keep going but I won’t. You get the picture.

Well, take a wince at this story…

A Wal-Mart greeter in St. Petersburg, FL was fired from her job after 22 years with the company. The reason? Well, there was a “scuffle” involving her and a customer who shoved her and the employee grabbed the customer’s sweater.

Now the employee, 73-year-old Jan Sullivan, not only lost her job but lost her home from being fired and quickly falling behind on her bills.  She’s not entitled to unemployment benefits because she was fired for–misconduct.


My thing is this…If you have an employee working for you for 22 years that should imply a great deal of good about that employee. I mean, she’s been dealing with customers–every Tom, Dick & Scary–for 22 years! Do you know how many personalities, nuances, idiosyncrasies that is?!

So when a willy-nilly customer comes in and physically messes with that 22-year employee, you should think twice about EVERYTHING. Especially terminating the aforementioned employee.

Wal-Mart has a sad history of treating employees like crapola. They do. All one has to do is Google Wal-Mart to read the gobs of stories about the company and the lawsuits against them. Sure, I know they’re a dynasty practically, very powerful, extremely cautious about lawsuits involving customers particularly, but 22 years?! 


I wish Ms. Jan Sullivan well. I do, I do. Imagine being 73 years old and having to be in this sharky job market starting over.


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