This really chaps me. Just unbelievable. So he's supposed to take a bullet for Long John Silver?
Long John's story leaves a bad taste
08:42 PM CDT on Monday, October 4, 2004
By STEVE BLOW / The Dallas Morning News
I'm a rules-following kind of guy.
That's boring, I know. We're a society that celebrates rebels.
But me, if I've got 11 items at the grocery story, there's no way I'm getting in that 10-item checkout line.
If I'm in a no-passing zone, I don't pass. If a coupon says it's good for one item only, I don't try to get two.
You get the picture.
It drives my family crazy. No one loves a stickler.
I say all this to preface my remarks about the management of Long John Silver's Seafood Shoppes:
Complete and total, blinded-by-corporate-policy nincompoops.
If you saw the story in Monday's paper, you understand my ire. If you didn't, let me hurry to light your ire.
Back on Sept. 18, two robbers entered a Long John Silver's in Richardson, ordered employees to the floor and grabbed a bag of money.
Then one of the robbers ordered the restaurant supervisor to go to the back of the store. The robber followed. His hand was tucked under his shirt, holding what certainly appeared to be a gun.
The supervisor said he could only come to one conclusion: "He's going to kill me."
And he feared that the three teen employees on the floor would also be killed.
About that time, a hammer came within reach.
The supervisor grabbed it, whirled around and walloped the robber. The bandit fell, dropped the moneybag and then fled, along with his cohort.
Hooray, you might say. A robbery foiled! Everyone safe!
It would be natural to proclaim the supervisor a hero. But Long John Silver's had another word for him: "Fired."
The 46-year-old father of six was called in by his boss a few days after the incident. He was told that he was being terminated for violating the company policy of cooperating with robbers.
And by the way, I'm not using the supervisor's name because the robbers are at large. He's still afraid they might want to kill him.
The former supervisor had worked for Long John Silver's for 10 years.
In firing him, the boss also mentioned that he had violated store policy by having too much cash in the registers.
But resisting the robbery was clearly the unpardonable sin.
As I said, I'm a rules follower. I respect the collective wisdom they represent. I like that they help us live with order, not chaos.
But there have to be exceptions to every rule. And when a man has the feeling he is being marched to his death, that's a good time to declare an exception.
At that point, all rules are off.
Of course, that's just me. Corporate managers of a major fast-food franchise might disagree. But they would be nincompoops.
I checked with Richardson police to see whether new information had come to light since our story ran on Monday. I wondered if anyone had offered other reasons the supervisor was fired.
But no, only calls of support for the man had come in. Many, many calls. "A hornet's nest" is how one officer characterized things.
It was the same story with all the calls and e-mails that came to the newspaper Monday.
I put in a call to Long John Silver's public relations office. Maybe they had gotten some calls, too.
A spokesman issued this statement late Monday:
"First and foremost, we are grateful no one was injured during the robbery of our restaurant. In a random act of violence like this, our top priority is the safety of our employees and our customers. We are carefully reviewing the circumstances of this difficult situation and will do the right thing for everyone involved."
The right thing for everyone involved?
Let's hope. It really doesn't seem so difficult.