“You’re Fired!”

Why did Dillon Reagan hear these words from his boss at Home Depot? He ”broke a safety regulation by leaving the store to assist police while he was still on duty.”

And why did he do this terrible thing? He witnessed a man assault a woman, snatch her child from her car, and carry the child across the parking lot while Mom was screaming “Someone help me. He’s kidnapping my kid.”

Reagan chased down the kidnapper and helped police apprehend him.

After the story went viral, Home Depot suddenly realized Reagan should be honored for such a brave act and offered him his job back.

I happened to see this story the day after I posted my last missive sharing my thoughts on Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s continued employment, Blood Money.

Reagan puts himself at risk by selflessly following a kidnapper and helping police apprehend said kidnapper…and he’s fired.

Muilenburg oversees and is complicit in a collection of decisions that lead to two airplane crashes resulting in 346 deaths. His Chair and Board leave him in charge with a financial penalty.

I Googled bad reasons for firing someone and found a plethora of stories similar to Reagan’s. People have been fired for doing things like using all capitals in some emails, correcting a student’s spelling in a tweet, not making it in to work during 130 mph winds and totally flooded streets during Hurricane Harvey, and my favorite, sitting on the toilet too long.

Here’s one more such story.

Richard Eggers, a 68-year-old Wells Fargo bank employee, was fired recently because he had committed a crime. Seems reasonable.

Except the crime was committed in 1963. OK, clearly he robbed a bunch of banks or murdered someone, right? Not quite.

As a teenager, Eggers used a cardboard cutout of a dime (really) to run a washing machine in a laundromat. Seems new federal banking regulations forbid employing anyone who has been convicted of a crime involving “dishonesty, breach of trust, or money laundering.”

Hopefully this gets all of you, my loyal readers, from CEOs and Board Members to managers, thinking about how you deal with those you oversee when you discover they did something that requires some corrective measures on your part. What is the proper response to actions that lead to crashing planes or capturing a kidnapper? Or using a cardboard coin to wash your clothes 50 years ago?












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