Thursday, July 30, 2009

Randalls Food Store fires employee for apprehending purse snatcher

Scenario: Tuesday, July 21 ... woman shopper in Randalls Food Store in Austin has her purse snatched by a 15-year-old who runs out the door. Produce manager and Army veteran Troy Schafer is returning from lunch when he sees what is happening and gives chase, along with a customer. Suspect is chased into a nearby field ... police arrive and arrest him ... customer's purse is recovered.

Would you consider Mr. Schafer a hero? In today's "don't get involved America," he is a refreshing breath of fresh air.

The problem? His employer, Randalls Food Store, fired him because, according to customer service representative Connie Yates, it was "against company policy." To do what? Help a customer? Chase a robber? Help a fellow citizen?

The news has broken all over Austin and this morning Mr. Schafer, along with the customer whose purse was snatched, Ann Welch, appeared on Fox & Friends where they relayed the incident. An email,, has sprung up for those with jobs to offer this courageous American citizen.

Randalls has told him he could reapply for his job in six months. Mr. Schafer needs a job before then ... he has bills to pay.

He told the Austin American-Statesman:
"In a split-second decision, when someone is screaming for help, what do you do?" he asked. "I did what I thought was right. I still feel like I did the right thing. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror the next day if I didn't help that lady."
Customer Ann Welsh reacted when told Mr. Schafer had been fired:
Welch said she appreciated the help Schafer and the unnamed customer gave her. She offered them money as a reward, she said, but they both refused.

Schafer told her Saturday that he had been fired. Welch said Monday morning she asked the store manager to give Schafer his job back. But the manager told her his hands were tied.
Welch said she hopes Schafer finds work soon.

"He heard me needing help, and he helped me. And then you fire him in this economy? It's just wrong," she said. "It is absolutely wrong."
A few thoughts about this:

- Litigation in America is completely out of control. Many companies have initiated policies such as the one cited by Randalls because criminals have sued companies and won. Tort reform is badly needed and long overdue.
- Criminals now can prey on customers in Randalls because they know store employees cannot give chase.
- Military veterans, who have been trained to protect Americans, should be better appreciated by employers including Randalls Food Stores.
- Americans, who have been told they need to stand up to bullies, are now shown what happens when they become involved and actually do stand up to bullies.
- Americans, who for too long have had a "don't get involved" attitude, now have a reason to do just that.

Judging from the outrage in Austin, Randalls has been hearing from many customers including those who have vowed to boycott the store until Mr. Schafer is rehired. Want to contact Randalls?
Randalls Corporate Office
Brian Dowling, VP of Public Affairs
5918 Stoneridge Mall Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588
Tel: 925-467-3000 Fax: 925-467-3323

Randall's Food Market - Austin area
Gattis School Rd, Round Rock, TX 78664
(512) 246-0390 2051

"Randalls is UnAmerican" on Facebook
On a personal note, I have shopped at Randalls while visiting my sister in Austin and they are nice grocery stores.

However, this incident is, in my opinion, a sad lack of understanding on behalf of management in taking an individual incident into consideration instead of hiding behind a blanket company policy.

What happens to Mr. Schafer remains to be seen. Unless there is something we are unaware of about his employment, I would hope Randalls would reconsider and rehire this military veteran ... and thank him profoundly for his service to this country ... while realizing how fortunate they are to find such a dedicated employee.

1 comment:

Bob K. said...

I'll bet Troy Schafer has a few better offers by now from people who appreciate good people.

The loser: Randalls.