Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

This story was fraught with so many wrong things, I couldn't even form my opinion. Then there is also the factor that my opinion makes no difference, but I needed to make peace with the "what should have been done" in the particular news item I was mulling over. I awoke to an hour of Jim Bohannon's late night show re-run at 5:00 am. It was in listening to his thoughts and the comments of his callers that really grabbed my attention in this news item. Seems a young man, a former Wal-Mart employee had apprehended a shop-lifter, after the shop-lifter pulled a knife. The alleged stolen merchandise was recovered and the next day this young man was fired. At first I was just furious about the treatment of this young man, because first and foremost, I enjoy not liking Wal-Mart. Well, I'm an American, we love to hate, we like to dislike, and Wal-Mart made my list with RFID tags, years ago and the big secret digital storehouse in Jane, MO. I haven't been in a Wal-Mart for over 5 years. Now back to the story. The more I thought about it and the more I looked for information on the topic, the more I found it to be less news worthy than I had originally thought at 5am. Or at least the newsworthiness of it changed for me. The fact that Wal-Mart has a "do not pursue" policy regarding shop lifting indicates they are going to draw a number of young men that just really have a fascination with a badge and the appearance of authority. I mean if the policy is to not apprehend, the security department or asset protection associates or whatever special title Wal-Mart has given them, the guys in uniform are simply props to deter the basically honest from temptation. But there is a policy in writing and shown to the employees through their training. We've all felt the disdain for some whipper snapper in a uniform throwing his weight around. When he was fired, he was told this was a non-rehirable offense. He said, in an interview, he can't even come back at 65 to be a Wal-Mart Greeter. And now, as the day has progressed, I can't help but see a different side of this. At 5am he was a mistreated hero, but now I have to admit; Rules are rules. It is neither admirable nor heroic to disregard the rules to enforce rules on others. Breaking the rules to catch someone else that broke the rules is not security, it's anarchy.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged . . .
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