A Walmart worker, taking his lunch break in the parking lot, heard the screams of a woman and went to assist her, but ended up being fired by the big box store for his “damsel in distress” response, reports UPI on Oct. 18.
Kristopher Oswald, 30, had been employed for a little less than two months at a Michigan Walmart in the Livingston County town of Hartland when he decided to intervene between a group of men and a woman who was being accosted in the parking lot.
Oswald, who was working the overnight shift, was taking his lunch break at 2:30 a.m. in the parking lot when he heard the commotion and screams of a woman. Getting out of his car, he ran over and saw a man jumping on the hood of a woman’s car as she attempted to flee her assailant.
The deranged man turned on Oswald as he approached, attacking and punching him, yelling, “I'm going to kill you!” recounts Oswald.
The plucky employee held his own, managing to pin down the man, but was then jumped from behind by the two other men. Police arrived shortly thereafter and the men were arrested.
What did Oswald get for his troubles, besides the thanks of a grateful woman? Unemployment.
Oswald was fired for “violating” company policy.
Walmart stated: “After a violation of company policy on his lunch break, it was determined to end his temporary assignment.”
Walmart’s policies are designed to protect their shoppers and employees, and associates are told not to physically intervene in situations of violence or shoplifting. While a policy is one thing, to be a rubbernecker and simply watch a woman being assaulted takes a special kind of coward, of which Oswald certainly is not.
“The last thing I expected was to not have a job,” said Oswald, who was still considered a probationary employee. “I don't even know what to put on an application about all of this. How do I say this ended?”
But he has no regrets over his actions.
“I will always do the right thing,” he said.
Walmart clearly cannot say the same.
UPDATE: Saturday, Oct. 19: Walmart has offered Oswald his job back. Click over for details.