A community has raised backlash against a Wal-Mart that fired a favorite employee, for giving customers hugs.
Frank Swanson, a Missouri Walmart employee was a community favorite for his hard work. He often helped customers find the best deals, and he wasn’t shy to give out a hug.
“I was asking the ladies if I could give them hugs before I hugged them,” he told ATTN. “They said yes.”
Management reportedly asked him not to hug customers anymore unless they gave permission, but was fired even though many customers would oblige.
The incident that led to Swanson’s firing involved a customer who was trying to get a price match from a competitor. Swanson offered 50 cents off to match the competitor’s price.
“I was checking out a lady who had some iced tea,” he said. “Someone had it on sale in town.”
Walmart fired Swanson for giving the discount despite the fact that there was not ad presented to prove the price difference.
“Frank drove to Willow Springs this morning and had them go back into their archived papers, and just like Frank remembered, [in the] bottom right corner [there was an ad for] Red Diamond Iced Tea on sale at G&W Willow Springs [for] $1.98 and [the Walmart Frank works at] price matches Willow Springs,” Swanson’s brother, Drexel, said.
Walmart later responded to the firing in a statement.
“Letting an associate go is never easy. It is important to note that we have a progressive discipline policy where performance issues move an associate to the next step. For this associate, point-of-sale policies had not been followed in some instances. A recent violation of those policies moved the associate to the final step of our discipline process, resulting in his dismissal,” the statement read.
Many in the community wrote to WalMart in support of Swanson.
Other ex-employees wrote online that the company has done things like this before: found an excuse to fire an employee who is close to retirement.
Do you think they made the right decision?