Oregon Woman Fired For Helping Her Fellow Man During Christmas
Oregon US Bank employee Emily James found herself unemployed after she decided to go above and beyond to help a customer. It seems her employer was especially heartless as this was during the Christmas season that she so generously helped her fellow man.
“Emily James worked as a senior banker at a U.S. Bank call center in Portland when she received a call from a customer last month whose paycheck had been placed on hold, The Oregonian reported.
James worked to help Marc Eugenio, a Clackamas resident, get access to the more than $1,000 that should have been in his account before telling him to go to his local bank the next day to get the money cleared by a manager.
The following day, on Christmas Eve, Eugenio visited his local branch but because of the holiday, no one was able to help him.
A devasted Eugenio called the 1-800 line from a gas station where, according to report, he was stranded with no money to fill his tank to get home.
He requested to speak to James, explaining what had happened before adding: “I wish I had just 20 bucks to get home.”
“She told Eugenio to stay put and that she’d be there within 30 minutes with some gas money.
“I didn’t want her to do it,” he said. “But I’m not proud to the point that I’m going to refuse help.”
James said she got permission from her supervisor to drive out to the 76 gas station at Southeast 122nd Avenue and Sunnyside Road, about 14 miles from her office.
“I handed him $20 in cash, said ‘Merry Christmas’ and went right back to work,” she said.
Eugenio said he thanked her and gave her a hug.
“It was like, ‘Wow, she really cares,” he said. “Most supervisors, maybe they would have tried, but nobody would have ever come out because I was stranded. She had a big heart. She believed what I was saying.”
James finished the rest of her shift that day and again on Monday, Dec. 30.
But on New Year’s Eve, she said, the regional service manager was waiting for her when she arrived at work.
“She said, ‘We’re sorry, we cannot keep your employment,’” James said. The reason, James said, was because of her “unauthorized interaction with a customer.”
Watch The Clip Below.
“It was one of the saddest Christmases,” Eugenio said. “Promissory notes for Christmas gifts. And I can’t believe [James] lost her job over it. The only one who seemed to care was Emily, and she got fired for that.”
James claims she is not sure if she would take the job back anyway if they are going to be treating their fellow man with such indifference.
“I can’t change the world but I can change the world for that one person,” she told KOIN 6. “I would rather my morals align with someone who’s more willing to support someone like that than someone who’s willing to throw away two-and-a-half years and a lot of dedication.”
In a statement, a US Bank spokesperson explained the company’s decision to fire James.
“At US Bank, we have policies and procedures in place to protect our customers and employees,” the spokesperson said. “Ms. James was terminated following an internal investigation into her interactions with a customer. During this review it was determined Ms. James did not use the available solutions to remedy the customer’s situation and instead put herself and the bank at risk with her actions.”
I get that US Bank felt this was not a safe activity, but James did get an ok from a supervisor before she went. If they really were concerned about her welfare they could have sent someone out with her. I know this is not a norm for the bank but it was still a nice thing that the bank decided to punish instead of commending and that says a lot about US Bank.
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