Do you remember the Philadelphia Verizon employee, Maurice German, who used the company’s cherry picker to rescue a cat stuck atop a telephone pole for 15 hours? Elisa wrote about him.
Well, his employer wasn’t happy with what he did because he did something outside of his contract of employment using company equipment. They suspended him without pay for 3 weeks which would have cost him dearly but a gofundme fundraiser raised $7210 which speaks volumes about the opinions of the general public who heard the story. I am sure it more than makes up for the loss of pay.
Pretty well everyone supports Maurice except his boss. And now PETA, the high profile animal advocate organisation have made him the recipient of their Hero to Animals Award. Compassion towards animals should be praised and participants should be recognised for their good deeds.
“We need more people like Maurice German, who’s a hero for pulling this petrified cat to safety — and his selflessness and swift action should be lauded, not punished…PETA is thrilled to recognize this compassionate citizen and is calling on Verizon to reverse his grossly unwarranted suspension immediately.” – PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman
In addition the petition site.com has 34,504 signatures out of a goal of 35,000 calling for his immediate reinstatement by Verizon. Once again this is the public’s endorsement of Maurice’s actions.
You have to say that Verizon got it wrong. I don’t know how long it took Maurice to rescue the cat; probably a matter of minutes. I don’t think it interfered with work in a meaningful sense and no damage was done in the rescue. It’s all positive.
I understand Verizon’s point of view but I think they’ll agree that in retrospect they made the wrong decision in punishing Maurice. They inadvertently created a massive negative publicity stunt. One commenter on Facebook said that she was going to close her Verizon account. The outcome could have been the exact opposite in terms of publicity.
I believe that nowadays big companies can enhance their public image if they show compassion towards animals and are sensitive to protecting the environment. The public mood has changed. They want to see big business having a social conscience. It is good business.
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