Sometimes it's hard to figure out the "right" thing to do. But when the meat clerk at a California Safeway saw a man kicking his pregnant girlfriend, he didn't have to think. He knew he had to intervene. Too bad Ryan Young's bosses don't see it that way.
The hero has been suspended from his job without pay! What a way to reward the good guys, huh?
A store spokeswoman told the media the heroic store clerk is off the job because of actions that went on during the confrontation, but they won't get into specifics. We do know that Young struck Quyen Van Tran -- who later plead no contest to misdemeanor battery for hurting the woman -- during the altercation, so I can only guess that the store bigwigs are unhappy that an employee hit a customer.
Under normal circumstances, I'd agree with them. I've worked in retail, in a grocery store specifically. Your job is to yes the customer to death. You definitely don't get physical with anyone.
But this was not your "normal" circumstance. The same cops who arrested Tran have commended Young for protecting the pregnant woman. Even they think he's a hero.
There is something to be said for the kind of person who puts their own neck on the line for someone else. Ryan Young knew he could be hurt himself, but he saw there was a woman being physically abused. He put himself out there to help someone else. And yeah, he got physical. Because sometimes, right has shades of gray. Sometimes we have to do something not so great in order to have things turn out OK.
Being able to figure out what's right and being brave enough to make it happen is an act an employer should not only value but celebrate. He's a team player. He's a good guy.
He should be a public relations dream for a company. Instead, because a company is second guessing a guy who jumped in to do what's right without a second thought, he's become their nightmare, with angry citizens picketing to get this hero his job back.
Which side are you on? Should Young be punished or should he be celebrated?
Image via katerha/Flickr