Just 20 days short of reaching his 20-year milestone of employment as a Walmart cashier, Frank Swanson was fired from his job and kicked out of the store. The reason for it has a community outraged, threatening a boycott if the big box store doesn’t bring him back. However, Walmart’s not budging, calling what he did “gross.”
For two decades, Frank has been synonymous with the Walmart in West Plains, Missouri, and for many shoppers, he was the only genuine interaction they had with anyone all day. Some likely spread their shopping out over the week, just to be uplifted by the dedicated 56-year-old employee, who always had a smile on his face. However, it’s what he was doing all along to customers that management became utterly disgusted by.
Although he had done this daily habit for almost 20 years, management decided that their store was no place for a guy like Frank. He was always showing up to work on time and never missed a shift, consistently offering incredible customer service and a positive attitude, but that wasn’t enough for the store, who kicked this mildly disabled man to the curb. They terminated him on a claim of theft over a few cents, and irate shoppers have good reason to believe it’s something else.
Frank’s brother, Drexel Swanson, told ATTN that his brother’s main purpose in life is to “make people feel good about themselves and to bring a smile to their face,” ever since a childhood accident left him disabled. He says Frank’s way of doing that is to hug people, but he is respectful of people’s personal space, only offering it to those who accept after he asks. However, Walmart had no love for the hugs, which they had previously warned him about, before finally firing him over a price match discount on sweet tea.
Dedicated to every aspect of a job that other people wouldn’t take half as seriously, Frank memorizes competitor’s weekly ads, since Walmart advocates price-matching. So, when a customer came in and asked if he could price-match a single beverage for her, but she didn’t have the other store’s ad to prove the price, Frank knew what they were selling it for and rang the woman up at the slightly discounted rate. The West Plains Walmart considered these few cents theft and terminated him for it.
When his boss argued that the competitor’s rate, which he honored, was not correct, Frank personally went to the store in question and asked them to pull an archived ad. Sure enough, it was the price he gave the customer, proving management wrong, but he’s still not getting his job back. Drexel, along with the entire town who loves his brother, believes that it was the hugs that they found “gross” and inappropriate and really fired him for it. He had been talked to about it before, but he was never told that he had to stop completely — just to get permission from the customers.
Drexel said that his brother doesn’t have a mean bone in his body and has even paid for customers’ groceries when they came up short on cash at the register. He’s the ideal employee with behaviors that should earn him a raise, and he has genuine love for his community that most companies should celebrate. Instead, they terminated him for it.
Even if the West Plains Walmart ever does come to their senses, Frank should take his awesome work ethic and attitude and bless another business with it, who respects such things. Stores need more people like him and less entitled employees who couldn’t care less about customers.