Katy, Texas - An employee at a Great American Cookie location inside Katy Mills Mall says he was suspended and threatened with termination over using his own money, without the employee discount, to buy a cookie for a police officer.
The incident happened on Sunday while Zack Randolph was working at Great American Cookie. The employee saw a uniformed police officer come in to buy a cookie, and he offered to buy the officer the cookie, using his own money.
"I did it because I thought it was very respectful,” Randolph told KPRC 2.
People in line behind the officer were upset and wanted the low-wage employee to buy their cookies as well.
"They were asking if I was going to buy them a cookie. And I told them both, 'No. They don't have a badge. I'm sorry,'" Randolph said.
The customers started to threaten to beat him up or get him fired for buying the officer a cookie and then refusing to buy everybody else a cookie. Randolph's mother posted to Facebook:
"The next family walked up and said "are you going to buy mine too?" My son replied with "I'm sorry I bought his because he is wearing a badge"...... then this customer started verbally attacking him, calling my son a racist, & threatened to beat him up. His wife threatened to go back there and slap him.. The middle aged man sat down his little daughter and tried to come behind the counter to attack him. Thankfully his coworker defused the situation. The man then said "I will get you fired".
As soon as this man started the attack my son, he stepped back and walked away... he said very little to this man.
on Monday he received a text stating that he was to bring all of his "stuff" the next day for a meeting with his manager and upper manager.
Tuesday he walks in with all his stuff. He was told the upper managers want him fired. Thankfully his manager refused and said you are an excellent worker and and everyone agreed that you did nothing wrong (The day before this situation he was offered a $2 an hour raise and management) He then started his normal scheduled shift. He worked 2-3 hours , when he was called into the back room where she had written him up. It says "he bought a cookie for a police officer and a customer wanted to physically fight him" it does state "if this happens again he will be terminated." Then she stated after todays shift you will be on a 1 week suspension..."
Randolph's mother's Facebook post generated severe backlash, and the corporate office responded.
"Our stores are independently managed and operated. However, when the situation was brought to our attention, Great American Cookies Corporate went directly to our franchisee to ensure that the situation was addressed and handled appropriately,” said executive vice president of Great American Cookies, David Kaiser, told KPRC2.
The owner of that franchise location then responded. "After further review and a detailed investigation, we have confirmed that the employee was in the right. As a result, we have reached out to speak with the employee and his mother to issue an apology and the corrective action and suspension has been reversed."
It's one thing when a rogue minimum-wage employee disrespects police, and another entirely when multiple managers actually want to fire an employee for buying a cookie for a police officer.
Do you think that the company responded appropriately? We'd like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.