After being employed for almost 20-years, a Walmart cashier has been fired after the store accused him of stealing. The community of West Plains, Missouri, have boycotted the store after the well-loved employee was dismissed, with many shoppers claiming that he was the only genuine interaction they had with another person during most of their days. The dedicated, 56-year-old employee, identified as Frank Swanson, was accused of stealing a few cents from the franchise after he price matched products for a number of customers…as per Walmart policy.
Mr. Swanson, an employee at Walmart for almost 20-years, always showed up to work on time, never missed a shift, was consistently an incredible customer service representative and was a positive, hardworking and uplifting employee. However, none of these remarkable qualities stopped management at the store from dismissing Mr. Swanson, after they claimed he stole a mere few cents when he price matched an item for a customer.
Drexel Swanson, Frank’s brother, revealed that the job was his brother’s main purpose in life which allowed him to “make people feel good about themselves and bring a smile to their face.” Mr. Swanson loved to give customers hugs, but was incredibly respectful of people’s space and only gave hugs to those who accepted them. Walmart officials, however, did not approve of this, giving him one warning before they fired him over a price match discount incident.
Mr. Swanson, completely dedicated to his job, would memorize competitors’ weekly ads so he could be up-to-date on any price-matches that may come up over the weeks. So, when a customer came in without the ad of a competitor in hand and asked for a price match on a sweet tea beverage, Mr. Swanson knew she was being honest, and rang up the discount. These few cents discount cost Mr. Swanson his job.
After Mr. Swanson’s boss told him the reason for his termination, arguing that Mr. Swanson gave the woman more discount than she deserved, Mr. Swanson personally went to the competitor’s store and found the archived ad, proving that he did, in fact, give the appropriate discount. Despite this, Walmart has refused to give Mr. Swanson his job back.
Drexel believes that the real reason Mr. Swanson was fired was because of his habit of hugging customers, which they labeled as “gross” and inappropriate. Members of the West Plains community have begun a social media campaign dubbed ‘Hugs for Frank’ and have begun plaguing the Walmart’s Facebook page with comments.
Under a post that advertised available positions at the Walmart, locals began to criticize the Walmart, posting comments such as “Well if you’re hiring… THEN HIRE FRANK BACK!!!!!!!” and “Bring back Frank, and while you’re at it, give him a big raise! He deserves it.”
One customer even became emotional on the post, writing “I can honestly say that Frank brightened my day every time I ran across him in your store. He is so thoughtful, so patient and is truly kind, which is rare in today’s culture. I’m so disappointed that you fired Frank.”