A Texas teenager who was fired after he paid for a brownie for a police officer in line at his cookie stand will be reinstated.
Zachary Randolph, 18, is an employee at Great American Cookies in the Katy Mills Mall in Katy, Texas. But his employment was in jeopardy for a few days after a moment of generosity on the job.
One week ago, a police officer came to Great American Cookies and ordered a brownie, a $2.75 purchase. Randolph offered to pay for the officer’s brownie out of his own money. The police officer thanked him and walked away.
It was the conduct of the next family in line that got Randolph in trouble. When they got to the counter, they asked if he’d be paying for them, too. In a viral Facebook post, Randolph’s mother said her son’s job was threatened and that he was accused of being racist:
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.”
The next day, Randolph was summoned to a meeting with his manager and upper manager. While upper management supposedly wanted him fired for the incident, his direct manager would not fire him, saying he was a good worker and under consideration for management at the time of the incident.
No good deed goes unpunished, and they did issue Randolph a warning and a one-week suspension. Not everyone agreed; Zachary certainly didn’t.
“A lot of people I know my age don’t support police officers. I don’t think it’s fair,” he told Fox26 Houston.
But things were about to change again. As the story got more attention, Great American Cookies executives got the decision reversed. Biju George, the owner and operator of the Katy Mills Great American Cookies, issued this statement:
On behalf of Great American Cookies Katy Mills, we owe the employee an apology. It was never an issue that he purchased a brownie for a police officer, but rather the events that unfolded with another customer in line at the time. However, after further review, we realize that the employee was in fact in the right and we continue to reach out to him and his mom to issue an apology. The corrective action and suspension was reversed immediately and we hope to connect with him today.
In an emailed statement to the Houston Chronicle, Great American Cookies Executive Vice President David Kaiser wrote:
Great American Cookies proudly supports Law Enforcement, First Responders and all who serve our country. […] Though our stores are independently managed and operated, when the situation first arose, we reached out to the franchisee to ensure that the situation was addressed and handled appropriately.