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Man saves customer’s vehicle from burning up. Meijer store in Michigan fires him for leaving post.

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The greeter at a Meijer store in Gaylord, Michigan is out of a job. David Bowers' sin was leaving his post with a fire extinguisher and putting out a small fire in a customer's vehicle before it became a big fire. We should also point out that Bowers is a repeated offender. He was suspended from his Meijer job a few years ago for chasing a shoplifer.

Please note the response from Meijer where they tell us they can't comment on personnel matters, but them comment on a personnel matter. Which is it?

Nathan Edwards,

"When the guy came in and said his dashboard was on fire I grabbed the fire extinguisher and I followed him outside and sure enough his dashboard was on fire," Bowers said.

They quickly put out the fire and Bowers returned to his post.

He was later called into the store director's office where he was suspended for his actions.

"The one supervisor told me that my heart was in the right place, but my brain wasn't," Bowers said.

MI Gaylord Meijer greeter fired

Later that week, he was fired from his job for not following company policy.

Meijer representatives say they cannot comment on personnel matters, but they did release this statement.

"The safety of our customers and team members is a top priority at Meijer. We have a very specific protocol in place for our team members to follow when emergencies occur and we can't allow any deviation from the policy that could put our customers or team members at risk," Meijer responded.

Bowers did admit that he was suspended several years ago for leaving his post when he chased after a shoplifter, but he still does not understand how he could lose his job.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • edg

    This is the Meijer customer committment:

    ~~Meijer is a family business. We believe in treating each other with dignity and respect. We are committed to strengthening the communities we serve

    And then they say:

    ~~Fred Meijer always said, "Customers don't need us, we need them." At Meijer, we focus on our customers and thrive by meeting their needs and exceeding their expectations.

    Weak management!  Good time for folks in the midwest to boycott the stores – hit their bottom line hard!

  • Derek

    I worked at Meyer years ago. We had a car fire but we’re not allowed to put it out. The first due engine was delayed and by the time they got there, 3 cars were fully involved. They would not even let a trained firefighter who was there use the extinguishers.

  • Cosgrove

    What a bunch of Morons. When Im in Jackson next year for the sale. I won't be buying my Diesel fuel there again. That should show Em.

    Merry Christmas All and a Happy New Years


  • Anthony Romaniello

    Absolutely ridiculous!  If your concern is for the safety ofyour customers and employess, then the best way to handle an emergency situation is to mitigate it as quickly as poaaible.  Would the complany have rather had the car burn ore out of  control and cause greater risk to everyone in the area? 

    My message to Miejer's is this: As a firefighter of 25 years, the best way to keep everyone safe from fire is to prevent them, and if one is already burning, then extinguish it as quickly as possible.  That is what your employee did!  If you were a company that was not made of corporate robots you would want people like this on your staff.

    There are no Meijers in my area, but if there were I can guarantee that I would not be shopping in your store.  Take care of people, not the bottom line.  You have to pick your lunk heads out of the accounting book once in a while and look at the humanity around you! 

  • Fire21

    I think I know where the Grinch lives!!


  • Bewildered

    Another example of "no good deed goes unpunished".

  • Lieu

    I love the charade of calling employees "Team Members". Really Meijer? This is how you treat a "Team Member"? 


  • Depressed Fireman

    This is a perfect situation for them to spin it in their favor.  This is free, positive advertising.  They could come off smelling like a rose,and everyone thinking they are a swell company.  But, they are shooting themselves in the foot.  Give the guy employee of the year!

  • doobis

    If the customer had gone into the store and taken their extinguisher to put out the fire, would Meijer have had him charged with theft?

    • Ben

      No, Mr. Bowers should have handed him the fire extinguisher and contacted the appropriate people.  He would still have his job and would have been looked at as a fine employee.

    • RJ in florida

      if the building was on fire…would he get fired for leaving his post if he ran out and took others with him…..because the manager didnt approve the existance of the fire?

      i worked at a place where a fire occured and i evacuated the store…the manager said that "he" has to make the descision to evacuate, not an employee and he stopped me…i told him that when the fire chief arrives the first question he's gonna ask is why the store wasnt evacuated, he says "thats my problem"… the chief arrived it went down that way and the manager got a fine and tried to hide it from everyone….it got out and he had to put up with my "implied" look of nanny-nanny-boo-boo and he tried to can me…i said if he did i would claim it was retiliation and sue, he let it go…and paied the fine

  • AG

    Imagine a raging fire in the store.  I picture a scene like the band playing in the Titanic.  I guess he will have to burn up saying "Thank you for shopping at Meijer" to everyone running past him out of the building since he can't leave his post without getting fired.

  • David S.

    I hope that someone from this company reads this story they will be sorry after this goes viral. I commend Mr Bowers for his quick and thoughtful actions. Wonder if there was a person or animal in the van at the time ? What would be your comment Mejers that time. I feel that there should be a boycot from thoes stores and Mr Bowers deserves a new and better job.

  • Anonymous

    What is/ was his "post"? Does it involve security/ check point? I'd check? Prisoner escort? What type of business is this place that an employee can't go and "save the day" of a customer? What horse crap. The company really screwed up, I agree could of been a PR bonus instead it a PR blunder. 

  • Wizzer49

    A bunch of idiotic cowards running this business! Depressed Fireman said it best:

    "This is a perfect situation for them to spin it in their favor.  This is free, positive advertising.  They could come off smelling like a rose,and everyone thinking they are a swell company.  But, they are shooting themselves in the foot.  Give the guy employee of the year!"

    These guys suspended him when he chased a shoplifter years ago.

    I hope their competitors see this story and hire this guy tomorrow.

     If they open a store by me I can boycott it.

  • Anonymous

    Gotta wonder if there's pressure from insurance companies for practices like this to avert employee injury claims.

  • Anonymous

    Well we do nto hve them around here but if I ever see one I will NEVER go in….and I would say all people boycott these stores.

  • Kstrach35

    The policy was obviously not made with the input of people knowledgeable in emergency situations.  As was previously stated, policies are guidelines.  Emergency situations can not be anticipated in every instance and sometimes need to be deviated from.  I will never shop at one of these stores, it appears to me that the policies exist only to limit the liability of the company, not for the safety and wellbeing of the employees or customers.

    • FriPilot

      Perfectly said.

  • switalski family

    I am disturbed that this occured.  An emergency is an emergency.  To be a first responder is of the utmost importantance.  How many other cars could have been affcted.  Bravo for one of the nicest greeters at Meijer's in Gaylord.  I am sure that he is welcome as a greeter anywhere in Gaylord!! He should be commended for his actions.  Shame on Meijer's!


  • Long Island Firefighter

    Lowes has a store In Gaylord, Michigan – 600 Edelweiss Village Parkway, Phone: (989) 705-3920 – I am sure that store manager would hire him on the spot for his commitment to the customer.

  • Anonymous

    This is how Meijer treats their employees.  Give the offender a gft card, and give the employee a point or worse yet, fire him.  Corporate needs to take a hard look at the way they treat their employees.  If, a customer is having a bad day, comes in and takes it out on the employee, leaves, calls Meijer and complains about that particular employee. . . well, guess what?  the employee gets a point againt them.  Twelve points, and YOU'RE GONE.  Way to go Meijer.  You're losing good employees – or perhaps you are looking for lower paid people to apply, and replace the higher paid ones.  Whatever is going on, it's many of Meijer's stores.

  • Sherri

    What"s sad is that Meijer"s is more concerned with being sued if the employee was hurt leaving their post but not the customer or its other employees??? Bad choice Meijers!!

  • Muriel

    The claim made is not the true or complete story.  The guy admitted in the local paper he had been previously suspended for leaving the store, so he isn't as innocent as he pretends to be. Also, the customer who had smoke coming from his car's dash dealt with the problem and drove the car away.