An employee of Verizon has been temporarily suspended from work following a situation where he rescued a stranded cat.
The employee, Maurice German, used a cherry picker to help a cat stuck on a light pole back to safety. After this, he was suspended – but the story does also have a brighter side.
The story unveiled in Port Richmond, where a cat by the name of Princess Momma got stranded on top of a pole for almost 12 hours. Nothing seemed to help, and even fire department and animal control were of no use.
And then suddenly, the group of spectators near the pole noticed Maurice and his team of Verizon employees. They were working with a cherry picker, a type of hydraulic crane with a platform.
Maurice was kindly asked to help and used to crane to ferry the cat to safety. One of the onlookers took a video of the ordeal and shared it on Facebook. And then his employers saw it...
Once the news reached Verizon, Mr. German was suspended (although temporarily).
Still, a three-week suspension with no pay seems like a drastic measure in response to a heroic deed.
But the story is a bit more complicated. Namely, the equipment that was used was not safe for that particular street. A Verizon spokesperson said that they take no joy from the suspension, but that Mr. German’s actions were a serious safety risk for himself, his colleagues and bystanders.
If anything had gone wrong, perhaps Verizon would have even been liable. Still, the decision does seem a little heartless and ill-considered.
This story, however, does have a happier ending. After the suspension was announced, Maurice’s community and the bystanders who were present rallied in his support.
There was a sizeable amount of public backlash and outcry, along with a lot of social media chatter. This did not, however, result in the cancellation of the suspension.
And although the unlikely hero had to endure the three weeks suspension, he did not suffer financially for it. An enterprising member of the community started a page on the popular crowdfunding platform Go Fund Me. In less than a month, the goal of $2,400 was reached. A short while later it was exceeded by a thousand dollars.
Another campaign was started by one of his colleagues at Verizon. That campaign, with a goal of $4,500, has reached more than $7000.
In response to the incident, Verizon has made a donation to Pennsylvania Animal Rescue & Protection, more commonly known as SPCA.
This tale manages to be both cautionary and optimistic. Doing the right thing may land you in hot water every once in a while, but it’s still worth doing. Those who do stick their necks out for a good cause will always have the support of their communities.