Monday, April 09, 2007

Two Marines Thrown Out Of Target For Talking To Employee

There could be a couple things going on here, but recruiting wasn't one of them.

"We weren't recruiting," according to Cpl. Carlos Rodriguez, 22, who said he returned in October from his second combat tour in Iraq. "I just popped in to say hi to a guy I went to high school with. He works there."

But an assistant manager who saw Rodriguez and the other Marine apparently thought otherwise and showed them the door, according to both servicemen.

The manager, who wasn't there, denied they were thrown out. Who do you believe ... the Marines who swear an oath of honor, or the manager that wasn't even in the store for the incident? Not only was he not there, but he hasn't even talked to the manager involved yet.

He said he was talking to his high school friend in Target "briefly and then we were walking toward the CDs when this guy comes out of nowhere. He was the shift manager, or something, and the first thing he started saying was, 'You guys are recruiters, right?'"

The assistant manager said he couldn't have the Marines in the store soliciting workers for the military while they were on the company's clock, Rodriguez said.

"I didn't want to make a scene," Rodriguez said. "We were representing Marines anyway just by wearing the uniform, so I kept my mouth shut."

Then, Rodriguez said, "this retired Navy SEAL came up behind us and he said, 'You forget what... country this is,' and he goes off on (the assistant manager) saying, 'You have no right to throw them out of Target just because they are talking to one of your employees.' "

"He got everything out in the open that I was thinking, so I kind of left with a grin," Rodriguez said.

Technically, they weren't thrown out of Target, but clearly the manager involved jumped to conclusions without getting his facts straight. This is enough for a reprimand because he harassed two customers. Not a defense from his boss who wasn't there, and hasn't even spoken with him yet. For the record ... if the Marines were recruiting I'd support Target, but that is not the case here.

The issue may have been resolved if the retired SEAL hadn't jumped in. Whether it was justified, or not, I don't know.

One of my Drill Sergeants was a Combat Diver. That's the Army's version of a Navy SEAL. He hated SEALs. The reason he hated them was that, according to him, they were undisciplined. Maybe, just maybe the impulsive SEAL caused this to be blown out of proportion.

I would like to point out, however, that there must have been a reason why the SEAL jumped in. Clearly the manager involved didn't just kindly ask the Marines if they were recruiters. He must have asked them to leave, or the SEAL wouldn't have brought it up. Anyway, it's good to see competing services jump in and help one another instead of fighting each other.


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