written by: @dawnnnyy_⠀
Emily James, a senior bank employee at Portland US Bank call center, was fired shortly after the holidays for giving $20 of her own money to help a man get home to his family for Christmas.
On Dec. 23, Marc Eugenio, a bank customer, was struggling to access funds—about $1,000— that was put on hold. He spent more than an hour on the phone with James trying to get his check-off hold so he could avoid essentially being broke on Christmas. James advised him to visit his local branch the next day — Christmas Eve — to ask for a manager’s assistance in the matter. That next morning, Eugenio went straight to the bank but was unable to receive the help he desperately needed.
According to Oregon Live, the bank manager at the Clackamas branch was on vacation, and an employee informed him, “My hands are tied, I can’t do anything.” The bank employees proceeded to lock the doors behind him as he left.
Rightfully upset, Eugenio contacted the call center again and requested to speak to James. “He said he was calling from a gas station in Clackamas, unable to even fill his tank,” James told reporters.
When Eugenio said, “I wish I had just $20 bucks to get home,” that is when James did the unexpected. She just so happened to be a few miles away and after getting permission to leave, “she told Eugenio to stay put and that she’d be there within 30 minutes with some gas money,” according to Oregon Live.
When James arrived, she handed Eugenio $20 in cash, said ‘Merry Christmas’ and quickly returned back to her job.
“I didn’t want her to do it,” Eugenio said. “But I’m not proud to the point that I’m going to refuse help.” He thanked her and gave her a big hug. A true act of kindness on James’ end.
On Dec.31, James, unfortunately, lost her job for an “unauthorized interaction with a customer,” Fox News reported.
Eugenio views the firing as “ridiculous.” He went onto say, “I was a customer of US Bank, I needed help, and she went above and beyond. Most supervisors, maybe they would have tried, but nobody would have ever come out because I was stranded. She had a big heart. She believed what I was saying.”
At US Bank, their core value is “We put people first.” But is this really the case? Originally James shared the story to possibly get her job back, but now she is unsure. “I don’t think I would want to continue to work for someone who would do that,” she said.