The saying used to be “no good deed goes unrewarded,” but in this day and age of political correctness, it seems more and more the saying should be “no good deed goes unpunished.”
More and more, good samaritans, who respond with unthinking heroism and kindness, performing good deeds, end up getting punished for doing the right thing. It makes you wonder, what sort of society we really want to live in?
One where we turn our back on people, or animals in need out of fear of being punished? Or one where we are rewarded for helping those in need, even if said reward is a simple pat on the back for a job well done.
This must now be on the mind of Verizon worker Maurice German after he rescued a cat from atop a power pole in Port Richmond, Philadelphia on Saturday morning, March 16th. The poor animal had been stranded there for almost 12 hours.
After trying to rescue her, locals had called the fire department, animal rescue groups, and the phone company. After receiving no responses from anyone they begged Maurice for help, something which he was only too happy to provide.
And so it was, with the help of his boom lift, Verizon company property, he had no trouble lifting the stranded feline from her lofty position atop the pole and deliver her to the safe arms of her owner.
Did Verizon pat Maurice on the back for a job well done? No, they suspended him without pay for 3 weeks for his valiant efforts. If it had not been for Maurice who knows what would have happened to the stranded cat. She had been stuck up the pole since 10:30 pm on Friday night.
Princess “Momma” the feline at the center of all the chaos had scaled the pole around 10:30 pm on Friday night. Locals had been trying to get her down until 1:30 am before having to give up.
In no time at all Maurice easily maneuvered the boom lift into position while those below held their breath hoping Princess Momma would not panic. She stayed calm and Maurice plucked her from the top of the pole, then returning her to her owner as onlookers cheered him on. Princess Momma was taken home and fed her favorite meal while Maurice returned to work.
Maurice was to get the shock of his life when Verizon informed him was to be receiving a 15-day suspension from work without pay. He was told that Verizon “vehicles and equipment were not intended to be used in the area where he operated”. Rich Young, a spokesman for Verizon said,” this is why the companies actions are just.
“We take no joy in this job action. However, we’re committed and responsible for keeping our employees and customers safe while working in a particular area. While our actions may not be popular, it’s in the best interest of our employees and the communities we serve.”
“Unfortunately, while this employee’s goal was admirable, he potentially put his life and those around him in jeopardy.”
Verizon has said they will make a donation to the Pennsylvania SPCA in Fishton in support of animal rescue. Some did make the point that “we have NO confirmation the SPCA were even contacted.”. They went on to say”the SPCA couldn’t save the cat that’s the reason he (Maurice) had to help?”
However when Maurices work colleagues and the general public learned of Maurice’s suspension many came out in his support, while some supported Verizon too.
Technically he put himself in grave danger if what they are saying is true about an “electric box” meaning transformer, meaning energized equipment. Verizon buckets are not insulated so he could have been electrocuted just by maneuvering his bucket within proximity.
Those who work in the same field–in this case, HIS co-workers, were able to give a clear explanation of the type of pole in question.
There is only secondary electric on that pole. As Maurice’s co-worker, our procedure is to avoid contact. This is one of the safer poles we are trained to work on.
The more the news spread, so did the blame.
I understand everyone is mad at Verizon…but I think you should be PO’d at the power company too. They have the insulated bucket trucks and could have stepped in. I’m sure they got calls about the cat long before Maurice stepped up and did what needed to be done.
What of Maurice though–assigning blame wouldn’t help pay his bills.
Two different GoFundMe fundraisers were started by others to help Maurice compensate for his lost wages. Amanda Fairchild Boyce was onsite during the entire operation and witnessed it firsthand.
Last weekend a Verizon employee came to the rescue of a cat (Princess “Momma”) outside of my home stuck on top of the telephone pole for 12 hrs. After numerous attempts to find support, no one could help. That’s until Maurice German and his team showed up! This generous man is now being punished! Maurice is being suspended from his job for saving an animal. Let’s support Maurice for his good deed while his employer punishes him!
Dont pretend you wouldn’t do the same! Any donation will help
In two days time, her page raised $3,395 for Maurice. The original goal was only $2,400!
At the same time, Maurice’s co-worker Keith Morales started another fundraiser for him, knowing firsthand what he was going through.
Maurice German is a Verizon employee who performed a random act of kindness by saving a cat stuck atop a utility pole while on the job for Verizon. Verizon suspended Maurice for 15 days for putting himself and the public at risk for his actions. This is completely Verizon’s prerogative as they are the owners of the vehicle that Maurice used to rescue the cat.
However, I’m sure Maurice thoughts were pure when he made the decision to rescue the cat. And that is why I’ve decided to start this Go Fund Me page. Maurice will forgo 3 weeks pay for simply being a human being looking to help one of our 4 legged friends.
By the time Keith closed the fundraiser today, he’d bypassed his original goal of $4,650. His total raised was a whopping $7,210!
That included a generous donation from another co-worker.
$50 donation – from Embarrassed Verizon worker
If I were Maurice, I’d take a nice vacation and maybe spend some of my temporary free time saving more community cats!