Yup, Joe Morici Is A Hero, And CVS Is Right To Fire Him


Joe Morici says his military instincts kicked in when he saw two thieves jump over the counter at the Beltsville, Maryland CVS where he worked and grab narcotics. Despite CVS’s strong (and typical) policy against employees playing Batman, Morici chased them to the front door, fended off a screwdriver attack, and retrieved most of what was stolen, though the criminals fled.

“He tried to hit me again with the screwdriver. I disarmed him of the screwdriver, while having the other guy pinned against the one door,” Morici said.

CVS fired him. Of course they did. The company can’t have clerks risking their own lives and those of customers by reckless interference with robberies.  Morici happened to have some training, but he wasn’t hired as a security guard, and chasing down bad guys isn’t in his job description. CVS had to fire him. It couldn’t give him a reward, either, because then it would have clerks all over the country trying to be heroes.

Thus Joe behaved, irresponsibly and CVS behaved responsibily, but allover the news media, this story is being played up as a great injustice, showing how cruel, heartless and ungrateful corporations are. That’s ignorant, and in the case of the news media, willfully so: their employers know CVS was right.

“Ah,” those Trump supporters will say. “This is why we need someone to make America great again! We don’t appreciate heroes any more!” It’s a visceral position, and like many visceral positions, simple-minded. This is, however, the way our culture encourages demagogues.

To be fair, Bernie Sanders supporters probably think CVS is wrong too.

41 thoughts on “Yup, Joe Morici Is A Hero, And CVS Is Right To Fire Him

  1. This Sanders supporter does not think that CVS was wrong to fire the clerk. However, I do belive that the Sanders comment was a cheap shot with little or nothing to do with the matter at hand

    • My concern, and point, is that the media plays to populist ignorance. I guess I’m encouraged that there are some non-ignorant Sanders supporters, but I can’t understand why that is so. Maybe you can explain it to me. Do you know his various plans are insane and that he has no more qualifications to handle foreign affairs than a busboy, and just not care? Have you read that “eliminating waste, fraud and abuse” is a time honored dodge to explain imaginary savings to offset huge spending programs, but somehow believe that Sanders is the one politician who can do it? Do you have some secret reason to legitimately believe that the debt can be increased exponentially forever?

      • No, I have no secret reason to “believe that debt can be increased exponentially forever.” However, I believe, and the numbers seem to support me, that the increase in the debt has slowed in the last few years. Therefore, the debt is not increasing exponentially. In fact, the rate of increase has been negative and the big concern has been, recently, negative interest rates and falling prices.
        As far as foreign affairs as concerned I don’t see Sanders as any more of a busboy then either those that have conducted our foreign policy for the last 16 years or those putting themselves forward to run it for the next four. Right now it seems to be a race between a deal maker that seems to want to run a “protection racket” and the “same old shit from the same old shits”

        • Just want to point out the difference between level and rate of change. When the deficit (expense minus revenue) is positive, as it has been since the late 90’s, it means the debt is growing exponentially. To calculate the future debt you use the pert function (Principle * e ^(Rate * Time)), where the Rate is the current deficit expressed as a percentage of total debt. As you can see in the formula, debt is an exponential function, and if the rate is positive than you have exponential growth.

          The rate of growth has come down in recent years, but it’s still positive, and the CBO projections for future deficits project that it will go back up both under the current law and the current policy measures.

          Again, rate of change and level are often confused. While it’s true that the deficit has come down, it is also true that the debt has increased exponentially every year.

  2. All too often, when the clerks or employees comply with the robber, the robber may shoot them anyway.

    Just how ethical are companies’ “comply with the robber” policies when they may cost more lives than they “save”?

    • Most companies don’t object to employees defending themselves, but they are rather emphatic that employees shouldn’t endanger themselves to protect company property.

      • They should have reprimanded him not fired him. If he had a panic attack in the store due to PTSD he would get help and counseling but since he did something that is now as ingrained in his nature as breathing he gets fired. Sorry that’s not right. Counsel him and let him keep his job.

        • Bill, the problem is the message to other CVS employees. This is a very strong policy most places, and it’s not as if “don’t do it again” is much of a reprimand. In the case of the Safeway butcher who jumped over a counter and beat up a customer who slapped his girl friend, I’d agree with you. But he was protecting someone, not getting in the way of a robbery. What if the crooks were armed and started shooting?

          • But they didn’t have a gun and they didn’t start shooting.

            Having non flexible rules is the sign of poor management and leadership. Anyone can apply a strict set of rules and punishment, a chimp can do that, but to apply them judicially and depending on the circumstances that takes real leadership and management skills.

            If they had a gun I would say yes fire him he put everyone at risk but they didn’t.

              • Maybe but maybe he saw that they didn’t and made a decision.

                Plus as I said reacting like this is ingrained in him now.

                I had the exact same thing happen to me when someone came walking down a tow path on the C&O Canal carrying a pistol next to a camp site I was camping on , someone yelled “He has a gun” and everyone took off in the opposite direction except myself , my friend Hardy and the man who yelled that he had a gun. Because of my training as a Marine I just did it, I didn’t think about it one way or the other I just did it. I think this is what happened to him.

                • The manager in question is a veteran.

                  Had he done a similar thing in the military (refusing to obey a superior order to retreat and defeating hostile forces in the process), he would likely have been court-martialed.

                  • I have read two replies regarding the Military following orders in the face of hostile action. Those orders rarely exist and if they are given the unit will be fighting their way out. Soldiers are sent to war by their countries, sent into battle by their commanders but fight for each other. Google CVS robberies and see how many emolyees have been hurt or killed by thugs! Bravo for taking a stand. Jeers to CVS for not seeing things through the eyes of their manager who was on the scene.

                    • You should take the time to read about the Chosin Reservoir. It makes my point. Marines fought their way in to save other Marines. One Captain disobeyed an order to retreat and was awarded the Medal of Honor. You see – those on the front line have real time information. CVS made a mistake in not recognizing the sometime the rules don’t apply.

    • “All too often, when the clerks or employees comply with the robber, the robber may shoot them anyway.”

      Citation please? My personal experience and an amount of thought leads me to think that this isn’t true… Unless “All too often” is an exceptionally small percentage. I’d allow you that, because like Jack said, once is too often… But that doesn’t change the fact that the best way not to be hurt in a robbery is to give the robber what he wants.

            • When someone is after bits of paper in a till, they are after bits of paper in a till, and avoiding injury is easiest with compliance. In the case of rape, they already have the intent to harm. The argument could be made, especially if they have a weapon, that there might be less harm without resistance, but my original statement was “that doesn’t change the fact that the best way not to be hurt in a robbery is to give the robber what he wants. If the point of the crime is specifically to hurt you, my statement doesn’t apply.

              To which I add again: Duh. I think you’re attempting to be a Socratic foil, but you’re not that good at it. Socrates is held up not just for asking questions, but for asking GOOD questions.

    • Inquiring Mind’s 9:43 am comment caused me to think that if only there were more armed robberies of drugstores where the entire supply of birth control pills (especially the abortion-inducing ones) is taken, then the abortion rights lobby would get the law changed to mandate heroic clerk actions. All for the sake of saving lives, of course.

  3. As I understand it, at least in California Security Guards aren’t allowed to chase down criminals with their guns drawn but can only notify the police. The exception would be banks. I remember the LA Riots where Korean store owners took it on themselves to protect their stores from looting by brandishing weapons. The police were nowhere to be found for awhile. I guess chain store policy trumps military instincts but maybe Trump should give this guy a job and put his money where his mouth is.

    • I am assuming this paragraph is either an example of a crazy formula in an “easy-A” final exam for a Logics course, or a take-off on mad Trump-supporter reasoning:

      IF “A” (security guards) protecting the person and property of others have certain restrictions (subset x)
      BUT which are not in force during Situation #1.
      AND some “B” NON-security guard store owners,
      ANDwith different restrictions (subset y) defended themselves and their own property
      BUT during Situation #2
      THEREFORE, Trump should give a job to this “C” NONsecurity guard who ignored his job restrictions (subset z) in Situation #3.

      EXTRA CREDIT QUESTION: How many loose cannons can Trump afford to have in his entourage?

  4. I doubt drugstores will exist in BernieWorld. There will simply be government drug dispensaries. I suspect Bernie despises CVS and all other capitalist operations.

    Plus, with the over-incarceration problem, I’m sure Bernie’s drug dispensaries will be self-service. All drugs will be FREE. And LEGAL.

  5. I didn’t realize this post was about Sanders….(shakes head). I love him, but I don’t think he’d make a great president and I don’t think this country is quite ready for Socialism. But how I would love it if he would move next door to me and I could go over and have coffee with him once in a while and listen to him. I got to meet Pat Maginnis over coffee with a friend and it was incredible to listen to her stories as well.

    Dude was foolish, CVS was right. I’m no fan of vigilantes.

  6. Joe was not acting in the sense to be a hero…or a vigilante. There was a young woman behind the counter he was protecting, the pharmacist. The 2 thugs threatened her to open the safe so they can ransack it. He went into action because he was protecting people who cannot protect themselves. Joe was the store manager. He knew what would happen to him if he interfered. He knew of the store policy.He understood he would loose his job. He went into action to protect people who cannot protect themselves. He is not a tough guy. He was not raised to fight or break rules but to help people in need and be a good citizen. I know . I’m his father. He may of lost his job,but CVS lost something much more.

    • I never assumed otherwise, Joe Sr. He decided, on the spot, that it was worth losing his job to render the aid he felt obligated to render as a human being. My own might have done the same thing. It isn’t that Joe wasn’t ethical: he did what he would have done if he were a customer and not an employee, and it as heroic. The point of the article was the the reflex outrage against CVS was misplaced. Companies can’t come up with special policies for special people.

    • Your son was a veteran.

      He thus knows the importance of obeying orders, and the importance is at its zenith when dealing with emergency situation such as an imminent threat from hostile forces.

      If he had done such a thing while on active duty (refusing a superior order to retreat), it is likely he would not be considered a veteran today.

  7. CVS has the right to fire “Batman” and the general public has the right to express thier displeasure or support of CVS. I have met a lot of “Batmen” and “Batwomen” in my life. They all have one thing in common. At one time in their lives they have all been a part of something bigger than themselves.

      • It is also different in the military.

        In the military, the importance of obeying orders is at its zenith when in conflict with hostile forces.

        Servicemen who disobey a superior order to retreat- even if they manage to take down the enemy- are subject to disciplinary action up to a general court-martial.

  8. You sir, are a moron. When society finds it is better to allow criminals to prevail in their actions, then criminals become bolder. Crimes against property become crimes against people. People are hurt, sometimes killed by criminals that “learn” that they will not be harmed, and rarely caught, and nearly always slapped on the wrist. Joe Morici was standing for the the Army Values he was taught, he was taught that an American Soldier must protect the innocent, placing himself between harm and innocent people. The difference between a coward and a soldier is that cowards use human shields, soldiers make themselves one. I would not expect you to understand this, as I get the impression you lack the fortitude to be one of society’s “sheepdogs”, but prefer to graze with the flock, hoping the wolf never comes, and if he does that there will be someone to stand between you and harm. I loath ” pontificators” that cloak themselves in a false sense of moral superiority and pass judgement on others. We live in a world where people are killed in their homes over the theft of possessions. A minister’s wife in Indiana was murdered in her home because she was there when a thief came in to her house. Had she been able to resist, had she been armed, had this predator been killed in his crime, maybe she would be here today, maybe her husband would not be shattered emotionally, and maybe other predators would pause before trying open that front door. But as you say, “it’s better to comply with robbers” so we should give them our momey or a few baubles in a drawer. Except it resulted in an innocent being murdered. It happens every day. So to those other pontificating idiots that don’t believe that thieves DO kill over stealing, look up Amanda Blackburn. She was a pregnant woman killed by two worthless little things that most assuredly predicated her murder by getting away with other “harmless” robberies. Maybe someday someone in your family will pray for a Joe Morici to stand between them and men like these mindless little hyenas, but with our continuing “victim blaming” laws and politics, maybe NO ONE will be there. As for me, I will “cling to my guns and my religion” and live life to it’s fullest knowing that I am responsible for my own safety and that of my loved ones. I would never presume to violate your sense of ethical superiority though, and will proudly stand aside as you are stabbed for your wallet, or for the expensive watch I am sure you wear, thereby allowing you your dignity by not being involved in the acts of a “vigilante”.

    • What an excellent, entertaining, wild-eyed, whacked out rant! I hardly know where to begin, but I know I don’t have the time to do this rats nest of false assumptions and unhinged leaps of non-logic the full justice of painful vivisection it deserves. Let’s see–just a sample:

      1. Joe’s army training also taught him there are direct consequences of disobeying orders. I was raised by a retired army major and Silver Star recipient, who taught me when to be a hero, and when to do the job I was hired for.

      2. Yes, I’m sure robbers are “taught” they won’t be harmed because untrained CVS employees are forbidden from intervening in robberies. See, and I don’t know how this escaped your notice, with all the TV shows and all, but society hires professionals to contend with bad guys. I also wonder how it escaped your notice that Joe wasn’t Batman. Or that there is no Batman. Or that Joe wasn’t hired to be Batman. Or that a real batman would have life expectancy of about 24 hours.

      3. Joe was not an American soldier any more. If he was under the delusion that he was, then the necessity of firing him was 10X as great.

      4. Wow, you’re right, how could I forget the principle of reasoning that says that a single incident is sufficient to base universal policy on? By your crack reasoning process, if tthat Indiana thief tripped on the doorstep and broke his neck, we should eliminate all law enforcement because obviously they aren’t needed. But I can see why you thought an Indiana burglary, in a private home, was a good rebuttal for CVS store policy.

      5.“I get the impression you lack the fortitude to be one of society’s “sheepdogs”, but prefer to graze with the flock, hoping the wolf never comes, and if he does that there will be someone to stand between you and harm.” Yeah, that’s me all right. I’m certain anyone who’s read, or in the case of people like you, TRIED to, more than two or three essays here got a similar impression, and those who know me personally would also chime in their agreement. You’re impressions are almost as accurate as your analogies. Almost.

      6. Why are you quoting Barack Obama? What do laws and politics have to do with this episode? Why is vigilante in quotes, when in fact Joe was acting as a vigilante? How did you get out—did you chew through your restraints? Those straps on the straitjacket are pretty thick.

      7. That’s enough, I think. I almost made your amusing screed a Comment of the Day, because we don’t get lunatics writing in here that often, and this was really a gem. I’d love to give you another shot, but unfortunately when a first time commenter begins with an insult and then vomits all over himself with deranged survivalist right wing nonsense, they are automatically banned, and don’t get a second chance.

  9. Cvs don’t care about thete employees or customers. Before you stick up for them why don’t you read employed reviews. I am one customer that nearly died from their gross negligence. troubling matter concerning CVS. On 7/12 at approximately 9:40 am I went into the CVS located in the Interstate shopping mall in Ramsey, NJ. I approached the pharmacist on duty and explained that I had a dry cough for about a week and what should I get for it. I further explained that I was driving and it CANNOT make me drowsy. She told me to get Delsym. I retrieved from the shelf and showed it to her to be sure I picked the right one. She said yes. I purchased and left. I went back to my job to retrieve my sweater and In my car I took the recommended dosage. There were no warnings on the bottle or box however I can’t recall it there was an insert. I proceeded to drive home to Staten Island via the NJ parkway. About 3/4 of the way home I nodded off. The car proceeded off the road into bumpy terrain which startled me awake. I was horrified as I was approaching a median head on and a ditch was behind it. I immediately swerved left to avoid the median, however the median sliced my passenger side and cut off my passenger mirror which crashed through my passenger window. The glass shattered all over me and the car. I had glass all over my body, even tiny specticles in my mouth. I was totally delirious however I managed to remain calm and continued to drive home in a state of shock, my face bleeding from the glass. I managed to get home and my sister and neighbor cleaned me off and cleaned the glass all over my car. This was approximately 11am. I went into the house and cleaned myself off and laid down. I did not wake up until 9pmfrom that cough medicine. As I am coming to grips with what happened I started googling this cough medicine the pharmacist told me to get AND WOULD NOT MAKE ME DROWSY. I was horrified by what I saw. Websites, testimonials and pharmaceutical sites all noted that the medicine makes you drowsy, hallucinate and sedated and DO NOT DRIVE. Even their own website noted DELSYM – do not drive. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Then I googled NJ Law and on 1/1/16 a state law was enacted regarding this cough medicine. It notes you have to be 18 to purchase it and be a limited access area. Also, the next day I could not go to work. I was still shaken and in pain. I went to CVS close to my house and I asked the pharmacist to print out the side effects of this medicine. And sure enouph it clearly states it could make you drowsy DO NOT DRIVE. I called CVS and spoke to the floor manager who put me in touch with the Pharmacy supervisor. Both were compassionate and understanding, however the Pharmacy supervisor felt that the pharmacist was not at fault at all. I told her all I wanted was for them to fix my car at that point. She forwarded my incident to CVS Risk. Well, not to go on and on however I got in touch with the executive support area of the president and communicated my issue. Jamie told me they would work with risk to investigate. Three days went by and no one called me. I had to drive my car to work since I don’t get paid if I don’t work. I admit it was not safe however I had no choice. Friday, 7/15 I was about at my wits end that no one called. I called jamie back and she said a manager from risk will be calling. Finally someone from the risk department called me. This person was not the manager. He just googled delsym and started rattling off that it must have “come with some papers that said it could make you drowsy”. He not only was unprofessional, unconcerned, unprepared and rude, he was mimicking me and antagonizing me. I asked to speak to the manager who wasn’t the least bit concerned, he even told me he was leaving in 15 mins since he claimed he had no notes in the file and wasn’t informed of my incident. He was also rude. When I told him that I may get a lawyer since I am not getting anywhere on my own he told me “I advise you to retain a lawyer and I will not investigate until I hear from him”. He also stated “so you ALLEGEDLY took cough medicine and got drowsy”. I immediately corrected him and told him I was not alleging that, that was a fact. He also shooed me off the phone, clearly had one foot out the door. Didn’t even show any compassion to what I been through he told me he would investigate and get back to me on Monday. Now this is Friday right before he left. He said he would get back to me Monday between 11 and 12pm. I said so are you telling me that your investigation will take 2 hours. He told me yes. At this point I was shaking from frustration and being treated like a criminal. They closed my case noting they did nothing wrong on Monday. After receiving that email I sent documentation to the CCO Demonstrating they in fact were liable. Then the risk dept sends me an email on wed noting they are “willing” to reopen my case due to the docs I sent. They included questions and a medical release form. I told them I was not answering any personal questions and certainly not giving them access to my medical files if THEY DO NOT CLAIM RESPONSIBILity. I told them that was an invasion of my privacy. They said they needed to to pursue a compensation claim since I wanted them to replace my car and pay my medical. So before you stick up for anyone, especially publically, you should try to make a difference and not just condone one act of what I believe to be just another example of not demonstrating anything they say they stand for. Do your homework!!

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