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.

The Duty To Confront, Part One: A Starbucks Encounter


A friend on Facebook just posted this tale…

“Lady at Starbucks yelled at employee for serving old sandwiches marked 8/11. She was irate and insisted on seeing the manager. The manager told her that today was 8/11. Lady said “oh” and no apology for employee who was now in tears.”

And, apparently, nobody, including my friend, stepped in an demanded that the customer apologize.


We have a shared duty to keep up basic standards of ethics and decency. In this situation, and apology is mandatory, and if the woman, who had a valid reason to complain if she was right, didn’t have the sense, character or decency to do the right thing, she needed to be told, and even embarrassed.

Three incidents in my experiences come to mind…. Continue reading

The Arizona Statute Injunction Ethics Verdict: Judge—Right; Arizona—Right; Federal Government—Unethical

I was waiting at a long line in a local CVS, with no clerk in sight. It was late at night; a couple of my fellow customers actually shouted for assistance. We had been there with no service for more than ten minutes, and not a single employee was in evidence. Finally, I stepped out of line—past a police officer, who was also waiting, grabbed the microphone on the counter, turned it on, and announced in stentorian tones: “There is a long line at the check-out counter! Will a CVS employee please report to the front of the store? Thank you!”

The line of people applauded. The police officer smiled and gave me a thumbs up. The clerk, full of apologies, arrived and began taking our money.

Did I have a legal right to use the microphone? No, I did not. But I still did the right thing, and I would do it again.

This is, I believe, the proper way to think about the federal judge’s decision today to block the key provisions in the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law until further examination by the courts. Continue reading

An Idiot’s Guide to the Golden Rule

We usually think of the Golden Rule as a check against wronging others through our actions, but it should be applied to basic consideration and convenience issues as well. As I learned in two separate incidents that may have raised my blood pressure levels permanently, some people don’t understand how to do that.

Especially idiots.

In the first incident, emergency household repairs forced me to make a midnight drive to the local CVS to buy a roll of duct tape. In response to my inquiry, the one clerk in the huge, deserted store directed me to “Aisle 4.” Each aisle had a prominent number over it, from 1 to 26, though the order of the aisles was a bit skewed because some were horizontal and others were vertical. I couldn’t find Aisle 4. Determined to do so without asking for further help, I did a sweep of the entire store, getting more frustrated with myself and the store’s layout with each passing minute. Finally, I surrendered. I walked back to the check-out area and asked the clerk, “OK, I give up! What’s the secret to finding Aisle 4? I can’t see the sign anywhere.” Continue reading