Gresham, OR – An Oregon woman who gave a bank customer $20 out of her own pocket says she was fired by the bank for her good deed.
Emily James was a senior banker at the call center for U.S. Bank. She was working when a customer called on Dec. 23 and said the bank had put a hold on his paycheck, according to KOIN.
The Oregonian identified the customer as Marc Eugenio and said the check was for $1,000 from a new job.
Eugenio said his bank account had no money in it and he wouldn’t be able to get his children Christmas presents or pay for daily living expenses, according to KOIN.
James tried to fix the problem for two days but said she wouldn’t get the check to clear before the bank closed for the holidays.
Eugenio said he went to another branch for help, but they couldn’t help him out and he said when he left the other branch, workers locked the doors behind him.
So, Eugenio call U.S. Bank’s 800 number and got James on the line.
“I said, ‘I wish I had just $20 bucks to get home,’ ” Eugenio told The Oregonian. “And she said ‘Wait, hold on.’”
At that point, James said she asked her supervisor if she could leave work and fill the man’s gas tank using her own money, KOIN reported.
She then went to Eugenio and gave him $20 but said she was fired on New Year’s Eve for helping him.
“I can’t change the world but I can change the world for that one person,” James said, according to KOIN. “I would rather my morals align with someone who’s more willing to support someone like that than someone who’s willing to throw away two-and-a-half years and a lot of dedication.”
James said she was told she was fired for an “unauthorized interaction with a customer.”
Eugenio told The Oregonian that the firing “ridiculous.”
“I was a customer of U.S. Bank, I needed help, and she went above and beyond,” Eugenio said, according to The Oregonian. “I felt so bad. She was the only one helping me.”
U.S. Bank told KOIN it couldn’t comment on the incident because it was an employee matter.