The bus driver's treatment by company officials was disturbing, but kind blogging friend Miss Caitlin S. from Candyfloss and Persie provided me with a story about an incident from December 2008 with an even larger dose of injustice that had to be righted:
WILSONVILLE, Ore. (12/10/2008 AP) - Neither a bloody face nor a deputy's plea could stop a tow-truck driver from doing what he's paid to do.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said a Wilsonville woman fled her apartment Monday night after getting assaulted by her boyfriend. With blood running down her face, she got in her car and sped across the parking lot to her grandmother's place, where she called 9-1-1.
The 25-year-old provided a statement to the responding sheriff's deputy and then stepped outside to find her car getting towed. The tow driver would not leave the car without making the woman pay a "drop fee."
"I explained to the tow driver that the woman was the victim of domestic violence," Deputy Wes Hall told The Oregonian newspaper. "I told him there was no place to park, so she left the car with its four-way flashers going, because she was trying to get away."
The deputy's arguments failed to persuade.
The driver, who works on commissions, was completely within his rights to tow the car or charge a drop fee to leave it, said Charles White, general operations manager for Retriever Towing. The amount the woman paid has not been disclosed, but White said the fees run as high as $160...
Yes, Mr. White, the driver was within his legal rights to tow the domestic violence victim's auto. You know the one she used to flee her attacker and call police as blood dripped down her face?
But Mr. White, sometimes there is a significant difference between what is legal and what is right.
And, doing what is within one's legal rights may not be good for business.
Guess what happened that day--in just a few short hours after this story was publicized?
WHAM. Six hundred electronic complaints.
POW. Dozens of irate phone callers.
SMASH. The loss of one towing contract and other customers vowing to evaluate their relationship with the company.
By that evening, the media reported that company officials had reversed their decision about the incident, refunded the victim's $165, and "pledged to make a $500 donation to Rafael House of Portland, a shelter for battered women and children."
We, the public, can make a difference in correcting injustices.
We may not be able to always rationalize with the culprits, but they certainly understand the real and potential loss of cash flow.
I am glad management at Retriever Towing decided to do what was right.
Thanks again to Miss Caitlin S. for the post idea.
Note: Again, this story happened back in 2008, but I thought it was still relevant to my point.
With the holiday weekend, I'll be back on Tuesday with my next post on the Nikki LaDue January case.
Happy Friday and Labor Day to everyone.