Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
October 10th, 2017
Thanks to melting snowflake firefighters, a Detroit firefighter was fired before he officially began his first day on the job for bringing a watermelon to work.
Robert Pattison, 41, introduced himself to his fellow firefighters at Engine 55 at the corner of Joy and Southfield in Detroit by bringing a welcome gift, WJBK reported.
Second Battalion Chief Shawn McCarty said it is “a tradition” to bring a gift on the first day of work for Engine 55’s firefighters.
“It’s not mandatory, it’s voluntary,” he said. “You come in bearing gifts. The usual gift is doughnuts, but you are allowed to bring whatever you want to bring in.”
Pattison, who was a probationary firefighter, decided to be original and brought a watermelon with a pink bow on top.
Then, whining black firefighters were offended by Pattison’s gesture.
As things go, 90 percent of the firefighters at Engine 55 are black.
“When you get your first detail at a firehouse you pretty much know what you are getting yourself into,” said Patrick Trout. “So you would have to say it was probably a bad call.”
McCarty said that some people at the firehouse whined it is “racially insensitive” to bring a watermelon as a gift.
Pattison argued that he did not bring in the watermelon as a joke and had no intention of offending his colleagues.
Fire Commissioner Eric Jones said in a statement that Pattison was officially discharged:
There is zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior inside the Detroit Fire Department. On Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, at Engine 55, a trial firefighter (probationary employee) engaged in unsatisfactory work behavior which was deemed offensive and racially insensitive to members of the Detroit Fire Department. After a thorough investigation, it was determined that the best course of action was to terminate the employment of this probationary employee.
Despite Commissioner Jones’s statement, McCarty does not think Pattison should have lost his job over a watermelon.
“I don’t think so,” McCarty said. “Between what he did and what was there are a few things that could have been done.”
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