UPDATE: WATCH: SEARS employee fired after racially charged exchange

It happened at a store in Winnipeg, with the employee asking the customer 'let me guess, you just got off the boat?'...

The man at the centre of a viral video, has now been fired.

The confrontation between a SEARS employee and a customer in Winnipeg, was caught on video, and it's now gone viral online.

The video was posted to Facebook on Saturday and has since been charged more than a thousand times.

It all started when the SEARS worker asked the employee to remove his child from the riding lawnmower, telling him 'this wasn't a play area'.

Shortly after, the employee allegedly said to the man, who is Asian, 'let me guess, you just came off the boat'.

The man reacted, shouting obscenities to the employee and demanding he be fired on the spot.

At first, the company said the employee had been suspended, but later on in the same day, officials had indicated he'd been terminated.

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  1. Angry Bill posted on 03/03/2014 03:02 PM
    Racist comment or not, the Asian guy wasn't doing himself any favours by his own words and actions. Those words and actions could very well wind up getting the employee NOT fired.

    Besides, the employee had a point, minus the racial comment. Too many people (new immigrants or otherwise) think that it's okay to let their kids totally destroy stuff in a store, and do nothing about it. I've seen it, people I know have seen it, it's extremely prevalent. Customers like these are not always right, they're always rude and behaved.

    My step daughter is the quietest, most polite, most accommodating girl I know. She worked at a library in Milton. She's very organized, and everyone loved working with her. She tells me she cringes when she sees families with kids of a certain ethnic background come into the library.. because the parents let them run all over the library screaming, and randomly pulling books off the shelf and sending them flying. Books that it just took her two hours to sort and place. Now she has to do it all over again. Once, just ONCE! she went to tell the mother of some extremely loud, rude and destructive children from this ethnicity to ask if she could ask her kids to be quiet, as other people were studying in that library, and the mother flew off the handle. The manager called my step daughter in to the office, because he had no choice.. whenever a customer complains about an employee, that was the process they had to follow. The manager apologized to my step daughter, and said she knew what my step daughter was like, and that she would never be rude to a customer. Plus, the manager had also seen how overboard this lady and her brats were.

    The point is, people are very rude, they teach their kids to be rude, and they don't have any concept of discipline for their kids. And society pays.

    So I'm willing to give ANY employee the benefit of the doubt. I have an idea of what they go through every single day from rude, obnoxious people. Every. Day. You try it.
    1. Angry Bill posted on 03/03/2014 03:04 PM
      @Angry Bill Couple of typos up there, but you get the gist.
    2. HP posted on 03/03/2014 03:26 PM
      @Angry Bill Yes...always blame the victim. I'm not sure if you understand what you posted, but until you get rid of people and replace them with machines, your hiring profile always must keep the "service" in "customer service". The bottom line is that the kid was sitting on a display tractor that was there for people to try out. It was the employee's job to encourage people to try it out, including the kids of potential customers, not play the cop that attacked people for not following HIS rules.

      I know Sears Canada very well, this person should never had been hired, especially when the company is trying to survive by trying to attract their customers back into the stores. Perhaps it wasn't racist, but it was exactly the response you expect from cops when you question their authority, even when they're in the wrong. Lucky he didn't tazer or beat the kid and parents...

      This employee should have been assigned to the Sales Prevention Department, he cost the company millions in goodwill. Every ad the company has run has just been flushed down the toilet because of one power tripping idiot.

      But you're very wrong to rationalize this behaviour by blaming the victim, even without the racist overtones...the employee may have committed corporate suicide, but there's no way Sears can ever overcome the effect of this video. By defending this bully you're just as bad.
    3. Karl Burgin posted on 03/03/2014 04:00 PM
      @HP Let me just make this point- if the child was injured in any way because of riding the lawn mower, who would be liable? And would this employee get in trouble regardless...
    4. HP posted on 03/03/2014 04:09 PM
      @Angry Bill This is a good example of a hiring manager that doesn't have the interviewing skills to find the best employee for the job. She probably focussed on aggressive sales skills and the need to make the sale over good customer relation skills. She ended up hiring a bully that saw only dollar signs when he looked at people and was unable to tolerate any rejection or disrespect.

      I'll wager that this man has had road rage issues, perhaps domestic violence problems in the past...sounds like a heavy off-hours drinker. Those of us that have interviewed these people catch the signs very quickly...we used to call them non-team players, it was all about them.

      I really pity Sears, one bad hiring manager and HR cutbacks will cost them a lot of goodwill.
    5. Angry Bill posted on 03/03/2014 04:12 PM
      @HP Karl has a very valid point, HP.

      If you were the one loudly defending the right of your kid to do whatever the heck he wants on store property, and then that kid hurts himself, I'm sure you would be the one now yelling that you're going to sue the store for letting your kid climb on their merchandise.

      You can't have it both ways.

      You claim Sears is committing corporate suicide over this. Me, I don't think so at all. This isn't really that big a deal. The Asian guy showing what sort of character he really is helps Sears' case out quite a bit.

      No. The customer ISN'T always right, as you maintain. This certainly doesn't make ME want to not shop at Sears. I can't imagine I'm the only one.

      So, I guess in your estimation, I'm "just as bad". Fine. I can live with that. But I would rather be "just as bad" than be the part of the entitled society that thinks they have a God given right to act like any kind of ass that they choose, or that their kids don't need any kind of reigning in while out in public. The public is NOT their personal playground.

      Restaurants are the same. I don't go to family restaurants anymore, because of all the screaming brats that run all over the place instead of sitting at the table with their "parents" (I use that term loosely). It isn't terribly appetizing when I see some ill mannered brat beside my table staring at me eat with his finger up his nose.

      There's no excuse for lack of parenting and entitled abuse while in public, HP. Sure, the employee made a mistake in saying the phrase that he said, but that's the only mistake he made. The Asian "gentleman" made far worse mistakes.
    6. HP posted on 03/03/2014 04:15 PM
      @Karl Burgin That wasn't the issue, it was about the employee using a wrong choice of words. There were hundreds of ways to protect the kid, this wasn't one of them. It was a classic case of a bully attacking the parents. You trying to rationalize his actions is very wrong. Sears has binders of corporate bulletins and training manuals that show how to deal with these situations...this racist's actions are not in them.

      I've seen a lot of workplace accidents, even one at Sears Canada when a display mannequin fell on a child causing vary serious injury. This was the store's fault and they made good, but yelling at the parents when you think you've been dissed is just stupid.
    7. HP posted on 03/03/2014 04:22 PM
      @Angry Bill You're missing the point, again. What is so hard to understand about a bully using the wrong words to get his point across? The #1 rule in retail and any service industry is that the customer is always right, even when they're wrong. It takes a real professional to know how to deal with these situations, employees on the front lines must have the right disposition to fit the position profile and are trained to deal with these issues...Sear's only mistake was to hire this person to work with customers. He could have been great working in the back room, but not on the selling floor.
    8. Karl Burgin posted on 03/03/2014 04:39 PM
      @HP I understand your point HP.

      But I will make this last argument- not really promoting either side, but just calling it as it is.
      The employee's choice words I wouldn't necessarily qualify as racist. Very poor customer service, and rather dumb, but far from racist. I've heard racial slurs before, and there are some he could've gotten upset over if it were uttered. This wasn't one of them. I was more cringing, when he started going off on the employee as though he wants to fight him (and dropping F-bombs), and his kid is probably standing there watching. That's the type of example you wouldn't (or shouldn't) want your kid to emulate.
      Should any other parents with kids be angered, because the man offended wasn't concerned about the possibility of other kids being in the vicinity overhearing the swearing?
      The customer does have a right to get angry. But trying to make it more of a mountain is just looking for something more.

      To make peace on all sides, they probably should have just sent the employee home for the day (and/or maybe tomorrow too) just to appease. Any suspension longer than that would be wrong. And whatever the guy was shopping for, just give it to him for free, and apologize for the poor employee performance.


      But to your point about the customer being always right- that isn't always the case. There are limits to that "clause"- especially if the customer is the one being the a-hole. I know cuz I've been there.
    9. HP posted on 03/03/2014 04:45 PM
      @Karl Burgin No, you don't get the point, you just have this pathological need to always be right and get the last word. That's why teachers, even closet teachers, and children should never work in corporate.

      Enough said.
    10. Colin posted on 03/04/2014 11:57 PM
      @HP That POS "boat'; guy was not right to think he was entitled in any way. I would've kicked his a$$ if he was in my store. His arrogant, superior attitude triggered the response. I am a "boat" person myself, I integrated fully and don't try pull the racist card all the time like some of these "victims" that infected our cities lately.
  2. Leasa posted on 03/03/2014 04:55 PM
    The Asian guy, called the manager 'your Ghetto Manager', which in itself is very racist. I know Asian people will not allow family members to marry white and if they do, they are out of the family. I know some Asian people who live just like they are in the old country, and their environment is filthy. I worked with one asian lady, who I had to team with, we were nursing doing heavy lifting and she'd go like a rag, no effort, so we wouldn't ask to lift or work with her and if you said anything to her, she'd scream racism. Honestly, there is no one more racist than someone from India, China, Portugal, et el. I've been on the receiving end of this racism yet we cannot say anything because we are white, and it's even worse if you are white, born here and don't speak French. (please note: not all races are racist)
    1. HP posted on 03/03/2014 05:25 PM
      @Leasa Interesting comments...some of your best friends Asian?
    2. Ken posted on 03/04/2014 05:15 PM
      @Leasa So the story of the asian lady you worked with screamed racism excuses this? which part of "other Asian people are also racist" allows the store employee to say "you just got off the boat?"

      I think deep down you might be harbouring something within yourself with the examples you gave which don't really relate to this story.

      Glad the employee was fired, i don't blame the Sears or the Managers, it's an isolated incident.
    3. johnsurrey posted on 03/04/2014 05:33 PM
      @Leasa What a load of crap! I am in immigrant from Asia and I am married to Canadian born and raised Caucasian woman. Neither of our families behave in any way or form close to what you have described. In fact they get along extremely well and treat each other with respect.

      Your views are reflective of reality. You need to stop being ignorant!
  3. Cranky Tim posted on 03/03/2014 06:09 PM
    So the employee asks the parents to take their brat off the garden tractor, they blow it up all out of proportion and of course the employee is the bully. The father is the one trying to bully the employee and the store. The father is the one who insults the employee first who reacts with anger. It is the father who says ".. where are you from (and it sounds like) dumbo".
    Half of the problems with children these days is that no one shows them any discipline. Any time a teacher or someone doing their job tries to intervene the parents come back with the "not my Johnny" syndrome. It couldn't be their kids who at home wont listen but the parents are too scared to do anything about it.
    The customer ISN'T always right, sometimes you have to say NO to them. If they take their business somewhere else in many cases they will be someone else's problem. This weekend I saw a customer trying to return an empty can of paint because the colour match wasn't close enough. The can they were trying to match from was full of chunks it was so old but it was the store's fault that the new paint didn't match what had likely been on the wall for 5 years.
    Too many people expect a company to lie down for them to walk on because "The customer is always right". Then when little Johnny stoned on Rittalin falls off the garden tractor and hurts himself they sue. In this litigious society no one takes responsibility for their own actions.
    1. HP posted on 03/03/2014 06:14 PM
      @Cranky Tim Companies have return policies that take care of the Walmart taking back skids of widescreens after the Superbowl.

      But they take them back if they meet the policy because the customer is always right, even when they're not. That's the only rule in the service sector...only idiots argue with those that write the paycheques.
    2. Cranky Tim posted on 03/03/2014 08:06 PM
      @HP @HP I guess that Home Depot must be idiots
      They didn't take back the paint...from the idiot who was trying to return an empty can. Walmart takes the product back if it meets their policy, which is fair, if a return doesn't meet the policy it is rejected so customer is not always right.
      That doesn't change my opinion of the father in this situation. He was out looking for a fight, he was the bully in the situation, he insulted the employee then cried foul and tried to attack him.
      So many people out there are looking to be outraged by something. None of them accept that their little Johnny was the one who snapped off the switches on the tractor. It is the store's fault for putting it out on display and heaven forbid anyone interferes with my perfect child while he is causing a disturbance or damage.
      Although I'll bet if one of his family members has a store there are "you break it, you bought it" signs everywhere.
      Everything my way, I am the only one who matters and I will screw anyone I want to. It is my right.
    3. HP posted on 03/04/2014 08:05 AM
      @Cranky Tim Home Depot should be making this Sear's guy a job offer as he apparently fits in so well with their corporate culture, every store needs more bullies working on the sales floor. My experience is that the adults do more damage to the display samples than the kids. They're always stealing little parts to replace what they broke on their tractor...worse, the sales people strip the display samples for parts to give customers who broke their part at home. It's important to remember that the display sample does not belong to the salesperson and it's not his job to beat away potential customers. We used to encourage kids to sit on brought the parents over and helped close a lot of sales.

      There's one national retail chain with a commission based compensation program who has a hiring profile that is focused on new immigrants, especially brown and oriental people. They've learned that new immigrants work harder than Dickensian orphans, 10X harder than Whites...they fight for extra hours willing to work 24/7 to make pennies and support their families. Perhaps some of the posters in this thread should think about why they're falling behind and have this attitude about visible minorities that have become the majority while they were asleep in comfortable jobs.
  4. Drew posted on 03/03/2014 08:12 PM
    Just another day in retail. Is it just me or does this "incident" seem planned. The person recording the video seemed to know when to start recording, doesn't that seem a little odd.

    Also, thought it was illegal to use camera's/video cameras in a store due to the fact people may be scoping it out for future crime to occur.
  5. HP posted on 03/04/2014 05:10 PM
    Sears didn't fire him, they just undid the hire that should have never happened. Some say better late than never but this bad hire cost Sears a lot of goodwill. I suspect that the hard lines merchandise manger and the HR manager will get a corrective interviews, the store manager may get sensitivity and leadership training. Sears is pretty good in closing the gate after the cows escape, but they've never been good at proactive action. That's a result of their "promotion from within" policy, you get some inners but the bad workers get moved up as well...they need to do some outside hires and get a few professional managers in heir stores. Sadly, their veteran employees will not tolerate new hires...maybe they need a union?

    But then in Chatham, their first unionized store, the store manager shot the HR manager, so that may not work as well.
    1. Rick posted on 03/04/2014 06:53 PM
      @HP Had the customer had the common sense, respect for property and outlook for his child's safety, this incident would never have happened. How long had this idiot been letting his child play on the lawn tractors? Although handled poorly, the comment was not racist. It was derogatory.

      showing a critical or disrespectful attitude.
    2. Delia posted on 03/05/2014 12:10 AM
      @HP HP: I'm so fed up with some playing the racist cards all the time; HP you're so wrong in ALL of your comments. Now go take your pills, it's getting late and you are tired. People like you make planet stink!
  6. Bill posted on 03/04/2014 05:35 PM
    First off comment by Sears employee was not appropriate.
    Now that Asian guy was way out of line. He acted like an arrogant tough guy who was looking for a confrontation . "I want him fired" " You heard that right ?" Sort of seems like he has been in this situation before and had it planned or staged. The video recording comment about camera being started at the right time ( Before the "just off the boat " comment) leads me to believe this was staged. Lets also get something else stated and I stick to this.... Asians are as racist as any other race. Something things like marriage etc have already been stated here. Asians who run businesses in Canada hire predominantly Asians to work there. They make comments about other persons of colour or race but in their own language. How do I know this.... I have friends who speak the language and have told me this. I personally know a Sri Lakian whom I worked with .who told me his parents will disown him if he dates anyone of another race or religion. His brother dates a white girl that his parents know nothing about. Had another friend from Cambodia ...same thing. Lets get racism straight. It's every where. I say give the employee sensitivity training and ban the Asian guy from the store for being an idiot.
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 03/06/2014 10:24 AM
      @Bill Well said and very true.
      And you are right about South Asians having no problem being racist. Was called the n-word at a Petro Canada gas station in Brampton in front of everyone by an indian guy. I saw red at that point- and the ONLY thing that stopped me from clocking that guy's lights out, was because I had my 1 year old baby with me.

      As I've said to HP, there ARE legitimate racist words/slurs to get really upset over. This was not one of them. And to go off on the employee with his kid (and possibly others in the vicinity) shows poor judgement and self control.
  7. matty posted on 03/04/2014 07:16 PM
    Both parties are wrong here. Funny he called him a "c**ksucker," which is also considered a form of discrimination.
    1. HP posted on 03/04/2014 07:28 PM
      @matty Rob ford called Bill Blair a c**ksucker...Kimmel even shoed it on TV
    2. beverly posted on 03/05/2014 12:06 AM
      @HP ...and Rob Ford was so right, I might add!
    3. Karl Burgin posted on 03/06/2014 10:18 AM
      @beverly lol.....i second that
  8. beth posted on 03/04/2014 09:27 PM
    I hope this was to all happening in front of his child
  9. Chris posted on 03/05/2014 11:39 PM
    Not sure which clip your seeing but at the very beginning the Asian actually made the first racist comment about the employee working at "domo "
    Far as I'm concerned he opened the can of worms that followed .... If it was me his lights would have been out soon after that !!
  10. J Hanley posted on 03/08/2014 04:03 PM
    Yet another white Canadian bullied and tricked by an arrogant, pompous Asian. What a surprise...
  11. bharat posted on 05/15/2014 12:18 AM
    sears is going to fire everybody anyways. Sears holdings has decided to sell sears canada. LOL
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