With all the negative things going on in the world today, you would think a random act of kindness by bakery worker would be met with heartwarming cheers, but that is not quite the response a Texas teen received for his decision to pay for a police officer’s dessert.
Last Sunday, 18-year-old Zack Randolph was working his shift at the Great American Cookies outpost at Katy Mills Mall in Katy, Texas, when a uniformed police officer came in to buy a cheesecake brownie. The teen asked the officer if he could pay for his sweet treat; the man gratefully accepted and went on his way.
“He’s just a really nice guy and on top of that he has a badge. That’s enough for me to buy him something. That’s the least I can do,” Randolph told KRIV.
He explained that he paid the $2.75 for the brownie out of his own pocket, specifying that he “didn’t even use the employee discount,” but the people in line behind the officer apparently took issue with Randolph’s good deed.
“He was told you know you’re probably going to get fired,” the 18-year-old’s mom Tami Randolph said of the fellow patrons who quickly became aggressive. The man and woman, who were there with a young child, even attempted to come behind the counter until an assistant manager and co-worker stepped in.
The teen was subsequently reprimanded by his bosses—though the higher ups struggled to pinpoint exactly what Randolph did wrong—and even suspended him for a week. It was then that his stunned mother took to social media to share her son’s unfathomable plight.
My Son works at Katy Mills Mall and on Sunday evening an on duty Police Officer walked up to the counter and placed his…
“Since when does buying a police officer a cookie give anyone else a reason to attack someone. And when did a Corporation want to FIRE someone for being KIND, taking what a customer said or did, regardless of how hateful they are,” she wrote. “Great American Cookie Company you FAILED on this one… Thankfully my son said he would do it again in a heartbeat.”
The post has been shared some 11,000 times, with commenters shaking their heads at the company’s inexplicable decision and praising the young man’s maturity and kindness.
“It’s very heartfelt,” Tami said of the overwhelming response. “It’s very touching.”
Due to the negative attention or perhaps a change of heart, it seems as though Great American Cookie Company realized the error of its ways. In a statement to the Houston Chronicle, the franchise owner admitted it was a mistake to punish Randolph for his generosity.
“On behalf of Great American Cookies Katy Mills, we owe the employee an apology. It was never an issue that he purchased a brownie for a police officer, but rather the events that unfolded with another customer in line at the time. However, after further review, we realize that the employee was in fact in the right and we continue to reach out to him and his mom to issue an apology. The corrective action and suspension was reversed immediately and we hope to connect with him today.”
Additionally, David Kaiser, executive vice president of Great American Cookies, made it clear that the company wholeheartedly supports law enforcement and proper action will be taken against the location in question.
“Great American Cookies proudly supports Law Enforcement, First Responders and all who serve our country,” he said in an email. “Though our stores are independently managed and operated, when the situation first arose, we reached out to the franchisee to ensure that the situation was addressed and handled appropriately.”
While it is unclear if the teen plans to return to his job, one thing is certain: Randolph does not regret his decision to pay for the brownie.
“A lot of people I know my age don’t support police officers,” he concluded. “I don’t think it’s fair.”