British Columbia

Employee fired for texting while girl stuck on climbing wall

A British Columbia climbing company has fired an employee for ignoring a crying child stuck on a climbing wall.

Funtopia Surrey general manager says employee broke at least 3 internal rules, leading to dismissal

The mother of a little girl stuck on a climbing wall took a video, which shows a Funtopia Surrey employee on her phone a few metres away. (Happy Lani/Facebook)

A British Columbia climbing company has fired an employee for ignoring a crying child stuck on a climbing wall.

The mother of the upset girl took the video and posted it on Facebook on Wednesday. The video, which was no longer available on Facebook as of Friday morning, showed a female Funtopia Surrey employee on her phone a few metres away for almost a minute. 

"My daughter is crying up there and she is ON HER PHONE TEXTING!!!" the mother wrote online.

'Not acceptable'

Funtopia Surrey's general manager Yasen Nikolov said the video was disturbing and the employee was fired Thursday.

"Obviously that's not acceptable. It shouldn't have happened at all," he told CBC News.

"This particular employee has broke at least three internal rules, starting with no phones outside of the employees room. I took one look at that video and said we can't keep such an employee around."

Nikolov said the woman had worked at the company for less than six months, but had received training. He said he's apologized on behalf of the company to the mother and refunded her money. 

Nikolov said while he's not trying to excuse the employee's behaviour, the child was not in any danger and was wearing a safety harness.

Mother's actions queried

Several people on social media have questioned the actions of the mother, saying she should have gone to her daughter's rescue instead of recording it. 

"It's the world we now live in: Take pictures first, then help," said one commenter on Facebook. 

However, the mother said she wanted proof, claiming the climbing instructor had been on her phone prior to her recording as well. 

"It broke my heart not to run and help my daughter right away," she said, "but I needed to capture this as evidence.

"When class first started she was on her phone — didn't even instruct Sephora to warm up. I did! Didn't do stretches with Sephora. I did, while she was on her phone!"


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