Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

In such cases, I try to imagine the process.

Jim Tinney, a Home Depot employee in Pearland, Texas, spotted three men pilfering tool sets.

It must have annoyed him at a human level. So he threw a paint roller extension at one of them.

It didn't work. The thieves ran off.

But, for those of you who are aware of Home Depot's policy toward employees and crime, this wasn't the end of it.

Jim Tinney, a 70-year-old veteran, was fired.

"In the Army, they train you to do things like that. I just automatically went like this and threw the stick at their feet," he told KTRK-TV.

Oh, he knew it was against company policy. Perhaps he'd heard about the four Home Depot employees in Florida who actually helped catch a shoplifter.

Yes, they were fired too.

In Tinney's case, though, he said it took two weeks for the firing to come down. He thought he might get a reprimand.

Home Depot, however, saw it differently.

The company's spokesman, Stephen Holmes, told KTRK: "We have a strict policy that only our trained security personnel can pursue and engage shoplifters. We've had deaths and serious injury over the years, and no amount of merchandise is more important than the safety of our associates and customers."

You can understand the logic. Holmes said that in the past week there had been two shoplifters with guns at Home Depot stores.

Yet the store doesn't seem always to enforce its rules with such draconian verve.

Recently, an Oregon employee was fired after trying to prevent what he thought was a child abduction. (It turned out to be a domestic dispute.)

Yet, when the story reached a wider audience, Home Depot had second thoughts.

Holmes told me of that case: "Our HR leadership wasn't aware of the termination at the time and they reversed the decision when they reviewed the circumstances."

Is it not possible, then, to see Tinney's case in the same light?

Might Home Depot have reprimanded him, and then asked him to make a video for all the staff explaining that however much you want to stop a shoplifter, you still shouldn't do it?

Wouldn't that have been a more positive way to keep someone who was, presumably, a good employee?

Home Depot didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some employees complain that it's all very well the company telling them not to confront shoplifters, but then they themselves get confronted by management on the subject of so-called shrinkage--the amount of merchandise lost through shoplifting.

Tinney said he needed that job and really enjoyed it.

Did the punishment fit (his efforts to stop) the crime?