We're having a PRESIDENT'S DAY SALE on people who share
too much on the Internet! We are overstocked!
Everything must go, go, go!
Much Flippin' Information) is not only incredibly annoying, but it's also
putting people's jobs in jeopardy.
Before I continue, please know that I do not hold myself
above anybody. If every stupid or cruel thing I said in my life were put in a
book, (complete cliche HERE). But I am fortunately old enough to have
passed most of my days, and all of the stupidest days of my youth, in the
pre-Internet era. Which means that, apart from whatever I may say on this blog,
most of my idiotic comments are long past, forgotten, and unpreserved in the
amber of cyberspace. Which further means that if someone remembers something I
said, I can still deny it. Mwahahahahaha!
Now it's like we're back in Mayberry, North Carolina. Only
everybody in the world lives in Mayberry.
This is neat, in some ways -- when you have a new baby,
or celebrate your 50th wedding anniversary, or get a promotion at work, you can
instantly share it with all of your loved ones, wherever they are. As they
would say on Facebook, I "LIKE" this.
The darker side is that whenever you do something foolish
or mean, you can instantly share it with all of your loved ones, wherever they
are. Who will promptly share it with everyone they know. Who will promptly
share it with everyone they know. Who will (etc.). Which will
instantly turn you into a laughingstock or a pariah. With everybody in the
world. (When is Facebook going to get a "DISLIKE" button? If they had
one, I'd be clicking on it right now.)
We're only six weeks into the year 2013, and we already
have at least the following news items of people talking too much and
losing or endangering their jobs as a result.
A nurse who went out on leave under the
Family and Medical Leave Act for a back condition and posted on Facebook about
her Mexican vacation, which included photos of her living it up
and holding her twin grandbabies (who were too heavy to be within her lifting restriction),
and comments about hoofing it through the airport and waiting in line to get
through customs, which also violated her restrictions. Then she had the nerve
to complain to her supervisor that no one from work had sent her a get-well
card. She also said she'd been using a wheelchair the whole time she was whooping
it up in sunny Mexico, which was untrue. Then she got caught in her lies, and
the hospital fired her. Then she had the nerve to sue the hospital under the
Speaking of the FMLA, I promised that I would have more
details on the new regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which
will take effect March 8. Here ya go -- my
Valentine's Day present to you! ♥
Fortunately, the court granted
summary judgment to the hospital, so this nightmare is over unless she has
the nerve to appeal. I'm not putting it past her.
A doctor who complained
on Facebook that her patient kept her waiting three hours for a fetal
non-stress test. She didn't name the patient, but when her
Facebook "friends" asked her why she didn't just go home when the
patient no-showed, she responded that the patient had already had one stillborn
baby. Based on the timing of the post, coupled with the information about the
procedure and the history of the stillborn baby, there was probably enough for
someone to figure out who the doctor was talking about. She apparently got off
with a counseling, but the Internet mob has been unleashed upon her, calling
for her termination.
Even though this doctor wasn't fired, think of all the
grief she could have avoided if she'd limited herself to kvetching to her
family and real friends (as opposed to Facebook "friends").
Then, we have the notorious Applebee's
case, which you have probably heard about. A
minister and her entourage ate at an Applebee's restaurant. Under the
restaurant's policy, which I think is typical, a gratuity of 18 percent was
added to the bill for large parties. (I don't know whether this part is true,
but rumor had it that the minister asked for separate checks in an attempt to
weasel out of the 18 percent add-on. The waitress reportedly split up the
checks and added 18 percent to each individual check. Smart girl!)
The minister noted on her receipt, "I give God 10%
-- why should I give you 18?" And she signed her name as "Pastor
Alois Bell." And she refused to pay the 18 percent gratuity.
(Pastor Bell claims that she did leave a $6 cash tip plus
a credit card tip on one of the other receipts at her table.)
The waitress showed the receipt to her co-worker, and the
co-worker posted a photo of it on Reddit with a snarky comment about whether
God was going to pay for her rent and groceries. The photo did not contain any
credit card information, and the co-worker thought Pastor Bell's signature was
Well, hell hath no fury like the "wait"
community when one of their own is stiffed out of a tip. Some enterprising
Reddit users figured out who the minister was, and the internet mob was
unleashed against her. Then Pastor Bell got mad and called Applebee's,
demanding that the co-worker be fired. Poor Applebee's, caught in the middle,
gave in to Pastor Bell's demand. Then the internet mob was unleashed again --
this time against Applebee's. Meanwhile, Pastor Bell went on local TV and
apologized for what she'd done, but she apparently never interceded with
Applebee's on behalf of the waitress whom she'd gotten fired, which it seems to
me would have been the decent thing for her to do.
Last I checked, the waitress is still fired, but I
suspect she will land on her feet with all the online sympathy she's received.
But, man -- think of all the drama she could have avoided if she'd not taken it
upon herself to post this receipt online.
Inquiring minds don't always want to know!
Visit the Employment and
Labor Law Insider for additional insights from Robin Shea, a partner with the national labor and
employment law firm Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP.
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