A food truck employee who was not happy about a tip-less order and spoke up on Twitter was fired over the incident. The fact that someone loses his job, is nothing new, but the way in which Brendan O’Connor lost his had social media up in arms.
Employees fired over social media comments is nothing new. These days you have to be careful when tweeting about work, it’s a touchy subject, and employers watch sites closely.
This situation happened to someone with a platform, who would not step down from his belief that an injustice was committed when the financial firm Glass Lewis and Co. placed a large lunch order which came up to $170 and gave no tip upon delivery.
O’Connor wasn’t happy about it and took to Twitter to voice his displeasure, publicly shaming the company in the process. Glass in turn contacted the food truck employee’s boss and he was fired for speaking up.
The jobless man alleged that Glass Lewis, did not appreciate being publicly tagged for something that a number of its employees did and called the owner of the Milk Truck. Two days later, O’Connor says that he received a text from the food truck’s owner, who asked to speak to him on the phone.
This was O’Connor’s original tweet,
Shout out to the good people of Glass, Lewis & Co. for placing a $170 order and not leaving a tip. @glasslewis
— Brendan O'Connor (@OConnorB_) July 22, 2013
The response from the food truck company,
@milktrucknyc We appreciate it, and look forward to doing business with you again!
— Glass Lewis & Co. (@GlassLewis) July 24, 2013
O’Connor wrote on his blog,
He (the owner) told me that he’d gotten a call from the company, Glass, Lewis & Co. The company provides shareholder advisory services. Apparently, those employees were mortified that their lunch truck had tip-shamed them — the home office in San Francisco even got involved.
And it was unfortunate but he was going to have to let me go. The company has a way of doing things and he thought I’d understood that. I had embarrassed him and the company and that was that.
The food truck employee admitted that he could have been a bit less confrontational in his tweet and maybe not name them publicly, but he doesn’t seem to regret his actions at all and says that he spoke up because of his convictions.
“I was only able to speak/tweet my mind because my family is supporting me as I get on my feet as a writer and editor and journalist here in New York. I have a safety net that lots — most — people don’t.”
The firing brought anger on some quarters with less than kind words for Milk Truck and Glass Lewis,
— Cody Brown (@CodyBrown) July 30, 2013
— brianvan (@brianvan) July 30, 2013
— Joe O'Shea (@josefoshea) July 30, 2013
And this one with some foul language to complete the samples,
— Virgil Texas (@virgiltexas) July 30, 2013
Even though the fired employee got lots of support, Glass Lewis and Milk Truck did not. Rob Beschizza from Boing Boing, summarized it best,
“I understand why he had to be fired, but can you imagine working at the kind of company that would publicly accept a food truck’s apology? They wanted their magnanimity known, in the matter of the food truck that was so very wrong about expecting tips.”
What do you think of the food truck employee fired for speaking up on Glass Lewis not leaving him a tip? Was his boss right in firing him?