Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How To Get Fired For Bad Judgement. A Cautionary Tale.

Charlotte, NC

It was a long night shift at Brixx Pizza for Ashley Johnson, 22. After a table had been sitting for 3 hours, forcing her to stay an hour past her normal shift end, they left her an insulting, pathetic and perhaps mean spirited $5 tip. She was rightfully pissed. And she said so on facebook, naming the restaurant in the process. A "friend" from work turned her in. She got fired for violating a policy against speaking negatively about costomers. Sucks for Ashley.

After this story ran in The Charlotte Observer, though, the tables have turned. The internet community has rallied in favor of Ashley and Brixx has gotten more negative exposure from this than they would have for rats in the kitchen. And its going viral. It's being shared, tweeted, reposted ad nauseum. The story reached me in an email from the Huffington Post food writer and Gastronomista founder known as Daphne Dusquene.

I'm so grateful for the discretion my readers have exercised. My restaurant has a pretty clear policy about not mentioning guests, particularly since we regularly serve celebs and industry VIPS. And a quick way to lose that clientele is to have people gawking at them when they arrive. We leak, we walk. I have seen staff and managers both say negative things about our costumers on facebook- never by name. I guess if my managers do it that means its ok...but I'm sure like at all restaurants they wouldn't be afraid of a convenient double standard.

This story only makes me all the more aware of the risks young people take every time they share their voice using the social media that so wholly profits off there loquaciousness. The Brixx facebook page is a digital shitstorm. Do you think she deserved to get canned? Below are some of my favorite comments.

So Brixx doesn't have a loitering policy? I'm going to go to my local Brixx tonight, order a water, and chill all night long if that's the case.

Guess you say you value your customers. Not so much employees, eh?
Please stay in the south...

I'm not sure Brixx should have taken it so far as to fire this employee, but I do agree there should have been disciplinary action. It's all a matter of professionalism and tact. When you're an employee of a company, you ...should know you're representing them at all times. People share way too much online and should know by now that what they post online is public information. (And, by the way, I'm not a plant. You can check my friend count.)

SHE SHOULD BE FIRED, as a waitress and re-hired as the marketing director for concept and execution of the farthest reaching, and least expensive, advertising campaign in Brixx Pizza history. Because of her post even folks in the UK now know about Brixx Pizza.


Call a friend if you need to vent. I'm amazed at the reactions & that people think they have a right to post whatever they want on facebook without consequence.

What rhymes with Brixx and starts with Pri..?

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