When Social Media Bites You in the Ass

Be careful what you put on Social Media, or it could get you into hot water. That’s a lesson we can learn from the experiences of several people who’ve gotten fired recently over things they’ve put on Social Media.

At a technology conference two men making crude jokes were overheard by a female. She took a picture of them and tweeted to her 10,000 followers. One of the guys was fired on the spot. Surprisingly, the woman was also fired after pressure from her company.

Then, there’s the story of the Bitter Barista. Matt Watson, 30, of Seattle, Wash started a website that posts all of his snarky tweets of satirical content about customers. With tweets like, “When I ask, “for here or to go?” I’m only curious what kind of cup you want…Not what your plans for the day are.” Or, “Yes, coffee is expensive. But you’re more than welcome to go to Ethiopia and get it yourself.”

Although he didn’t identify himself on the website, it only takes a little digging to be unmasked. Another coffee-related site wrote an article about the site, blowing his cover. It wasn’t his mocking of customers that did him in, however. What sealed his fate, was when he poked fun at his boss. If there is one surefire way to get fired, it is to make your supieror look bad.

One of the most unjustified firings of late resulting from social media, is the firing of an Applebee’s waitress after posting a customer receipt picture to Reddit. The server had waited on a large party where a gratuity of 18 percent was automatically added to the bill. The customer crossed out the tip and wrote in “0” then wrote “I give God 10 percent why do you get 18”

Anyone who chooses to dine out should know that servers don’t even get paid minimum wage and depend on tips as part of their income. Shame on this “pastor” for stiffing the server. But in the end Applebees’ obligation was to keep their customer happy. And after this customer complained, the waitress was promptly fired.

Social Media doesn’t have to be a scary thing, but it does require some common sense. Be careful what you say or do in public. Assume that any picture or anything you pen is going to be seen by the world. There’s no anonymity on the web. If you want to be comical, sarcastic and snarky, then make sure you don’t out others in the process.

Many food bloggers have day jobs and work for organizations that have reputations. Don’t ever put your employer in a situation where they may have to defend your actions because of what you’ve put on social media. The momentary chuckle you will get from the post will not matter in the long run if you end up canned.

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