Bad behavior outside of your work can get you fired

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I noticed this video initially on Facebook, shared by one of my friends, in which Adam Smith, former CFO and treasurer of  Vante Inc, (a medical supplies manufacturer) showed up on Chick-fil-A’ s appreciation day and bullied their drive-thru employee in Tucson.

Chick-fil-A Controversy

Really, being a CFO, is this the culture that you exhibit to the public and how you represent your company (even if its outside your office premises)? This makes me wonder how he treats his employees at Vante Inc.. Well, Vante has already answered this by firing Adam Smith. He probably didn’t think about the consequences of his whole drama of trying to make a change and trying to blow his own horn through social media.

As we all have probably heard Chick-fil-A (second-largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States) is in the middle of gay marriage controversy which was sparked by their president and COO Dan Cathy’s Comments about gay marriage.

By being an outsider to this organization or a customer you have all the right to express your views on this whole episode. And if you choose not to agree with any organization’s values or, like in this case, any social/political controversy, it can be your prerogative to express your stand. But position yourself as a normal customer and deliver your views in an appropriate manner. Either you agree with them or object to it. Its up to you and that is quiet natural.

If, for example, lets say you are a normal customer who walked into a repair shop to get your car serviced and have had to wait for long hours due to lack of attention or even get your query addressed by someone. Chances are there that any customer who experiences this might show their frustration on a service staff guy.

But Adam was not a fellow customer who was letting out his frustrations due to bad customer service nor was he raising a complaint or even expressing his views/suggestions in a polite manner. This was intentionally bullying with a purpose and also posted online.

He should be one who is a role model for an organization but showed us that he is not mature enough to handle the situation in a right manner. Being a CFO he knows very well that corporate policies are often made by the top management and not a front level employee who may follow it diligently, and knowing all this his act was really inappropriate . Did he minimize the fact that being a CFO the expectations from him would be higher? Whatever, this immaturity of posting his annoyance in social media has led to him getting fired.

Bottom line is Internet and social media is something that can come back to haunt you sooner rather than later.  And your behavior outside of your organization also counts in a large way. Either in person or through writings in social media and internet you should not misrepresent your organization through your actions.

You and every employee  should be an ambassador for your organization and carry yourself appropriately. If you choose to take it lightly there can be unforeseen consequences which could lose you your job.

So what do you think? Your personality outside of your organization matters or not!!?

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