From the Editor: We are sad to announce today that the Pattison Pundit has fired himself from his own blog. It recently came out that the Pundit had made some rather disparaging remarks about himself on his own Facebook page, as well as on the title above. Granted, he didn’t do it on company time, he immediately took the comment down, and he apologized for it profusely – but no matter. The Pundit has decided to strike down upon himself with a firm vengeance. A warning? No. A conversation about why such commentary is and was inappropriate? Not gonna happen. The Pundit is being firm with himself on this one – he’s fired.
So, if you haven’t read the Gonzo piece by now on the Eagles employee who was fired by the Eagles for a Facebook comment he made, by all means, catch yourself up. Here’s the gist:
Like a lot of Philadelphians, Leone was upset when Dawkins became a Bronco. So he did what a 32-year-old does these days: He vented on Facebook. “Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver. . .Dam Eagles R Retarted!!”
Now, this isn’t really an appropriate thing to say. You don’t bust out the whole retarded thing – especially if you are going to spell it wrong. Not a good move on multiple levels. But did it warrant this?
Less than two days after posting the Dawkins remarks, Leone said, he was contacted by Leonard Bonacci, the team’s director of event operations. According to Leone, Bonacci said they needed to talk about Leone’s Facebook page, and Leone agreed. Leone – who deleted the comment – figured that the two would sit down and that he could apologize to Bonacci in person. But Leone said Bonacci never got back to him after that.
Two days later, Leone said, he received a call from Rachel Vitagliano, the team’s guest services manager. Leone said she fired him over the phone. The conversation lasted less than 10 minutes.
No warning. No suspension. No face-to-face meeting. Just a quick call to tell Leone he’d been terminated.
Whew. Seems a bit harsh, right?
There seems to be two schools of thought out there on this one: A, this is boolshit, and B, that the Eagles, as a business, are totally justified in doing what they did. I think it falls somewhere between the two.
Obviously, the remark was in poor taste, and probably not something you should post in a “public” forum such as Facebook. But, being the type of investigative blogger that I am, I seeked out Mr. Leone’s Facebook page, and it was not open to the public. Because, as you all probably know, Facebook gives you the option to make your profile and pictures and the like closed to anybody you haven’t agreed to be “friends” with. Now, perhaps Mr. Leone did this after the article, I don’t know. But if he didn’t, it means that a limited amount of people were ever able to even see his commentary, including whatever Eagles employee scans the Internet, looking for explosive content on Facebook and Nit-Twitter that tarnishes the golden repuatation of our dam Eagles.
And that’s another thing – we’re not talking about a guy in the marketing department, or the Front Office, or the like. This guy worked game-day, as a gate chief. He’s not an everyday employee – he works for them eight friggin’ times a year! Eight! He’s like a temp, for Gawd’s sake. I mean, r u serious, Iggles? You’re going to claim that this made you look bad?
HOW MANY PEOPLE EVEN KNEW THIS GUY WORKED FOR THE TEAM? HOW MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE SAW THIS GUY’S DAM FACEBOOK PAGE IN THE FIRST PLACE?
I hope we’re missing a part of the story here, I really do. Don’t give me that, “Oh, if I badmouth my employer, I would get fired, too.” Right, probably because you work for them more than eight times a year. Probably because if you are in sales, or marketing, or business, or whatever else you might do, you are a direct representation of your company. You, to your clients, are the face of whatever company it is you slavishly make way more money for then you’ll ever see. This guy isn’t. This guy is akin to the office repairman, or the janitor, or the IT guy. Not to demean any of these positions – all I mean is that he isn’t a direct face of the Eagles organization to the fans, but rather a employee that is brought in for a specific purpose and isn’t directly responsible for maintaining whatever product or service the company offers.
And you know what else? If you say something like this on Facebook, should they really be allowed to fire you for it? I mean, making a comment on TV, or in a newspaper, or in a board meeting, that’s one thing. But Facebook?
You mean to tell me, right now, if I go to my Facebook page, which is private except to the people I’ve “Friended,” and I type my status as: “Dam…Company X is really pising me off lately…Company X sucks a bigg 1,” they can fire me for that? I mean, is that constitutional? Sure, it is in horrible taste, and I’m probably a moron if I ever type those words in a non-jesting manner. But should they be allowed to fire me for that?
People, make your Facebook profiles private. If you don’t know the people sending you “friend requests,” don’t “befriend” them. Hell, make your pictures private, too – I’ve heard prospective employers will look at them to weed out the bad seeds. Don’t mention your religious affiliation – you might piss off somebody in management from a rival congregation. Don’t mention what movies or books you like, especially if they contain explicit content. Avoid using quotes that might stir up controversy, or generally go beyond saying anything more than mindless, syrupy cliche.
As a matter of fact, don’t use Facebook as a means to reflect who you are, as overly embellished as that reflection normally is. Nope, instead make sure you turn it into a mindless, soulless, robotic and concrete profile, one that would be best compared to a cover letter and resume. Free speech? Hell yeah, as long as your employer is cool with it.
Quite frankly, the whole thing has put a lemon in my mouth. I hope there is a side of the story, from the perspective of the Eagles organization, that we haven’t yet heard. I had started to get rid of the sour taste from a frustrating offseason, and then this happens. It’s as though my mouth has been re-tart-ed by this.
Oh, crap – I had to say it. Well, looks like I’ll be firing myself twice today…