Getting fired for posts on Facebook or Twitter has become so common that it almost seems old hat.
But human ingenuity — or foolishness — and evolving social media technologies guarantee that people will find new ways to post their way out of a job. Look at what some are doing on Instagram.
A quick Web search shows people who post personally identifiable information, show or say where they work, and use the tag #worksucks, #calledinsick or, even better #hatemyboss. Many didn’t respond to AOL Jobs’ request for comments, so it’s not clear if their managers have seen these posts yet.
But two employees at a Thai-Japanese restaurant in Delaware lost their jobs after they posted “photos, credit card receipts, vulgar remarks and racial slurs” on Instagram about low-tipping customers. During a four-month period, the manager of Padi allegedly posted a running string of stupid comments and images, using the hashtag #cheap #jew: Here is one example:
About three weeks ago,… a photo of a bill for $53.80 from a customer with an Indian surname was posted on the fumanchu85 Instagram account. The bill shows that customer tipped $5.20, or less than 10 per cent. Fumanchu85 wrote: “What do you expect from a last name like that?” Then fumanchu85 wrote a derogatory term followed by #cheap #jew.
A sushi chef at the restaurant, who seemed to defend the manager in comments on a local newspaper’s website, was also fired.
You might think that enough examples of employees being fired for Facebook posts might have convinced people to be more careful on Instagram, but apparently not. It may be that, despite a large number of users, people may think that Instagram flies further under the radar.
But it clearly doesn’t, as a staff member, whose name hasn’t been released, at an assisted living home in Deer Creek, Minn. learned. He was fired after reportedly taking a picture of a resident on the toilet and then posting it to Instagram. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, which publicly addressed the situation late in May, the resident showed skin to the upper hip and didn’t know about the picture.
Someone not employed at the facility saw the picture and reported it on April 17. The staff person admitted the incident, according to news reports. The employee handbook reportedly expressly forbids taking a picture of a client.
The number of cases will likely only increase, as the number of people essentially begging to be fired grows. Soccer player Sebastien Bassong got into hot water with his team last month when he posted pictures of himself with guns on Instagram and quickly deleted them. Replacing Bassong would be anything but a casual effort.
However, you must wonder about the wisdom of many who post how much they dislike their jobs. An Instagram user, kingleno1620, for instance, posted a photo of someone’s sneakers on a table filled with beer bottles; the hashtag was #calledinsick. Another user posted a photo of herself smiling, giving the finger, with the hashtags #nurse, #hatemyboss #nurse #tired.
Maybe some of these people should check for Instagram’s engraved “fire me” invitation filter.
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