Solomon Lederer, formerly a software engineer with Morgan Stanley, appeared in a Wall Street Journal article profiling his strange subway behaviour two weeks ago.
Last week, he was fired.
He told the WSJ it’s because of the story, which includes this video of him soliciting subway riders for help with his movie project, and offering to walk their dog or organise their closet or “we’ll figure something out,” and mentions that he works for Morgan Stanley.
Morgan Stanley told the WSJ he was not fired for talking to the reporter, but wouldn’t discuss the matter further.
Lederer says it happened like this:
According to Lederer, a company director sent him a text message shortly after the story appeared last Friday and asked to meet.
Lederer said he was told that he “exhibited poor judgment,” but he wasn’t fired that day. He said he believed the matter was closed, until Wednesday afternoon, when he was dismissed.
The story mentioned Lederer’s job with Morgan Stanley, but when he was soliciting people on the subway, he says, he never mentioned where he worked.
Usually, a bank will allow their employees to speak with about matters unrelated to work with the media as long as the firm’s name isn’t mentioned.
It sounds like he was fired for “poor judgment,” not so much for the story, but for talking to strangers on the subway and weirding them out by saying things like,
“I could walk your dog, or organise your closet…” – even if it was well-intentioned.