A Violation of the First Rule of Holes and a Non-Apology Apology

Most of the transcript is available here)

Department of Still Not Getting It (via Legal Insurrection):

Adam Smith video – “Apologies and Clarifications”

I’m not sure this helps.

After this, an apology without a lecture would have been better.

Dear Mr. Smith:

As a liberal and a supporter of SSM I just want to say that guys like you give the rest of us a bad name. Even now you are smug and condescending. What did you really think you were accomplishing when you made that first video?

Did you think you were going to change Chick-fil-A corporate policy? Were you hoping to change Dan Cathy’s views on marriage? Or were you just hoping to “stick it” to some faceless opponent so you could feel proud of your activism for the cause?

You say you considered that nice young woman (Rachel) to be “collateral damage.” If so, what was the real target? A popular fast-food chain that does not discriminate against LGBTs? The owner of the franchise you visited? What weapon did you intend to unleash on them? Were you planning to smite them with your self-righteousness and sneering contempt?

What if you had used your time and effort to write a letter to the local paper, or even better, to Dan Cathy, and explained in calm and rational fashion why same-sex marriage was an idea whose time had come? No name-calling or accusations of bigotry, just a positive case for the equality of all God’s children.

Next time think before you act. And learn some humility. Get to know some of these people you disdain. Don’t lecture to them, listen to them instead. You will be surprised what you learn.


The Klown

P.S: I am sorry to hear you lost your job. What you did was wrong but did not deserve such a harsh punishment. Nor does your behavior justify any of the threats made towards you and your family.

Always leave room for your enemy to become your friend.” – Sun Tzu

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28 Responses to A Violation of the First Rule of Holes and a Non-Apology Apology

  1. It would be so refreshing to see all of the people like this man realize that they will not win anything by being confrontational in that way. What he did was an extension of the bullying that goes on every day on the internet, something that only serves to deepen the divides.

    It would be nice to see the antagonists develop the ability to see people as people just like them. The internet has just unleashed our ability to go further than necessary, and Adam used this unleashed wave in person. And look where it got him. I agree with you myiq that he shouldn’t have lost his job over this. Maybe they had been looking for a way to get rid of him all along.

    And I’m sorry, I’m with you. I’m in support of gay rights, but the people who aren’t have a right to voice their views.

  2. DeniseVB says:

    The guy’s got that bully “Biff” aura about him, from Back To The Future:

  3. Lulu says:

    He and his family do not deserve death threats, but he did deserve to be fired. Not only did he bully a innocent low wage employee who politely told him she did not want to be on his video, he proceeded to humiliate her about something of which she has no control, showed his contempt for “lessers”, congratulated himself for being a bully, uploaded it on a world wide video site so he could revel in his bullying and invite others to do so also, and all of it against the privacy of this young woman. His video is connected to his employer who have the right, and possible legal liability of his violation of the employee’s privacy and exposed his employer to bad press for his egregious behavior. If he acts like this to strangers you can bet that he does it to others in the workplace. His boss was on vacation, his secretary was getting emails alerting them to people who knew who he was and his horrendous behavior, and his boss had to rush in to fix it. Their attorney said fire him fast to limit the damage which they did. He has every right to his opinion but he does not have the right to expose his employer to a backlash because he is a bullying, self righteous, dick who is incapable of listening. He still doesn’t have a clue and his employer is not responsible for giving it to him as it is a requirement apparently for his employment. Stupid people get fired all the time.

    • jeffhas says:

      HONK! –

      He didn’t get fired because he made a video… he got fired because he was incompetent in not seeing how the video might affect the company he worked for…. as an officer of the company, he has a EXTRA responsibility to conduct himself in a way that will not reflect poorly for the company. – it would seem that he breached that responsibility at the very least.

      • Lulu says:

        The speed with which he was fired suggests to me that they were aware of this “problem” and that his behavior at work made them believe that he was not only capable of this but almost expected. They fired him so fast that they did not even have to think about it. They got legal counsel and did it instantly. This kind of action usually takes a few days to come to a decision. I wonder who he hectored at work and how many complaints they had already.

      • This is it for me. I agree he deserved to be fired, BECAUSE of his status as an executive officer. Executive officers have a greater need to make sure their public actions don’t blowback on the company, and that’s why there are so often morality clauses and such in the contracts for employment they sign. Officers must always comport themselves with integrity because they are an extension of the public relations of their companies.

    • trixta says:

      “Stupid people get fired all the time.”

      He’s an idiot.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Rachel’s support page has Smith and his company’s bios. I have a feeling it’s going to cost the company mucho buckaroos to quiet this thing down. Ouch.

    • angienc says:

      HONK! I should have read all the posts first, because I posted the same sentiment below but you say it much better.

    • mcnorman says:

      Vanta is not a little company. Unfortunately, this guy didn’t get the “don’t put up a stupid video of yourself on YouTube” harassing anyone. It matters not that this guy was the CFO. Humility is a toughy to practice at the top.

  4. angienc says:

    He doesn’t deserve threats but he deserved to lose his job — he was the CFO at Vante — not some grunt, cube-dweller. His stupidity to not only do what he did but to POST the video on YouTube is not what *any* company would want in its CFO.
    Plus, if he can act like that toward a person with no power in a drive-thru, who knows how he treats the people who work under him?
    Nonetheless — he wasn’t fired for exercising free speech; he was fired for being an idiot.

    • cj says:

      It should serve as a lesson for anyone trying to win hearts & minds for any cause, but it won’t. If they were smart, they’d disappear the entire Chic-fil-a fiasco immediately; when you begin to disgust staunch supporters like me, it’s time to cut your losses & move on.

      But they won’t…they’ll dig in with their stupid, stupid, stupid little kiss-in’s, and deface a few more buildings, which unless they’re planning to show the same kind of love to those vile black pastors, just makes them look like idiots & hypocrites.

  5. Glennmcgahee says:

    He’s not gay? REALLY??

    • yttik says:

      LOL, no really! To act that smug and arrogant to a woman you don’t even know requires a heterosexual man 🙂

  6. Glennmcgahee says:

    My gaydar is blasting!

  7. yttik says:

    That’s a good letter. I think he deserves to have been fired, but I also would not have stated that in a letter, because it’s not nice to pointlessly rub salt in a wound.

    However, I don’t think it was harsh treatment for him to have been fired. Threats against him and his family are wrong of course, but losing your job because you acted like a moron and posted it on you tube, is just a reasonable consequence.

    • DM says:

      So one should watch one’s behavior during personal time to avoid embarrassing the company one works for? We’ve become slaves, with no time off if that’s the case.

  8. gxm17 says:

    I’m with the Klown. He acted like a complete jerk but I think it’s terrible he lost his job. His family will suffer and they didn’t do anything. His big mistake was filming it and putting it on teh facetube. That’s the kind of stupid stunt you expect from teenagers, not a grown man.

  9. DM says:

    The behavior of Mr. Smith was clearly not in any way related to the company he works for, just like the CEO of Chick-fil-A

    My question is: If the behavior of an employee is not illegal or company related, does a company have the right to use that behavior to fire an employee? For example, if a person’s behavior is disruptive and embarrassing while drunk during personal time, does the employer have the right to fire him?

    My view is that the company does not have that right, but the times they are a changin, and employees are more at the mercy of employers.

    • Oswald says:

      What if it was revealed an employee starred in a porn video?

      What if he were charged with a crime like child molestation but was out on bail and claimed he was innocent?

      Would you want him working for you?

    • myiq2xu says:

      My view is that the company does not have that right, but the times they are a changin, and employees are more at the mercy of employers.

      Actually, the traditional rule is that employees are “at will” and can be fired for any reason (or no reason)

    • gxm17 says:

      I tend to agree with you. It’s scary that what you do in your private life can get you fired. I’m wondering if we’ll ever see a backlash via lawsuits. I would imagine that many of these cases, were people are fired for something they put up on facebook, might tread a thin line with discrimination.

      And now for something completely different. Here’s a really funny Onion “report” on the brave new facebook era.

      Report: Every Potential 2040 President Already Unelectable Due To Facebook

    • jeffhas says:

      The problem is that he’s not just some ordinary employee; he’s the CFO – an OFFICER of the company. He signs SEC and/or Investor filings, he is listed in Annual Reports, he is responsible-up-the-wazoo to represent the company at all times. He would certainly have signed a code of ethics agreement, probably with a morals clause.

      THAT is why he was fired.

      Their legal department knew exactly what they were doing, and they made sure the company acted quickly to mitigate damage – that’s why you have Code of Ethics and Morals Clauses, companies do not want long-drawn out scenarios where they consider whether or not they can fire someone and/or be sued later.

      Joe-blow employee most likely would not have been fired, and might have more recourse (although Das Klown is probably right about that as well).

  10. underwhelmed says:

    If you’re a private business owner employing people, then they are receiving your money in return for their hours of work. It’s a fair and equitable trade. It also means you get absolute discretion re: the kind of people you want with their hands in your wallet. You get to decide the kind of person you want in your working family. Government jobs are different. But a private person in a contract with another private person gets to decide how they want that contract to operate. If you don’t adhere to that, you get situations (as Australia did) where people caught stealing from their employer were not allowed to be fired. Because they didn’t get an official memo outlining the fact that theft is not allowed. Also? Employees get to walk away from a job whenever they like, no questions asked, with no regard for the damage their leaving might do to the company. Employees get to decide the kind of person they want to work for. It cuts both ways.

    If you were a business owner, and you found out your employee enjoyed sadistic child sex porn in their off time, would you want them working for you? Should you be forced to continue employing them?

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