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Default Careless talk, and consequences thereof…

September 3rd, 2009, 17:29
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Yeah it wasn't a perfect parallel, but it was the best I could do on short notice. Let's say the customers challenge JJB and he points out to them that skin color doesn't affect cooking ability, to which they get tremendously pissed since he couldn't possibly understand soul food. Now you've got a worker's words causing loss of business. Happier with the parallel?

I notice that nobody even attempted an answer. Ain't be gottin, mayhaps?
Still seems a stretch, but since the worker didn't exercise his freedom to be a racist pig then he shouldn't be fired. If he is, well that would make a nice lawsuit.

I know what you're going for here, but it isn't the same situation. One is an idiot making bigoted remarks about women and the other is his skin is just white. Not even close to being the same situation other than the loss of business.

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September 3rd, 2009, 17:32
Dte, I view the situation as something like this. The worker is committing an act that is costing the company business in both my example and in the actual story PJ related.

In your example, the worker is *not* doing anything. I would say if he was fired at this point it would be morally wrong.
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September 3rd, 2009, 17:45
I believe we have one of PJ's infamous sliding scales of acceptability in play here (by everyone involved, not just PJ), so I'm poking at it a bit to see where the tipping point is. Plus, giving everyone a little consistency test in the process.

I'll try to work up some examples that don't allow technicality punts over lunch. I'll trip you mambypamby relativists up somehow, yes I will. And yer little dog, too.

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September 3rd, 2009, 20:33
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
While I'm mostly in agreement with the majority opinion here, I want to play devil's advocate for a moment. If we are going to allow complete freedom on hire/fire, there are some potential consequences to consider.
How's that gonna fly, folks? I intentionally reversed the roles so we don't have to address minority oppression, but imagine the shitstorm if the situation were the same but we're talking a grits-n-greens shop in Macon, Georgia and Tyrell was the one getting fired.
Bit of a false analogy, there. In your case, Joey Cracker is being fired because of his skin color. IMO that's not kosher, no matter what color we're talking about. In this case, we've got a Neanderthal who can't keep his lips from flapping, and consequently getting the fuzzy end of some consequences. In the former case, it's a matter of an indelible property; in the latter, it's a matter of behavior. Clear difference there IMO.
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September 3rd, 2009, 20:35
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
I'll try to work up some examples that don't allow technicality punts over lunch. I'll trip you mambypamby relativists up somehow, yes I will. And yer little dog, too.
Ain't gonna happen. One of the nice things about relativism is that you can be as absolutist as you like… under certain circumstances.
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September 3rd, 2009, 21:18
Kicking someone on their opinions is a touchy subject. Taken to the extreme, such practices could harm democracy. One at least needs to find a reason for why a particular opinion is unfit for a job. You don't want a nazi working in the immigration department, or a fundie Christian as counceallor in an abortion clinic.

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September 4th, 2009, 08:49
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Well, as the offended feminazi I am, I fail to see anything classy about "Haha, saying women are mindless, untalented, over-emotional sex objects you should acquire when young and train to service you was just me being funny, but I'm really sorry they don't want to buy our cars now."

Regardless of free speech, which of course, I don't dispute his right to exercise, the guy's still a jerk, no matter how he tries to excuse his actions.
I thought the apology was classy precisely because he *didn't* try to excuse his actions — he just said that he screwed up, he's sorry about the damage done, and he's drawing his conclusions about it. He's clearly a sexist jerk, and even if he could change that, it would take a lot of time and concrete actions to convince anybody that he had. I especially liked the "mostly humor" phrasing — he could have said that it was "just humor," in which case he'd be indirectly blaming the humorless feminazi prigs for not getting it; however, the "mostly" changes that a quite a bit.
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September 4th, 2009, 09:07
First of all I think he quit out of his own initiative ?? second of all was he really serious during the interview?? maybe they got him drunk before he talked?

The problem here is not a legal one, instead the problem is that he hurted the image of audi by his comments and he realised that himself and therefore he "resigned" ? It is not like he would go to prison or get otherwise punished by what he said.

If I am responsible for sales in any company, I would have the sense and knowledge to not offend a group of people officially to hurt the brand, that's just common sense.
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September 4th, 2009, 09:28
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
First of all I think he quit out of his own initiative ??
Officially, yes, and the company denied pressuring him to leave. That doesn't really mean all that much, though, IMO.

second of all was he really serious during the interview?? maybe they got him drunk before he talked?
Who knows. Although IMO giving an interview while drunk would constitute a pretty severe lapse of judgment too, no matter what got said. (AFAIK reporters for women's magazines don't, as a general rule, get their subjects drunk before interviewing them, though.)
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September 4th, 2009, 10:07
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
However, due to their emotional nature, women do not do well in managerial positions; however, they are generally good at sticking to routines.
(…)
the CEO of Audi Finland apologized on his behalf, and announced that he had resigned from his position at his own request. Mr. Kiesi himself has not been available for comment.)
Who cares about this idiot mr. unimportant Kiesi? What matters is the thing Audi does and has done.

I think Audi Finland has not done enough. It should have distanced itself clearly, unambiguously, from Kiesi. Firing the guy would have been such a clear statement. I think that in my country there would be also pressure on Audi to employ a female director of sales now to end all speculation where Audi stands in all this.

Audi will have to choose: does it side with poor mr Kiesi who thought it best to resign because he showed little qualities in self-restraint, or does it side with 50% of worlds population, showing them that they're worthwhile, and in no way inferior beings but equal or perhaps even better than men?
If they play it smart I'm sure they can turn the whole affair to their advantage and sell more cars than ever before. After all acquisitions of that magnitude, generally speaking, need the approval of both spouses.

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September 4th, 2009, 10:46
I agree. It'll be interesting to see what they'll do next; Kiesi's job went to the next in line by default, but I think they'll recruit someone else for it. (To be fair, Audi did distance itself from Kiesi's comments quite early in the game. I also don't believe that there was no pressure on him to resign.)
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September 4th, 2009, 14:09
OK, slippery noodles, try this one on for size.

JimmyJoeBob quit his job in Harlem and moved to Florida to work for Greedy Health Insurance, Inc. A group of lefty rabblerousers in Miami decide to hold a protest in favor of ObamaCare. Having spent that time in Harlem, JJB happens to be practically communist himself, so he decides to go to the protest on his lunch hour. The local TV news swings by to cover the protest and, as these things always go, JJB happens to be standing behind the reporter with his "My health isn't Greedy's profit" sign and Greedy ID badge during the whole shot. Greedy's VP of operations watches the report and happens to recognize JJB. JJB is promptly fired for conduct detrimental to the company.

Y'all want "at will". Happy with this result?

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September 4th, 2009, 15:30
Oo, tough one! I like it.

I'd consider the firing legal, because JJB's badge was showing. That gives an impression that he's there in his role as a Greedy employee, not just as a concerned citizen. Had he removed the badge and been fired anyway, I would have considered the firing illegal.
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September 4th, 2009, 15:44
I have to agree with PJ on this one. If he is doing something that could be interpreted as him acting in his official capacity as an employee of Greedy, that is bad. Same thing w/ the Audi guy - he said those comments in a setting where he was representing the company. Now, if he had been at a bar and saying those comments to his buddies around a pool table and some random person recorded them and they got out, I think Audi would not have been right to "resign" the guy.

It's a fine line, but when you are representing (or run the risk of representing) the company/government/whatever your standard of conduct is higher than if you're just talking as a private citizen.
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September 4th, 2009, 15:57
FWIW, I've said things here that I would not have said e.g. if I was posting from my work email account. It wouldn't be difficult to track down who I really am or where I work, but I try to keep my professional and private lives fairly clearly delineated.
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September 4th, 2009, 16:00
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
I thought the apology was classy precisely because he *didn't* try to excuse his actions — he just said that he screwed up, he's sorry about the damage done, and he's drawing his conclusions about it. He's clearly a sexist jerk, and even if he could change that, it would take a lot of time and concrete actions to convince anybody that he had. I especially liked the "mostly humor" phrasing — he could have said that it was "just humor," in which case he'd be indirectly blaming the humorless feminazi prigs for not getting it; however, the "mostly" changes that a quite a bit.
For you, maybe. To me it just emphasizes what he's really apologizing for—losing money for his company. That's the only part of his statement that sounds particularly sincere to me.

To me —despite the qualifier('mostly is significantly different from just' seems a bit of a stretch)—it's exactly like those classic Washingtonian statements after a gaffe— "If I've offended anyone, I apologize." It puts the onus of the incident on those who were offended by it; parsing the "mostly" is pretty much splitting hairs. You seem to be saying that this "mostly' business makes it better: "There was an element of seriousness in my humor so I should be let off the hook because I regret the consequences to my company of *saying* what I actually think." Whereas all I hear is this: "You silly women should have known I was kidding, sort of. Don't stop buying Audis because of me, though pleez."

But I suppose I could be bringing a little something extra to the evaluation. Like a wearying lifetime of working for men like this.

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September 4th, 2009, 16:15
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Oo, tough one! I like it.

I'd consider the firing legal, because JJB's badge was showing. That gives an impression that he's there in his role as a Greedy employee, not just as a concerned citizen. Had he removed the badge and been fired anyway, I would have considered the firing illegal.
So a guy got fired for expressing his personal political views, and we're good with that? He was on his lunch hour, so he wasn't expressing those views on company time, and the badge was just an oversight…

Just checking.

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September 4th, 2009, 16:16
@mags: Is there anything you think he *could* have said to make you feel differently?
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September 4th, 2009, 16:18
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
So a guy got fired for expressing his personal political views, and we're good with that? He was on his lunch hour, so he wasn't expressing those views on company time, and the badge was just an oversight…

Just checking.
It is a tricky situation, but yeah, I'm good with that. Oversight or not, the badge was there and, as you said, highly visible — and the protest was specifically against the company.

I would not be cool with his firing (a) if the badge was not present nor (b) if there was no direct connection with the company even if he was wearing the badge — e.g. if his boss was a Democrat and fired him for attending one of those teabagging things, when the teabagging had nothing to do with Greedy Inc specifically.
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September 4th, 2009, 16:18
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
So a guy got fired for expressing his personal political views, and we're good with that? He was on his lunch hour, so he wasn't expressing those views on company time, and the badge was just an oversight…

Just checking.
I'm fine with it, but I've had enough experience with "off the record" meetings and presentations where people who work for important groups/firms/the government/etc have given their own personal opinions on issues and have asked that these views not be repeated outside of the room.
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