Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – most people have at least one social media account these days. And while America may be a country that celebrates freedom of speech, that doesn’t mean social media posts can’t have serious consequences, here and across the globe. According to BBC, one in 10 job seekers between the ages of 16 and 34 have been rejected for a job because of something posted on their profiles.
Recruiters aren’t the only ones perusing profiles – chances are your employer is as well. Before posting to social, it is good to know your company’s policies and think twice about the possible ramifications. Here are some silly, serious and outright ridiculous social media infractions that got these employees fired.
10. The School Teacher Behaving Badly
Former Apalachee High School English teacher Ashley Payne was forced to resign over photos and a status update during her vacation to Europe on her private Facebook account.
Payne stated that she was “headed out to play Crazy Bitch Bingo” at a bar and posted pictures of her holding wine and beer. According to the school district, a parent complained, even though Payne claimed that she wasn’t “friends” with any of her students on Facebook.
Lesson learned: What happens on vacation should stay on vacation – not on your profile.
9. The Server Too Concerned About Fashion
Timothy DaLaGhetto was a typical server at California Pizza Kitchen until he got his undies in a bunch over the company’s new uniforms. He claims he was fired over a tweet to the corporate Twitter account stating, “black button ups are the lamest s—t ever!!!”
Later he explained in a YouTube video titled “Twitter Got Me Fired!!!” that his small frame looked tinier than it really is in the black button-up shirt.
Regardless of how hideous the uniforms may have been, California Pizza Kitchen didn’t appreciate being roasted and told him he could keep his tips to himself and show himself out the door.
8. The Clerk Taking the Wrong Minutes
City Council meetings are not the things of blockbuster movies, but someone has to take notes. Former Pleasant Hill city clerk Kim Lehmkuhl wasn’t thrilled about her job choice and spent her minutes taking minutes on Twitter.
According to Lehmkuhl, her colleagues just don’t understand Twitter. She denied their allegations that she was just playing around on the job.
It seems that the writing may have been already on the wall for some time, as city officials could find plenty of Tweets but no minutes for about a year’s worth of meetings.
Getting fired didn’t shut Lehmkuhl up either. She had some choice words in her resignation email, calling her tenure as city clerk, “an atrocious, incredibly depressing and mind-numbingly inane experience I would not wish on anyone.”
7. The Nun With a Bad Facebook Habit
The Vatican may have a YouTube channel, and there’s a rosary app for the iPhone. However, nuns with Facebook habits “make life impossible” for the other nuns, according to an article by CNET.
Maria Jesus Galan had lived 35 years of her life in a secluded Spanish convent in Toledo. For obvious reasons, nuns don’t have too much contact with the outside world. However, in 2001, the convent welcomed its first computer. Galan used it to digitize the convent’s archives and helped other nuns to do their banking and other tasks online rather than having to leave the convent.
The local government applauded her digital work and gave her a special prize. It seems that Sister Maria’s Facebook friends and growing popularity didn’t make her popular among the other sisters. They forced her to leave, and she now lives with her mother.
Getting ousted did come with some perks. The Facebook community was outraged and poured in their support. Her 600 Facebook friends have multiplied. The outcasted nun is now friending the 5,000.
6. The Businessman Who Got Accounts Mixed Up
Former Chrysler contractor forgot that he was logged into the corporate account when he included a choice four-letter word in his tweet.
Scott Bartosiewitz was heading home from work when he got stuck in traffic on Interstate 696. He tweeted, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to (expletive) drive.”
His 140-character flub cost him his job with New Media Strategies and also cost the media firm its contract with Chrysler. Bartosiewitz claims the blunder was due to an app used to manage multiple Twitter accounts. Either way, it pays to watch what you tweet – and who you’re tweeting for.
5. The Palace Guard Who Insulted the Royal Family
A guard paid to keep eye on the royal family at Buckingham Palace wasn’t happy when Kate didn’t have eyes for him.
Cameron Reilly, then 18, was hoping for a little more when Middleton drove by, and he let his friends on Facebook know what he thought:
“Hur and william drove past me on friday n all a got was a sh***y wave while she looked the opposite way from me, stupid stuck up cow am I not good enough for them! posh bitch am totally with u on this 1 who reely gives a f about hur.”
Needless to say, the young guard was banned from the royal wedding. According to a former co-worker, Reilly hasn’t learned the rules of social networking or the rules of grammar.
“He joined Facebook last year and started posting bizarre things. He doesn’t engage his brain before he types,” the former co-worker said.
4. The Bus Driver Who Helped a Hungry Student
A student told bus driver Johnny Cook that he hadn’t eaten because he had been turned away from the lunch line, due to a 40-cent debt. Cook was outraged that the student was denied lunch and shared about it on his Facebook wall.
When the story started spreading, the school district got word and took Cook out of the driver’s seat when he refused to take the post down and apologize.
According to Haralson County, the school district where Cook was working at the time, the student didn’t go through the line and would have been offered a bag lunch if he had.
Cook still believes the student and is proud of himself for taking a stand. He hopes that the post that caused him to lose his job will bring about change.
3. A Glee Giveaway
Don’t give away the ending – especially if you work in the entertainment industry. Nicole Crowther, who was a regular extra on the hit show “Glee,” tweeted what she claimed was speculation about the Glee prom episode.
Her tweet, “K is PQ and Ka is PK,” made it clear to Gleeks around the world who the prom king and queen would be in the 2011 season.
Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk was quick to issue a rebuttal, writing on Twitter, “Who are you to spoil something talented people have spent months to create? Hope you’re qualified to do something besides work in entertainment.”
Crowther got the message that her Glee time was over, though she did deactivate her Twitter account after her self-proclaimed “careless mistake.”
2. The Bitter Barista
Matt Watson thought it would be fun to blog snarky comments about his customers and boss at All City Coffee in Georgetown.
He posted comments like, “I would remember your usual drink if you were a more memorable person,” and “If you remind me four times that you’ve ordered decaf, guess what you won’t be getting …”
Watson, who was 30 at the time, thought he could get away with it by not giving out his real name or place of employment.
After his posts started going viral, he was quickly identified by a couple other coffee guys, who were able to connect his Tweets under his artist name Spekulation to his blog.
Watson claimed the blog would be good for business, but management thought differently.
His employer wasn’t too impressed with his posts that included this bit for his boss.
“I like to use a lot of big words when I tweet, that way if my boss ever finds my twitter account, he won’t understand any of it.”
Watson may have to put those big words to good use in finding a new job.
1. A Shaky Mine
Some Australian miners found themselves in deep trouble down under after posting a video of them doing the Harlem Shake to YouTube.
Some 15 workers were fired, including some who didn’t participate. The mining company Barminco claimed the video was a safety breach that violated its core values of safety, integrity and excellence.
The shaking miners said that they were just having fun and that at least one of the safety breaches, not wearing shirts, was so that the company name didn’t appear on the video.
In spite of their “noble” intentions to protect the company, the canned dancers are banned from being contracted at any Barminco site, domestically or internationally. These workers may be shoveling themselves out of their mess for quite some time.