When Should the Beating Stop?

 

You may remember Adam Smith. No, not the philosopher — the CFO who took a stand for same-sex marriage and against Chick-Fil-A by filming himself acting like a complete tool at a drive-thru while receiving a complementary glass of water from the young girl working the window.

He posted his righteous indignation video online, it went viral, and his employer showed him the door. Well, according to ABC News, the hits just keep on coming for him. Three years later, he remains unemployed and has been reduced to accepting food stamps to feed his family.

My initial reaction is “Good, serves him right for being such a jerk.” But is this appropriate? When he realized the error of his ways, he made amends. He offered his apology and it was accepted by the young lady he verbally abused. So far he’s lost his livelihood, his home, and a significant portion of his dignity.

When is the punishment over for Mr. Smith? When is enough enough? Perhaps he still lacks the heart change necessary because although he regrets how he did what he did, he does not yet regret the stand he took. I cannot muster significant sympathy for him to wish a different outcome, but perhaps that is because of my heart issues rather than his.

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  1. Mama Toad Member
    Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    He’s using food stamps to buy $5.99/lb free range chicken in Portland?

    Excuse me while I go get a hanky to dry my eyes.

    Maybe he could look for a different type job. Maybe Chik-Fil-A needs a new drive-through guy…

    • #1
  2. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    I’m not sure how far one can stretch the EBT card at Whole Foods…

    But, I think part of my hard-heartedness toward him his how loathsome I find his entire being. He wreaks of leftyism. Even his beard pisses me off. So, I’ve obviously got some work to do yet.

    • #2
  3. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    After reading the piece I too have some trouble mustering a lot of sympathy for him, though I feel bad for his wife and kids. If the punishment were something handed down by a judge it’d be one thing but it sounds like economics at work in the digital age. He proved that he can’t be trusted not to go to a lot of trouble to make a jerk out of himself and put it on the internet for a world full of potential customers to see and companies don’t want to take on the risk. He’s going to have to find a company that is outspoken in the same values (Apple maybe?) or he’s going to have to accept a lower profile, less paying job and earn some trust again. I take it back, I feel for the guy, whether I agree with him or not he’s gonna have a rough row to hoe for a while. Still, this wasn’t him screaming something spur of the moment in an interview or something, he had a lot of time to think it over before he clicked “upload”.

    • #3
  4. Black Prince Inactive
    Black Prince
    @BlackPrince

    In the course of a lifetime most people have done and said stupid/hurtful things just like Adam Smith or even worse—the only difference is that our indiscretions did not become national news. If we condemn Adam Smith for the rest of his life then we should also condemn ourselves. That being said, we do have to deal with the consequences of our mistakes (whether those consequences are “fair” or not) and I think that Adam Smith needs to do a complete reset of his life. Moving to another country (at least for a few years) might help in addition to finding another line of work.

    • #4
  5. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    I don’t have a lot of sympathy for this guy but I do have a lot of sympathy for his problem. In the past ( my dad’s time and before), if you made a mistake, did something stupid, you could leave the area, maybe change your name and start over. Now with computers and the Internet it is not possible. We are getting a lot of people whose lives have been destroyed because of something stupid they did once, maybe caught with drugs, involved in theft, got in a fight, made a stupid internet video or maybe something they did not do like be accused of rape, etc. They may have learned their lesson or not but their next chance to make it good is gone. No job, can’t pass security and background checks, etc. We once were a nation of chances that now have become a nation of zero tolerance and one screw up and your future is gone. It is sad to see some person that screwed up once that can no longer live up to their potential because our current system will not let them. We no longer seem to know how to forgive.

    • #5
  6. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    I feel bad for him.  Would be nice if he could get a job doing books for small businesses though.

    I believe that people should be able to start anew.

    • #6
  7. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Guruforhire

    I feel bad for him.  Would be nice if he could get a job doing books for small businesses though.

    I believe that people should be able to start anew.

    Yes, people should be able to, but is he? He regrets only the manner of his protest. It seems he harbors the same ill will against anyone who dares to believe differently than he does.

    • #7
  8. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    I was ticked off yesterday over the way the half assed so called reporters were still reporting the story as ‘ Chick Fil-A’s controversial stance on gay marriage’.  Chick Fil-A as far as I know had no ‘stance’ on the issue at all . The company did not and does not discriminate in either hiring or service. The owner expressed a private opinion on gay marriage exhibiting , by the way, no ‘hatred’ for anybody. This private opinion was intolerable to the tolerance police who then tried to destroy him and his business. I’d be happy if asshat would admit that people are allowed opinions different from his own and that merely having a difference of opinion is not ‘hatred’. That being said people should be allowed to slink into obscurity without being hounded to the end of the earth.

    • #8
  9. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    The King Prawn:

    I feel bad for him. Would be nice if he could get a job doing books for small businesses though.

    I believe that people should be able to start anew.

    Yes, people should be able to, but is he? He regrets only the manner of his protest. It seems he harbors the same ill will against anyone who dares to believe differently than he does.

    Well, some people are temperamentally unfit to exist in a pluralistic society.  But as long as he does good math, and keeps his yap shut at work who cares?

    Having to remember what he once was is punishment enough.

    • #9
  10. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    Just as it is wrong to condemn people who support marriage, it is wrong to condemn this guy for his stance, though he did a stupid thing.  He should not suffer for this for so long.  He should be forgiven and reemployed.

    • #10
  11. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    He should be forgiven and reemployed.

    He’s been forgiven by the one he actually attempted to harm, but how does that have anything to do with a third party (his potential new employer) taking on the risk of his behavior?

    • #11
  12. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    He dosn’t seemed to have learned anything from his actions, he is still putting up videos, blabbing all over the internet and TV shows. So he is up front with all his prospective employers, who don’t want to hire an in your face person.  As long as he keeps flapping his mouth regarding his opinions, posting it on the internet, he’ll probably remain unemployed.

    If he keeps it up, he may possibly ruin the chances of his children in this world as well, unless they leave home as early as possible and move to a different area.

    • #12
  13. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    @KP #7 (I’m on an iPad and can’t quote)

    It would be hypocritical of us to gloat over this guy’s life being ruined for his beliefs while simultaneously arguing for greater protections for religious dissenters on the other side of the debate. It’s true that the issue is not the belief itself but his documented jackassery, but like Guru said, he deserves a second chamce; if anger over a political issue and animus toward the other side were grounds for making one unemployable, how many of us would be on food stamps?

    If he does something like this again all bets are off, of course. Even he admits that’s an understandable concern.

    • #13
  14. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Umbra Fractus

    It would be hypocritical of us to gloat over this guy’s life being ruined for his beliefs while simultaneously arguing for greater protections for religious dissenters on the other side of the debate. It’s true that the issue is not the belief itself but his documented jackassery, but like Guru said, he deserves a second chamce; if anger over a political issue and animus toward the other side were grounds for making one unemployable, how many of us would be on food stamps?

    I think there’s a real difference here between the left and the right. We don’t commit such actions because we believe in cause and effect and believe we our wages should equal our work. For those who do beclown themselves (I’m looking at you GOP) we cheer their comeuppance. The left thinks they are owed only good things. This guy seems to believe his second chance should be another $200K/year gig.

    • #14
  15. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    I feel the same about Adam Smith that I feel about Adria.  In a perfect world, hell, in a better world, there would be second chances.  But in the world we have, live by the mob, die by the mob.  I do not relish it, but nor do I sympathize.

    • #15
  16. user_158368 Inactive
    user_158368
    @PaulErickson

    I do feel bad for him.  If he were in a different line of work, like a professional athlete or radio host or landscaper or nuclear reactor operator, he might have an easier time getting re-employed.  Characteristics you look for in a CFO are judgment and discretion.  He’s not having difficulty finding a new job because of what he believes, but because his behavior illustrates a lack of those qualities.  That’s tough, but that’s the way the market operates.

    As KP said it in #11, I can feel sorry for him but that won’t change my unwillingness to take the risk of a repeat performance if I hire him.

    • #16
  17. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Remember #HasJustineLandedYet? Justine Sacco had her life upended by something stupid that she Tweeted about AIDS and Africa, but the professional grievance mongers don’t seem to mind. When you live by the sword, be prepared to die by the sword.

    Right now the new host of The Daily Show is getting grief over a lot of anti-Semitic jokes he forgot to delete from his Twitter account until yesterday. Ask me if I care…

    • #17
  18. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    I suppose being perpetually offended is good sport…until you’re the offender.

    • #18
  19. user_138562 Moderator
    user_138562
    @RandyWeivoda

    Rightfromthestart:I was ticked off yesterday over the way the half assed so called reporters were still reporting the story as ‘ Chick Fil-A’s controversial stance on gay marriage’. Chick Fil-A as far as I know had no ‘stance’ on the issue at all . The company did not and does not discriminate in either hiring or service. The owner expressed a private opinion on gay marriage exhibiting , by the way, no ‘hatred’ for anybody. This private opinion was intolerable to the tolerance police who then tried to destroy him and his business. I’d be happy if asshat would admit that people are allowed opinions different from his own and that merely having a difference of opinion is not ‘hatred’. That being said people should be allowed to slink into obscurity without being hounded to the end of the earth.

    You beat me to it, I was going to say the same thing.

    Beyond that, it’s not like this guy lost his cool in an argument and someone else recorded it and posted it online.  He planned to do this stunt, recorded himself, and chose to put it online thinking people would view him as a hero.  He wasn’t 18.  He was a grown man in an executive position.  A lot of employers are going to question the judgement of someone who acts like a kid.  I’m not saying that he should never be employed again, but I’m sure there are a lot of people who are applying for jobs in that income level and employers probably have a lot of people to choose from.  He may have to accept a position that pays a lot less money.

    • #19
  20. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Maybe he should apply at Chick-fil-A…

    • #20
  21. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    EJHill

    Maybe he should apply at Chik-fil-A…

    They are the kind of people who would hire him, but he still holds his view that it is an awful, immoral company.

    He may have permanently disqualified himself to work at his previous level. That may simply be the reality he imposed on himself and his family with his foolish behavior.

    • #21
  22. Ricochet Moderator
    Ricochet
    @DougWatt

    Maybe it should stop when Officer Darren Wilson receives his apology from those that slandered him, threatened his life, and ruined his chances of continuing his career as a police officer.

    • #22
  23. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women.”

    • #23
  24. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Mike LaRoche

    Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women.”

    In this debate, “the lamentation of the women” can take on many contexts.

    • #24
  25. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    “When should the beating stop?”  If I understand my boss right it’s when morale improves…

    • #25
  26. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Mike LaRoche:“Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women.”

    I’m going to have to watch that this week now.

    • #26
  27. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    The King Prawn:

    He should be forgiven and reemployed.

    He’s been forgiven by the one he actually attempted to harm, but how does that have anything to do with a third party (his potential new employer) taking on the risk of his behavior?

    Probably his best bet is to start with a small  company for which he is overqualified.  If he says, I was stupid, I’ve learned my lesson, I’d hope that someone with a kind heart and need for an employee would consider him.

    • #27
  28. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    lesserson:“When should the beating stop?” If I understand my boss right it’s when morale improves…

    You got one of those too…..

    • #28
  29. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Another random thought just rattled through my sleep deprived brain: what if he is acting the part of martyr to the cause? The vehemence that motivated him to make and post the video still seems to lurk in him, but he is seeking more socially appropriate means of “hating on the haters.” Such an attitude doesn’t leave much hope for true contrition.

    • #29
  30. user_989419 Inactive
    user_989419
    @ProbableCause

    I’m glad the internet and cell phone cameras weren’t around when I was a young asshat.

    • #30

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