Since sharing our lives on social media has become second nature to us now, it’s often easy to forget who all can see it. Take the Mesa, Arizona daycare worker who lost her job for a Snapchat post this week.
The 19-year-old posted an image of herself holding her middle finger up in front of a young child’s face with a captioning reading “swear i (sic) love kids.” Guess who’s back on the job market?! Ding, ding, ding!
These days, 93 percent of recruiters say they’ll check the social media profile of a potential hire. But the unfortunate truth is most people aren’t terribly protective of their social media personas, and thus don’t realize how much their employer could turn up if they did a basic search.
How bad could it really be? Here are some real-life examples of social media mistakes that cost most of these poor, unsuspecting people their jobs. Hopefully, after you read them, you’ll edit and update your social media profiles accordingly.
1. You’re never anonymous
The worker at Kids Play in Mesa might have thought her Snapchat was no big deal because she didn’t show her face in the image, but when a parent called the owner, it was pretty easy to figure out the culprit — especially because the daycare has video surveillance.
2. Tweeting while working
Here’s one that I know most people have been guilty of at one time or another (many on a daily basis). Kim Lehmkuhl, a city clerk in California, was asked to resign because she was caught tweeting during council meetings when she was supposed to be taking notes. She said in her resignation notice, “This has been an atrocious, incredibly depressing and mind-numbingly inane experience I would not wish on anyone.” While this may sound pretty unfair, it should be known that Lehmkuhl had been shirking her minute-recording duties for almost a year.
3. Wrong feed
Now this is just a case of pure carelessness, especially considering the guy was a social media strategist. Scott Bartosiewicz, who worked for Chrysler in Detroit, accidentally tweeted something insulting about local drivers on the company Twitter page rather than on his own feed. He said, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f***ing drive.” Needless to say, he was kindly asked to clear out his office, and sign out of the corporate social media accounts.
4. Drinking and posting
Then there are bosses who are not so forgiving of employees posting pictures with alcohol in hand. The head of the school where Ashley Payne worked as a teacher found pictures of her holding alcoholic beverages on her Facebook page. She was called into his office and given the choice to be fired or resign. She claimed her privacy settings were as strict as possible, but somehow a “concerned parent” who found them ratted her out.
5. No business like show business
Nicole Crowther was an extra on the Fox show Glee before she tweeted spoilers of an upcoming episode. While Crowther claims her spoilers were only speculations, fans were furious. She received major backlash and even threats of violence in addition to losing her job.
6. Gross food YouTube
Hey, you know what’s not a good idea? Doing weird things to customers’ food, then posting video proof on a public platform like YouTube. Well that’s exactly what these guys who worked at a Domino’s did, then probably served said food to actual customers. Disgusting and wrong doesn’t begin to cover this. Thankfully, sleuths over at Consumerist found out who the offending employees were, and alerted Domino’s corporate so they could be fired — and hopefully forced to eat similarly perverted food.
7. Poor form off the field
Jon Schuetz, the former stadium PA announcer for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, was fired after only one day on the job for an inappropriate Facebook post, and get this — the post had been made that previous November, criticizing the university’s chancellor for firing the former coach, Bo Pelini. Schuetz completely owned up to his immature behavior, and ultimately agreed with the school’s decision to fire him.
8. Instagram hunger games
Note to anyone in power positions: If you have the ability to fire people, don’t gloat about it on social media. Alejandro Rhett, former vice president of men’s merchandising for J.Crew, decided to post pictures of him and a friend jumping for joy and flipping the bird right after he took part in a series of layoffs. He captioned the photos #hungergames and #maytheoddsbeeverinyourfavor, suggesting that he made the cut, and #sorrynotsorry to those who didn’t. Needless to say, J.Crew quickly took “appropriate actions,” meaning Rhett joined the ranks of his unfortunate, former employees.
9. Racism and Twitter don’t mix
Vinita Hegwood, a Texas high school teacher, lost her job over a series of racist tweets she made about the Ferguson incidents. She said they were made “emotionally and impulsively,” but their content was so extreme that the school board refused to accept her resignation, and fired her instead.
10. If you don’t have anything nice to say…
Just a thought, it’s probably not a great idea to make fun of the kids you work with at a day-care center. It’s an even worse idea to take mocking pictures of them and post them all over Instagram. But that’s exactly what these two day-care workers from Virginia did to a 2-year-old boy who is developmentally impaired. His mother happened to see the pictures online and immediately alerted the center’s authorities, who promptly fired the two employees. I’m sure there are more immature ways for adults to behave, but currently, I can’t think of any.
11. Never criticize where you work
Kimberley Swann had only been working at her marketing job for three weeks before she was fired over a Facebook status in which she called her job “dull.” The 16-year-old didn’t even mention the name of the company, but a coworker saw it and reported her to upper management. There goes the idea of worker solidarity.
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