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Fired over YouTube. [Learn From My Fail]

MisterGrokMisterGrok Registered User regular
edited June 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I was recently let go from my job at a very famous company. One of the perks was having access to all I can eat of that company's product. Dessert-type food. I brought my friend over one night, about 9 months ago, after dinner (this is a common thing for all employees to do, bring their friends and family over for a treat). My friend had his new iPhone and wanted to play with the video function so he made a video of himself enjoying his food and the display units where we kept the food. He then posted it to youtube with the title "Breaking Into $Company".

Two days ago I was brought into the HR office at this company and asked about the video. I wasn't in it but I was in other videos my friend had posted. I was asked if I knew about it and how he got in, etc. I told the truth. I was asked if I allowed him to take video and post it. Well, I didn't tell him he couldn't, did I?

I go back to one decision I made that sealed my fate: I didn't say anything to my friend about the title of the video - this was the problem the company had with the video, giving the impression that it's easy to break into $Company's corporate offices. If I had asked my friend to rename the video, I would not have had any problems.

The video in question is no longer on YouTube.

GamerTag: aintnodancer
MisterGrok on

Posts

  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Your friend is a dick for posting said video in the first place.

    Kyougu on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Kyougu wrote: »
    Your friend is a dick for posting said video in the first place.

    In this day and age putting any information on the web almost assuredly ends up in the company's radar (especially one concerned with it's corporate image online/in the news) almost immediately. He should've known better.

    Though, a company that terminates employees like that is just as bad.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • FFFF Once Upon a Time In OaklandRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Kyougu wrote: »
    Your friend is a dick for posting said video in the first place.

    FF on
    Huh...
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Yep, book it, done in first reply.

    I'd seriously consider 'unfriending' said person for being such a vile dick.

    Robman on
  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Yeah, that was sort of a dick move on the part of your friend, but no offense - it should be common sense that filming in BIG COMPANY probably needs the approval of your supervisor and at least a heads up to your PR/marketing department.

    Usagi on
  • ZampanovZampanov You May Not Go Home Until Tonight Has Been MagicalRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    His friend probably just didn't realize the ramifications (just like he didn't).

    My assumption would be he was just being a dumbass and not a dick. He owes you BIG.

    Zampanov on
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  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots perth, ausRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Do you think some.. uh... creative retelling... of the situation would have been helpful in this situation? Could some quick-talking have got you out of this?

    I'm talking about lying, basically.

    desperaterobots on
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I don't think it was a dick move - a lot of people don't quite get the seriousness of putting stuff on the net, videos or otherwise. It should be common sense but it happens so often that it probably isn't, although probably will become such soon enough.

    It is a pretty horrible way for you and him to learn to be more careful though, so my sympathy to you.

    Kalkino on
    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • FFFF Once Upon a Time In OaklandRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Kalkino wrote: »
    I don't think it was a dick move - a lot of people don't quite get the seriousness of putting stuff on the net, videos or otherwise. It should be common sense but it happens so often that it probably isn't, although probably will become such soon enough.

    It is a pretty horrible way for you and him to learn to be more careful though, so my sympathy to you.

    "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." I suppose...however his friend couldn't even be bothered to tell him that he posted a video, or at least ask if it was ok. Talk about thick.

    FF on
    Huh...
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Dick? No, probably not. Epic dumbass? Certainly.

    saltiness on
    XBL: heavenkils
  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I can't believe they would fire you for that.

    It seems like a simple explanation would be fine: "Oh, gosh, I am so sorry. I brought my friend over for dinner like we all do and is encouraged, and my friend was showing me his new iPhone and playing with the video functionality. I had no idea that he actually posted any video on the internet, or that he gave it that name. I'll tell my friend to take it down right away."

    A company that would go through the hassle of firing someone and hiring someone new and re-training them and whatnot for that is just ridiculous. It's a horrible waste of resources.

    Melkster on
  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I guess there's somebody who doesn't like Sara Lee.
    (I have no idea what company it was.)

    Note: Never let friends take video of anything in your corporate offices. Never take video of your corporate offices yourself, unless given express permissions. Corporations get very... particular about that kind of thing.

    GungHo on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Melkster wrote: »
    I can't believe they would fire you for that.

    It seems like a simple explanation would be fine: "Oh, gosh, I am so sorry. I brought my friend over for dinner like we all do and is encouraged, and my friend was showing me his new iPhone and playing with the video functionality. I had no idea that he actually posted any video on the internet, or that he gave it that name. I'll tell my friend to take it down right away."

    A company that would go through the hassle of firing someone and hiring someone new and re-training them and whatnot for that is just ridiculous. It's a horrible waste of resources.

    It also doesn't look very good for the stockholders of this large tasty sweet snack company to see "Hey we stole some food from the employer" on the internet, especially if the video carries on youtube and gets popular.

    The company was just covering their ass. I'm not saying it isn't excessive, but it's not their fault.

    amateurhour on
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  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I'd split the responsibility of said action 75% friend, 25% you. These situations are very real and companies take them very seriously.

    When I was testing at Microsoft, I wrote a scathing review (opinion) of PDZ at IGDA.org.

    They got wind of it, brought me in, and basically told me how I wasn't going to be fired, because I didn't actually specify what game I was working on. Whew. But, they made it clear that this behavior wasn't acceptable.

    Slider on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    I'd split the responsibility of said action 75% friend, 25% you. These situations are very real and companies take them very seriously.

    When I was testing at Microsoft, I wrote a scathing review (opinion) of PDZ at IGDA.org.

    They got wind of it, brought me in, and basically told me how I wasn't going to be fired, because I didn't actually specify what game I was working on. Whew. But, they made it clear that this behavior wasn't acceptable.

    The company I work for was recently purchased by one of the largest IT companies out there. We had to take an ethics refresher course after the merger specifically talking about how employees aren't allowed to post company information on personal blogs, be it good or bad.

    amateurhour on
    are YOU on the beer list?
  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Melkster wrote: »
    I can't believe they would fire you for that.

    It seems like a simple explanation would be fine: "Oh, gosh, I am so sorry. I brought my friend over for dinner like we all do and is encouraged, and my friend was showing me his new iPhone and playing with the video functionality. I had no idea that he actually posted any video on the internet, or that he gave it that name. I'll tell my friend to take it down right away."

    A company that would go through the hassle of firing someone and hiring someone new and re-training them and whatnot for that is just ridiculous. It's a horrible waste of resources.

    Maybe the OP will clarify, but "encouraged" and "we all do it" are two separate things. For example, at the video store that I first worked on, we all got snacks and sodas without paying for them. Ever. To the point that when we got a new employee and he would offer to pay for the chips and sodas in his first day, we would just slowly shake our head at him.

    The bosses definately didn't encourage that sort of behavior though.

    noir_blood on
  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Melkster wrote: »
    I can't believe they would fire you for that.

    It seems like a simple explanation would be fine: "Oh, gosh, I am so sorry. I brought my friend over for dinner like we all do and is encouraged, and my friend was showing me his new iPhone and playing with the video functionality. I had no idea that he actually posted any video on the internet, or that he gave it that name. I'll tell my friend to take it down right away."

    A company that would go through the hassle of firing someone and hiring someone new and re-training them and whatnot for that is just ridiculous. It's a horrible waste of resources.

    It also doesn't look very good for the stockholders of this large tasty sweet snack company to see "Hey we stole some food from the employer" on the internet, especially if the video carries on youtube and gets popular.

    The company was just covering their ass. I'm not saying it isn't excessive, but it's not their fault.

    The company was being irresponsible with it's resources. If we want to look at the business angle, we certainly can. What was the severity of the infraction? In the grand scheme of things, very minor. The employee certainly didn't intend to defame the company, that's clear. And the indication from the OP is that the actual defamation was exceedingly minor. What is the cost of losing that employee?

    Separation Processing Costs:
    -exit interviewer's time
    -departing employee's time
    -administrative functions relating to the departure
    -separation pay associated with the departure
    -unemployment tax related to the departure

    Replacement Hiring Costs:
    -cattracting applicants
    -pre-employment administrative expenses
    -entrance interviews
    -aptitude, skill, drug etc. testing
    -hiring decisions meetings
    -post employment physical exams
    -post-employment information gathering (records, payroll, etc.)
    -signing bonus
    -employee finder's fee

    Training New Hire Costs:
    -information literature (manuals, brochures, policies, etc.)
    -general orientation
    -job orientation

    Lost Productivity and Lost Business Costs:
    -additional overtime to cover the vacancy wages and benefits saved due to the vacancy
    -performance differential while new employee gets up to speed
    -low morale-related time wasted due to "water cooler grumbling"
    -lost customers, sales, profits due to the departure

    (Shamelessly grabbed from the internet)

    I mean, come on. It's silly. Just silly. I feel for you, OP. This is ridiculous.

    Melkster on
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Class Traitor Smoke-filled roomRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    saltiness wrote: »
    Epic dumbass? Certainly.

    Unfortunately, this sounds like damage done. I would personally put some distance between myself and my "friend" in this situation, but ultimately it comes down to how close you two are.

    joshofalltrades on
  • Shorn Scrotum ManShorn Scrotum Man Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    saltiness wrote: »
    Dick? No, probably not. Epic dumbass? Certainly.

    Hopefully your friend has learned a lesson in being an adult and behaving himself when being a guest.
    Do you think some.. uh... creative retelling... of the situation would have been helpful in this situation? Could some quick-talking have got you out of this?

    I'm talking about lying, basically.

    I don't see a way of lying about this that doesn't involve the friend landing in prison.

    Shorn Scrotum Man on
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  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    I'd split the responsibility of said action 75% friend, 25% you. These situations are very real and companies take them very seriously.

    When I was testing at Microsoft, I wrote a scathing review (opinion) of PDZ at IGDA.org.

    They got wind of it, brought me in, and basically told me how I wasn't going to be fired, because I didn't actually specify what game I was working on. Whew. But, they made it clear that this behavior wasn't acceptable.

    The company I work for was recently purchased by one of the largest IT companies out there. We had to take an ethics refresher course after the merger specifically talking about how employees aren't allowed to post company information on personal blogs, be it good or bad.

    Our guidance on blogs, forums, and the like, and the guidance we've been told to give direct reports is pretty simple: blogs, forums, and social networking sites are publically available. Use sound judgemet when it comes to discussing the company and its activities, as we're a visible company in a visible industry and people may use any released information in any way they see fit.

    An unwritten rule goes further: We don't monitor our worker's personal lives, but if you're showing your boobies all over the internet, it's probably not going to be a career enhancer.

    GungHo on
  • FFFF Once Upon a Time In OaklandRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    GungHo wrote: »
    Slider wrote: »
    I'd split the responsibility of said action 75% friend, 25% you. These situations are very real and companies take them very seriously.

    When I was testing at Microsoft, I wrote a scathing review (opinion) of PDZ at IGDA.org.

    They got wind of it, brought me in, and basically told me how I wasn't going to be fired, because I didn't actually specify what game I was working on. Whew. But, they made it clear that this behavior wasn't acceptable.

    The company I work for was recently purchased by one of the largest IT companies out there. We had to take an ethics refresher course after the merger specifically talking about how employees aren't allowed to post company information on personal blogs, be it good or bad.

    Our guidance on blogs, forums, and the like, and the guidance we've been told to give direct reports is pretty simple: blogs, forums, and social networking sites are publically available. Use sound judgemet when it comes to discussing the company and its activities, as we're a visible company in a visible industry and people may use any released information in any way they see fit.

    An unwritten rule goes further: We don't monitor our worker's personal lives, but if you're showing your boobies all over the internet, it's probably not going to be a career enhancer.

    Depends on the career. :winky:

    FF on
    Huh...
  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Fuck Warren Ellis Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I actually work for a company that helps companies such as the OP's find those sorts of things. Rest assured that everything you blog, tweet, facebook, write in forums, etc is being looked at by your company if it has a recognizable brand.

    In short, be very careful about what you say in public areas of the web.

    SatanIsMyMotor on
  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    And just as a note of curiosity, food companies tend to be very careful about this sort of thing. You can't patent a cereal recipe or a cupcake manufacturing process, so information control is very important to them.

    Usagi on
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Well now I'm going to be paranoid while posting.

    Altneratively; Hi Scott! Please don't take my forums away!

    I don't think anyone got fired, but Facebook got blocked here at work because some jackasses took pictures that made it look like everyone was sleeping on night shifts and posted them under a group called *My Company Here* Sucks!

    Forar on
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  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Well, if you're posting at work... that's one risk.

    But, I think Satan means that if you work for Shell and you say something about "I work for Shell and..." on a board or if you list "Employment: Shell" at LinkedIn and you link your LinkedIn to your Facebook, they're going to connect the dots.

    They're primarily seeing if you're giving out proprietary information. However, they're also reading (and reporting) things that say "Yeah, my bosses are a bunch of fuddy duddies... they won't put free twinkies in the breakroom".

    GungHo on
  • LeCausticLeCaustic Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Usagi wrote: »
    And just as a note of curiosity, food companies tend to be very careful about this sort of thing. You can't patent a cereal recipe or a cupcake manufacturing process, so information control is very important to them.

    As are pharmaceuticals. I'm pretty sure if someone did at at my local pharma company, they'd be fired without even telling him about the video.

    LeCaustic on
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  • LeCausticLeCaustic Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Also, I'm sorry, but the guy is a dick. An idiotic, selfish, dick at that. Who the fuck puts up a video like that with THAT title? A dick. Who negligently forgets about the fact that his friend might get in trouble since he works there and screws him over? A dick.

    Quick Q - Did you not see him recording this?

    LeCaustic on
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  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I thought this thread was about someone being fired over Youtube.

    Metalbourne on
  • RaynagaRaynaga Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    At my store we recently had to terminate someone because they filmed a stupid prank/incident in the store and put it on YouTube.

    Those two idiots at Domino's that put video of them doing things to pizza (that they say were never delivered) were not only terminated, but prosecuted under a state law about delivering harmful substances.

    In general, YouTube and work are a bad mix.

    Raynaga on
  • MisterGrokMisterGrok Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Thanks for your replies, everyone. Especially the many sympathetic ones.

    Metalbourne, I apologize, I'll rephrase my next thread title to be less ambiguous. :P

    I was actually very aware of the Domino's incident as I was closely following it on Consumerist when it happened. I'll go ahead and share a few more details as to why this situation did not set off any alarms for me.

    First, I did know that my friend was taking video and that he was going to post it. I was aware of the title after he posted it but only a couple months after the fact and I ascribed the jackass title to my friend's predilection for occasional jackassery (this guy is a very good friend who has taken care of me in some of my worst moments, so this instance is forgiven, I know he is probably feeling pretty terrible anyhow and we have both learned our lesson). The video had very few views. At the time the video was taken down there were 110 views. On YouTube. This thread has had more views in 10 minutes than that video had in 9 months. (Sorry, I am being a bit defensive, aren't I?)

    While this breakroom is not publicly accessible; local sports teams, church groups, etc. are all brought into this room for the various community outreach programs done and pictures are taken. There is nothing secret about this breakroom. It was expressed to me that the main offense taken to the video was it's title.

    Of course, I don't want to excuse my or my friend's actions and this post was made, yes, to complain about my situation; but also as a forewarning to anyone else who happens to read this, which appears to have been a lot of people. I definitely feel that the situation here is not very black and white, it was also expressed to me post mortem that, had the invading corporate culture of the new owner of the company had not been in place, this post probably wouldn't be here and I would be just getting home from work. I would plead with anyone else in the future to err on the side of caution, no matter how funny the idea might seem at the time.
    In general, YouTube and work are a bad mix.

    MisterGrok on
    GamerTag: aintnodancer
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    I'd split the responsibility of said action 75% friend, 25% you. These situations are very real and companies take them very seriously.

    When I was testing at Microsoft, I wrote a scathing review (opinion) of PDZ at IGDA.org.

    They got wind of it, brought me in, and basically told me how I wasn't going to be fired, because I didn't actually specify what game I was working on. Whew. But, they made it clear that this behavior wasn't acceptable.

    The company I work for was recently purchased by one of the largest IT companies out there. We had to take an ethics refresher course after the merger specifically talking about how employees aren't allowed to post company information on personal blogs, be it good or bad.

    I work for a manufacturing company that doesn't make anything that an ordinary person could or would even want to purchase. Even we have a rule that says we're not to disclose who we work for in online discussions, comment on the company, or comment on the industry we're in.

    Even if that's not an explicit rule, that's basically good common sense these days.

    Don't ever let your professional life get linked to your online persona unless you have a good reason for it. By default you should firewall these things.

    Pheezer on
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