There are certainly some dumb ways to get yourself fired. The employees on this list are guilty of committing stupid and trivial acts they’re surely regretting now. They clearly didn’t think twice—let alone once—about their actions and are now paying for it in a serious way. As CEO of a PR agency that works extensively in crisis communications and media relations, I am thankful none of these were my clients.
1. The Burger King Lettuce Contaminator: This guy stood in the lettuce that goes in our sandwiches and burgers at Burger King. Not only is that disgusting, it left us gasping at what else could possibly be happening behind the scenes at our favorite fast food restaurants. Shame on you, former Burger King employee.
2. Jacqueline from Retro Fitness’ Undercover Boss Episode: A lovely employee that looks sweet and innocent until she opened her mouth. From saying, "I’m not a slave" to a customer when asked to make a smoothie to telling customers to "f*** off," she was way out of line and rightfully let go — by the CEO himself.
3. A California Pizza Kitchen Employee: Someone was pouting regarding their new uniform. (The shocking tweet read "@calpizzakitchen black button ups are the lamest s*** ever!!! #CaliporniaSkeetzaKitchen.") Compared to other service industry uniforms, a black button up doesn’t seem half bad. This guy disagreed. He was later tracked down and fired. Oops. Maybe he’ll think twice next time.
4. Ice Cream Junkie: A Wendy’s employee, excuse us, former Wendy’s employee decided to cool himself down on a hot day and have himself a snack of delicious soft serve ice cream… straight from the machine into his mouth. All sanitary practices out the window, plain disgusting and he was immediately let go.
5. Tacos Au Natural: Who wants to wear shoes? Not this taco chain’s employee. She was spotted by a customer preparing food with no shoes on. We don’t know about you but we wouldn’t want our bare feet touching the floor of a commercial kitchen.
6. Cooking Up Trouble: Someone at Kitchen Aid has some strong opinions that were not appreciated by the higher-ups. An employee tweeted some snark comments about Obama’s dead grandma, which isn’t brilliant, but accidentally did so from the official Kitchen Aid Twitter handle. This personal promptly removed "Social Media Strategist" from their resume.
7. Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Your Burger King Employee in a Tub: On your shift at Burger King? Must be the perfect time for a bath! Why don’t you strip down and hop in that industrial large, sanitary sink used to clean equipment and dishes that customers use. Unfortunately this soapy employee was immediately fired. He’s been unemployed since with nothing to show for himself but a soapy picture. There has GOT to be a better use for YouTube.
8. American Red Cross Gets Slizzerd: A company we admire for their admirable service to helping those in need both in our own country and afar took a turn for the worse one night when an employee who had access to the company account tweeted that her friend had found more beer, and when they drink, "they do it right; getting slizzerd," — a lyric from a popular rap song.
9. A Taxi Ride to Unemployment: This cab driver was just wrong. He/she exploited drunk students doing the right thing by getting a ride from a taxi versus driving drunk. They posted a half-naked picture of an intoxicated female student with the quote, "Yesterday we tweeted this picture to highlight the effects of drinking during Freshman Week."
10. This Guy Takes the Cake at Dominos: He’s guilty of not only one crime, but quite a few. He put sponges intended for cleaning dishes in between his buttocks and is guilty of blowing mucus onto a customer’s pizza. Gross. In a world where the unemployment rate is soaring, at least we know that among them, there are at least 10 people who deserve to be unemployed.
Ronn Torossian, the founder of 5WPR is based in New York and author of best-selling PR book "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." (www.amazon.com/Ronn-Torossian/e/B005DOQIPO)