Thursday, January 27, 2011

Should employers fire people over clothing that shows "commercial disloyalty": The Pre-SuperBowl fiasco

An auto salesman in Chicago named John Stone was fired after a month on the job for wearing a Green Bay Packer’s tie to work, the day after the Bears lost at home to the Packers in the playoffs.  The auto dealership had a business relationship with the Bears that Stone knew nothing about. Stone was offered his job back, but got another one.  Call this Wardrobe Malfunction II. 

Here's the link for the ABC Chicago story, with a video.  (The embed code wouldn't "compile").

Some years ago, a man was fired for drinking Pepsi Cola while loading Coca Cola machines.

Should companies fire employees for lack of personal brand loyalty?  It’s not common today, thankfully.  But when I was getting out of the Army and starting my “career” in 1970 (in the tone of Shostakovich’s 13th Symphony), people would tell me, “they’ll tell you just what kind of car you should be seen driving.” That didn’t happen.  Although there were subtler forms of intrusion (another posting – “marketing profiles”) which dissipated by the late 1970s.   EDS, remember, used to have an extremely strict dress code because “customers don’t understand computers”.  So did IBM, with prudish requirements for stocking garters!

Think how companies could peruse Facebook for public brand disloyalty (Sunday’s posting).

Quote: “A certain scientist, Galileo’s contemporary, was no more stupid than Galileo. He knew that the earth revolves, but he had a family. And when he got into a carriage with his wife, after accomplishing his betrayal, he reckoned he was advancing his career, but in fact he’d wrecked it,” Yevtushenko, “A Career,” text for last movement of Shostakovich Symphony #13, London CD 41726

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