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Get A Life

One aspect of anthropology that has always fascinated me is the human condition. It can spur feats of great bravery, selflessness and benevolence, and it can be petulant, duplicitous, and execrable. It can do great things (move mountains/build bridges), or it can wallow in its own putrid self-pity and stew into a gelatinous mess, repulsive and off putting. Each follows his own road; saint or sinner, good or evil, exemplary or deplorable.

The human condition can also be swayed by mass consensus, can forget its values and be short sighted. And usually it takes the path of least resistance, preferring that which is ordinary or popular to that which is profound or difficult.

A story that surfaced this week has to do with a woman who participated in what she thought was a joke, a moment of levity meant to amuse, then put the evidence of said joke on Facebook, people were not amused;

You can read more about the incident here:

Yes, she is sorry;

And expectantly, both women were fired.

This whole episode ticks me off for several reasons. When did society up and get so thin skinned that getting offended turned into an Olympic sport? Was it all the fault of those cry baby Muslims, who demanded death at every slight or offense of their precious religion? It seems like folks used to be more circumspect, or even keeled in the actions of others. Now days the absolute right not to offended trumps everything else. Whatever happened to ,”Gee, that was kinda stupid, let’s go get a pizza”?

We could discuss the First Amendment issues with the twisted pantie wearers, how saying stupid offensive things is one of the cherished protections we have in America, qualifying for ridicule and derision, sure, but not deserving of incarceration or being banished to the unemployment line.

The other thing I find really troublesome is these Codes of Conduct clauses employers hold over the heads of employees like a Sword of Damocles. Aside from the obvious rules of criminality (we don’t steel stuff from our place of employment, slash the boss’ tires, or shit on his desk when he is at a meeting), but conduct outside of the work place is really not the business of your boss. Some occupations require a code of conduct, the military and law enforcement readily come to mind, but it seems to me that most jobs were a COC is present is there unreasonably, present only to give the boss more leverage or influence then necessary for the worker to do his job.

Yes, we can all agree that what Lindsey Stone and her photographer buddy did was dumb, in poor taste, and regrettable, now who here has never done the same thing some time in their lives? Nobody here is more pro-military then I, but this whole movement of firing folks at the drop of a hat, please. Over 10,000 Facebookers voted to fire both of them, tough crowd, the mob can turn ugly on a dime.

Does anyone here think I am way off base, that this particular offense worthy of getting fired over? I looked at the website of the employer, yes, they do good work and ordinarily would be tops of my list of charities I would give money to. But I think they over reacted. There are several websites that specialize in heralding the rebel in all of us, those mischief makers that just have to zig when society tells them to zag. If such actions are criminal, such as this idiot, then you do the time and STFU, or if dangerous and you fall to your death, too bad for you and thanks for validating the Darwin theory, but bad taste is not a crime, and certainly not deserving of losing your job over. A heartfelt apology was given, is a pound of flesh necessary?

17 comments

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  1. HARLEY says:

    Their problem was that they posted it on Facebook for the world to see and criticize…. Actions have consequences…. and given the fact that these twits did not appreciate the power of, how pissed off people in a inter connected world can effect them.
    So is it right to call her place of employment and harass them about a employes off time misadventures? no not really, but this woman did put her self in the spotlight and every fact of her life will be exposed and sorted through by the media and any one who wants to dig…..

    Is the disrespect she showed worth all the fuss, or is this just the result of people with to much time on thier hands?

    For me its about a matter of respect and personal responsibility……. and accepting the consequences of what you do. even if the result is not fair….. so fuck’em.. call it social Darwinism… the backlash threatened to effect the company which employed them, its their call.

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  2. TxAg94 says:

    From the article at the link:

    We never meant any disrespect to any of the people nationwide who have served this country and defended our freedom so valiantly.

    Bullshit. More accurately, we never meant to get caught showing disrepect by anyone who would take it poorly and cry foul instead of laugh. In other words, we meant this “joke” for all our friends who are also disrespectful assholes but weren’t smart enough to realize a lot of them wouldn’t think it was funny.

    Notice that they did their little stunt well away from the guards. If you really think it’s funny go to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and act like a clown. I would watch that in YouTube.

    As for them getting fired, good riddance. If they are this careless on a business-related trip imagine how little you could trust them with someone who is disabled. Our society has a few pretty solid limits left and I agree with this one 100%.

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  3. richtaylor365 says:

    See, I don’t think her stunt had anything to do with the military, it was directed specifically at the sign and doing just the opposite of it’s two directives.

    I find the antics of Code Pink much more offensive and anti military, and while I think those vile women of Code Pink stupid, I would never think to investigate them, find out where they work, then lobby their boss to give them the ax.

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  4. CM says:

    See, I don’t think her stunt had anything to do with the military, it was directed specifically at the sign and doing just the opposite of it’s two directives.

    Yeah I’m with you Rich, I love ridiculousness and silliness and I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to act 12. This is totally something I would do (although I certainly wouldn’t be posting it anywhere, I’d be sharing it privately).
    Disrespect to the military doesn’t seem to have been any sort of motivation. People who deliberately stand on grass because a sign says “Do Not Stand On Grass” aren’t necessarily disrespecting the landscaping community.

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  5. Miguelito says:

    social Darwinism

    You mean social media Darwinism right?

    Ha ha.. my sides. eh.

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  6. Miguelito says:

    I’m torn on these kinds of things. While I do agree that it is stupid that people over-react and wail to get people fired and such, I also think there are consequences to actions. If you’re going to do something this stupid (and yes, I agree with the sentiment that they’re more sorry about being caught, not that they did it) and post for the whole world to see, then don’t be surprised if it comes back to bite you in the ass.

    The fact that they were apparently on a work trip does make it more ok in my book that they were fired for it. Since you’re basically representing the company you work for when on a trip for them. Though it would definitely be wrong in my book if this continues to taint their reputations and they now have a hard time getting another job that they might otherwise have gotten, because of people knowing about this.

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  7. Kimpost says:

    They saw a sign they could act silly too, which they did. Someone telling them that they should have chosen a silence sign in a public library instead of one at a cemetery, should have been enough. Wasn’t even worthy of a slap on the wrist.

    You don’t take away peoples livelihood for things like this. You do that for rape and blatant racism. We need to start giving people not just second chances, but third, fourth, fifth and tenth as well. Fuck the whole being tough on everything mentality. Besides I question the toughness in getting all worked up over every possible thing out there.

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  8. balthazar says:

    You don’t take away peoples livelihood for things like this

    People get fired for much less than this, all the time. Especially since they were on a trip for thier employer, if the employer wants to fire them, too fucking bad, honestly I think they deserve it for being so goddamn stupid.

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  9. Section8 says:

    They saw a sign they could act silly too, which they did. Someone telling them that they should have chosen a silence sign in a public library instead of one at a cemetery, should have been enough.

    It’s not just your local cemetery to the eyes of many Americans. No need to explain that though since of course you and CM have a better handle on our country, our culture, our history, what we mean by smaller or larger government, etc than we do, and what you don’t have a handle on (which is quite a bit) you can just write off as “weird” given your already superior insight.

    Anyhow, this American sees the following.

    1) No one is calling for her arrest, and if they are should stop
    2) Rules regarding free speech is binding the government’s response, not her employer
    3) Apparently she was doing this shit on the company dime
    4) A business owner does have a reputation to hold up, and if their employees actions threaten that image, they have the right to shit can them
    5) Her life is not ruined. I’m sure she can find a job with someone who thought this behavior was cool like working for a university, or for a professor at her local college, or any left leaning outfit for that matter.

    For me, I don’t feel sorry for her.

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  10. Poosh says:

    I now actually see the quite funny side to the picture. I assumed she was being offensive and insulting to the soldiers, but as seems to be what is stated above, it was just a bit of a joke concerning the sign.

    It’s a bit worrying now that I know the context.

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  11. grady says:

    I’m thinking that she (& her co-worker) were not that great of employees and that this was just the last straw. I’ve seen people fired for little things and it usually is because they weren’t worth keeping. If you are the best at your job and would be difficult to replace, your boss would fight to keep you.

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  12. ilovecress says:

    It’s not necessarily about pleasing the pantie twisters. This social media stuff has huge reputational risk implications and analysts are petrified of that shit. Reducing that risk saves you money, and canning two merry jokes terms costs you less in terms of the market than being a lovely inclusive company that treats employees like adults.

    Although I see this is a not for profit, so I’m not sure how much that applies – I guess you’re trying to piss off the donating public as much as possible?

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  13. CM says:

    It’s not just your local cemetery to the eyes of many Americans. No need to explain that though since of course you and CM have a better handle on our country, our culture, our history, what we mean by smaller or larger government, etc than we do, and what you don’t have a handle on (which is quite a bit) you can just write off as “weird” given your already superior insight.

    Sorry, but I’m fully aware of the significance. The more offensive, the more inappropriate, and therefore the more I’m likely to find it funny.
    However I realise that others, the offended ones, would not see anything funny in it at all, so I would be very careful about what I did with it. I would certainly not wish to offend.
    I did nothing of the sort during my visit to Arlington. I couldn’t help myself at Lenin’s tomb though (the guards keeping a careful eye on us all was just too much).

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  14. Miguelito says:

    We need to start giving people not just second chances, but third, fourth, fifth and tenth as well.

    I’ve got to disagree with you there. I can see giving people second and even third chances if they’re sincere. But other than that, even most animals[*] will eventually learn from their mistakes. It’s this desire to continually give people repeated (and never-ending) chances that led to things like 3 strikes laws. People got tired of seeing the same scumbags repeat offend, get another tiny slap on the wrist (because we don’t want to be too tough on people) then get out and hurt people again. Hurt, whether physically or just mentally/economically.

    Fuck the whole being tough on everything mentality.

    I wouldn’t call this situation being tough, more that actions have consequences. They were free to do what they did, but others are free to complain (whether we agree or not) and their employer is free to act as well.
    And then too many of the idiots in this state just voted to undo our 3 strikes law, and a bunch of morons will be let out again. I’m sure the odds of most of them re-offending is pretty high in most people’s book.

    [*]Note, I said most, because I have seen animals too stupid to learn. My sister had a dog a few years back (ironically, a rhodesian ridgeback, which are normally quite intelligent) that was, honestly, the dumbest fucking dog I’ve ever seen. This dog was so stupid it once licked the inside of the oven at my parent’s house during a family get-together. We all heard the yelp and came to see. The dog was there licking it’s lips and whining some. It then proceeded to get up, walk over, and lick it again. It yelped and ran a bit.. then proceeded to walk right up to it a 3rd time. My dad finally grabbed it and dragged it out of the kitchen. That dog was a lovable mutt, but god damn was it dumb. Oh, and that’s not the only example of the fact that it couldn’t really learn, just the most obvious.

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  15. Miguelito says:

    However I realise that others, the offended ones, would not see anything funny in it at all, so I would be very careful about what I did with it.

    That’s probably the main point here. You likely wouldn’t post it on something like facebook were it could spread to people you never intended to see it.

    People are willingly giving up a lot of privacy on the internet these days (I see my sister’s kids and the things they willingly share, and am just shocked) yet are surprised when other’s know things about them or actually confront them about some things they might’ve said or done and posted about.

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  16. CM says:

    Note, I said most, because I have seen animals too stupid to learn.

    If my fucking brainless cat doesn’t soon learn that waking me up at 3am every morning for no reason (by repeatedly banging her head on a door) isn’t a good idea, she’ll need to look for lodgings elsewhere.

    That’s probably the main point here. You likely wouldn’t post it on something like facebook were it could spread to people you never intended to see it.

    Not in a million years. It’s a private joke with whoever is there at the time.
    I guess I should clarify – I don’t have an issue with a company determining that this reflects badly on them, and taking action. My comments were about the type of humour – that it’s so disrespectful is what makes it funnier (although it’s also very much an ‘at-the-time’ type of humour too, there’s nothing intelligent or thoughtful about it, it’s not multi-layered, or clever, there is nothing to reflect on). If it was a regular cemetry, it wouldn’t be as funny (or even funny at all really).
    I would also say that I didn’t see anything funny about the people carrying on and making a lot of noise at the Pearl Harbour memorial when I was there. I thought it was exceptionally disrespectful (it really really annoyed me and yet they were American and I’m not). But they weren’t doing it as a knowing joke, they were just being ignorantly disrespectfully. They were just arseholes.

    People are willingly giving up a lot of privacy on the internet these days (I see my sister’s kids and the things they willingly share, and am just shocked) yet are surprised when other’s know things about them or actually confront them about some things they might’ve said or done and posted about.

    Yeah totally.

    Fuck the whole being tough on everything mentality.

    Kimpost, you’re being very tough on that mentality.
    Fuck that, man.

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  17. Ed Kline says:

    If they are this careless on a business-related trip imagine how little you could trust them with someone who is disabled.

    Ok, that’s just stupid. I mean really stupid. That isn’t just a leap in logic, it’s an outright non-sequitur.

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