We live in a social media world. Of course, in that world, we all have to be mindful of the things we are uploading and sharing. We warn ourselves not to share explicit photos and videos. We warn against graphic violence, messaging by extremist groups from the fringes of society, and all kinds of over sexualized and violent things. Such things can get one fired, today or years down the road.
But no one ever warns us to avoid an Elmo meme.
Cody Hidalgo claims to have learned that lesson the hard way.
Hidalgo apparently shared a meme featuring the legendary Muppet on the potty with the text “The boss makes a dollar, I make a dime, that’s why I poop on company time.”
Hidalgo didn’t share the meme when on company time, but on a day off — a Sunday.
“I found the meme on one of my friend’s pages and I shared it … I share things that are funny all the time,” Hidalgo said.
One person didn’t find the meme to be funny — his boss. He sent the employee a nasty, profanity laced message (because, swearing up and down at employees is apparently o.k., unlike taking a poop).
Keep in mind, the manager at Roman Stone Works, who Hidalgo refers to as “Andy” provides no evidence that his employee has been wasting time in the bathroom. Only that he is really annoyed that he made a joke about it or that a joke about it is the same thing as actually doing such a thing.
As silly as it might sound at first, this is quite chilling to anyone who works for anyone. It is chilling that such a trite little joke can possibly lead to a firing. A joke that was made on someone’s own time.
But as usual … wait, there’s more …
Hidalgo did go to work on his next scheduled shift. Then, two days later, quit after saying there was too much ‘bad blood” for him to work there any longer.
Now, the company that threatened and was so hostile to the employee is claiming to be the victim.
Jan Jeffrey Rubinstein, Esq. of the The Rubinstein Law Firm sent 7 Action News this statement:
“Cody Hidalgo, as a short-term employee of Roman Stoneworks, has engaged in a social media campaign with false claims that are verifiably untrue. This individual was not terminated because of a meme posted on Facebook on Sunday, October 20. After the posting of that meme, he worked the following Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday. Mr. Hidalgo actually walked off the job on Wednesday, October 23 of his own volition, and over his manager’s objection. Roman Stoneworks and its officers desired to keep Mr. Hidalgo in its employment to perform his duties. He abandoned a job in progress and that was how his employment with Roman Stoneworks actually came to an end.
Unfortunately this individual, who was employed for less than 2 months, is now seeking to exploit the publicity that this false claim has created. He has started a Gofundme page to attempt to capitalize on his newfound exposure. Meanwhile, Roman Stoneworks and its owner and personnel have been subjected to significant monetary damage, as well as threats, profanity and harassment by phone and email. Due to the backlash from these false claims, my client’s webpage has had to be removed, and the individuals involved have been inundated with calls and emails.
If Mr. Hidalgo chose to tell the truth to all of the people who have now heard his false claims, then the matter may be able to be resolved amicably. Unfortunately this does not appear to be the route chosen by this individual. My clients have needlessly suffered based on these allegations.”
Where people should be mindful of their postings on social media, perhaps there is another lesson to be learned here. Perhaps employers should leave their employees alone when not at work instead of stalking their accounts. No one forced the boss at Roman Stone Works to attack the employee or seemingly threaten his job. It seems that both employee and employer are learning some lessons here on the employer/employee relationship in this digital age.
Maybe we should all just remember the famous words from the book that says “everyone poops.” Then move on.