This kind of reminds me about the bitchy pastor who signed their bill at a breakfast joint, saying "I give god 10%, why do you get 18%". Not that the receipt was the issue, but the waitress got fired for taking a picture of the receipt and shaming the pastor. That one went viral too. So, the question here is, does one have the right to shame someone else publicly for being a douchebag?
I'd say, yeah. If you're going to be a total jerk in public, you are making yourself a target. I try to be on good behavior when I'm in a crowd, or at work. I don't do anything I might get hurt for, or be ashamed of later. I think most people do, it's just those few who just can't sit down and be quiet who have to be disrespectful.
I mean, hell, making dongle jokes at a conference, against conference rules, while the speaker is speaking, and disturbing other's enjoyment, or at least enrichment from the speech, and then acting like you've been wronged..... it's like making a porno and collecting the checks but then sueing the company when your mother finds out. I mean, you know you were acting like a jerkface. You know you did something that is frowned upon. But you just assume that the wrong people (your boss, your mother, whatever) won't find out. Well, they did, 'cuz you did your thing in public. Deal with it.
Edit: not making any kind of argument here. Not trying to convince anyone either. Just my 2 cents worth because it's an interesting topic.
To be fair, as far as I can tell the guy that got caught telling the joke hasn't tried to defend himself for saying it, or tried to play it off as "no big thing" at all; he's openly admitted that he was wrong for doing it.
There's also a difference between his dongle joke and the pastor's note on the receipt. The joke was intended to be a harmless comment. We don't have the full context, but there's nothing indicating it was intended to be directed at a specific person in particular, and despite who overheard it, the intended recipient of the joke was someone that would appreciate the humor. The pastor's comment, on the other hand, is directed at someone specific, and intended to be heard by someone who would find the comment hurtful. It's not a silly joke, it's a direct, inflammatory comment intended to hurt (and worse, she also tried to refuse to give any tip whatsoever on the receipt, which directly impacts her financial situation - admittedly, by only a few dollars, but it's still more than just a comment).
Now, should either of them be publicly shamed? Here's the other difference: anonymity. Take a look at the picture in this Reddit post
. You see some of the guy's handwriting and a little bit of his signature, but you don't see his full name, you don't see his picture, and there's no indication of what city or even what restaurant this happened at. As far as I can tell, the only reason it's even known that this is a real receipt, let alone who the pastor in question was, was because the pastor herself went public after it went viral by attempting to get Applebee's to fire the waitress. It's clear that the waitress did everything possible to hide the identity of the pastor in question, and refused to say anything more when asked by other members of Reddit, which in my mind makes this receipt story much more forgivable. (I also said that I wouldn't have a problem with Adria's blog if she hadn't posted a picture of the guys and hadn't named the company they work for; again, it's a matter of telling a story and keeping the people in it anonymous.)
Finally, should either of them be fired for public shaming? I'm going to say no, for both the waitress and Adria, but I have to caveat that. Adria's situation is unique, because her ability to perform her job was compromised by her actions. As someone that works in PR, and is a public face for the company, ending up in an internet shitstorm is going to affect how other people act with her, and by extension her company.
Edit: Reading a bit further into it, the current version of the receipt on Reddit has been cropped to remove the signature, so it was there when she originally posted. However, according to this news story
, she did everything she could to get people to stop trying to identify the pastor once she realized it went viral, and she claimed that no one actually guessed the right person until the pastor in question contacted Applebee's. So, my point stands.