Fired for a tweet

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A New York food truck company has met angry backlash and calls for a boycott for firing an employee who Tweet-shamed customers who refused to tip on a $170 order.

The employee in question, Brendan O’Connor, is an intern at The Awl, a New York focused website, and worked at Milk Truck – a food truck that specialises in ‘artisinal’ grilled cheese sandwiches and milkshakes.

One day, during the lunch rush hour, employees from Glass, Lewis and Company placed a large, complicated order and failed to leave a tip, even when they were asked if they had intended not to. O’Connor decided to shame them publicly, by posting a tweet that read: “Shout out to the good people of Glass, Lewis & Co. for placing a $170 order and not leaving a tip. @glasslewis.”

The next day, Milk Truck tweeted their apologies for his behaviour, but it didn’t stop there.

O’Connor wrote about the incident in The Awl and described how two days after the tweet his boss asked if he could talk that afternoon. He told O’Connor that he had received a call from the company. “Apparently, those employees were mortified that their lunch truck had tip-shamed them – the home office in San Francisco even got involved,” O’Connor wrote.

His boss said that he had to let him go; “The company has a way of doing things and he thought I’d understood that,” O’Connor wrote.

O’Connor has since told the New York Daily News that he wasn’t surprised that he was fired. However, he clearly thought the case highlighted some inequities. “A part-time food-truck worker with 300 Twitter followers managed to shame some Wall Street firm into getting him fired. What  a world,” he concluded The Awl piece.

Would you have fired O’Connor for Tweet-shaming Glass, Lewis and Company? Or should his boss stood by his actions?


  • Mike on 2013-08-02 11:00:34 AM

    Yes. Plain and simple. Tipping is NOT a requirement; it is a personal thing based on the perception of the customer. Shaming customers who do nothing wrong is, well, wrong and a company cannot permit it. The article says nothing about the quality of service. If you pay $10 for a sandwich and you get the sandwich, that's $10. The service and the attitude is what the tip is about. If it was poor, then not tipping is the acceptable way of lodging your complaint. Perhaps we (as customers) need to take a picture of our servers and get their names before the service. Then, if the service is poor, post their picture and shame them. Customers are identified by their credit cards or (as in this case) by the company they work for ... servers are not. That is not a fair situation.

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