Posted on October 21, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer


We've cautioned many times here on the WebRev blog that an important part of protecting your digital reputation is being careful what you put online that could be viewed and perhaps judged disproportionally and out of context by potential clients or employers for many years in the future.


While that is sound advice, perhaps there are exceptions to the rule?  Increasingly, people are using the web to air their grievances online, and the lesson we might learn from them might be that if you really MUST do this, be sure to explain exactly what your said grievances are, and express your dissatisfaction in a clear, concise, and BIG way.  At least maybe you'll get points for humor, and creativity. 


Probably the most famous person to do this so far this century is Steven Slater, the former JetBlue Flight attendant, who just finally snapped in frustration of dealing with disrespectful passengers, flew into a rage, and quit by sliding down the emergency chute.  He then became a bit of a celebrity on Facebook (with nearly 200K followers) and in the media.  His story is on the Mail Online, and Wikipedia.  Fortunately, Mr. Slater accumulated a sufficient 401K during his career to live on for the time being, and is able to forego the job search while he is dealing with drug addiction and serious health issues...and his new rap career.


Mashable reported this week on a young man named Joey DeFrancesco was apparently tired of what he felt was mistreatment by his hotel employer, and quit his job - but he didn't make it all about himself.  He managed to get some publicity for his friends who have a brass band, by allowing them to provide the fanfare for his termination announcement - a move which has resulted in over 1.6M hits to the YouTube video so far.  Hopefully, the band will reciprocate by allowing Joey to be their manager...or bell hop, or something.  Or maybe he'll be able to find an employer with a really good sense of humor.


In the same post, Mashable pointed out that Joey's expose of his employer could potentially overtake the popularity of the video the folk band, "Sons of Maxwell," made after becoming upset at United Airlines for (reportedly) breaking one of their Taylor guitars (at the top of this post).  This video has nearly 12M hits on YouTube.  Unfortunately,  this particular attempt to revive a career may have been a spectacular career-ender for unknown reasons (see Wikipedia).  So maybe this one is a lesson in what NOT to do.  Maybe all of these are, after all.


Of course if you ever do manage to get yourself fired, the best defense is to claim that you were just too good looking for the establishment.


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