Reaction split on reported firing of Chick-fil-A drive-thru bully

Many took immediate joy from reports that Adam Smith, the man who posted a YouTube video of himself hassling a Chick-fil-A drive-thru worker, was fired from his CFO gig following the incident. However, opinion is split on whether this was a fireable offense.

Aaron Walker (who blogs as Aaron Worthing) knows a thing or two about bullying, what with having had a SWAT team called to his house to intimidate him. But Walker, an attorney, is pensive about the whole affair.

PJ Media blogger Bob Owens is wary of the firing as well, pledging to “fight until my last breath for his right to be a bigoted jerk.”

Another lawyer, William A. Jacobson of Cornell Law School and the Legal Insurrection blog, isn’t cheering either. “Aren’t many of the arguments you can make in favor of the termination just variations on the arguments used against conservatives all the time?” he writes.

Is this one of those cases that walks the fine line between fireable offense and stupid mistake?

While liberals insisted a visit to Chick-fil-A was a proud statement of anti-big bigotry, conservatives argued they were asserting the right to free speech and practice of religion. Is Smith’s YouTube stunt just an equal, if opposite, exercise of free speech?

Were these really the actions of a corporate chief financial officer? And if so, does his position in the company demand a more harsh treatment? Shouldn’t his behavior at least match that of the woman working the drive-thru window?

For the most part, Smith’s (former?) employer Vante is receiving accolades for the firing.

  • $24835958

    I am guessing he used his corporate car to commit his act of harassing a business and a teenage female employee. The young woman told him she was uncomfortable, and he persisted in his offensive behavior. He seems very unstable – including videotaping while driving and ranting. If the owner has a teenage daughter, he would realize the man was acting like a stalker and not a businessman.

  • traffic_robot

    Being an assclown has consequences. What exec thinks that is acceptable behavior? Too bad he lost his job, but at 8%+ chronic unemployment, I’d think twice about posting a video like that.

  • Joe

    I think it’s less to do with captain jackass, (whose firing I cheer), and more about wanting to stay as far away from the whole Chick-Fil-A affair as they can.They don’t want to go anywhere near those waters.

    • Jeff Nicholson

      They’re in the swirl now.

      • Grandma HeadInjury

        Which may be grounds for firing him…

  • S.Com

    It would be poetic justice if Chick-fil-a offered this man a job.

    • brianmouland

      Cleaning toilets on seniors day

  • EastValleyConservative

    Thing is, if most of us harass someone on video, use our real name, brag about it, then post it—the boss has a right to save their company image. I agree that this man has a right to his opinion, but harassment of an employee for political reasons does reflect badly on the employer and many have been fired for less. (drunken photos on Facebook)

  • Kim Priestap

    If the CFO at the company where I worked had done something as irresponsible this, I would have expected him to be fired as well. It means he’s got terrible judgment and I would lose confidence in the company if it kept him on in such an important capacity.

  • Oldguy_54

    We shouldn’t forget that anyone posting support for traditional marriage on twitter or facebook who have placed their employer in their profile have had their employers harrassed by gay marriage fanatics demanding that they be fired for hate.
    Fact is the dumbass shouldn’t have made a video of it and put it up on YouTube.

  • Kim Priestap

    If the CFO where I worked had done this, I would have expected him to be fired. I’d have little confidence in a company who continued to employ someone capable of such poor judgment.

  • Dennis Spring

    I have mixed feelings about him being fired. Yes in a way I find it funny, Karma does have a way of coming back and biting you in the back side. I question his judgement to be a CFO if he does this then post it on the internet.

  • Owen007

    The really surprising thing to come out of this story is that that idiot actually had a job in the first place.

    But y’know, in all fairness, maybe it’s not fair that he was fired. I’ve seen rational arguments suggesting as much. Still, the punk brought it on himself. You’d think an adult would be aware by now that what you do online can have consequences in the real world. If he just made a video whining about his beliefs, that would’ve been fine, but he had to drag some poor girl just doing her job into it. I have no sympathy for someone that went out of his way to be a smug jackass, and I even laughed when I heard about this. Maybe it’ll teach him a lesson about maturity.

    • brianmouland

      Smith is 35 years old if its a sixteen year old who posts a stupid video the hope is the young person would learn from his or her mistake and grow up. In Adam Smiths case that hope went away a long time ago

    • NCMountainGirl

      And he video taped that girl against her wishes then published the video without her consent, which is illegal. Stupendously poor judgment.

  • Booker T.

    Medical equipment supplier Vante? And this guy is supporting Obama? Because of Obamacare, the cost of his products will go up! Just look at liberal idiocy on display. Voting against their own interests. Urgh.

    Personally, I think the firing was good, because — who knows? What if the next business transaction that they do is with a conservative who happened to watch the video? The person might call off any transaction without explanation. The overall business might not suffer, but people can really hit a company below the belt if they choose not to consume their services for one reason or the other. Every company tries to defend its interests. This guy shouldn’t have engaged in this behavior — for someone so high up the ladder.

  • Maxwell

    Has anyone seen or read an official statement from the company, stating that he was fired for the drive-thru incident. Couldn’t it also be possible that were planning on firing him before today? I admit, that is probably unlikely, but not improbable.

  • brianmouland

    When you work anywhere you represent that company. Does anyone want to be represented by a loudmouth who bullies teenage girls. The camera does not lie Mr.Smith. You blew it Fool

  • digitalPimple

    Why are so many taking responsibily for his employeers decision? You have nothing to do with that in any way. That’s a matter between him and his company.

    He could simply issue an apology for offending the girl… can he not?

    • Melvin Hagerman

      Not when he put it on Youtube (and it went viral), the head of the company had to fire him for bringing the company into disrepute. Lesson: Don’t video something if you are not prepared for the consequences (“Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”–Sammy Davis Jr., from the theme for “Baretta”).

  • Patrick Creeden

    Oh well, he should have known that could happen. He screwed himself.

  • NCMountainGirl

    He placed all his corporate contact information on his You Tube account and then posted more than one video belittling religious beliefs. Had he been a junior accountant they would given him a reprimand and demanded he remove to company name from his social media pages. As a senior executive who is being paid top dollar to represent the company 24/7/365 he absolutely deserved to be fired for such awful judgment.

  • alicia

    The guy was douchbag,I kinda feel bad for him.I know what its like not having a job,not having a job now.But on the other hand if she reacted in a bad way, she could a been fired too.This guy did it to himself,

  • Sterculius65

    That opinion is split is simply amazing. It was absolutely right to fire him. When the CFO embarrasses his company like that he should expect no less. That some idiots are trying to make it a first amendment issue just shows their woeful lack of knowledge.

  • Paul J. Citro

    The difference between the libs and all of us is the we have feelings. Yes he was a DB but making him carry a sorry sign in the mall would have worked better.

  • LL1885

    I’m rather annoyed by some of the responses from “big” blogs on this who seem to be thinking this guy deserves to keep his job claiming it is hypocritical he was fired.

    1. His speech isn’t being suppressed by being fired – he has a viral video out there he posted himself then removed when he realized what a jerk he was (hopefully although I don’t think he thinks that what he did was even remotely wrong.)

    2. The man was allegedly a CFO. Holy giant lack of judgment!? I’d can him not for the rudeness of the video but for being a monumental idiot. The guy just pulled the drive thru equivalent of an Alec Baldwin-flight
    attendant move, people. Unlike Baldwin, he was sober (as far as we
    know) and so rather pleased with himself for berating a teenage clerk on
    camera he posted it for the world to see.

    3. Also on the CFO front, I’m pretty sure there is a code of conduct or other contractual document there which says he can be axed for conduct/ activities.

  • Symph2001

    There’s behaving badly and behaving badly and posting it on YouTube. If he’d have done it and not posted it would there have been a ripple in the internet?

    • TJCrane_NCC1701

      Speaking of ripples…
      That FREE water just got 6 figures a year expensive !
      Guess he showed Chik-fil-A.
      It was moronic to post it online. His employer had no choice to save face with it’s customers.

  • kateorjane

    Hard to believe the whining about this poor “innocent ” AH being fired. Of course he is entitled to his opinion regarding CFA – “even if he’s not at all gay” . but he not entitled to make a tape of him harrassing some working person for the policies of her boss and then post it on YouTube.
    He acted like an tool and what company really wants a member of their corporate level displaying that significant level of poor judgement.

  • Grandma HeadInjury

    Smith just cooked his own goose. His claims to “not have a gay in him” pretty much ended any possibility of suing due to being fired over his sexual preference…. Vante is in the driver’s seat on this one….

  • Teresa Nelson

    He was a CFO. I suspect he was just as disrespectful to his staff. Couldn’t even imagine working for such a jerk.

  • Snarky D

    Unless there’s a law which prevents a company from retaining an employee whose behavior might reflect poorly on them, what’s the problem? Smith deliberately antagonized and harassed that poor girl, filmed it, and placed it on the Internet presumably to reach the widest possible audience. What company wants THAT guy representing them? Aside from the DNC.

  • Amy Lynn

    He has the right to be a bigoted jerk. The company that fired him also has a right to fire him for ridiculous behavior.

  • midnightgolfer

    If you’re Chief (insert blank) of anything, why would you allow yourself to get wrangled into a public debate that has nothing to do with the company, that by your mere job title alone, you represent. I don’t know why society allows ‘journalists’ to spin up, into a storm, the passive, interview responses of Chik-fil-A’s president.
    HOWEVER, once you’ve seen that storm, and its effect on that business, WHY would you ever actively insert yourself (and inevitably your company name,) into that mess?
    I have to say I don’t feel sorry that this guy lost his position, and I don’t believe, after seeing these videos, that his company wasn’t already considering it, before hand.

    If I were Chik-fil-A I would offer this guy a job; contingent only upon him stopping making these reckless videos of himself. (That’s what would show that he has learned anything from the mess he’s made.)