So, here’s my take on the whole Chick-fil-A debacle going on in our country:
And that’s what it should be for those reading this.
Why? Because we are service providers. We provide something to someone else, based on our personal reputations, and they pay us for doing it.
We get hired because people know, like and trust us.
And, judging from the lines around the blocks, looks like this is a hot-button issue, and you just never know where someone’s take (client, boss) might fall.
In regards to this whole debacle, I can have an opinion, you can have an opinion, and so can all the “theys” out there.
But the rhetoric has gotten out of hand, the passions are out of control, and just like abortion and politics, looks like we shouldn’t talk about crappy fried chicken sandwiches (which aren’t good for you anyway) in polite company any longer.
Here is all I have shared about this whole thing:
Mr. Cathy has his First Amendment right to say what he wants to say, believe what he wants to believe, just as long as the government doesn’t get involved, I’m fine with it.
Make no mistake, I might not like what he says, but I support his right to think and say it.
I’m also fine with withholding my dollars from his establishment (which I was anyway, so it won’t make a difference, see comment about crappy food above).
I’m also for having a dialog on why people were lined up for hours to buy a crappy chicken sandwich and why that is causing pain to people I love.
However, as partners of law firms, executives and employees of said firms, we are visible representatives of the entire firm.
Speaking out in an unprofessional way, publicly, even if limited to our “private” Facebook walls, can hurt our businesses and reputations.
It can hurt the business of your partners. And it can hurt the business of the folks who pay you to do your job.
Unless you poll every single client, employee, and employer about ever nuance of their politics, you are walking a fine line when these issues come into focus.
And the elections are still months off. Oy vey.
Unless you have chosen to draw a line in the sand and not do business, ever, with companies you do not philosophically believe in 100%, 100% of the time, you need to STFU, and tone down the rhetoric.
Just ask the (former) CFO of Vante, a medical device company. He decided to post a video of himself harassing a Chick-fil-A employee (Vante CFO Adam Smith fired for rude behavior at Chick-fil-A).
Was it worth it to Mr. Smith? I don’t know. Perhaps in the moment he found great satisfaction. In the short term he is out of a job.
Perhaps it will lead to a bigger and better job with a company more welcoming of his style. Only time will tell.
Will this video follow him forever when companies do their due diligence during the hiring process? Yup.
Either way, it is living proof that the First Amendment protects your speech from government intrusion, but not your boss’ wrath.
At a former firm it was pounded into our heads, for good reason, that we are agents of the firm.
As an agent of my firm, I can have my opinions, but if my opinions negatively impact on my employer’s reputation, then I need to self-censor myself.
Notice: I said self-censor.
Once again, not saying to not share your beliefs. Just saying, tone down the rhetoric.
Now, who’s up for Tito’s Tacos??