Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


There are all sorts of ways of getting fired.

There are fewer sorts of ways of getting fired and becoming famous at the same time.

All hail then, Jensen Walcott.

She secured a job at a fine eating establishment called Pizza Studio at the Legends in Kansas City.

As did her friend Jake Reed.

They're both 17. They both have similar work experience.

But, as they chatted, Walcott discovered that Reed was being paid 25 cents an hour more than her.

Why might this be, she wondered.

As the Kansas City Star reports, she thought she'd asked her employer.

And so it came to pass that, an hour after she'd been given the job, Walcott was fired.

Was the reason she was given that boys are just stronger than girls and can lift more pizza boxes? 

Not at all. She was told that it was against company policy to discuss salary.

Oddly, Walcott says no mention had actually been made of this company policy.

The tagline of the Pizza Studio is Create Your Own Masterpiece.

Some might feel that the manager who fired her (and also fired Reed) created a masterpiece all of their own.

They might feel that even more strongly when they hear the manager also got fired.

This cannot have been related, you might say to yourself, to the fact that Walcott's story emerged in the media.

After all, Walcott even received a tweet of support from presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

It read: "Good for you, Jensen. Every woman deserves equal pay, no matter what her age. Keep up the hard work -- and courage!"

For its part, the Pizza Studio insisted that no, no, this was not a case of sex discrimination.

"After an in-depth review, we are confident this instance was not one of gender-bias but rather a failure to assign the correct salary and a misunderstanding of our company policies by one of our employees; it should be noted the manager in communication with Miss Walcott is also a female," said a statement the company offered to Seventeen magazine.

Well, that's all right then.

It would have been awful if the manager had thought she could hire a girl for less money, thereby impressing bosses that she'd boosted the bottom line.

But wait, why was the manager fired? For not getting the company policy right?

Again, from the statement: "Pizza Studio did not agree however with how the manager handled the situation. We pride ourselves with treating our employees and guests with respect and open communication at all times."

Pride is clearly important here.

So let's salute Walcott's pride in simply asking the question and claiming her absolute right.

It will surely take more Walcotts to keep on confronting truths and securing their actual monetary worth.

Many large companies are already addressing the reality that women are paid 79 percent of the salaries men are paid.

Some estimate, though, that it will take another 44 years for pay equality to be achieved, if progress continues at the pace it has.

A few more Jensen Walcotts and it just might be a lot sooner.

But you'll be wondering if Pizza Studio respectfully offered Walcott her job back.

It did. It offered Reed his job back too.

Both respectfully declined.