Cody Hidalgo shared an Elmo meme on Facebook, where Elmo is sitting on a child's potty along with the words "Boss makes a dollar, I make a dime, that's why I poop on company time."

Funny. A little bit crass. But funny. And posted on Facebook on a Sunday, when Hidalgo wasn't at work. So, it makes no sense that his boss, Andy, fired him. But that's what Hidalgo reported, and a podcast host picked up the story and tweeted it. And then the internet went wild.

The internet going wild is not unusual. Bad bosses getting called out on the internet is a theme. And, frankly, if you do something stupid like (allegedly) firing someone for sharing a meme, you deserve to be called a fool.

What you don't deserve is false reviews of your business.

But that's what mobs did and are continuing to do. As I write this it's 4 a.m. in Michigan and yet reviews keep popping up. Like this one.

It starts out like the person is actually a client, but then clearly devolves into an unfounded attack. This story never happened. The name is fake. The story is fake. And yet, if you aren't aware of the Elmo story, you might believe what's being said.

And within the last few minutes, someone managed to change the Google business name from Roman Stone Works to Elmo's Greek Stone Works and Communal Outhouse. This is what shows up if you Google Roman Stone Works.

This is not OK. It's not OK to fire someone over a meme but it's also not OK to set out to destroy someone's business.

We do not know the whole story. I reached out to Roman Stone Works and will update when they respond (and I hope they do). But even if this is the whole story and it's 100 percent accurate (unlikely as there is always more going on behind the scenes), Andy isn't the only person who works for Roman Stone Works. You're not destroying Andy--you're destroying an entire business. Cody may have been fired for a stupid meme, but the mob is essentially firing everyone who works there. This does not make you noble.

It makes you a big bully.

Humans love to share good stories and this is a good story. After all, I'm sharing it. But, don't set out to destroy a business because they allegedly did something bad. Share your stories. Fine. But don't leave false reviews.

Be better than that.

And, side note, pooping on company time is 100 percent legal. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, all breaks under 20 minutes must be paid. So Elmo isn't even wrong. 

Published on: Oct 28, 2019
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