Well, my little story in Monday's paper about former Charlotte Brixx pizza waitress Ashley Johnson sure did cause a stir.
The article about Johnson, who got fired after ranting about a bad tipper on Facebook, seems to have touched a nerve with readers. Well over 300 commented online. Some said she shouldn't have vented about her employer on Facebook. Others said Brixx's action was too drastic.
They weren't the only readers interested. The story seems to have gone viral, running on sites ranging from the Boston Herald's to Australia's Sky News to London's Daily Telegraph. Fox News and Inside Edition have asked to interview Johnson, not to mention several local TV and radio stations.
But Johnson, who initially contacted the Observer about her firing, told me in an e-mail last night that she has been stunned by the publicity and is reluctant to say anything else. She seemed a little hurt by some of the negative things people have said about her.
"I don't want to address the situation anymore," she wrote. "I'm getting more bad publicity than I ever dreamed of."
It seems with Facebook becoming a part of daily life in the digital age, everyone with a job and a boss fears writing the wrong thing in an unguarded moment. Johnson's story, I think, resonated at least in part because of those reasons. As one lawyer told me, it's best to think of your Facebook posts the same way you'd think of standing on a street corner with a sign and a Sharpie. If you wouldn't write it on the sign for fear of your boss hearing about it, don't write it on Facebook.
Note: Johnson's not the only waitress who has vented about bad tips online. Facebook has an entire page devoted to just that, with wait staff dishing out horror stories (and insults) aplenty. Warning to the faint of heart (or wallet) -- some of it's pretty brutal stuff...
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Posted by Eric Frazier at 9:08 AM