It is never a good idea to fire someone in the heat of the moment. Emotions run high and tempers are frayed. In situations like this, it might also be a good idea to check whether the person you sack can not cause a firestorm on Twitter after leaving your employment.
The Plough pub is a pretty pub in Oxfordshire, England. It is the archetypal village pub with a thatched roof and a range of craft beers. It has featured in the TV series Midsomer Murders.
Like most village pubs in the UK it serves food. It is known for its “uncomplicated but tasty” food and is in the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) guide. December is a really busy month for UK pubs as more people tend to eat out at this time to celebrate the holiday season.
Yesterday the pub fired its head chef Jim Knight. He wanted to spend Christmas Day with his daughter to experience her first Christmas. He also asked to have one weekend off work during the holiday period.
Tweets on the Plough pub’s Twitter timeline announced Knight’s departure:
“We'd like to inform you that we've just fired our head chef.”
“Unfortunately he wanted to have a weekend off this month and Christmas Day this year for family commitments so we thought we'd sack him”
“Yeah a week before Christmas!”
“We don't care that he has a 7 1/2 month old baby daughter”.
“So anyway come on down and continue to pay a premium for Australian sirloins, New Zealand lamb and everything else that is bought from asda.”
“Happy Christmas everyone!!!!!!”
Knight had created the pub’s Twitter account with the permission of his “ex-employers and tweeted regularly on behalf of the brand”. After being fired he asked on his personal Twitter account “if there was a forum for naming and shaming bad employers” after he was fired. Responses suggested he used Twitter.
This is not the first time that an employee has taken to Twitter to complain. In January 2013 HMV employees were laid off and HMV’s official Twitter account live tweeted the meeting with HR as they were fired.
Web visitors to the Plough Pub’s web site have increased dramatically with over 5,700 visits during the last 24 hours. News spreads fast across social channels.
It is not all bad news for the sacked chef. Knight has “very kindly been offered a serious job offer directly off the back of this twitter storm. More info to follow”.
His new employers however will probably be hesitant to let him manage the social media communications at his next place of work.
And perhaps he will get to spend his first Christmas day with his daughter too.