Unhappy about not receiving a tip, a food truck employee let loose on Twitter:
Employees at Glass Lewis & Company, a consultancy specializing in corporate governance, ordered $170 worth of grilled cheese sandwiches and milkshakes but didn't leave a tip. Brendan O'Connor, the Milk Truck employee, chronicled the incident on his blog:
"I was making sandwiches, another worker took the order and a third made the milkshakes and watched the grills. A line grew while we worked, and we had to tell other customers that their lunch orders would take longer than usual. They paid; I asked my co-worker who was dealing with the money how much of a tip they'd left. They had left actually no tip at all. (They had paid with a card so we checked the cash tips to see if there'd been a bump. There hadn't.)
"I asked some of the group as they were picking up their orders if they had intended to not tip. They hemmed and hawed and walked away.
"Well. I could have not said anything. I could have made it a subtweet. I probably should have made it a subtweet. But I didn't, because of some misguided notions about having 'the courage of your convictions,' or whatever."
O'Connor explains that he was fired by the owner after someone from Glass Lewis complained about being "tip-shamed." O'Connor's argument is that his employer uses social media feedback to monitor employees' performance, so why shouldn't he use social media to "advocate for a more civil exchange between worker and consumer?"
Well, no companies want their customers embarrassed publicly, and many have policies in place to this effect. Milk Truck managed to restore its credibility with an apology tweet, accepted by Glass Lewis:
But Twitter is still abuzz with the ethics of the situation. Did Milk Truck do the right thing by terminating O'Connor? Was O'Connor's tweet justified? Does Glass Lewis owe an apology? What's your view?