Personal Observations, Social Media

How to **** a career in 140 characters or less…

Twitter image of chrysler rant
It seems that a recent tweet released via the ‘official’ Twitter account of Chrysler has cost a young man his “dream job” with the automaker.

Frustrated by Detroit traffic, it appears that the young man decided to rant about other drivers: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to (expletive) drive”

Unfortunately – that Tweet was intended for his friends, but he accidentally fed it through the Chrysler corporate Twitter account.

Chrysler immediately took action: they fired the firm he worked for (losing jobs for about 20 other people in the area) – and he was terminated by the agency he worked for.

This was unfortunate. He loved his job – but he didn’t take steps to ensure that it would last. This is a recent college graduate; not someone vaguely familiar with social media.  Life teaches you some rough lessons, once college is finished with you – and this is one of the worst.

It was avoidable, though. That’s the frustrating thing about it. He seems like a nice enough guy – but seriously, when you are directly responsible for the public image of a corporation that large, you don’t take risks. The tweet was released from his phone while he was sitting in traffic in the metro Detroit area.

First of all – Michigan law prohibits texting (which, it could be argued, this qualifies as).  Second – the whole rebirth of Chrysler – unveiled with that 2 minute Super Bowl commercial (“Imported from Detroit”) is geared to promoting the city and its automotive industry. Shooting out a tweet that is diametrically opposed to your biggest client’s point of view is just downright suicide.

I’m sorry he learned his lesson this way; but being totally honest here – I’m not sure he’s selected the proper career choice. Yes, we have freedom of speech in this country; but you also have a responsibility to people who are paying your salary. Negative comments and rants – if necessary at all – should be done privately.

It wasn’t even the expletive that got him canned – it was his critical rant.  (C’mon – Eminem was the Chrysler spokesperson…)

Professionals must be professional. Clients must be able to count on you.

This young man dropped the ball.

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