FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) - Everyone has bad days at work, but letting her work frustration out on Facebook has landed a Findlay woman in the unemployment line.
"They told me that I knew what I was doing when I posted that, and they would have to let me go because a customer came in [who had] printed off a screen shot of it," explained Kirsten Kelly. "And they were really upset."
Kelly was laid off from her job at Texas Roadhouse on Monday. She had posted her opinion to social media on how customers should tip.
"I just said, 'If you come into a restaurant and spend $50 or more, you should be able to tip appropriately for that,'" Kelly said.
It turns out the customer who left the bad tip was a former schoolmate of Kelly's, and friends with her on Facebook. She wasn't happy to see her waitress blasting her online, so she printed out a screen shot of the status and took it to Kelly's managers.
"I was mad," Kelly said. "It was a Friday night and I made $60 because I had several people that night who weren't tipping appropriately. More than one time, people spent $50 or more and they tipped five or six (dollars). That's not OK!"
Kelly says she kept her post very vague. She never mentioned a specific customer or Texas Roadhouse, but job experts say you can't be too careful when it comes to what you post on social media.
"It is legal, you just have to realize what friends you're accepting online, as well," said Cayla Fortman, a career navigator at JOBsolutions. "Obviously, if you only have your privacy setting as 'friends only,' [people you aren't friends with] will only be able to see your profile picture."
Fortman works to prepare job seekers for work through JOBsolutions in Findlay. She says even when you think your posts are private, they can come back to bite you.
"Just make sure everything you put on there, just realize everyone can see it online," Fortman said. "It's best to just assume that everyone can see it, because nothing can ever really be taken off of the Internet."
Kelly says it has been a hard lesson to learn, and now she's worried about how she'll support herself and her young son with no income.
"I mean, I knew that they could have yelled at me for that, but I didn't think they could fire me for posting that," she said.
She's hoping to find another job in customer service soon, but says she'll be more careful about how she chooses to vent in the future.
The Texas Roadhouse Corporate Office based in Louisville, Kentucky, told WTOL Kelly was fired for using a derogatory name to refer to the customer in her Facebook post, which has since been removed. They say it is corporate policy that employees are not allowed to make any mention of the restaurant on social media.
The company released this quote, "Texas Roadhouse does not tolerate offensive language towards guests, whether it occurs online, offline or even in the parking lot."
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