There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t, at one point or another, referred to their boss as some kind of derogatory term. Maybe it was in the heat of moment due to a fleeting frustration, or maybe it’s a regular thing because that prick does not understand that a vacation day means you do not have to answer his emails, but whatever the frequency of the name-calling, most of us are smart enough to not actually call our boss an asshole to his or her face — or in the case of Louise Nesbitt, a bookkeeper in Australia, to it to him via text message.
In January, Ms. Nesbitt thought that she was texting a plumber who she had hired to do some work in her office when she referred to her boss, Rob, as a “complete dickhead.” Unfortunately, instead of sending that particular text to the plumber, who was also her daughter’s boyfriend, she sent it to Rob instead. When she realized her mistake, she tried to backpedal by first pleading with Rob to delete the message: “Rob, please delete without reading. I am so so so sorry. Xxx.” and then trying to chalk it up to her sense of humor. “That message came across so wrong. Rob … that is not how I feel. My sense of humour is to exaggerate.” Sadly for her, Rob didn’t think she was that funny and fired her on the spot.
For some reason, Ms. Nesbitt wanted to keep her job — because working for a guy who knows that you call him a complete dick behind his back seems like it would be super comfortable — and filed an unfair dismissal claim before the Australia’s industrial tribunal.
Unfortunately for her, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, Fair Work Commissioner Danny Cloghan rejected her argument “that the text should have been considered in the context of the intended recipient,” stating, “To call a person a ‘dick’ is a derogatory term to describe an idiot or a fool. The word ‘complete’ is used to convey the message that the person is, without exception, an idiot or a fool — they are nothing less than a ‘dick.'”
Lesson learned. Triple-check who you are texting when you are talking shit about someone who has the potential to fire you. Or, you know, just don’t put it in writing..
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