"Four months after a Burger King employee lost his job for taking a bubble bath in a restaurant sink, three scantily clad teens were fired when they turned a basin at their northern California KFC into their personal hot tub." – Daily News – Kentucky Fried Chicken trio photographed turning sink into hot tub – December 11th, 2008.
We all did stupid things when we were teenagers. They were only stupid in hindsight though, and they seemed like a pretty good idea at the time. It’s hard to imagine that a place where food is being prepped and cleaned is the best place to turn into a hot tub party, but again, it probably seemed like good, clean fun at the time. Even posting the pictures on MySpace seemed like the smart thing to do.
While the Daily News calls these teens "dimwits", it’s just another fine example of people either realizing (or not) that anything and everything that you do can (and is) being recorded and filmed. Not only that, all of this content (and this goes for emails, mobile phone photos, conversation over Skype, etc…) is easily publishable to the Web… instantly. These social channels really collide and become an even more powerful force when you mix in teenagers who are seeking attention.
The comments on the MySpace page didn’t help there scenario…
"The photos included captions such as ‘haha KFC showers!’ and ‘haha we turned on the jets,’ and were filed under a gallery called ‘KFC moments,’ according to the Record Searchlight newspaper in Redding,Calif."
It is moments like this when the new world meets the old world.
Enough online pundits are waging in on the dangers of young people using these publishing tools and the ramifications it is having on their lives (and on into the future). There’s another component that few have talked about: the effects on the brand. Employees are living their lives online and out in the very public. Their daily lives are being documented and published by themselves and their peers. It’s normal for them to share everything.
If they’re not thinking about their own best interest and how some of this content will look in five-ten years, we need to be really comfortable with the idea that their employers’ brand and reputation is not even a part of the equation.