What began as an innocent viral joke may end up costing one Best Buy
worker his part-time job. Brian Maupin, of Missouri, recently posted two videos making fun of iPhone and Evo acolytes, respectively. Although neither video made explicit reference to his employer, managers at the Independence, MO Best Buy decided to suspend him from his duties after Maupin refused their polite suggestion that he quit. As the AP reports, Maupin now risks losing his job
over a pair of videos that have each garnered over 1.6 million and 340,000 views, respectively. (Videos below, but beware of obscenities.)
Maupin had also posted a series of videos that jokingly explored some of the generic annoyances of working at an electronics stores. Since those clips did specifically mention Best Buy, he eventually took them down after his employers complained. "The earlier ones were just kind of inside jokes. Crazy customers," Maupin explains. "They took it that I was bashing the company, and stockholders were going to be upset."
In an e-mail, Best Buy spokesman Justin Barber described why the company was taking Maupin's YouTube antics so seriously. "This is an important situation for us because it involves balancing our social media guidelines with a commitment to creating a supportive environment for our employees," Barber wrote. "That's why our investigation into this matter will take some time before it's concluded, and why we look forward to seeing Brian back on the job come Monday." Maupin, for his part, suggests that Best Buy's corporate suits learn to "laugh at themselves."
We're all for laid-back, fun-loving bosses, but we kind of understand why Best Buy's brass would get upset about seeing one of their underlings poking fun at the people who pay his own paycheck. But if Best Buy really wanted to handle this without drawing too much attention to the dilemma, they would've let Maupin off with a stern warning. Again, neither video mentions the company, meaning that the average viewer would never know that the auteur behind these clips worked at a major electronics chain. But because Best Buy chose to go the disciplinarian route and threatened to fire him, the average viewer is probably privy to an entire backstory that should've never come out. [From: Boston Globe/AP