January 25, 2011
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From Chicago's WGNtv.com comes the unfortunately real story of a Chicago car salesman who was fired because he wore a Green Bay Packers tie to work. And making it even worse, the man wore it because his grandma was a Packers fan who had recently died and was buried two days before her beloved team's NFC Championship game matchup with the Chicago Bears.
Now, I've never been the general manager of a car dealership before, but firing an employee because of the sports logo emblazoned on his necktie seems rather small and petty.
Come on, general managers of car dealerships in the greater Chicago area. You lost. Now you have to take it like men.
John Stone said that when he showed up at work, general manager Jerry Roberts called him over to his office and then ordered him to take off the Packers tie or else he would be fired. Stone said he thought Roberts was joking and went back to work. An hour later, Stone said, Roberts came to the showroom floor and again demanded he take off the tie. When he didn't, he was fired, Stone said.
"I didn't know you could get fired for wearing a tie," said Stone, 34, of Chicago's Roseland neighborhood. "I'm supposed to dress up. I'm a car salesman."
The Tribune goes on to detail how general manager Jerry Roberts said the dealership had previously done promotions involving the Chicago Bears.
"I don't feel that it was appropriate for him to go directly in contrast with an advertising campaign that we spent a lot of money on," Roberts told WGN reporter Judie Garcia.
Even if the manager's reasons are valid -- and I can understand his concerns about upsetting local customers or running contradictory to an advertising agreement with the Bears -- this still seems like something rational adults should have been able to talk through in about 30 seconds.
I hope Stone lands on his feet at a Packer-friendly dealership somewhere. He did say that he already has an interview with another dealership. And I hope he's replaced at the old dealership by a loyal Bears fan who couldn't sell Caleb Hanie a razor.
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