Slammed Chic filet, now lives on food stamps

Reply Sun 29 Mar, 2015 01:55 pm
Ex-CFO who slammed Chick-fil-A now on foodstamps
Back in the summer of 2012, as thousands of people were opposing Chick-fil-A's stance on gays, Smith rolled into a Chick-fil-A drive-thru for a free glass of water and slammed the female attendant: "Chick-fil-A is a hateful corporation," Smith told her as the filmed the exchange. "I don't know how you live with yourself and work here. I don't understand it."

Smith posted the video before returning to work at Vante, a Tucson-based medical manufacturer — and the proverbial you-know-what had hit the fan by the time he got there.

The receptionist told him "the voicemail is completely full, and it's full of bomb threats," he says. Fired that day, Smith lost his $200,000 salary and more than $1 million in stock options. He and his family moved to Portland, where he got a CFO job, but lost it two weeks later when they realized who he was.

He says he has since been honest in interviews, but companies have been too wary of fallout to hire him. "I don't regret the stand I took, but I regret… the way I talked to her," an emotional Smith says of the worker.

The interview coincides with his recent digital release of a memoir, A Million Dollar Cup of Water (a paperback version is out April 21), which chronicles his professional collapse and years of soul-searching. It's not faring so well on Amazon, which Smith addressed on the site on Friday. "Regarding the many 1-star ratings my book has received today and yesterday, I would like to note that I have only sold 17 digital copies thus far, yet there are 23 1-star ratings on my book. This fascinates me! LOL!"

This article originally appeared on Newser: Ex-CFO Who Slammed Chick-fil-A Lives on Food Stamps
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,713 • Replies: 19

Reply Sun 29 Mar, 2015 02:06 pm
Sad, that's about near to the only thing to say. Shows freedom of speech can destroy a future for a person and their families.
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 07:33 am
Sturgis wrote:

Sad, that's about near to the only thing to say. Shows freedom of speech can destroy a future for a person and their families.

Maybe it was for taunting a lowest level employee at a drive through window who was just trying to make a living. You're contending that people can't dislike nasty speech?
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 08:27 am
I don't think free speech had much to do with it. The guy was an ass and proud of it. Plenty of people spoke up without abusing teenagers and did not lose their jobs.
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Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 11:48 am
The teenager he spoke to, I wonder how she feels about him losing his job, not being hireable, and being on food stamps?

If I were her, I'd be thinking that the end results of a momentary lapse of judgement is grossly disproportionate.

Maybe she should be interviewed. She's in her mid twenties now.

It's been 8 years
People get in an out of prison for murder and rape in less time. That is horrible.
I think this guy has paid his dues to society for what he now knows was a very stupid thing.

Would any of us care to divulge anything we have done in the last 8 to 10 years we are not particularly proud of?

Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 12:10 pm
You would put it on the victim to show sympathy for her assailant? She is not responsible for the results of his actions and should not have to shoulder the responsibility for his forgiveness.

This guy can absolutely find work. I completely get companies holding their chief financial officer to an extremely high standard. You show lack of judgment in that job and the company suffers dramatic losses, both monetarily and to its reputation. That's why they pay so much. But that doesn't mean he can't find work. He could hang up his shingle and be an accountant if no one would hire him but that's unlikely. There are any number of jobs for a highly trained accounting professional especially given the robust economy over the last eight years. For that matter, he could be a factory worker and make a decent living. Heck, given his financial acumen, he could start his own lawn care business and likely succeed. Maybe not CFO, but he could pay the bills. But no, he's the victim here. Sorry, don't buy it.
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 12:40 pm
Let me clarify something. I have no desire for Smith to suffer eternal damnation, be pilloried in the public square or for his book to get bad reviews. (Unless it is a bad book. I looked it up on Amazon, it's got plenty of good reviews as well as some 1* hits.) I reject the idea that he is the victim here. He is responsible for his actions. There are plenty of people who are forever crushed by a drug arrest or some other crime in their youth that need a break far more than Smith who has all the advantages society can bestow to work his way back up.
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 01:00 pm
engineer wrote:

You would put it on the victim to show sympathy for her assailant?

I didn't say that, and don't put words in my mouth. Never even thought in the terms of assalant or victim. I don't think by this time it's even pertinent.

Wondering aloud what the now adult would say about the event was part of my post. Don't make it the whole thing thank you.

What resonated with me while I was typing was 2 things. The fact some people have done much more heinous things and were their "punishment" was less as far as time. And again wondering aloud what each of us has done, not just in the past 8 years, but over our lives. Astoundingly stupid things we have done and said, and having to wear that like an albatross around our neck for the "rest of our lives".

I have no idea what kind of job this guy could get. That's not my point.

If he is repentant for what he did, is there ever a time he can get on with his life in the manner he wants to?

To put in bluntly, I don't think 15 seconds of upsetting a teenager by putting her on the spot 8 years ago in a moment of poor judgement should result in a lifetime of being "that guy"
He didn't rape her, he didn't physically assault her. He put her on the spot and made her wonder for a few seconds what she she say, I don't know what to do, wow he's being weird.

If the guy hadn't been stupid enough to record this bone headedness on his part, this would never have been a thing.

I'm not going to start repeating the caveat ad nauseum the "yes, what he did was wrong"

He's sorry, he has paid a price for it, hopefully the now adult woman isn't in phychotherapy for this trauma, let him move on.

Even if no one "forgives" him, for Christs sake,

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Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 01:11 pm
engineer wrote:

There are plenty of people who are forever crushed by a drug arrest or some other crime in their youth that need a break far more than Smith who has all the advantages society can bestow to work his way back up.

So because someone else has been crushed by a drug arrest or other crime, that means he should too?

Besides, this guy didn't commit any crime.

He was an asshole on video for a few moments.

Yeah, and there's serial killers and rapists out there who will never be caught and will continue to kill and rape people. A lot of them I guess have good jobs.

Thank goodness we don't all get what we deserve I say. Meaning what some other people thinks he deserves as far as always being the chick filet guy.

Who knows? Maybe he's also the "guy who donates plasma, builds houses for habitat for humanity, visits the elderly in nursing homes, adopts stray dogs and cats," and so forth.

That didn't make the stupid social media feeding frenzy 8 years ago though.

You and I obviously don't agree.

I just hope this is going to be your image of me for the rest of our lives.

Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 02:05 pm
I think you are complete overstating his "punishment". He was not arrested (as you point out, he committed no crime). He is not hounded as he walks down the street or harassed by the police. People do not walk into his yard and burn crosses. He lost his extremely lucrative job because of bad judgment. He is completely welcome to get on with his life and I doubt any of us even remembered his actions from eight years ago, much less his name if he didn't choose to write an "inspirational" book about it. A few years from now, that woman who faked the police call on the black guy in Central Park will be writing a book about how she is the victim too. (She's pretty much already doing it.) As I said, I don't wish him ill, but I don't buy that he is the victim here. Employers do background checks routinely. If they don't like what they find, they don't hire the person. It's not like there is a mob following him around contacting employers.
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 02:26 pm
Obviously the people he interviews for jobs with remember him.
FFS, everyone remembers the chick filet guy.

If you said chick filet guy, even with him not writing a book, we all here remembered him.

As soon as I saw the title of the thread, I knew who was being talked about. I was just surprised it was that long ago.
I think people who don't have memory problems, and saw that video, remember him just fine.

To me, I've not paid any attention to the fact he wrote a book. I glossed over that in my reading.

My thing is this guy can't get the job of the type he wants, is now on food stamps, because of some boner he pulled long ago.
The boner wasn't that he (wrongly) grilled a teenage girl for a few seconds, but that he recorded it.

The fact that he's been unable to find a job he wants, because people are so afraid that the bread and circuses crowd with raise a stink over a few ill advised seconds 8 years ago is simply fucked up.

**** like this is why I think social media sucks in general. It plays to the lowest common demoninator, who, IMHO are at home and about town doing their own shitty things.

It's not just Big Brother, it's Overreacting Big Brother.
Nowadays anyone who dares say "You know, in the big picture and over time, that really isn't a big deal" is now Part of the Problem.

Naw. it's just not a big deal anymore. Let the guy ******* get on with his life, and FFS somebody hire him in a job he wants.

That's all I have to say about that.

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Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 02:39 pm
Brandon9000 wrote:

Sturgis wrote:

Sad, that's about near to the only thing to say. Shows freedom of speech can destroy a future for a person and their families.

Maybe it was for taunting a lowest level employee at a drive through window who was just trying to make a living. You're contending that people can't dislike nasty speech?

You can dislike nasty speech as much as you like.

But I think any person is pretty nasty for thinking he shouldn't be allowed to live long and prosper because he made a mistake of the caliber he did, with it now being nearly a decade (8 years) ago.

If people he's applied for work with weren't scared of the mindless, follow the crisis of the moment ilk, the guy would have been working, and contributing his earnings to the economy.

Now he's on food stamps. For which I'm sure there's people who say he's sucking the tit.
The guy seemingly can't win for losing.....all over making an error in judgement. Something we've all done.

From what I remember, the guy wasn't even saying something wrong. He didn't like a companies stance on LGBT matters. He was standing up for what is right. he just did it stupidly in that moment.
All the guy did was deliver the letter to the wrong address. A mistake he regrets.

I hope some company where he'd like to work hears about all this, and ******* gives the guy a good job.
The statute of limitations on this is over.
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Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 02:46 pm
His first protest ever cost him his career, reputation and sense of self
Adam Smith went from being a CFO to being on food stamps after protesting at a Chick-fil-A
Out In The Open · Posted: Apr 06, 2018 11:29 AM ET | Last Updated: December 21, 2018

Adam Smith went from being a CFO to being on food stamps after protesting in defense of LGBT rights at a Chick-fil-A. (Courtesy of Adam Smith)

When Adam Smith got in his car, drove up to a Chick-fil-A drive through window and began confronting an employee about LGBT rights, he thought he was doing something positive.

For him, it was one step in undoing anti-gay messaging he says he was taught as a child.

But his first act of protest ever would soon cause his life to unravel.

Smith filmed the 2012 encounter in Tucson, Arizona as part of a larger demonstration against the fast food chain. Its chairman, president and CEO Dan T. Cathy — a noted Christian — had publicly said he was "guilty as charged" for backing the "biblical definition of family," and donated money to groups believed to be anti-gay.

This sparked a backlash, including a call for people to film themselves ordering a large water at Chick-fil-A and, if denied, cite the Bible passage, "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink." If the employee then gave out the water for free, the challenge suggested, the participant would succeed in taking money away from the company.

"When I was met with some of the things [the Chick-fil-A employee] said ... she disagreed with me, she really liked her company, then it became a fight. And then it became back to what I was taught, which is 'Hey, I'm better than you, I'm smarter than you, I'm on the right side.' And then it became really me versus her," says Smith of his interaction at the restaurant.

"I was spouting off, but I was watching myself spouting off, and I go, 'I guess this is what a protest feels like. I guess it feels this kind of rage, this uncomfortable, conflicting energy. I guess this is what it is and I guess I'm just going to go through with this, and here I go."

After driving home, Smith uploaded the video to YouTube. Soon after, he says he received an email from an unknown sender who said they'd used face recognition technology to identify who he was, and vowed to get him fired.

Smith believes the sender was reacting to the stance he took in the video. But he says he refused to be intimidated and thought everything was going to be OK.

'It got very personal, very real'
At the time, Smith — a husband and father of four — was an accomplished businessman, the chief financial officer at a medical supplies company.

The morning after he uploaded the video, he went to work as usual.

"The receptionist who greets me every morning, she looked at me and she had huge eyes and said 'Adam, what did you do?'" says Smith, "'There are hundreds of voicemails ... and they are full of death threats and bomb threats.'"

Smith regretted how he expressed his views to the Chick-fil-A employee and proposed making a public apology.

Instead, his company urged him to quit. When he disagreed, they fired him.

His family and friends were disappointed in Smith for what he had done.

"I'm still emotional now," he says, "I don't like letting people down that I love. It's something I carry. That didn't feel good. I definitely didn't feel like I did the right thing for my family, losing a job."

A press release announcing his termination was picked up by major news media outlets, which were covering Chick-fil-A protests. Soon, the video he uploaded went viral.

"There were literally thousands of people commenting on me and me as a person and my reputation and who I am and what I deserve. They were talking about that I need my kids taken away from me. They said that I should definitely hang myself and I don't deserve to live ... so it got very personal, very real."

'I realized these consequences were going to be bigger'
Smith says his resume was impeccable, so landing interviews to find a new job wasn't a problem... but getting and keeping a job proved next to impossible.

"I ended up getting an interview and flying out to Portland, Oregon and getting the job. And I feel like I'm back. Two weeks into it ... I get called into the CFO's office and they said 'Adam, you lied to us. You didn't tell us about this video,' and I explained I didn't need to, legally, and they said 'That's too bad, you're fired.' That one was a huge wakeup call because then I realized these consequences were going to be bigger."

He applied for another job, and after an interview was given an offer. This time, Smith tried a different tactic. Before accepting, he told his would-be new boss about the video and the news it generated.

"He said, 'Well everybody makes mistakes. Are you going to make that mistake again?' and I said 'No, you have my word," says Smith.

I'm sorry Adam, you're going to be too much of a distraction
He called his wife to share the good news, but while they were talking, the company that had just hired him left him a voicemail.

It said that they were sorry, but a board member thought he would be too much of a distraction and that they needed to take the offer back.

"I tried over and over. It happened a couple times after that and I just went into some deep, deep depression."

An incredible fall
Two and half years later, Smith and his family were surviving on food stamps and were months away from moving into his in-laws'.

"I remember asking them in tears because it was so humbling to ask if my family of six can stay in your garage," he says.

"My internal reputation took a big roller coaster ride ... I started to think 'What would life be like if I was not around? Would it be better? Would my family be better off?'"

Then, Smith says he realized he had a life insurance policy worth $1-million, looked at the details, and saw suicide wasn't an exclusion.

"I even had the turn of the mountain off the coast of Oregon that I was going to go by myself and just do it. That's where I was at."

'I needed to be humbled'
Smith realized he needed to tell his two therapists and his wife that he was having suicidal thoughts. Together, they decided he should do a journal workshop.

"I went all the way in. I just went all the way. I didn't hide anything. That workshop works when you have nothing to lose. So I just went into the deepest, deepest parts of everything, all the way inside, all those stories, all those thoughts, all that programming and it was so healing."

I've made it a mantra that it doesn't matter what other people think of me outside. It only matters internally, it only matters what's happening inside.
- Adam Smith
Adam says that was the fir
st big step to rebuilding his life, his reputation and himself.

He's since done more workshops and taught courses about mindfulness.

"I have come to a place where I don't need other people's approval anymore."

Now, Smith lives with his family in Costa Rica and runs a healing centre. He says he doesn't think he would be the person he is today if he had never posted that video of him protesting at Chick-fil-A.

"This was such a gift that happened to me; this thrashing, this public shaming, this reputation dissolution that happened was the best thing I needed because I needed that humbleness, I needed to be humbled and nothing was going to humble me like that."

Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 03:33 pm
neptuneblue wrote:

After driving home, Smith uploaded the video to YouTube. Soon after, he says he received an email from an unknown sender who said they'd used face recognition technology to identify who he was, and vowed to get him fired.

Wow. All of that was really interesting neptune.

What I quoted above. Now That person, someone vowing to get him fired, is the real evil/crazy **** in this scenario.

Someone, who is apparantly unknown to this day, gets a bug up their ass about this, and Vows to basically upend his world.

This is the type of person I'm afraid of.
Someone, behind the chicken **** shield of anon. who can and does cost someone their livlihood in this way.

This is terrifying quite frankly.
It could happen to any one of us. And don't say "no, it couldn't happen to me because I would never...."
Bullshit. There is something that another person could record you doing, that could completely change your life. Even if it is completely out of context.

Now I'm mad.

Who IS this person? That's what I want to know. Why aren't They being brought to light and being held accountable for an outsized reaction like, I'm vowing to get you fired over this?

It was nice though to read the chick filet guy was now doing something in Costa Rica with his family, if that's making him happy.

Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 04:57 pm
Makes me think of that woman in NYC - that did that horrible thing where she claimed a black man was attacking her while this man asked her to leash her dog according to park rules.

She had a nice finance job - and got fired over that. It was even in the headlines of the professional financial investment media I get daily for work purposes. I hear and perhaps see the videos and think what an a$$ - they deserve it. And then I get a little thought saying maybe they were just having a really bad day - maybe they were caught at their worst and typically they are the nicest person in the world. Made one mistake at the wrong time when someone caught it on tape.

We have all shown an ugly at one time or another. Wonder how I would have looked if they had a video of me and perhaps just cut it right so I looked really bad.

I think in many cases yeah this person probably does deserve to put in their place - I mean really coming down on someone working in a window at a fast food place - but to the point they no longer have a livelihood and their life is threatened.
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 05:07 pm
Took you five years to come up with that?
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Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 07:04 pm
Ugh. This is a complicated thing for sure.

Man did not evolve with cell phone in their hand.

Off topic for just a second, but I've got no idea how people get that damn video camera on their phone rolling so fast. Just now, for shits and grins, I started a timer, then picked up my phone like I was going to record something, had to think for a second where I wanted to go, opened my camera, thought "ok, where's video?" Saw the video button, pressed it and pretended to get something in my sites.
Took about 12 or 13 seconds total. Would have taken much longer if I was walking down the street, had to take my phone out of my bag, while listening to whatever was going on that I wanted to record. That said, it wouldn't even occur to me to record it, especially when someone was needing help.
What can I say? I'm old as dirt.
But Jeez Louise, some people must have there video recorder attached to their brain waves or something.

Anyway, yes indeed it's complicated.
Sure that woman was wrong for telling the 911 operator she was being attacked, when she wasn't. She was also stupid because she obviously saw the man was recording her. It's a good thing he was.

However, is no one allowed to have a disagreement, or share a moment, good or bad with another person, without it getting recorded, and worse, potentially going viral?

It's basically saying to everyone that they must, without fail be appropriate, woke, supportive of whatever is being presented by the other person, in other words, perfect and not human. Someone could whip that damn camera out at any moment.

I think it's really worse when you turn that camera on your own actions, like chic filet guy did.
Not just that he was talking to the wrong person, but more disturbingly, that he thought his words/actions were gold and that someone/everyone would be so impressed with his social justice warrior crap.

I may get lambasted for the following, and I understand why. I'm seeing myself both positively and negatively saying this. Especially considering the current climate.
People who after the fact feel the need to record themselves going over what happened to them. I mean sometimes, because it should go without saying other times it could be vital.
For instance, I think if a woman has just been raped, it could be very important to get a record of herself and her surrounding even before the police show up. And things like that.

But this story, I don't know if I can tell it right, but here goes.
I watched this video on FB, because this woman (white) had posted it saying "I don't know whether to be enraged or cry"
See, already I'm like, "oh god, here we go, there's obviously only one acceptable way to look at this, and I'm going to be told that repeatedly, and that I'm wrong"


the guy, a university professor, and black, had parked his car in the teacher lot, and was crossing over to a building when 2 police officers stopped him to question.
A woman nearby had just reported that she surprised a black man, wearing "a puffy jacket" and "knit cap" while he was trying to break into her house, and he ran.
Our professor was telling this story still in his jacket (puffy) and cap (knit). He was also of same height and weight.
Yes, he was obviously scared and very wary in view of current events. No doubt about that.
But the bottom line was the police explained why he was stopped, told him the description they had, asked him where he was coming from, going to and why, ID, etc.
No one touched him. They ID'd him and let him go on his way.
Yes. Yes. Yes. I get the context. I get he was afraid.


If I met the description of a person they were looking for, I could not say I would be surprised if I were stopped and those same questions asked of me. Who were the police supposed to be stopping and questioning? Someone who looks like me? Or someone who met the description of the person who reported this?

The part that got me though were the thoughts in his mind at the time. They were "how could they be stopping me, I'm a college professor. Why isn't someone coming out of a coffee shop and saying to the police That's Professor So and So! Why would you question him? I'm not wearing a puffy jacket. This is a quilted jacket, a Ralph Lauren quilted jacket. A woman hand knit this hat for me. I'll bet that woman couldn't name all the colors in the hat."
In truth, it sounded like a cliche of what a white dude would be thinking if stopped.
But, I apparantly am a 100% racist because they stopped a black guy, when a black guy with the same description was trying to break into a home.
Oh. I was also told a white man would never have been stopped and if he met the description of some white guy trying to break and enter. Who knew?

Ok folks, bring it on.

Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2020 04:04 pm
Laughing Laughing Laughing

I had looked at this thread this morning around 11am, and noticied I had 5 up votes on my post right above.

I thought, "wow, I guess there are some sensible people out there."
Now, about 6 hours later, I'm at -1.

Gee I wonder who could have done that? Probably with the help of bogus accounts.

Anyway, hey chickenshits, if you don't like what I posted, like I said, bring it on.
Don't be cowards. You've got big enough mouths when you want to insult, lie, and generally act crazy.
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2020 04:58 pm
I brought you up to zero
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2020 06:42 pm
Awwww thanks.

I simply think it is so funny and obvious.
Apparantly I'm not the only one who agrees.
My laughing comment is up to 5. Let's see what happens in a few hours when the sun comes up in another part of the world.
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