Chick-fil-A foe shows how YouTube can corrupt the soul

It's one thing to act badly. It's another to film yourself acting badly and then choose to upload that behavior to YouTube. That is something Adam Smith, former CFO at a medical device firm, is finding out.

u1oo/YouTube Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

As the tech world's volunteer psychiatrist, I sometimes struggle with people's motivations.

In the case of Adam Smith, I find myself having to write this lying down.

Should you have taken the long way around back from Kim Jong Un's wedding, you might not be aware that Smith is the man who rolled up to a Chick-fil-A drive-thru, ordered a free water, and then began to berate an utterly blameless Chick-fil-A employee.

Let he who has never berated the blameless cast the first stone-cold chicken sandwich. However, Smith saw himself as a crusader against the anti-gay views of the chain's President Dan Cathy and the company's financial contributions to highly questionable anti-gay groups.

So he filmed his rather one-sided conversation with the slightly bemused Chick-fil-A employee and then posted it to YouTube.

You might imagine that the employee endorsed her boss's anti-gay stance. You might imagine she explained to him that the fires of hell are currently being stoked, in anticipation of his arrival. You might imagine that no one in America owns a water pistol.

For the employee was exemplary, the finest advertisement her employer has enjoyed for some time.

Meanwhile, Smith snorted at her: "I don't know how you live with yourself and work here. I don't understand it. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values. You deserve better."

She surely deserves better customers than Smith, who lost his equilibrium to such a degree that he told her: "I'm a nice guy, by the way. And I'm totally heterosexual. Not a gay in me, I just can't stand the hate."

Some time, though, must have elapsed between this encounter and the uploading to YouTube. That time surely might have been spent by Smith considering whether he had exercised a lack of judgment.

It could have been used to proudly show his video first to his lover, his boss, or a family pet and watch their faces crease like a discarded Starbucks pastry bag.

Failing that, did he not at the very least watch it again himself? Did he not wonder whether his script could have done with a little more polish? Did he not feel that, perhaps, his performance could have used a little more charm?

In days gone by, the folks at that Chick-fil-A might have known Smith had behaved like a hectoring bully. His neighbors and the rest of the world would likely have remained in blissful repose on the subject.

And yet he chose -- he actively chose -- to publish his own behavior for all the world to admire.

The mere existence of YouTube seems to have been too great a temptation. In an upgraded version of Verizon's now-retired man in glasses, Smith must have thought: "Can you see me now? Can you see me now?"

Sadly, his boss, for one, could. Mediaite reports that Smith was fired from his position as CFO/treasurer of medical device company Vante.

 

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