Was he drunk or was he bushed?
Did he quit or was he pushed?
These might be two tweets that waft through the socialsphere after the strange Twittered happenings surrounding PayPal's new (and now old) director of strategy.
On Saturday morning, news emerged on Business Insider that Rakesh "Rocky" Agrawal had emitted quite a few tweets from the New Orleans Jazz Festival on Friday night.
Many of these tweets (now deleted) seemed to veer between the insulting and the incomprehensible. With several stops at the visually slurry.
For example: "Best night of my life. Look I by forward or meeting you si t just..." And: "Oh. I quit pay a tonight because of self at son and aortic and ahour and hill e a s th."
Then there was: "People who be fire from PayPal Don Christmas a pool of kick."
Who wouldn't love to be called Don Christmas? All I could find in a quick Google search on the name was a roofer somewhere east of the Mississippi and a doctor from the same general area. Surely neither of these had ired Agrawal -- um, I mean hired him.
One tweet from the now former strategy director sounded aggravated: "Duck you Smedley you useless middle. manager."
"Wait," I thought, "he calls his stomach 'Smedley'"?
Sadly, another tweet immediately followed, swimming into more difficult, though explanatory, waters. The missive revealed that it wasn't his stomach to which Agrawal referred, but a fellow PayPal executive. The tweet also went well beyond "useless" (and ducks).
This morning, Agrawal explained his tweets with another tweet: "Last night I was using a new phone that I bought because I wanted to test experiences on Android. Those messages were meant for a colleague."
He also tweeted: "Note to self: don't test a new phone when sleep deprived after working your ass off for 20 hours a day while on vacation."Note to self: these tweets didn't look all that convincing. As Re/Code reports, this afternoon PayPal responded with a tweet of its own: "Rakesh Agrawal is no longer with the company. Treat everyone with respect. No excuses. PayPal has zero tolerance."
PayPal, indeed, has a legendary policy of little tolerating. It isn't so long ago that CEO David Marcus suggested that those employees who don't use the PayPal app or couldn't remember their PayPal password should "go find something that will connect with your heart and mind elsewhere."
I have contacted PayPal to ask for further comment on Agrawal's adventures in social media and will update this post should I hear back. For his part, Agrawal tweeted this morning: "My sincere apologies to @davidmarcus@stan_chudnovsky you guys are among the two smartest guys I know. And I know brilliant people." (Chudnovsky is PayPal's vice president of Growth, Global Strategy and Special Ops.)
While of course there is cause for both laughter and opprobrium here, for many this tale will surely bring to mind words including grace, god, I, and there.
Our phones have become like third hands. Our instincts to press their keys are nothing less natural than the breath, the cough, or the nose-pick.
Who hasn't reached for their phone, in one sort of emotional state or another, and sent a text, tweet, or other form of YikYak that, in the morning, became instantly regrettable?
And that's when we weren't, um, testing it.
Updated 8:24 a.m. PT: Agrawal offered a further tweet on Sunday morning. It read: "P.s. the tweet from paypal is factually correct but utterly misleading. I resigned before the events of Friday night." Which, if true, might make it odd that he felt the need to apologize to Marcus and Chudnovsky.