When a Viral Video Goes Wrong

Today we will examine a noteworthy case where a video was uploaded to Youtube on purposes that forever changed the life of one Chief Financial Officer in Arizona. Adam Smith (not the famous economist from the 18th century) decided to go through a Chick-fil-A drive through and spread his opinion on the company to a miscellaneous drive through attendant named Rachel Elizabeth. 

A video he recorded where he ordered a free water and went around the drive through and told a minimum wage worker that she worked for a horrible company that discriminates and hates. While Adam Smith a CFO for a medical device company making $200,000 a year and up to a million dollars a year with stock options. When Adam returned to his office shortly there after the secretary gave him an odd look and said to him why Adam what did you do?

To Mr. Smiths shock the threats and harassment back at him were relentless and that was before lunch. By the end of the day he was dismissed from his job over fears of the potential backlash of the video. From there the married father of two in Tuscon, Arizona.  

After a small unemployment stint he found a new CFO job with a corporation in Portland, Oregon. While things seemed to be on the up and up for Smith the new company found out about his past viral Youtube video stunt and as the Tuscon corporation feared they too had to let the man who told a drive through attendant: “Chick-fil-A is a hateful corporation,” go.

Fast forward three years later and the former CFO is now living on food stamps and out of an RV instead of a former luxurious home in Tuscon. Trying to make a rebound Smith has recently launched a book on Amazon called Million Dollar Cup of Water.

The descriptor of the book asks: “How much are your principles really worth? What price is too much to pay?

In the abstract these seem like easy questions to answer. On a purely philosophical level, there can be only one response. But, when fighting for what you believe is right causes your foundation to crumble, the answer isn’t always clear.”

While the attention he is garnering is a way to help improve his image online and off the web. When something truly goes viral it can become very expensive and difficult to repair ones online reputation and the process can be enduring with no guarantee over the long run. If the book is a smashing success then it will outrank the negative postings over the long run but the viral video will never be forgotten.

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