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Bad Company Corrupts Good Morals

Many years ago I had a job that looked as if it would go places and a girlfriend who I should have known better than to get involved with.   I had been told that I was being given a promotion within the next month.

A person at my job offered each of us at work free tickets  to see a musician.  I took two of them, thanking the person giving them to me.  When I got home, I informed my girlfriend that we had been given free tickets to this event and that it would be a nice date as I knew she enjoyed the musician.  She seemed happy and thrilled.

A couple days later and suddenly I was on her “bad person” list.  I asked what was wrong and after much drama I was informed that she was mad at me because I had not gotten more tickets( remember these were a gift from a person at work)  for her 3 friends who also loved this musician and how dare I not think about them when I should know that they would really want to go too.  In retrospect I should have just given the tickets to her friends or thrown them away.

I need to interject here that I have never told this story to my mother because I know how poorly I behaved in the next bit.  Instead of stating that the two tickets were all that there were and it was supposed to be a romantic date, I went back and asked for more tickets.  I know it was wrong, I know that it was a terrible etiquette breach.  I berate myself for it still after all these years.

Fast forward to the day of the event.  The three people that have decided they need to horn in on my date with my girlfriend and also my girlfriend have known for a couple of weeks that we will be sitting with my co-workers so I have asked them to be thoughtful of this.  The office where I worked was very staid and we had just gotten a new accounts manager who was a very faithful Christian.

They all (including my girlfriend) showed up in very inappropriate clothing.  Leather, fake piercings, fake tattoos, spray on colored hair, ripped jeans, spiked heels for the women, motorcycle boots for the guys.  I’m in slacks and a shirt.  We get to the venue and I realize that we are seated behind the account manager and the owner of the company, complete with both of their families and their very young children.  And then it starts…

Shrieking, screaming, spilling food and drink on everyone around them, shouting sexual comments as first the warm-up act and then the main performer take the stage, my girlfriend and her three friends spent the entire event acting as inappropriately as they possibly could without getting kicked out by security.  During the evening one of my girlfriend’s friends struck the owner of the company with his event program and told him to move his “F****** fat basketball head”.   Another made a point of leaning forward and shouting in the account manager’s wife’s ear that he really wanted to have sex with the back up dancers on the stage (not in that tame of language).

I was fired the next day.    Couldn’t blame them.   1211-08

I sure hope you “fired” your girlfriend and her purposely devious companions from your life shortly thereafter.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • The protagonist February 8, 2010, 10:56 am

    I did end up firing them all. I still berate myself about asking for more tickets.

  • Mama24Blessings February 8, 2010, 3:19 pm

    What happened to the site? I mean it’s great and all I just don’t know where anything is now lol.

  • Sarah February 8, 2010, 6:57 pm

    Wow! I’m dying to know what artist attracts pious Christians and fake-tattooed groupies.

  • Patty February 8, 2010, 7:01 pm

    No surprised you were fired. You were most unprofessional (asking for more tickets and then YOUR quests being ill behaved.) Grow a backbone, your gf walked all you and you let her.

  • Veronica February 9, 2010, 9:30 pm

    We’ve all done stupid stuff we regret, at least you learned your lesson! 🙂

  • Christina February 11, 2010, 1:57 pm

    What a fiasco. I hate trying to be the one to put everyone else before myself. I hope you got rid of the girlfriend–a person with good etiquette never lets anybody walk all over them (especially in bad situations). Thanks for the story…it puts common courtesy and gift-giving in perspective.

  • Mystry3 March 4, 2010, 12:34 am

    What legal justification did they give you for being fired? This was an event outside of work. Go see the head of HJ or get a lawyer. They CHOSE to give you the tickets. NO ONE’s business what is done outside work. I find obnoxious born-agains offensive, but I would not have them fired, as long it is outside of the work environment.

  • Other Perspective March 4, 2010, 2:12 pm

    Mystry, not every state requires “legal justification” for a firing. Some are at-will employment states, which means they can fire you for any reason or no reason, as long as it doesn’t violate national law.

    And I think we’ll be polite enough to ignore that you think born-again Christians are “obnoxious” and “offensive”.

  • Cooler Becky March 4, 2010, 9:02 pm

    Sarah: Alice Cooper attracts goths and Christians… Maybe him?

  • Anne April 18, 2010, 1:04 pm

    FYI, 49 out of 50 States are “employment at will” States. An employer doesn’t need legal justification to fire an employee; they just can’t fire an employee for a specifically prohibited reason. Bringing guests who assaulted the CEO and screamed obscenities in his ear is a plenty good reason to terminate an employee.

  • zhoen June 13, 2010, 2:49 pm

    Poor protagonist, hormones deranged your thinking. Glad you grew a spine. We all have to learn, usually by being a jerk, then learning from it. That you are sanguine about losing your job, and contrite, says you have a lot of character growing out of this seed of jerkiness.

  • Jellie June 25, 2010, 1:58 pm

    I don’t care if the states is a “employment at will”, the LW didn’t assult the boss, the people his stupid GF forced him to bring did, if anything, the boss should have called the police on the stupid people. Fireing an employee for someone’s elses actions is not ‘plenty good’ reason. He couldn’t have forseen the actions of these other people his stupid gf would have brought.

  • Maryann July 7, 2010, 9:07 am

    I think it’s horrid that they fired you. Yes, it was appalling, but this was not at your place of employment. An explanation that you were very sorry, that you had no idea it would happen and no way to control it and that it would never happen again should have been enough. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control. You were just trying to be a nice guy, even if you went about it wrongly. Everyone makes mistakes. Firing you was extremely harsh.

  • gramma dishes July 7, 2010, 10:06 pm

    Yes, when your employer provides the tickets, you are INDEED responsible for the behavior of your chosen guests!!!! That you chose badly is a reflection upon you and also a reflection on the company (who provided the tickets in the first place).

    I think this OP knows full well, and says so repeatedly, that he was in the wrong and made some very foolish mistakes. We should all be proud of him for learning a lesson and NOT taking the unconscionable attitude that they “had no right” to fire him. Yes they certainly did. And yes, he did get rid of the girlfriend who insisted that her “friends” be allowed to tag along. And yes, he won’t be making THAT kind of mistake again.

    Congratulations OP for being grown up enough to admit your own mistakes and taking responsibility for them. Good for you! Hard lesson, but clearly you learned.

    I like the looks of that new backbone you’re sporting these days! 😉

  • RP July 8, 2010, 11:17 am

    @Mystery3 – It may have been an outside of work event but they all went to the event together as co-workers because someone from the company offered tickets. That’s enough to make it a company sponsored outing and yes, your behavior during anything remotely company sponsored can get you fired.

    @Jellie – However you feel about at-will employment it does mean that they can fire you for absolutely no reason at all. Frankly, I think bringing someone who both hits and swears at your boss to a company sponsored outing should get you fired **especially if you don’t do anything about it**. You shouldn’t be bringing anyone whose behavior you aren’t absolutely sure about to anything company sponsored in the first place but if they do start acting up you should do something about it.

    If running into the boss had been a coincidence or if the OP had made his girlfriend’s friends leave (or gotten an usher to make them leave) when their behavior got out of control I’d agree they should have cut the OP some slack but neither was the case here.

  • just my opinion September 28, 2010, 9:17 pm

    “Leather, fake piercings, fake tattoos, spray on colored hair, ripped jeans, spiked heels for the women, motorcycle boots for the guys”

    How is this an etiquette faux pas for a concert?? The submitter doesn’t say how ripped the jeans were, so granted, they could have been indecent, but I don’t see anything wrong with the clothing that was worn. I assume this was a rock or pop musician of some kind, not a black-tie opera event.

  • Auryn Grigori December 21, 2010, 1:52 pm

    It might have been appropriate wear for a concert, had they been going by themselves instead of going with a company to a company event. If I were going to a concert with my boyfriend’s co-workers, the most casual I should (and would) go is jeans (clean and not ripped) a set of sneakers, and a clean t-shirt, preferably with no logos on it. Save the rocker gear for a more appropriate venue (away from my boyfriend’s co-workers).

  • Enna August 19, 2011, 9:16 am

    I can see both sides here, it was unfair that OP got fired however he did invite people along who were very poorly behaved who were acting in a very rude way if not dangerous and verging on illegal (they were kicked out by sercurity). Maybe if they weren’t kicked out and just showing some “high spirits” it would have been different. The OP admits to making the mistake of asking for more tickets, however they were given. Personally I don’t think he knew his gf at the time very well or her firends to make such a poor dicision, OP says that he should have known better to have a relationship withth is girl. He can’t have been such a bad employee if he was going to get promoted within that month. I could imagine him being disciplined for it, or given a formal warning.

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