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How to Tweet Your Way Out of a Job

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Hate your job? Want to leave without giving two weeks notice? Thanks to Twitter, it's never been easier to get fired. All you have to do is sign up for an account and follow these simple steps. You'll be unemployed in no time!

Step 1: Drunk Tweet

As any Spring Break partier knows, drinking impairs your judgment. It seems to have also impaired the judgment of Major League pitcher-turned-sports-radio-host Mike Bacsik, who put on quite a show during a San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks NBA game in April. While watching the game, Bacsik bragged that he was "About 12 deep and some shots." He proceeded to unleash a string of insults aimed at NBA commissioner David Stern, accused the refs of fixing the game, and even threatened to blow up the NBA's offices. But the one that really got people riled up came after the Mavericks lost the game, when Bacsik tweeted:

@MikeBacsik: "Congrats to all the dirty mexicans in San Antonio."

After sobering up, Bacsik deleted the offending tweets and issued an apology. But it was too little, too late. Numerous people complained to his radio station, which first suspended Bacsik and later fired him. After his dismissal, he told ESPN Dallas, "When you tweet like that, it's not a playful, harmless thing...I'm very sorry and will try my best for my actions to speak louder than my tweets."

Step 2: Break the Law (or Just Anger Your Governor)

Twitter has become a great tool for politicians to connect to the voting public. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, for one, has really embraced the technology as a way to share his opinions and views. For example, in December 2009, he sent out a tweet saying:

@HaleyBarbour: "Glad the Legislature recognizes our dire fiscal situation. Look forward to hearing their ideas on how to trim expenses."

Jennifer Carter, one of his Twitter followers who worked for the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMC), read this message and offered up a suggestion on how Governor Barbour could personally save the taxpayers money:

"Schedule regular medical exams like everyone else instead of paying UMC employees overtime to do it when clinics are usually closed."

This "Oh, snap!" moment referred to an incident that had occurred three years earlier, when the governor requested the medical center open on a Saturday, when they were normally closed, and bring in a staff of 15-20 people who were paid overtime to administer his annual check-up. This happened before Carter worked for UMC and she was simply repeating what she had been told by other employees.

The governor's office tracked down Carter and made a formal complaint to UMC, saying Carter had violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a privacy law that states no employee of a medical facility can reveal any information about a person's "protected health information." Some argued that Carter didn't violate HIPAA, since she didn't actually give out any information about the health of the governor. However, others believe that simply saying the governor had even visited a doctor is a violation.

Semantics aside, UMC administrators said it was a violation, so they suspended Carter for three days without pay and strongly suggested she resign to avoid further disciplinary action, which she did.

Step 3: Have an NSFW Lifestyle

St. Louis-based blogger "The Beautiful Kind" had been writing online about her polyamorous sex life for years. Knowing that not everyone would agree with her chosen lifestyle, she was always very careful about maintaining her anonymity, especially when it came to the workplace. So when she signed up for Twitter, she wanted to be anonymous there as well. She thought that, thanks to the similarities between the two, it was like signing up for an online message board - you supplied your real name to the website privately, but could choose to be known publicly by your username only. But when she logged in for the first time and saw that, not only did it show her username (@TBK365), but also her real name on her profile, she immediately went back and removed it.

Thinking she was now safely anonymous, she used Twitter to promote her blog and to discuss sexually explicit topics with her followers. However, when her boss at the non-profit group where she worked was told by upper management to do a Google search of all employees, TBK's Twitter account information—with her real name still associated—came up on the Twitter tracking site topsy.com.

The next day, TBK was called into her boss' office and fired on the spot. Afterwards, her former boss sent her a letter saying, "While I know you are a good worker and an intelligent person, I hope you try to understand that our employees are held to a different standard. When it comes to private matters, such as one's sexual explorations and preferences, our employees must keep their affairs private." Because Missouri is an at-will employment state, meaning employers can fire someone for just about any reason, TBK was SOL.

Step 4: Question Company Policy

When California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) traded in their standard white shirts for black ones, employee Tim Chantarangsu wasn't happy with the change. So he tweeted @calpizzakitchen his opinion:

@traphik: "black button ups are the lamest s**t ever!!!"

He didn't expect anyone to notice or care, but the next day he received a direct message from corporate asking what restaurant he worked for. He knew better than to respond, but they tracked him down anyway and he was fired. They not only referenced his tweet about the shirts, but also an earlier one where he had said he was getting ready to work at "Calipornia Skeetza Kitchen."

Little did they know that Chantarangsu is kind of a big deal on another social website, YouTube. Under the name TimothyDeLaGhetto2, Chantarangsu has nearly 367,000 subscribers, accounting for over 10,500,000 views of his videos. Of course he made a YouTube video telling his Twitter story and it has currently been viewed nearly 200,000 times. Shortly after the incident, he asked his followers to bombard CPK's Twitter account with RTs (re-tweets) of his offending message, which they were more than happy to oblige.

Step 5: Make a Celebrity Look Bad


During his five years on the job, Jon Barrett-Ingels had served a lot of celebrities as a waiter at Barney Greengrass, an upscale restaurant in Beverly Hills. One day, Jane Adams, star of the HBO series Hung, came in and had lunch to the tune of $13.44. Unfortunately, when the bill came, Adams realized she had left her wallet in the car. Ingels knew who she was, so he told her she could run out and grab it and come back. The actress left, but didn't return. Instead, someone from her agency called the next day and paid the bill. However, they didn't leave a tip. Ingels had recently signed up for Twitter and so, his sixth tweet to his 40 followers said:

@PapaBarrett: Jane Adams, star of HBO series "Hung" skipped out on a $13.44 check. Her agent called and payed the following day. NO TIP!!!"

Over the next few weeks, Ingels started using Twitter to send out a few harmless observations about celebrities that came in to eat—mainly what they ordered or what they looked like that day. Then, out of the blue, Jane Adams came back to the restaurant. According to Ingels' blog, she was clearly upset and begrudgingly slapped $3 on the bar for Ingels as a tip. Surprised, Ingels told the actress she really didn't have to do that, but her gesture was appreciated. She allegedly replied with, "My friend read about it on Twitter!" before storming off. Adams complained about the tweet to management, so someone from Barney's corporate started following Ingels on Twitter to see what he was up to. After reading his celebrity tweets, it didn't take long before they gave him the boot.

Step 6: Don't Get Hired in the First Place

If you've followed steps 1 "“ 5 and you still have a job, here's the ultimate way to make sure Twitter will keep you from gainful employment.

When recent college grad Skye Riley heard back from Cisco, the computer networking giant, about her job application, one of her first instincts was to tweet about it. Unfortunately, this is what she tweeted:

@theconnor: Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.

The unfortunate part? An employee of Cisco, Tim Levad, came across her post while doing a Twitter search for Cisco. He replied to her by saying:

@timmylevad: Who is the hiring manager. I'm sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.

Riley's story was the tweet heard round the world. It became a hot topic on tech blogs for weeks afterwards, with writers calling it the "Cisco Fatty" incident. She later claimed that the tweet was taken out of context—that part of her message was referring to a well-paid internship she had turned down—but it appears the damage had already been done. While only she and Cisco know what really happened, according to her online resume, she has never worked for the company.
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Do you know any other Twitter horror stories? Are any of your co-workers walking a dangerous line by ripping your employer or boss on Facebook or a personal blog? Give us the details in the comments below.

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Getty Images
Where Did The Easter Bunny Come From?
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Getty Images

The Easter Bunny is an anthropomorphic, egg-laying rabbit who sneaks into homes the night before Easter to deliver baskets full of colored eggs, toys and chocolate. A wise man once told me that all religions are beautiful and all religions are wacko, but even if you allow for miracles, angels, and pancake Jesus, the Easter Bunny really comes out of left field.

If you go way back, though, the Easter Bunny starts to make a little sense. Spring is the season of rebirth and renewal. Plants return to life after winter dormancy and many animals mate and procreate. Many pagan cultures held spring festivals to celebrate this renewal of life and promote fertility. One of these festivals was in honor of Eostre or Eastre, the goddess of dawn, spring and fertility near and dear to the hearts of the pagans in Northern Europe. Eostre was closely linked to the hare and the egg, both symbols of fertility.

As Christianity spread, it was common for missionaries to practice some good salesmanship by placing pagan ideas and rituals within the context of the Christian faith and turning pagan festivals into Christian holidays (e.g. Christmas). The Eostre festival occurred around the same time as the Christians' celebration of Christ's resurrection, so the two celebrations became one, and with the kind of blending that was going on among the cultures, it would seem only natural that the pagans would bring the hare and egg images with them into their new faith (the hare later became the more common rabbit).

The pagans hung on to the rabbit and eventually it became a part of Christian celebration. We don't know exactly when, but it's first mentioned in German writings from the 1600s. The Germans converted the pagan rabbit image into Oschter Haws, a rabbit that was believed to lay a nest of colored eggs as gifts for good children. (A poll of my Twitter followers reveals that 81% of the people who replied believe the Easter Bunny to be male, based mostly on depictions where it's wearing a bowtie. The male pregnancy and egg-laying mammal aspects are either side effects of trying to lump the rabbit and egg symbols together, or rabbits were just more awesome back then.)

Oschter Haws came to America with Pennsylvania Dutch settlers in the 1700s, and evolved into the Easter Bunny as it became entrenched in American culture. Over time the bunny started bringing chocolate and toys in addition to eggs (the chocolate rabbit began with the Germans, too, when they started making Oschter Haws pastries in the 1800s).

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The Easter Bunny also went with European settlers to Australia—as did actual bunnies. These rabbits, fertile as they are, got a little out of control, so the Aussies regard them as serious pests. The destruction they've caused to habitats is responsible for the major decline of some native animals and causes millions of dollars worth of damage to crops. It is, perhaps, not a great idea to use an invasive species as a symbol for a religious holiday, so Australia has been pushing the Easter Bilby (above, on the right), an endangered marsupial that kind of looks like a bunny if you squint. According to some of our Australian readers, the Easter Bunny is not in danger of going extinct.

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Gregor Smith, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The Men Behind Your Favorite Liquors
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Gregor Smith, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

It's hard to walk down the aisle of a liquor store without running across a bottle bearing someone's name. We put them in our cocktails, but how well do we know them? Here's some biographical detail on the men behind your favorite tipples.

1. Captain Morgan

FromSandToGlass, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

The Captain wasn't always just the choice of sorority girls looking to blend spiced rum with Diet Coke; in the 17th century he was a feared privateer. Not only did the Welsh pirate marry his own cousin, he ran risky missions for the governor of Jamaica, including capturing some Spanish prisoners in Cuba and sacking Port-au-Prince in Haiti. He then plundered the Cuban coast before holding for ransom the entire city of Portobelo, Panama. He later looted and burned Panama City, but his pillaging career came to an end when Spain and England signed a peace treaty in 1671. Instead of getting in trouble for his high-seas antics, Morgan received knighthood and became the lieutenant governor of Jamaica.

2. Johnnie Walker

Kevin Chang, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Walker, the name behind the world's most popular brand of Scotch whisky, was born in 1805 in Ayrshire, Scotland. When his father died in 1819, Johnnie inherited a trust of a little over 400 pounds, which the trustees invested in a grocery store. Walker grew to become a very successful grocer in the town of Kilmarnock and even sold a whisky, Walker's Kilmarnock Whisky. Johnnie's son Alexander was the one who actually turned the family into famous whisky men, though. Alexander had spent time in Glasgow learning how to blend teas, but he eventually returned to Kilmarnock to take over the grocery from his father. Alexander turned his blending expertise to whisky, and came up with "Old Highland Whisky," which later became Johnnie Walker Black Label.

3. Jack Daniel

LeeRoyal, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel of Tennessee whiskey fame was the descendant of Welsh settlers who came to the United States in the early 19th century. He was born in 1846 or 1850 and was one of 13 children. By 1866 he was distilling whiskey in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Unfortunately for the distiller, he had a bit of a temper. One morning in 1911 Daniel showed up for work early and couldn't get his safe open. He flew off the handle and kicked the offending strongbox. The kick was so ferocious that Daniel injured his toe, which then became infected. The infection soon became the blood poisoning that killed the whiskey mogul.

Curious about why your bottle of J.D. also has Lem Motlow listed as the distillery's proprietor? Daniel's own busy life of distilling and safe-kicking kept him from ever finding a wife and siring an heir, so in 1907 he gave the distillery to his beloved nephew Lem Motlow, who had come to work for him as a bookkeeper.

4. Jose Cuervo

Shane R, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In 1758, Jose Antonio de Cuervo received a land grant from the King of Spain to start an agave farm in the Jalisco region of Mexico. Jose used his agave plants to make mescal, a popular Mexican liquor. In 1795, King Carlos IV gave the land grant to Cuervo's descendant Jose Maria Guadalupe de Cuervo. Carlos IV also granted the Cuervo family the first license to commercially make tequila, so they built a larger factory on the existing land. The family started packaging their wares in individual bottles in 1880, and in 1900 the booze started going by the brand name Jose Cuervo. The brand is still under the leadership of the original Jose Cuervo's family; current boss Juan-Domingo Beckmann is the sixth generation of Cuervo ancestors to run the company.

5. Jim Beam

Jim Beam, the namesake of the world's best-selling bourbon whiskey, didn't actually start the distillery that now bears his name. His great-grandfather Jacob Beam opened the distillery in 1788 and started selling his first barrels of whiskey in 1795. In those days, the whiskey went by the less-catchy moniker of "Old Tub." Jacob Beam handed down the distillery to his son David Beam, who in turn passed it along to his son David M. Beam, who eventually handed the operation off to his son, Colonel James Beauregard Beam, in 1894. Although he was only 30 years old when he took over the family business, Jim Beam ran the distillery until Prohibition shut him down. Following repeal in 1933, Jim quickly built a distillery and began resurrecting the Old Tub brand, but he also added something new to the company's portfolio: a bourbon simply called Jim Beam.

6. Tanqueray

Adrian Scottow, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

When he was a young boy, Charles Tanqueray's path through life seemed pretty clear. He was the product of three straight generations of Bedfordshire clergymen, so it must have seemed natural to assume that he would take up the cloth himself. Wrong. Instead, he started distilling gin in 1830 in a little plant in London's Bloomsbury district. By 1847, he was shipping his gin to colonies around the British Empire, where many plantation owners and troops had developed a taste for Tanqueray and tonic.

7. Campari

Michael, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Gaspare Campari found his calling quickly. By the time he was 14, he had risen to become a master drink mixer in Turin, and in this capacity he started dabbling with a recipe for an aperitif. When he eventually settled on the perfect mixture, his concoction had over 60 ingredients. In 1860, he founded Gruppo Campari to make his trademark bitters in Milan. Like Colonel Sanders' spice blend, the recipe for Campari is a closely guarded secret supposedly known by only the acting Gruppo Campari chairman, who works with a tiny group of employees to make the concentrate with which alcohol and water are infused to get Campari. The drink is still made from Gaspare Campari's recipe, though, which includes quinine, orange peel, rhubarb, and countless other flavorings.

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