Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How To Get Fired

I caught a little media blurb over at Media Bistro yesterday about ESPN firing one of their announcers, a one Ron Franklin. It didn't get into a lot of detail, briefly stating that "Franklin was pulled from last Friday’s Chick-fil-A Bowl broadcast after making derogatory comments towards colleague Jeannine Edwards." Now, I've never heard of Mr. Franklin, so I wasn't so much concerned about him as much as I really wanted to know what he said. So I looked into it. I wasn't sorry.

Before I continue, can I just point out an absolutely ridiculous side note? The Chick-fil-A Bowl? Really? Am I the only one who thinks that sounds totally asinine? Is this what we're looking at from now on? Corporate sponsorship that totally takes over the name of the game? There are some pretty silly sounding names out there. It's going to get interesting if we just let them start having their own bowl games (because they can) and naming them after themselves (because they own them and why wouldn't they?). Oh, wait. I just looked up all of the different names of bowl games and this is going to require its own post. I came to that conclusion after learning that there are over thirty different bowl games and one of them is the GoDaddy.com Bowl. And that's not even the silliest. So tune in tomorrow for Bowl Game Insanity, Part Deux!

Back to Mr. Franklin. I went over to USA Today for a little bit more of the story as to what he had said that was enough to get him fired. It seems that this Jeannine Edwards was talking with ESPN announcer Rod Gilmore. Apparently, Mr. Gilmore's wife had just been elected mayor of Alameda, California. (Good luck with that.) At some point, Mr. Franklin joined the conversation and for some unknown reason said to Ms. Edwards, "Listen to me sweet baby, let me tell you something . . . " She claims that he said that "...with a condescending tone." Yes, I think that if we can assume anything from a sentence that starts off with "Listen to me sweet baby" its' going to be that it's in a condescending tone. I got that without any initial clarification, though it was nice to have my initial assumption confirmed.

Oh, but if you're thinking it stopped there, it did not. "Edwards says she told Franklin not to address her like that." That seems like a fairly reasonable next step, considering that they were in the work place. But then, in a move that doesn't seem like a fairly reasonable next step, considering that they were in the work place, Franklin replied, To which Franklin said, "OK, then listen to me a-hole."

I'm sure it's wrong of me, but I laughed when I read that. Who the heck says stuff like that? To your co-worker no less! Don't get me wrong. There were plenty of co-workers that I would have loved to have said that to. (And I wouldn't have started out with "sweet baby" either. Nope, I would have gone straight to a-hole!) But that's the first rule of having co-workers. You don't call them a-hole to their face. While you're working. With them.

And even though he was fired, I'm under the impression that he was fired because he wasn't apologetic enough. Actually, he wasn't apologetic at all, as Ms. Edwards says that he did not apologize to her. The guy is 68 years old. There's a point in people's lives where they stop feeling like they either a) need to apologize, or b) care to apologize. Mr. Franklin is clearly past both of those points. And it won't matter because I'm sure that someone out there will hire him to do whatever it is that he does sometime in the near future. Hopefully they won't mind being called an a-hole once in a while.

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