Large restaurant chains that have secret recipes for their foods and sauces pride themselves on the fact that what they are offering is special, and the mystery presented to the consumer adds to the allure. However, when these restaurants have to fire employees, there is a risk that the former employee may divulge company secrets. This is exactly why the Coca-Cola Corporation actually keeps the secret recipes for their products in an actual vault.
One such restaurant learned the hard way that revealing the secret recipe to the wrong employee can have consequences. Last year, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurant fired an employee, and this employee decided to reveal the recipe for the company’s secret sauce. However, the employee didn’t have the exact recipe according to Raising Cane’s management, yet many on social media who claimed to have followed the revealed recipe indicated the taste was spot on compared to what was offered in a Raising Cane’s restaurant.
Social media and the Internet for a large company can be a double-edged sword. It is a tremendous tool to create interest and motivating customers to make purchases. Conversely, social media can create disasters for some companies costing them a significant amount of time and money.
In an extreme case of employee revenge, Triano Williams, who was an IT worker for American College of Education, demanded the school give him $200,000 for the Google log- in credentials for the entire school. This was a serious issue for the school because the Google log-in credentials contained the school’s course material information, as well as information on the entire student body. Mr. Williams claimed that his boss discriminated against him because of his race, but the whole feud between employee and employer started because Mr. Williams didn’t want to relocate. In the end, the school took Mr. Williams to court, won, and Mr. Williams was ordered by the court to pay the school $248.350.
The revelations of secret sauces or extortion from scorned employees are not the only risks a company is subjected too. Case in point, Juan Rodriguez, who worked for Marriot hotels hacked into the companies reservation system and changed all the prices of the rooms from a normal range of $159-$499 to $12-$59. Marriot Hotels claimed to have lost in excess of $50,000 due to Mr. Rodriguez’s actions, as they were forced to honor the deals customers made.
In probably one of the most costly cases of employee revenge, one young lady managed to cost her former employer $2.5 million dollars. Marie Lupe Cooley, a Jacksonville, Florida resident noticed that her employer placed a want ad for a position identical to hers. Ms. Cooley assumed that her employer was getting ready to fire her, so she deleted all the company’s blueprints and drawings, which were worth $2.5 million dollars. However, the company never intended to fire her, and she was later arrested and charged criminally.
Even a large financial institution like Citibank is not immune to the consequences of a scorned employee. Lennon Ray Brown, a contractor employed by Citibank, who later became a full-time employee, got upset when his superiors pointed out his poor job performance. In response, Mr. Brown thought it would be a good idea to insert a code into Citibank’s Global Control Center routers, which blocked access to 90% of Citibank’s connections in the North American market. As a result, Mr. Brown was fined $77,200 and was handed a 21-month jail sentence. All this because he couldn’t take some criticism, and felt like his superiors weren’t listening to him.
And of course, there are those employees who steal and pilfer because they are not pleased with their compensation. Graham Rust, who for 24 years worked for a healthcare company felt under paid. So, he decided to steal product from his employer and sell these products on eBay, under his own name. In total, Mr. Rust cost his company £20,000. Mr. Rust got off easy with only an 8-month jail sentence and 200 hours of community service.
As technology advances and companies rely more and more on social media, the internet, and e-commerce, there will always be less than smart employees who think they can get one over on their employer. Unfortunately, some of these revenge incidents have life long lasting consequences for a simple bit of satisfaction. Is it really worth it?
H/T [The Clever]