Unethical Quote of the Week: Tucson Bully Adam M. Smith

“I’m a nice guy, by the way.”

—– Adam M. Smith, ex-CFO at Vante, a Tucson medical supplies manufacturer, in the middle of a two-and-a-half minute abusive dressing down of a Chick-fil-A drive-in employee, which he filmed himself and placed on YouTube.

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Mr. Smith isn’t a nice guy, you see. He’s a vile bully and a jerk, who thinks it appropriate to embarrass and abuse an innocent employee of a restaurant because he happens not to agree with the politics and moral positions of the company’s owner. Whatever his cause may be (I almost wrote “beef,” which would have been inappropriate for a chicken place), there can be no excuse for his choosing as the target of his indignation a minimum wage clerk who has no control, power or influence over the situation, the issue, the controversy or anything, other than getting Smith his order, which in this case was a cup of water. He made her his captive audience for verbal abuse, ignored her objections when she said she didn’t want to be filmed, and generally took the ethical principles of fairness,respect, kindness, proportion, caring, compassion and reciprocity and tore them into little bits to throw in her face. He cannot claim some utilitarian justification , because attacking this poor young woman could logically accomplish nothing positive whatsoever.

Wait—I take that back. The video served to alert millions to beware of this rude, rabid and self-righteous champion of gay rights, who equates faith-based advocacy for the current law of the United States of America with “hate.”

His definitions are confused. Hateful is how he treated an innocent bystander to the Chick-fil-A flap. And “nice” would be aiming his invective where it belongs, rather than demanding, from his lucrative perch as a well-compensated corporate executive, that a bottom-rung fast-food employee surrender her job in a recession to conform with his political priorities.

Now, since his former employer didn’t appreciate his conduct, she is employed, and he isn’t.


It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.


Pointer: Fark

Facts and Graphic: Arizona Daily Star

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at  jamproethics@verizon.net.

22 thoughts on “Unethical Quote of the Week: Tucson Bully Adam M. Smith

  1. Idiocy is the most open and inclusive entity in the universe: it does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender, creed, religion, national or regional origin, veteran status, sexual preference, political affiliation, employment status, physical ability, or income level.

  2. This is why the answer is never to oppress or restrict the rights of people to act like asshats, but the answer is always, ALWAYS more speech, not less. I can’t imagine why anyone would want clueless jagoffs to not be free to do things like this, making identifying heartless oafs as easy and clear as determining if a lemon is ripe.

    Now, what if people started a Kickstarted to give HER a vacation?

  3. I personally believe the whole Chick-Fil-A business, like the Mitt Romney Bumble-A-Thon, are deliberate distractions, perpetrated to keep us from focusing on what the real problems and unfairness being played upon all of humanity. These Frivolous hypnosis we are bombarded with keeps us from discussing what is really happening to us and blind to the massive crimes done literally in front of our eyes, with our consent of silence.

    I believe the owner can do whatever he wants, but it should be public knowledge that he gives Ample amounts of donations to Anti-gay groups whose agendas are to suppress the rights of the homosexual community, or anyone who is “different” – divide and conquer. Meanwhile, that’s what we talk about – and the LIBOR scandal and tWitt’s taxes get swept under the rug.

    • In general, if you’re going to make a personal opinion to the media, be prepared for backlash – both from people that agree, and disagree with your opinion. For a corporate (Chick-Fil-A) or a musical group (Dixie Chicks, Sinead O’Conor), it could result in financial impacts as well as the media fanning the flames from one direction or another.

      From a popular media perspective, yeah, why try to explain LIBOR to the masses? That doesn’t sell papers, but showing grainy photos and vomiting rumors about the Jackson Family or Tom Cruise does.

      Unfortunately, the thinking folks just need to find the small handful of newspapers/media that actually discuss these issues in depth. I’ve found that reading newspapers from overseas gives a very interesting perspective on many US issues.

  4. Someone on Twitter said that he shouldn’t be fired for doing something ‘perfectly legal” on his own time. What do you say to that, Jack?

    • I say: the Tweeter is an idiot. High profile misconduct by an executive of a company reflects on the quality of people the company hires, and thus the company itself. Rudeness isn’t illegal; racism isn’t illegal\; bullying isn’t illegal; stupidity isn’t illegal; incivility isn’t illegal; being mean isn’t illegal; acting like moronic jackass and being so proud of it that you put it on YouTube isn’t illegal—but it sure makes any company who puts you in high management look like it’s hiring from the zoo pool, and it doesn’t do its business, reputation or trustworthiness any good at all. And anyone so clueless that they can’t figure that out and who uses legality as the yardstick for acceptable private conduct for a n employee who makes himself and his conduct widely known is, indeed, an idiot.

  5. What that Twitterer doesn’t have an understanding of is that businesses, especially those that are successful or wish to be that way someday, value their reputation. They even go so far as to sponsor little league teams and maybe even holes at the Rotary gold tournament. They do NOT value an identifiable employee, let alone a CFO who goes out in public, acts like a big jerk and puts that performance on YouTube.

    People get fired for doing things that are “perfectly legal” all the time. For example: leaving the office door unlocked when they leave for the night, calling in sick when they are not, being habitually late for work, etc….

    This guy was a giga-jerk, got linked to his employer and that employer decided to cut him adrift to save the rest of the organization. Its not personal, its just business.

  6. Berating a young lady in a drive-thru window because you disagree with her company president is about as honorable as venting your dislike of Donald Trump by checking into the Trump International Hotel and belittling the maid who cleans your room.

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