Ethics Dunce: Grandstanding Topeka Waitress Chloe Hough

tip the schoolsToday was apparently “Popular Unethical Conduct Day.” This isn’t as bad as a mother having a police officer terrorize her little boy, because governor abuse isn’t as bad as child abuse. It’s still wrong, and in several ways.

Waitress Chloe Hough was in her final shift in her last day as a waitress at a Kansas barbecue restaurant, and found herself serving conservative Kansas governor Sam Brownback. The controversial  Republican  recently pushed to replace Kansas’s education funding system with a  “block grant” program that cuts millions of dollars from  public school budgets.

Hough decided to use the opportunity to make a snarky, meaningless protest comment on his check, and grandstanded by posting a photo of it on Facebook.

“I just knew I had to say something or I would regret it,” she told a TV station.  Of course, she really would have regretted it if she hadn’t already quit her job. She was rude to a customer (wrong), compromised the service of her employer (wrong); embarrassed her employer (wrong);used her job illicitly to make a personal political statement (wrong), and posted the restaurant’s document without permission on Facebook. If the restaurant shares tips among servers, she also gave away money belonging to her colleagues without their permission. Wrong, wrong, wrong.  She did all of this knowing that she wouldn’t suffer any consequences, since she had already quit. It was hit and run unethical conduct, and a cowardly betrayal of trust. The legitimacy of her political critique is irrelevant.

I hope the restaurant withholds her final paycheck, and to any other employers out there, remember that name: Chloe Hough. She’s untrustworthy and disloyal, and if you hire her, you deserve what you get.

17 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Grandstanding Topeka Waitress Chloe Hough

    • 1) Interestingly enough, as public funding to schools has increased, tuition has increased exponentially. Could it be that public funding actually INCREASES costs?


      2) to repeat myself: As a reults/$spent ratio, Public Education has probably been this Republic’s greatest communal failure, though the ACA is a rapidly closing but still distant 2nd place.

  1. The entire idea of block grants is to trim wastage. The alternative encourages the “use it or lose it” mentality that is a major contributor in that regard.

  2. The teachers in my state cancelled school for two days so they could go to the capitol to protest for pay increases. Now, the rest of the state workers are facing pay cuts and education was spared the budget knife, but they want an increase anyway. Oh, they aren’t going to make up those two missed days either, even though it puts them under the minimum number of days required by law.

    I am sick of this “we don’t spend enough money on education” and “teachers aren’t paid enough”. In the last couple states I have lived, the average teacher pay is higher than the average family income. If you look, education salaries are average or above average for people with humanities degrees, they are hardly ‘underpaid’. If you add in the teacher benefit package, which is much better than those typically give in the private sector, their total compensation is excellent. It was true that teachers were poorly paid (like most government employees) in the past, but the current reality is that government jobs offer higher pay, better benefits, and better job security than the private sector. They used to be public servants, but now they are public masters. Government workers used to trade salary for better job security and benefits, not they have the best of it all.

    The faculty at my University have either doctorates or terminal master’s degrees. When you compare our salaries to the local public school teachers, the teachers win. They also have much better benefits and a retirement package our 403b can’t touch. We turn out students who go on to medical school, to graduate school, and to jobs that require good technical knowledge. I have a list of things I have to teach my students because they weren’t taught it by their lousy, but highly paid, public school teachers. That list includes “explain to them what a paragraph is’. I teach chemistry, but I have to teach math and English as well. My English isn’t great, but it apparently is better than all their previous English teachers combined.

    We are paying teachers too much and that is one of the problems with our school system. When you pay too much, you attract people who are in it for the money. Common sense says it is laughable that people are attracted to teaching for the money, but look at it rationally.

    (1) Education programs are among the easiest programs on a college campus.

    (2) Teachers make above-average salaries for humanities majors.

    (3) Teachers get great benefits.

    (4) The press is always saying there is a teacher shortage (there isn’t, except for science and math)

    So, taken together, education is the field for people who want to make the most money without much effort. When this happens, the teachers don’t actually care about education. That is why you get teachers who tell the students “We are done with our standardized testing, so there is no point in teaching anything else this year”. It is also how you get people who think it is appropriate to have a School Board President whose writing samples look like the ones below.

    “If you saw Sunday’s Free Press that shown Robert Bobb the emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, move Mark Twain to Boynton which have three times the number seats then students and was one of the reason’s he gave for closing school to many empty seats.”

    From The Detroit News:


    “Do DPS control the Foundation or outside group? If an outside group control the foundation, then what is DPS Board row with selection of is director? Our we mixing DPS and None DPS row’s, and who is the watch dog?”

    From The Detroit News:

    • All you have to do is put up with union thuggery, political correctness, undisciplined kids, idiot parents and incompetent administrators. However, if you can breeze through that, then you’re part of the problem, yourself!

  3. I guess knowing the facts must be a lost art…….The restaurant and waitress are located in our state capital……Topeka, Kansas, not Kansas City…..and you know nothing about Chole and I seriously doubt you know anything about Mr Brownback either.

    • Typo as to the city. I’ll fix it. As for the rest: WHAT?

      What does “knowing” Chloe or the Governor have to do with the post? Her conduct is the issue, and that’s the only issue. What she did was wrong in every way, regardless of whether she is a Democrat, a Republican, an albino, an ex-teacher or a cyborg, and all that matters about Brownback is that he was a customer. If you have a point, make it. What you’ve said is useless and irrelevant. Except the correction—thanks. But it also doesn’t matter to the post which city it occurred in, unless Topeka has been showed to warp waitress ethics.

    • What as ass you are, Howard, and an ignorant one as well. The critique of the waitress’s breach of ethics has nothing to do with Brownback’s policies at all. Screw you, to be blunt—but fair!—for suggesting otherwise and for reading any kind of political motive into the piece at all. You have no idea what I think of Brownback’s policies, because they don’t matter, and my opinion of them doesn’t matter to me, or my ethical analysis, as any fair person with two brain cells to keep each other company would comprehend. I would make the same comment about a tea party waitress treating a progressive governnor this way, or a Mormon senator, an independent Gold Standard advocate, a communist revolutionary or an alien from Melmac.

      Your comment, rude and without substance, reveals you as a pathetic, intellectually challenged, biased partyist who see seven basic ethical interaction between employer and employee in hack partisan terms: if the right party’s perp is the violator and the detested party’s representative is the victim, anything goes. If the places are reversed, you are outraged. How hard it must be for you to negotiate the simplest daily challenges—tying shoes, answering the phone– with a brain so disabled, so narrow, and so unlit by the slightest glimmer of a concept of right and wrong! I am weeping as a write this. Good luck on your stony path, my friend! Godspeed!


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