Idiots Hate Applebee’s (and They’ll Hate You Too)

Failure, Leadership Thoughts, Marketing, News, Social Media 50 Comments »

I was super busy all week with two productions and just got to this.

Now that the dust has settled and the real facts are available, I wanted to quickly weigh in on the giant “Applebees Unjustly Fires Poor Waitress” fiasco.

I’d like to get your thoughts on it too.

Here are the facts before I get started:

 

1) An Applebee’s waitress received this stupid note from Pastor Alois Bell on the signed credit card receipt.

It says “I Give God 10% Why do you Get 18″

2) Chelsea Welch, a different waitress (not the one who served the customer), took a picture of that credit card signature receipt with her phone and posted it on Reddit.com along with the caption:

My mistake sir, I’m sure Jesus will pay for my rent and groceries.

3) Customer found out about it and complained

4) Chelsea admitted to doing it and Applebee’s fired her

5) Hell broke loose on the internet.

The media ran to the server’s rescue.  Competitor’s ears perked up, fan pages popped up, and 20,000+ fans commented on Applebee’s first Facebook post about the situation:

“We wish this situation hadn’t happened. Our Guests’ personal information—including their meal check—is private, and neither Applebee’s nor its franchisees have a right to share this information publicly. We value our Guests’ trust above all else. Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest and has taken disciplinary action with the Team Member for violating their Guest’s right to privacy.”

6) Applebee’s social media team tried to engage upset people.

People called them names and accused Applebee’s of hypocrisy for breaching their own privacy policy by sharing a customer’s “receipt”  earlier in the year.

(looks like an informal positive comment card to me)

6) Applebee’s posts a larger update and temporarily hides the old post.

Enraged Facebook fans claim that Applebee’s deleted their comments.

7) Applebee’s unhides the original post and denies manually deleting any negative posts.

8) 20,000+ more comments go onto their Facebook page.

Thousands of people now “hate” Applebee’s

 

You know what this is?

 

We’re witnessing an old-fashioned online lynching.

What we’ve got here is a company protecting their customer’s privacy (I don’t want my signature online) and being dragged through the mud by idiots looking to lynch Applebee’s.

The idiotic pastor’s note was truly stupid.  Great servers deserve great tips.

However, it would take another true idiot to think it’s okay to post a customer’s signature (customer is the key word) online while mocking them, even if what they were mocking was indeed stupid.

No, I don’t think Applebee’s had the perfect response on Facebook.
No, I don’t think there is such a thing.
Yes, I’m calling a lot of names here.

Here’s why:

  • It’s not okay to hurt a business because you don’t understand how to run one.
  • It’s wrong to post nasty stuff about companies or people when you don’t have the facts.
  • It’s easy to play armchair quarterback when it’s not your business.
  • The local owners, people that work at Applebee’s, and their family members are real people who get affected by idiotic boycotts, 40,000+ nasty comments, and all the distractions this has caused.

But this isn’t just about Applebee’s.  It’s about you and me.

I had something like this happen on our Attention Era Media Facebook page last year when we posted this video and asked if people liked their idea:

A large feminist group began saying we supported misogyny and tying women up for commercial purposes.  It wasted a ton of time and hurt our new brand.

For what?

For entertainment.

People like to hear themselves talk on social media, especially if there’s an ignorant mob that agrees with them.

I know people that work for Applebee’s.  This is not amusing.

This is not entertainment.  Don’t kid yourself. Idiots hate Applebee’s and they’ll hate you too.

That’s why we need to stick together.

Have a great night,

Aaron @Biebert

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Look Up, Be Bold, Go Together – 3 Thoughts for 2013

Bravery, Changing Times, Failure, Goals, Leadership Thoughts, Loneliness, Motivation 9 Comments »

It’s the new year and I have three thoughts on my mind.  Thought I would share them with my fellow 8pm Warriors.

1) Focus on the positive stuff.

Yes, the economy has been bad.  Some places around the world, it’s still bad.

However, there are still opportunities everywhere if we take the time to look for them.  Focus on the bad things will only blind us from seeing the amazing people, places, and opportunities that surround us.

For every dark muddy mess on the ground, there is a beautiful sunrise if we just look up.

Keep your chin up.

2) Don’t be afraid to do great things. Don’t settle.

Just because nobody is doing it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either.  Don’t be afraid to be the first.

Stop writing, thinking, talking, and working like everyone else.  There’s a better way if we’re not afraid to be the first.

Yes, you may be wrong. But following behind others your whole life will always be wrong.

Nobody changed the world by copying others.

3) Don’t do it alone.

Amazing work is too hard to do alone.

You will fall…and when you do, you’ll need someone to help pick you up.

If you’re isolated and nobody “gets it”, don’t hesitate to use the power of social media and the internet.  You’re not alone, even if you want to be.

Let me know if you need help, feedback, ideas, encouragement.

8pm Warriors need to stick together.

 

A couple weeks ago, I got this shot of an old man walking on the ocean in Vancouver. He was alone.

In 2013, my goal is to do big, crazy, bold things. I’m going to walk across the ocean if I have to…but I’m not going to do it alone.

Thanks for a great 2012 and I look forward to getting to know you better in 2013.

Have a great year,

Aaron @Biebert

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We All Need to Move Forward

Leadership Thoughts, News 8 Comments »

Obama voters.  Romney voters.  Democrats.  Republicans.

When do we simply become just “Americans” again?

In a world where politics is always in perpetual campaign mode, I think it’s time to get back to business.

  • We have a major debt problem.
  • We have government gridlock.
  • We have sharp divides.

This is where leaders come in. Not just in the White House, but in your house.  My house.

Our government is a reflection of our society.  Yes, it’s divided. However, we have only ourselves to blame.

The acidic things I’ve seen written on social media channels about Obama and Romney are outrageous.  When did we lose our civility?

We’re not hurting the candidates. We’re hurting ourselves.

Let’s seek healing and unity tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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5 Symptoms of the Anorexic Organization

Leadership Thoughts 3 Comments »

Healthy organizations have some fat.

The “Lean Organization” has been a hot concept in recent years, but no one is talking about what happens when it becomes an unhealthy obsession for some leaders.

I’m calling it the Anorexic Organization.

Before you think I’m making light of a serious disorder, please note that  I’ve had a very close family member go through an eating disorder.  It’s no laughing matter.

People with eating disorders seek to control their world by overexercising and not giving their bodies the support and fuel it needs.  It is a very miserable situation and can lead to death.

Is your organization anorexic?

Here are the 5 symptoms to watch for:

1) The organization cuts people on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, etc.) .

2) They don’t hire more people when sales are growing.

3) The leaders continue to push their team to be faster, smarter, and more productive, even though they are past their breaking point.

4) People are consistently leaving for horizontal career moves.

5) When someone leaves a full-time position, the position may not be filled right away.

 

Never before have such unrealistic expectations been placed on team members. Increasing productivity comes at a cost.

You can’t focus on growing if you’re focused on cutting.  You can’t cut your way to marketing leadership.

  • Cutting leaders means following.
  • Cutting innovators means stagnation.
  • Cutting support people means your team and clients feel less important.

It’s time to hire again.

Have a healthy night,

Aaron @Biebert

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8 Thoughts for Graduating Warriors

Bravery, Leadership Thoughts, Motivation 15 Comments »

Every year I write up a commencement address for new graduates.  This year my alma mater (Wisconsin Lutheran College) asked me to share some thoughts with the warriors graduating this weekend.

Someday I’ll actually give one of these speeches live.

1) Be the Best

You are competing with one billion people in China, another billion in India, and half a billion people in North America.  If you’re average, then you’ll also be poor, miserable, or replaced.  Pure and simple.

To be in demand with this economy, you must be the best at what you do.

It doesn’t matter how you get there. Experience, training, luck, internships, whatever…just be the best.

 

2) Be Yourself When You Grow Up

Role models are great. Teachers are wonderful. However, when it’s time to pick a path in life, the person you need to be is looking at you in the mirror.

There are a couple reasons why you should be you and not someone else.

1)  You’re the best in the world at it.  (see #1)
2)  Being someone else is hard work and you’ll never be good at it.
3)  It wastes a lot of time otherwise.  Everyone with half a brain knows you’re trying to be someone else.
4)  It makes you unique.  You have talents/skills/knowledge that nobody else has. When you be yourself, those unique qualities shine through.

While parents, friends, and others may challenge you to follow someone else’s path, you must resist. Follow your heart. Do what you love.

Be you.

 

3) People First

The world revolves around people.  You won’t be hired by your iPhone.  You won’t be promoted by the laptop you use.  Your car won’t be giving you a raise.

I always hear “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”  That is wrong.

In a hyper-connected world, it’s not who you know, but who you’ve helped. Everyone “knows” everybody, but everybody remembers when someone helps them.

Help as many people as you can.

 

4) Mean It

If you don’t really care about people, they will know.  You’d be better off working with machines or basket weaving.

If you choose to work with people, you need to mean it.  No faking.

If you want to help someone, roll up your sleeves and do it.

 

5) Run or Stay

When you find yourself connected to bad people, run.  They will ruin you.

If you find yourself surrounded by great people, stay.  They will help you grow.

If you want to fail miserably in anything, walk.

Losers walk.

 

6) Don’t Spend Much Time Watching

It’s fashionable to dedicate large amounts of time to watching celebs and popular “experts” to see what they’re doing.  It’s also stupid.

Learning is a good thing, but watching isn’t doing.  Groupies are losers.

Winners do.  Leaders lead.

Followers just watch.

 

7) Don’t Waste Anyone’s Time

In the Attention Era, wasting someone’s time is not only rude, but ineffective as well.

Don’t ask if you don’t care.  Don’t talk if you don’t have anything valuable to say.

Don’t be boring.

 

8) Push Until It Hurts

When it hurts, you’ll know you’re doing it right.

If you care about people, they will hurt you.  If you dedicated yourself to something, it will fail you.  Get ready to cry.

The key is not to fear the pain you might feel, but to fear a path that doesn’t cost anything.  All great things cost something.

You get what you pay for.

 

Graduation isn’t the end.  It’s the beginning.

Let’s get it started tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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Leaders Can Save Lives

Bravery, Leadership Thoughts 22 Comments »

I believe that bad leadership can kill people.  Leaders can also save lives…when they want to.

Last month a Princess Cruises ship passed by a stranded fishing boat floating 130 miles off the Caribbean coast.  The boat had three dehydrated young men in it.

The next day two of them died.

 

Passengers alerted crew about the boat.  A crew member confirmed the sighting.  The bridge was called.  The leader could have saved lives.

Yet, the ship kept on going.

 

The captain claims he thought the men were waving to thank him for avoiding them.  I’m calling BS.

I’m also calling on everyone to never forget that our society depends on all of us valuing human life.

The passengers who reported the boat, the crew that called it in, and the Princess Cruises captain all slept while two young men died that night.

If you can lift someone up.  Lift them.

If you can save someone’s life.  Do it.

Let’s care for strangers tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Don’t Just Prepare Yourself to Make Important Decisions in Life

8pm Warriors, Bravery, Business Opportunities, Family, Leadership Thoughts, Teamwork 16 Comments »

Life is full of important decisions we need to make.

“Should I get married?”  ”Should I start a business?”  ”Should we have a baby?”

Just when you think you’re done with the tough decisions, they get tougher.

“Should I get divorced?”  ”Should I close my business?”  ”Should we pull the plug?”

Last month, a friend of mine had her pregnant sister (Emily) rushed to the hospital. Major problems.  Heart stopped.  Coma.

Now this:

__________

Dear friends,

This is Emily. I am overwhelmed looking at all the posts saying you are praying for me and my family. Thank you so much. I am very blessed! I have been at home for four weeks now with around-the-clock supervision–gaining strength, and able to see this screen! :)

It feels strange to share this on facebook, but I want to give you an update so you can pray specifically if you wish…:

Two weeks ago, I had a 20-week ultrasound. The doctor told Andy and me that our baby will not live. The doctor further said that continuing the pregnancy is a huge risk to my life, so she recommended terminating the pregnancy. Our baby’s heart is still beating.

Last Thursday, we had another ultrasound which showed more fluid in the head than the previous ultrasound – not a good sign. However, the doctor seemed less urgent about ending the pregnancy at that appointment. We had my family with us to hear the details themselves and to be with us in case we had to make a decision then.

We have been praying and thinking and talking with each other and with our pastors and family and friends. Our current plan is to watch my health closely and to again have another ultrasound this week and see if baby’s health continues to go down or not.

Prayers for wisdom, patience, and peace of mind would be very much appreciated.

Love,
Emily (and Andy)

P.S. We are open to your thoughts and advice too.

____________

Some life decisions are too difficult to make alone.

Everything we’ve learned up to this point in our lives will not be enough. When faced with the really difficult decisions in life, we can’t trust ourselves.

We are weak.  We are blinded.  We need more…

We need others.

 

If you have big plans for your life, be prepared.  However, you’ll need more than education, experience, guts, or money.

You’ll need your fellow warriors by your side.

Don’t prepare yourself to make the important decisions in life.  Prepare your network. They’re the ones you’ll need.

Begin the preparations tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Why They Call Us Warriors

8pm Warriors, Bravery, Leadership Thoughts, Loneliness 12 Comments »

We’re in a war.

If you’ve ever tried to do something truly amazing, you know what I’m talking about.

Bad news. Sad news.

Back stabbing. Front stabbing.

Doubters. Pouters.

Liars.

Every time you try something truly special, you will find someone to doubt you.  Every time you make it to the top, someone’s ready to knock you down.

Your heart will get broken.  You will get tired.

It’s no wonder so many people choose to stick to their 9-5 job and forego the risk and pain of doing something special with their life.

But you are different.

You get up.   You want more.  You don’t settle.

You are a warrior.

Be proud of that tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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