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Budweiser employee fired for drinking Coors

Bud Man Fired For Being A Coors Fan?

DENVER (AP) - Ross Hopkins still likes to drink Bud, even though he says a brief tryst with a Coors beer cost him his job at a Budweiser distributor.

Hopkins, 41, is suing American Eagle Distributing Co., saying the company wrongly fired him for drinking Coors in a bar two years ago. "They flat-out told me: 'We're putting food on your table so you could put it on theirs?"' he said Tuesday. "I thought I could drink it, no problem."

...Hopkins, who was a warehouse supervisor for the distributor, said he was not wearing a uniform or representing American Eagle when he was at the bar in May 2003 with some co-workers. He said he had ordered a Budweiser but a waitress brought Coors. He decided to drink it because he didn't want to wait.

The son-in-law of the distributor's majority shareholder also was at the bar and offered twice to buy him a Budweiser but Hopkins turned it down both times.

He was fired the following Monday.

I saw a version of the story yesterday (which I can't find right now) that said that Hopkins had been demoted 2 weeks earlier for something unrelated. I find it hard to believe that Hopkins is going to be out of work long, as Golden, Colorado based Coors is sure to offer him a job to capitalizes on the publicity...


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Comments (20)

A few years ago I was contr... (Below threshold)

A few years ago I was contracted to do some photography for Budweiser. We were shooting a can decorator at the facility where the machine is made in Colorado. One evening we (me, the photo assist, and our Bud reps) were having dinner. After having two Buds, I ordered a local brew (Fat Tire). When the bill came due, our Bud host picked up the tab for everyone except me. He told me he would not pay for my meal since I had drank something other than an Anheuser-Busch product. Fine with me as those costs were included in my invoice - which was paid in full. McDonald's corporate is the same.

While I think it's a rather fecal laced "policy" I can see the merit in dancing with the one who brung ya - while you're being watched anyway.

Didn't I see this exact sam... (Below threshold)
dodgeman:

Didn't I see this exact same story 10 years ago? And again 5 years ago? And last year? Don't they fire someone periodically just for publicity?

This is an interesting dile... (Below threshold)
Mike:

This is an interesting dilema. It's a private company so what their policies are is their own business. But should companies be allowed to fire someone for something they do on their own time?

I know I've read stories about companies not hiring or firing people who smoke even in their own homes.

How far should private companies be allowed to go?

My only question to this is... (Below threshold)

My only question to this is: WAS HE WARNED ABOUT IT AHEAD OF TIME? The article does NOT say that he was. He may have a case.

I'm waiting for Jared to be... (Below threshold)

I'm waiting for Jared to be fired for eating a Quiznos... or molesting one of those spongmonkeys.

"How far should private com... (Below threshold)

"How far should private companies be allowed to go?"

What is this - a totalitarian state where everything not forbidden is compulsory? Private companies should be punished for violations of the law. Period.

If you don't like a company's actions, don't work for them and don't buy their products. If enough people agree with you and refuse to do the same, the company will either go out of business or modify their actions to regain the lost customer base and worker pool.

He should have had the Coor... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

He should have had the Coors Light, with that you get two weeks supsension without pay. Tastes watery, less firing.

While firing the guy for dr... (Below threshold)

While firing the guy for drinking something other than a Budweiser product while on his own dime is just plain stupid, I have to wonder about the guy to begin with. I mean, "Bud or Coors. Hmmm... Which latrine do I wanna drink from tonight?"

Blech. Both make crappy beers. If his taste is that bad, I feel no pity for him.

:-)

We had a young controls pro... (Below threshold)
BumperStickerist:

We had a young controls programmer working at a Stroh's brewery for a couple of weeks, overnight stay ... he goes out to drinks and dinner with the guys from the brewery ... orders a Heineken.

Their plant manager calls our Vice President ... basically threatens to cancel six months worth of contracts ... fortunately, the explanation of 'He's young... and, apparently, a dipshit.' satisfied the plant manager.

The programmer was informed that we are a service organization and part of that service means liking the products of the company while on their dime.

If you're at Tasty Baking - eat TastyKake, not Little Debbies

If you're doing work for Pepsico, Pizza Hut and Fritolay ...

If you're doing work for Coke, take a bottle of Dasani ... et cetera.

I know some people who refu... (Below threshold)
George:

I know some people who refuse to buy Anheuser Busch (Budweiser) products because they caved in to Jesse Jackson's extortion.

Jesse Jackson launched a Budweiser boycott in 1982 because
he claimed too few blacks owned distributorships. In 1998, two of Jackson's sons received distributorships (they refuse to disclose what they paid for the $30 million businesses). Since then, Jesse is happy with Budweiser but not everybody else is.

For those who would even co... (Below threshold)
Don:

For those who would even consider putting restrictions on what reasons evil corporations can fire someone, it would only be fair to also put restrictions on when employees can quit their jobs. Employee turnover costs corporations billions and is far far more abused than corporations firing people for silly reasons. People quit for a million stupid reasons from being too lazy to wanting a job that has a better uniform. Let's have a some uber-organization have to pre-approve people quitting...or, let both corporations and employees do whatever the f*ck they want and let the free market sort it all out.

I asked a bar owner why he ... (Below threshold)

I asked a bar owner why he didn't serve Bud -- he said:

"Not all Budweiser drinkers are assholes, but ALL ASSHOLES DRINK BUDWEISER."

When I was a legislator, I was at an AFL-CIO Christmas party, talking to the local President while I fished through a barrel of ice-cold beer. He asked me what I was looking for.

"Don't you have any Coors?"

Fortunately for me, he knew I had a sick sense of humor.

When I was a contract emplo... (Below threshold)

When I was a contract employee of Philip Morris, I used to put my Camel brand cigs in a Marlboro pack while on property. I understood the value of NOT flashing a competitor's product when potential international investors were visiting the plant, perhaps to drop millions of dollars into the coffers of my employer.

That said, two Buds and a Fat Tire doesn't sound to me anything like a firable offence. Perhaps I was more sensitive to the company's image than this man, after all, I was contracted, i.e. disposable and perhaps more wary. The unionized employees of Philip Morris sometimes openly flaunted their dissent by publically smoking Newports, etc.

I remember way back when, I... (Below threshold)
Fersboo:

I remember way back when, I was a junior tax consultant just arrived @ Pepsi Bottling; Dasani was the newest bottled water; Dasani is made by Coke. Hillarity ensued! Man did I feel sorry for Pepsi's employees.

Excellent "anecdote" thread... (Below threshold)

Excellent "anecdote" thread. Seems everyone has a "Back when I was working for X..." story to tell. Interesting.

I'm reminded of the Microso... (Below threshold)

I'm reminded of the Microsoft blogger who got fired for showing the pictures of the Macs being delivered to MS.

From author Tim Powers: one of his characters ordered "Sex in a Canoe" and the character's friend said, "why do you call it that?" when a Coors Light showed up.

The character who ordered it replied: "Because it's f**king near water."

The character who order... (Below threshold)

The character who ordered it replied: "Because it's f**king near water."

Pfffft. He stole that from the Bruce sketch in Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl.

Anheuser-Busch employees in... (Below threshold)
anonymous:

Anheuser-Busch employees in St Louis, MO routinely visit Schlafly's Tap Room, a local brewery.

They do it because they know their AB bosses won't see them there.

It's a common place for interviews from competitors.

Rumor still swirls at the AB corporate offices that the current Busch will fire an employee that doesn't pour their beer with the correct amount of head on it.

And I thought they sold Beer, not Kool-Aid.

I worked as an intern at A-... (Below threshold)
Beck:

I worked as an intern at A-B one summer. They didn't care if you drank liquor or wine, but if you were drinking beer, it better be an A-B brand beer. This was WIDELY understood.

They also paid two cases of beer a month as additional compensation.

Here's a llittle FIY. I ma... (Below threshold)
virginia slimone:

Here's a llittle FIY. I may be a little late on this, but just to let you know how Bud works. I was an employee for 15 yrs. Augustus has more money and more power globally than anyone. You sign a contract when hired, who reads all that fine print? Clearly states that you are a rep of the company 24/7 365 days/yr. That includes no altercations with anyone anywhere at anytime, no dui's, no divorce (until you prove to the counselor it has failed), and so on. You will support only their products. Right down to the cigarettes you smoke, the sodas from partners, foods from partners. You will never ever wear any clothing displaying any i.d. from a competitor. You are never late. You have no sick days. You are locked in to protect you from the outside world. Your are constantly watched, video taped, you have so many thousandths of seconds to respond and remedy situation (or you have to write a letter). Wait to die when you get home, we have production quotas to meet. Heat, seat? Good for you. If you work 12 hrs. without any breaks, don't worry, you signed a contract that pays you for that time. Tough if you don't get your breaks. Vacation? Don't plan any expensive preplanned adventure. Things go in the toilet, you will be here to get things right. Worry about vacations, kids graduations, important life and family events when you retire. We will spend a vast fortune to train and empower you, only to have a staff that shall treat you as an idot when you refuse to bow and obey and they will rule by rumors, not facts. If you don't like it, there are at least 3000 people who will take your job. Loved the job, hated the people. Cannot afford any reprocussions, must keep identity a secret. But I know many people who will tell you this is true.




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