When Fandom Goes Wrong

October 10, 2012 at 11:08p    by Jason Priestas    
100 Comments

Comments

Nick's picture

that escalated quickly

William's picture

1) Who says that?
2) Is that really a firing offense? Or even an offense that should be reported?
 

btalbert25's picture

Sounds like the guy had the right occupation for his intelligence. 
 

Seth4Bucks's picture

So you're telling me he's an UM grad?

GoBucks713's picture

No, they would have asked if she want paper or plastic.

-The Aristocrats!

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

why is this being downvoted? take it easy there, kiddos

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

btalbert25's picture

I was a bit surprised myself, I delivered pizzas when in college.  I just pictured this guy being the "Wal-Mart Buckeye".  I didn't real mean anything malicious about pizza drivers everywhere lol.

Buckeye2005's picture

What do you mean by "downvoted"?  I don't see a way to either "upvote" or "downvote" so I'm not following you.  Can anyone explain? 

Alhan's picture

If you have 50 helmet stickers (gained through commenting, forum topics, blog posts, and receiving up-votes from others) you earn the ability to up-vote or down-vote other poster's comments as you see fit.

You can check your sticker total on your account page.

You can kill a fly with your slipper or a cannon. Either way, the fly dies. -Ramzy

Alhan's picture

But...but they DO need to tackle better!

This doesn't sound like the whole story. I wouldn't think you'd be fired for something like that, and I can't imagine a complaint being called in for so minor a comment.

You can kill a fly with your slipper or a cannon. Either way, the fly dies. -Ramzy

buckeyefanatic's picture

Not the smartest way to deal with a customer, that is for sure.  Must be a slow news day/week.

How many batteries does it take to beat Michigan football?   1AA
Want to beat Michigan? There's an App for that.

Bucks43201's picture

this kid will probably sue his former pizza employer

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

NoVA Buckeye's picture

"How do you get a Michigan Man off your doorstep? You pay him for the pizza."

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Jugdish's picture

Or you could hire him for your AD.

Remember to get your wolverine spade or neutered. TBDBITL

Riggins's picture

That is ridiculous.  I really hope that Fickell didn't call in to a pizza place to tattle on a guy for mildly teasing him.  If he did, he is 100% not cut out for a head coaching gig at a place as pressure intensive as Ohio State.  Shrug it off, guy.  Hopefully it was his wife overreacting.

buckeyedude's picture

I get that he probably shouldn't have said that, but geez, why not just give him a warning?
Anyway, it's not like he won't be able to find another pizza delivery job. They're a dime a dozen, aren't they? That's one of the few jobs that is not affected by this recession.

 

 

painterlad's picture

If I were delivering a pizza to the Fickell family, I would remember that...
a) Luke Fickell is rather large
b) his wife is rather hot
c) don't insult any customer
If I were to meet Fickell out in public, I wouldn't go up to him and tell him something wrong about the team of which I am certain he is already aware. Sometimes we football fans forget that the coaches know a million times more about the team/sport than we do, and that it is not our place, especially during a business transaction, to point out flaws. Blogs such as this is where we come to vent our frustrations and voice our opinions, not while asking if the customer wants original or thick crust.

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

LouGroza's picture

Always more to the story in situations like this. This probably wasn't the first offense for this guy. Insulting customers may have been a regular thing with him. You never know. And usually when they sit there and take zero responsibility for the issue, is the first clue there was more to it than what he is alluding to.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

 I'll never forget when Herbie paid me for his order with a check. I was saying to myself "This guy doesn't have cash on him?". Not that I cared. He and Allison always tipped me well. Delivered to them nearly every week during junior and senior year at OSU, and still remember their address by heart.
And there's where I think something is missing to this story. I delivered three or four times to Herbie's house before I realized it was Herbstreit's (Allison answered the door one day with a "College Gameday" ballcap, and after realizing that a bunch of blond boys had answered the door the previous times, I finally put two and two together). Allison would always order, and she would only give her first name, so anyone who didn't know it was Allison Herbstreit had no reason to suspect it was her (how many people even know that Kirk's wife's name is Allison off the top of their head? Upper Arlington and Centerville people put your hands down, you don't count). Here's what I'm getting at: This is very likely not the first time he has delivered to the Fickell's house, and it is very likely not the first time he said something or was acting like "that guy". It probably creeped out and annoyed Mrs. Fickell after awhile and she finally called to say something to the manager.

Doc's picture

Humble, I think you nailed it.  I'm sure this guy has made more than one comment to the Fickell's and this one was the straw that broke the camel's back.  Accurate or not, STFU.

"Say my name."

buckeyedude's picture

If I was her, I would just order the pizza from another company. Take your business elsewhere.

 

 

tommrkr's picture

If I had to deal with all the sour vag Buckeye fans who were crying while 6-0, I might be tempted to choke the pizza boy who thinks he knows how to improve the team.  Also, if people are harassing my wife about my job, I think a line has been crossed.
The "they should have a thicker skin, public spotlight, herp derp" argument doesn't hold water with me.  The kid was unprofessional, and hopefully will learn to keep his uninformed opinion to himself in the future.  I also have a feeling he phrased it a little differently than "Madam, please do express my deepest concerns to your husband about the quality of his defense's tackling."
Though, since he called channel 6 to whine about it, I somehow doubt that he's learned anything at all.
Hopefully Papa John doesn't do reference checks.

rjenkins26's picture

The pizza guy was right! Dick move by Fickell, if he did complain. I find myself liking him less and less all the time.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Like many of us have said, there's probably more to the story. I'll withold judgment on either Fickell or the Pizza Guy until we know all the facts. For all we know, Mrs. Fickell may have simply called the manager and very politely said "Hey, I don't want to get anyone in trouble, but could you tell your drivers to maybe not bring up football when they deliver? We get enough feedback from the press and radio shows. We'd like to just be treated like any other couple that orders a pizza. Its not a big issue, just wanted to pass it along". And then the manager - who may have been looking for an excuse to fire the guy anyway - decides to let him go.

buckeyedude's picture

I'll withold judgment on either Fickell or the Pizza Guy until we know all the facts.

I heard there's going to be an NCAA investigation.  We're in trouble now.
PIZZA-GATE anybody?

 

 

rdubs's picture

What's not clear from anything I read is how the pizza place manager found out.  It sounds like he was talking to her over the phone, so it is possible that the manager simply overheard and realized who he was talking to and decided to fire the guy since the Fickell family might be one of their best customers.  When you are in the service industry your main job is to avoid antagonizing your patrons, especially your biggest or most important patrons.

LouGroza's picture

And the manager in the situation , in order to take the onus away from himself as many do in order to feel a little better about it, used the Fickells as the scapegoat of sorts. Too bad. He could have just manned up and said he called the customer after hearing rumors, his actions went against company policy and he had to let him go. This, in fact, could have happened and the soured fired employee is turning it into something it wasn't, completely.

penult's picture

Even from the beginning, just from the news video, I thought the manager looked like the worst party of all. With the further details, I still think the same. Too bad the manager, and to some extent the news channel, turned this into a bigger ordeal than it ever should have been. It appears that the Fickells did not deserve any of the bad, or at least not good, press they got out of this. That's on the manager foremost, and the news channel to a small degree for not reporting the full story. A little sad the pizza dude lost his job--as the Fickells would agree--but he could surely find a better manager to work for.

Jdadams01's picture

Telling his wife that the team needs to tackle better accomplishes what exactly?
Mrs. Fickell: honey, the pizza guy says the team needs to tackle better. 
Fickell: Oh, well in that case I'll fix it tomorrow. 

doodah_man's picture

That.

Jim "DooDah" Day
It is hard to play dirty against a man who picks you up.

klfeck's picture

Two things:
Would the smartass have had the balls to say this to fickell himself? Bet not.
When on the job and representing your company keep your personal opinions to yourself.

Kevin
OH!!!!!
Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

tommrkr's picture

what's his 11w username? :)

rdubs's picture

He might be DrewBuckeye's inside source!

Poison nuts's picture

A very well deserved sticker for you sir!

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Chris Lauderback's picture

The version we've been told is that the Fickell's didn't tattle on anyone.

Dude made a stupid remark to Luke's wife. She took no action whatsoever. The store manager found out about it (maybe from another customer?). Manager called the Fickell's and asked a few questions. The Fickell's answered the questions truthfully but never asked/demanded to have the guy's job. Mgr decided to fire the dude on his own accord.

rkylet83's picture

^This sounds like a more reasonable scenario.  The employer won't comment and the only story being told is that of the employee.  My guess is the comment might have been a bit more colorful/inappropriate that he's letting on or he was talking about it to a fellow employee and word got out to the manager.  Sounds like this was not a first time offense.  Either way hopefully he learned a lesson and will find employment soon.

southbymidwest's picture

Betcha the delivery guys were hanging out between deliveries in the kitchen/back, firedpizzaboy told his fellow drivers about his delivery bravado, manager overheard/was informed by other pizza delivery guy of his customer service fail, and decided to investigate. Manager took action from there. Since firedeliveryboy whined about it to the local media, I have to believe that this was not the first strike for this guy at the pizza place.

Sean N's picture

My guess is that if this story was about a delivery to Jim Bollman's house instead of Fickell's, the comments here would not be so pro-coach.

cinserious's picture

Agree 1000% (where's those 'up' arrow looking things)

Gone ham, be back soon...

rkylet83's picture

I don't think Iacono's delivers Mollusks, Tube Worms or Soft Coral

741's picture

I am the Eggman.

hodge's picture

Did you know that lyric is based on Eric Bourdon, of the Animals and War fame?  He was at a strip club with John Lennon, and proceeded to break raw eggs over the stripper's naked body.

tennbuckeye19's picture

I bet that was very Egg-citing. 
I'm guessing that incident might also have been the basis for the song "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place". I can picture Lennon saying that line to Bourdon when he began breaking eggs. 

741's picture

I have learned something today. Thank you.

buckeyedude's picture

So that's how they make Eggnog?

 

 

ArTbkward's picture

This kid deserved to get fired, hopefully he learned something from it.

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...
(Also, I'm not a dude)

Grayskullsession's picture

I can 99.9% guarantee the kid said more than just that to get fired. Leave it to the media to spin things.

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

SPreston2001's picture

Wow this is bull$hit if theres nothing else to the story! And how is this insulting a customer?? Its not like the guy said Fickell needs to coach better, he was referring to the players! And the douchebag manager who fired the guy should have his job handed over to the kid who was fired. People are so sensitive these days...

ArTbkward's picture

Seriously?  Imagine you own the pizza place.  You are really ok with staff making comments like this to customers?
 

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...
(Also, I'm not a dude)

btalbert25's picture

Exactly, you never want your employees pissing off customers, at the end of the day, the customers keep you in business, not the smart assed delivery guy who may cause you to lose customers.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

If she laughed about it, who cares?

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

SPreston2001's picture

Man look I understand it might not have been totally professional but seriously this thing is being totally blown out of proportion. I can see giving the guy a warning or even making him leave for the day but firing him because he made a comment about OSU's poor tackling?? Wow if you guys really think the punishment fits the crime then were just gonna have to agree to disagree. Like I said people are waaay to sensitive nowadays...

btalbert25's picture

Once being a smartassed kid myself, I'm betting it went down like this.  The delivery go picked up his next delivery and knew it was going to Fickell.  He looked at another delivery guy and said, I'm taking this to Fickell, I'm going to tell him the defense sucks or something along that line.  He makes the delivery says the stupid line, then comes back to the store and brags about how he totally zinged Fickell.  The manager either overheard the conversation, or one of his co-workers ratted him out.

aboynamedtracy's picture

If that was the only mistake the delivery guy had made, I suspect he'd still have a job. This is more likely a continuation of a pattern. But even if this was isolated, the manager was within his rights. The guy was unprofessional, period. He earned his walking papers.
 
I think some people are lacking perspective perhaps because it was "just sports talk," but he was insulting towards something tied directly to the family's livelihood. Would it have been acceptable to tell the spouse of a DA that her / his husband's / wife's office shouldn't let so many criminals walk?

Dougger's picture

I had a friend who delivered to tony kornheiser, and he said he never tipped. anyone surprised? 
I bet if you asked this delivery guy the scenario he'd put a different twist on it than during that interview. already in this thread we've heard a couple of different stories.

I like football

J.Mo's picture

If this happened during Tatgate, Outside The Lines would be booking their tickets to Columbus to cover this "story" and come up with crap that players got pizza without paying for it.

BUCKfutter's picture

They'd try to frame the pizza guy as an illegal coaching consultant

the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up! - JLS

hodge's picture

Classic blunder.  What the kid said wasn't all that bad, but he took a calculated risk by saying it.  Through high school and college, I worked at a pet store where customer service and interaction were placed on a pedestal above all others.  When trying to engage a customer, and appear more "personable" (read: human), I'd constantly try to joke/lightly tease them--it's an awesome way to endear yourself to someone (especially when your store thrives on maintaining "regular" customers).  It's a very fine line, though; and anything that offends does so not as the employee, but as the employer; remember, free speech is an outright myth as an employee.
Bottom line here is that the kid should have known that he was on thin ice when he opened his mouth.  We'll probably never know this, but I'd like to know the tone with which he said it: that could have easily been the determining factor in his punishment.  At my old job I met RJ Umberger, Dom Tiberi, and James Laurinaitis (who came with his dad), I'd have never thought to pull anything like that on any of them.

J.Mo's picture

Is Dom Tiberi a big deal? I'd be more excited running into Clay Hall.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Did someone say big deal? Big Deal is my middle name. ---Love, DOM

Alhan's picture

Haha, I don't think anyone would tell Laurinaitis that he needs to tackle better. He might demonstrate on you on the spot!

Edit: Where does this classic blunder rate when compared to "never get involved in a land war in Asia" and "never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line"?

You can kill a fly with your slipper or a cannon. Either way, the fly dies. -Ramzy

hodge's picture

Oh, somewhere between conceivable and inconceivable.

RBuck's picture

I doubt that this was the first time the kid said something somewhat out of line to a customer. An early 20 something kid at the beer drive-thru near me recently got canned for saying smartass remarks to customers. I didn't complain but the owner told he had numerous complaints from others.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Some of the responses on here are ridiculous. Clearly the guy needed to lose his job over something that was meant as a joke.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

SPreston2001's picture

I agree man. I cant believe people are being so uptight about this...

Buckeye Chuck's picture

I don't think he needed to lose his job, but I agree with the person who used the term "calculated risk" to describe the remark. When you're in a customer service/tip receiving line of work, why ever say something that a customer might take offense at? Not to mention that I'm sure there are still some raw nerves at Chez Fickell over the beating he took a year ago.
 

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

She must have known he was joking since he said she laughed.

The only way I could see it being a problem if he dropped a few f bombs in the process. "They need to f* tackle better" or whatever.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

southbymidwest's picture

People, mainly females, often laugh (a weak haha) when having to deal with someone who says something "brilliant", especially if they have heard it multiple times from multiple "brilliant" people. As an example, I am a tall woman. I have been asked countless times, "how's the weather up there/how tall are you?". When I was younger, I used to laugh weakly, as I couldnt do what I really wanted to do, which was something violent. Now I give them the"you're an effing moron" look. If Fickell's wife had given him the effing moron look, he probably would have gone back to his buddies and told them that that she was a bitch and couldn't take a joke.

tennbuckeye19's picture

^ This is true. I used to be the only guy in an office full of women, and trust me, I know from experience that there are different types of laughs you can receive from females. Not all laughs or even smiles are created equal and some can be fake and/or forced, what I like to call courtesy laughs. 

buckeyedude's picture

So us guys have to decipher different types of laughs? Ugh.
Quit being so catty, ladies.

 

 

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Another case of good old fashioned poor judgment.   I'm under the impression when meeting a celeb/sports star comments about their work are off limits.  Praise and complements sure, (or even just a plain hello) but keep criticism to yourself.  It's just not your place, even if it's done with tact. 

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

One Bad Buckeye's picture

I respectfully and wholeheartedly disagree.  Man, had I run into Chris Webber, post '93, I would definitly have to do some ball busting for his inability to count to five.  All in good fun.  
Now if I was at work and said it, well...that depends on how much I liked the job.  

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

doodah_man's picture

For you UM grads out there who are delivering my pizza, get it there quick, get it there hot, get the order right, make change corredtly. Otherwise STFU (unless you are thanking me for the tip).
For you Northwestern grads out there, try to do your news on something of substance....

Jim "DooDah" Day
It is hard to play dirty against a man who picks you up.

OSUBias's picture

I'm more curious as to what kind of pizza Luke eats. If it has fruit on it, I think we should all be more concerned with that development.
Dear Delivery boy,
Just deliver the pizza we ordered, piping hot, without smashing the topings on the top of the box, within whatever time estimate we got over the phone.
Opine about your favorite football team to your friends, family, and internet blog commenter friends.
That is all.

Shitter's full

DetroitBuckeye's picture

In this economy, if he did indeed lose a job over this that it is ridiculous and osu should offer him a campus job.

 
William's picture

This suggestion is just as ridiculous as the fact that he was fired. 

DetroitBuckeye's picture

How is it ridiculous, I feel bad for the kid losing his job after something stupid like this.  It would be a nice gesture.  Besides with a university as big as osu's it isn't like they couldn't do it.

 
William's picture

You're suggesting the university give the kid a job after he opened his mouth and lost his job because of it? The kid has no affiliation with the university. How about giving that campus job to an actual OSU student? I don't think he should have been fired, but OSU shouldn't give him a job either...

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Many people who have campus jobs have no affiliation with the university, it was a comment that delivery people make.  If it was not the defensive coordinator for the buckeyes he would not have been fired.  Delivery boys chat up customer's regularly.

 
willshire58's picture

He can deliver pizzas for the PAD if its still there.

One Bad Buckeye's picture

Let the bloke keep his job, but as his punishment Luke Fickell should make him be the moving tackling dummy for tackling practice for a couple of days.  
If I were in that situation (delivering some 'za to an OSU coach's house), I'd think about saying something to Fick about tackling (in a joking fashion of course) in the same sentance as asking him for his autograph.  His error was he just said what he was thinking....

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

Buckeyejason's picture

I gave you an up vote for using the word "bloke". It's pretty badass..

BUCKEYES BABY!

salberico's picture

Um, I'm fairly certain Michigan's AD can get him a new job at Dominio's...

Jason Priestas's picture

Yep, as Chris mentioned above, here's the update we got from OSU:

  • A slight (or a flippant remark or an inappropriate comment) was made by  an employee of a retail establishment to Mrs. Fickell.
  • The Fickells DID NOT call the manager to complain.
  • The manager found out about the incident (presumably from someone at the restaurant).
  • The manager called the Fickells … to ask what was said by his employee. They told him.
  • And just like they did not place a call to complain, they also did not ask that anyone be fired. In  fact, they feel terrible that this person lost his job.
M Man's picture

• The Fickells DID NOT call the manager to complain.

Jason, at about 1:15 of the Fox28 video, the kid says that the manager told him that Mrs. Fickell called to complain.  Is this kid (who wouldn't give his name but who appeared on videotape!?!) wrong about that?  Was the manager/owner mistaken?  Did they say the wrong thing to the kid?  Did the kid misunderstand?
This seems to be the one and only disputed fact in the story.  Not for a minute do I presume that the Fickells asked that anybody be fired.  Nor do I doubt that a pizza-business owner would find it well within his rights to terminate an employment for cause like this, irrespective of how he found out.  But it might help Luke and Amy Fickell to clear up the part about a second call.

One Bad Buckeye's picture

To me: Credibility of the Fickells >>>>Credibility of Pizza Dude.  

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

M Man's picture

Me too.  Just seems like something that would be good for the Fickells if Mr. Iacono could clarify.

Jugdish's picture

The latest story that I heard was that pizza guy was bragging about what he said to Amy to the other employees. One of the employees told the boss. The boss called the Fickells the next day to confirm if it was true. The Fickells did confirm the story was true to the boss. The Fickells did not complain. Luke and Amy had to develop thicker skin from last year to let something so trivial as this to bother them.

Remember to get your wolverine spade or neutered. TBDBITL

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

He probably told a friend or coworker, and they either ran back to snitch, or the boss overheard it.

Never heard of a place calling to see if there was a problem.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Now I'm craving some pizza.  Thanks, guys.
From working in a restaurant, you basically can't even look at a customer the wrong way, let alone make a comment like the guy made.  Should he have been fired?  Idk, depends on his history as an employee.  Maybe if he's a repeat offender.  If this was the first time he has done this - then no.

Class of 2010.

Poison nuts's picture

Whatever your feelings on the situation, this sure is a goofy way for this guy to earn his 15 minutes....

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

tennbuckeye19's picture

FWIW: From the news story, the piza guy says he said whatever he said about the defense and tackling to Fickell's wife when she called to place her order and not when he delivered the order like most people are assuming. 
Also, when did this guy get fired? It said this all happened 2 days before the Michigan State game, which was 2 weeks ago. Why is this story just now coming out? 

Poe McKnoe's picture

How deep it went!!!!!

dbit's picture

This is why I stick with Digiorno's

buckeyedude's picture

Did any of this make ESPN yet?

 

 

RBuck's picture

It was front page of USA Today's sports section. Some of the comments about the Fickells left me shaking my head...really out of line.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)