Some time ago, a gifted junior employee left one PR firm to join another. Fair enough. It happens all the
time. But, in doing so, she’d ruffled some feathers along the way. Again, fair enough. Stuff like that happens as well.
Now, fast forward to a recent industry event in which the CEO of the woman’s former agency bumps into her new boss. Pleasantries are exchanged. Backs are patted. Success stories passed back and forth. Then, as an aside, the woman’s name comes up in conversation. ‘How’s LaSheika doing?’ asks her former employer. ‘Oh, she’s a superstar,’ responds the new boss, with the slightest hint of a smug smile. ‘And, she’s much more content now since she says she didn’t feel intellectually challenged before.’
‘Oh, really?’ asks the erstwhile boss, starting to feel his gastric juices boil. ‘Yes,’ sighs her current employer, ‘she feels we have a higher concentration of more intelligent women.’
Befuddled, bewildered and, by now, totally batshit, the original CEO wraps up the small talk and beats a hasty retreat into the evening air. The next day, he passes along the message to his troops. They, too, are befuddled, bewildered and totally batshit with rage.
Now, fast forward to the present and foreseeable future: the intellectually-sated employee goes about her business at the new firm blissfully unaware that she has done a major job on her image and reputation within the industry. If, and when, she grows tired of the higher concentration of more intelligent women at her current job and begins floating her resume, those toxic remarks will come home to roost in a very big way.
Moral of the story? Loose lips sink ships (and careers). They can also put a real damper on a cocktail reception.