Remember the Chick-fil-A controversy of 2012? COO Dan Cathy had made disparaging comments about same-sex marriages, and it became widely known that the company’s owners, through a trust, donated money to anti-gay organizations.
In response, YouTuber Jackson Pearce suggested one way to fight back: Go to Chick-fil-A and ask for a glass of water, which they would give you for free. In essence, you’d be taking money away from the company.
Arizona native Adam M. Smith decided to do just that. But he took it much further. He lashed out at the employee (who had nothing to do with the politics of the company’s executives)… and recorded the exchange:
Could that be any more cringe-worthy?
As I wrote then, I just felt bad for the employee. She handled the situation perfectly — she did her job, remained as neutral as possible, and tried to explain how the company didn’t discriminate against gay customers (which is true)… and Smith came off as a heartless bully. Even if Chick-fil-A had a problem, this employee had nothing to do with it and Smith was wrongly taking his anger out on her. She showed far more class than he did.
Even Jon Stewart called Smith a dick for his actions:
That was only the beginning of an awful period in Smith’s life. His well-intentioned protest had completely backfired and he had only himself to blame.
Smith has now written about that whole experience — what led up to it, what happened afterwards, and (more importantly) what he has learned since then — in a new book called Million Dollar Cup of Water: Discovering the Wealth in Authenticity.
In the excerpt below, Smith writes about the immediate aftermath of his Chick-fil-A exchange: