Davis Bell—the CEO of the cloud-based accounting practice management software company Canopy—was widely mocked online after he accused employees who work multiple jobs of "stealing" from his company.
In a LinkedIn post he wrote earlier this month, Bell said his team "caught and fired two engineers in the last little bit who were simultaneously 'working' full-time jobs at Canopy and another company."
Bell said the act of working two full-time jobs is akin to "stealing," adding it "involves a great deal of lying and deception." He went on to decry the practice as "not something in which an ethical, honest person would participate."
You can see Bell's post below.
Bell said he believes "some people feel that stealing from companies is less wrong than stealing from individuals" and went on to explain just why he thinks this is the case.
"In reality, companies are owned by people - either directly, in the case of our employees, or indirectly, by the retirement funds that are invested in venture and private equity and investment funds that own companies."
"You're stealing from those who are depending on you to get work done and whose careers ride on the success of the companies for which they work."
"And finally, you're very likely stealing a job from someone who wants and needs it."
He went on to share "a few things" the employees he fired "had in common that would serve as red flags."
"Rather than updating LinkedIn to reflect that they work at Canopy, made LinkedIn profile private upon accepting our offer."
"Didn't sign up for benefits (not always an indication of something wrong, but true in both cases here)."
"Defaulted to having camera off in meetings."
"Slow response times on Slack/email."
"Frequently late to or absent for meetings with no explanation."
"Worked for very large companies, where it seems it may be easier to hang out and hide divided efforts."
At no point did Bell consider that people have many reasons for why they might choose to work more than one job.
For example, a single full-time job might not pay enough money to live on, which is a major problem in and of itself. For other people, their first job could actually be completed in fewer than 40 hours a week. Still other people might take on another job for the challenge.
Bell's post went viral after being shared on the r/antiwork subreddit, which is associated with contemporary labor movements, critique of work, and the anti-work movement.
His comments exposed him to significant criticism.
Over the summer, news outlets reported that more Americans are taking on second jobs as they contend with the impact of high inflation at grocery stores and the gas pump.
A recent survey indicates that three-quarters of middle-income Americans say they don't earn enough to pay for the cost of living.
While many people have reined in their spending habits wherever they can, others have been forced to rely on credit cards to stay afloat, causing credit card debt among the middle class to soar.
With no end in sight to inflation worries—the Federal Reserve recently announced it would once again hike up interest rates next month in accordance with its aggressive policy to tackle inflation—it is no wonder that many have expressed outrage toward Bell and his cluelessness about why people might take on a second job.