Car salesman fired for sporting a Packers tie
Man says he wore neckwear to honor his late grandmother
January 24, 2011|By Dawn Rhodes, Tribune reporterJohn Stone said that when he went to work Monday morning at Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn, he decided to wear a Green Bay Packers tie he's had for years to honor his late grandmother, a huge Packers fan.
Little did he know that the seemingly innocent gesture would cost him his job, Stone said.
Stone said that when he showed up at work, general manager Jerry Roberts called him over to his office and then ordered him to take off the Packers tie or else he would be fired. Stone said he thought Roberts was joking and went back to work.
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An hour later, Stone said, Roberts came to the showroom floor and again demanded he take off the tie. When he didn't, he was fired, Stone said.
"I didn't know you could get fired for wearing a tie," said Stone, 34, of Chicago's Roseland neighborhood. "I'm supposed to dress up. I'm a car salesman."
Stone's grandmother died recently and was buried on Friday, two days before the NFC championship game, he said.
Asked by a WGN-TV reporter if he'd fired Stone for wearing a Packers tie, Roberts said, "Correct."
Roberts said the dealership had previously done promotions involving the Chicago Bears. "I don't feel that it was appropriate for him to go directly in contrast with an advertising campaign that we spent a lot of money on," Roberts told WGN reporter Judie Garcia.
But Stone said Roberts' reasons for firing him were never made clear to him, nor did he get a chance to explain the tie's emotional significance. Roberts told WGN-TV he didn't know that Stone's grandmother was a Packers fan.
"I don't know why he did it, I really don't," Stone said. "That's hurtful. I thought I was a good salesman