Man Gets Fired for 'Seinfeld' Joke
According to DesMoinesRegister.com, an Iowa man was fired for sexual harassment after re-enacting an office prank that originated from the show 'Seinfeld.' And believe it or not, this is in fact the second time someone from the same state was fired for repeating a gag from the popular TV series.
In July 2008, John Preston and co-workers of the Brain Injury Association of Iowa attended an outdoor retreat. During that retreat, one of the female employees explained that whenever she or her husband sneezed, they would respond with "You are so good looking" instead of "God bless you." Preston and others picked up on the routine and used it throughout the retreat.
Coincidentally, the outdoor retreat was held near fields of blooming plants. "As a result, there was a somewhat higher than normal incidence of sneezing by agency staff," wrote Geoffrey Lauer, the association'sdirector.
After the event, Preston allegedly continued to send e-mails to the female co-worker who initiated the joke, in which he repeated the phase, "You are so good looking." The woman complained and Preston was warned.
Several weeks later, Preston allegedly massaged the woman's shoulders in a hallway at work, generating another complaint. And early this year he confronted the woman at an office event. He was then fired for sexual harassment.
At a hearing last week to claim unemployment benefits, Preston testified that he meant no harm, "It was just a continuation of that joke." He was denied benefits.
The first 'Seinfeld' case happened in 2004 when Ronald Knight was fired from his manager position at the Fareway grocery store in Shenandoah. Speaking to a female subordinate, Knight allegedly told her that he heard she was drunk and running naked through the streets the night before. He implied that her memory loss was due to lack of sex, and called her at home to ask what she was wearing.
Knight claimed that he was joking and was simply repeating a 'Seinfeld' episode. He was also denied unemployment benefits.