Dean Wooten, a 65-year-old Wal-Mart greeter in Muscatine, Iowa, was fired in September for insisting on greeting customers with a picture of himself in which he appeared to be naked except for a strategically-positioned Wal-Mart sack.
Wooten later said that a friend of his had used a “computer” to superimpose Wooten’s head on the picture, which the friend had obtained from something called the “internet.” He said he thought customers would find the photo amusing, and that he typically greeted them with it while saying that Wal-Mart had “cut back on expenses” and this represented the “new employee uniform.”
Customers in fact complained to management, who told Wooten to stop displaying the photo. When he started up again five days later, he was fired after more customer complaints.
Wooten’s subsequent request for unemployment benefits was denied by an administrative law judge, who ruled that “a reasonable person would know the act of showing a naked body wearing a Wal-Mart sack would not be good for the employer’s business.”
(Des Moines Register, Jan. 7, 2005).