Richmond Police Department human resources director Antoinette Archer’s “What was I thinking?” rant seemed to chastise employees (presumably police officers) who complain about their pay. (Illustration by Rob Hendricks)
In modern life, there is this moment. Millions of us experience it every day but barely give it a passing thought, and yet it has the power to unleash mayhem. It’s the sliver of time between tapping the period key on our Facebook statuses and clicking the “Post” button. Sometimes in that moment, you couldn’t possibly predict that an old high-school friend is about to unfriend you for being a Democrat, but let’s face it, there’s a lot we can see coming. Posting pictures of yourself at a party after you’ve asked for the day off for a family emergency? That one can get you fired. Posting about your dad’s confidential age-discrimination lawsuit settlement? That one can cost Daddy $80,000.
And a human resources director posting her private thoughts about employees who complain about their salaries and calling it an “HR tip?” Well, that one can get you investigated by the police chief.
Yes, they are all real, and, sadly, the last one is our own. Back in July, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham launched an internal investigation into the Facebook post of his human resources director, Antoinette Archer. Archer’s “What was I thinking?” rant seemed to chastise employees (presumably police officers) who complain about their pay. These are the same officers who are finally getting a 2.5 percent increase after a five-year freeze on raises. “Working everyday [sic] and complaining about your salary is futile and unproductive ... change begins with you! If you need or want something different — go get it and stop EXPECTING someone to give it!”
Then, to make matters worse, she got a little creative with the hashtags:
#getityourself #notmyfaultyouboughtamercedesonafordsalary #getasidehustle #sellthoseloubatins [sic] #wearpayless #stayoutofSaks #shopatSears
So now Archer is feeling the third-degree Zuckerburn of the Facebook backlash. And while there was a fair amount of community support for her sentiments, the department felt compelled to launch an internal affairs investigation. That investigation since has concluded, but deemed a personnel matter, which means we’ll never know the upshot. One can only wonder what goes on in an official investigation of a Facebook post: “Is this the chair you were sitting in at the time? How many likes did the post receive?”
There’s only one piece left to unfold in this story, and that is the inevitable apology I imagine will pop up on Archer’s Facebook page:
“I want to apologize for my previous Facebook rant. I’m sure a lot of you read about it in the Times-Dispatch. I was having a bad day. My company car was making a funny noise when I was on my way to Saks. Nevertheless, it was wrong of me to point those things out on my Facebook page, and I am sorry that they got taken the way they did. I regret that people’s feelings were hurt even though basically everything I said was true ... you have to admit that.
“How can anyone disagree that ‘you accepted your position based upon the information you had during the hiring process,’ right? That’s all I said! And that people understand the job description, their personal circumstances (including their expenses) and the salary being offered. That’s a NO-BRAINER! Who could argue with the fact the salary you are being offered doesn’t consider your ‘daycare expenses, car note or mortgage?’ It’s just common sense, people!
“Still, I guess I shouldn’t have said it, or maybe I shouldn’t have written it. Or shared it. But am I wrong for thinking it? Well, I’m sorry that people got bent out of shape over it. I think people were reading between the lines where they shouldn’t have been. Like I was calling out the brave and hard-working Richmond police officers for complaining about their pay. That would be HORRIBLE! What kind of person would do that to people who haven’t had a pay raise in five years? Nobody I know!
“I have the utmost respect for our men and women in uniform. But there are some people, and I am not naming names, who just don’t seem to get that they have the power in their own hands to change their circumstances. They can lift themselves up instead of cry-babying and whimpering that their measly salaries don’t cover the cost of daycare and Mama’s funeral. And they can stop drinking champagne on a beer budget, am I right? I love champagne, but I make $90,000 a year and I can afford it. Again, I’m really sorry.
#SincereApology #MeantNothingByIt #UtmostRespect #DontWannaMakeAnyMoreTrouble #GottaDefendMyselfThough #NotMyFaultIPullInNinetyLarge #EverHeardOfABudget #DollarValueMenu #ItsCalledADollarStoreGoogleIt #DidThatSoundBad #AmIDoingItAgain #HowDoesThisKeepHappening #HowDoYouDeactivateAFacebookAccount #MightNeedASideHustleMyself #WhatIsTheBestResumeFont."