Social media has been around long enough now that hundreds (if not thousands or, even, millions) of people know what it's like to craft a post and quickly send it out into the world, only to realize almost immediately afterwards that they shouldn't have made that post public. Well, now the New Zealand Police Department knows what that's like. Someone in charge of the department's Twitter account posted a meme of Michael Scott from The Office while trying to express what it's like for officers to let victims' families know that someone has died in a car accident. Take a look below:
Ouch. OK, as you may have noticed from the above tweet, the offending New Zealand Police Department post is actually seen in someone else's tweet. That's because, as could be expected, the post was soon taken down when clearer heads prevailed, and it can no longer be found on the department's Twitter feed. And, while it was obviously a very wrong-headed post, I think anyone who's seen The Office can recognize the somewhat poetic symmetry between this post and something Michael Scott himself would have posted on Twitter.
Michael Scott was, of course, the socially inept and blundering boss for the majority of The Office's time on the air. He was known for saying and doing the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time, and while that was groan-inducingly funny for viewers, Scott-style communications are less than appreciated in most real world scenarios. Especially when anyone's tragic death is involved.
The post, which actually featured a GIF of Michael Scott saying "this is the worst," was, clearly, not meant to offend, but was so poorly thought out that it was quickly labeled "tone-deaf" and "absolutely horrible" by those who saw it and seen as a post that would surely be deleted...which it was. The department responded to one criticism by trying to explain how hard it is to tell people that family members won't be coming home, and, luckily, no more justifications were posted, just this apology:
Well, I certainly don't hope that anyone lost their job over this, but there's no way that the party responsible didn't at least get a very stern talking to after all this. At least the tweet has been removed, and all we can really hope for at this point is that no one who's recently lost a loved one to a traffic accident saw the post before it was taken down.