back to article SAP 'investigating' after viral video allegedly shows anti-mask employee coughing on shoppers

SAP says it is investigating after a video went viral allegedly featuring one of its employees coughing on fellow shoppers in a US store. And that's viral in the internet sense, at least. Without identifying any individuals, the German software giant said earlier today: The health and safety of our employees and the …

  1. Imhotep

    Covidiots DO exist!

    No matter what our views are on masks and how effective they are, can we all agree that coughing on people is beyond the pale?

    Was this person actually shopping or did she just feel compelled to go out in public and be an ass?

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Covidiots DO exist!

      Coughing on other people should be classified as assault, and arrestable. That's easy enough.

      Not so sure I'm happy with the perp's employer getting involved, though. Not before the police, anyway.

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Covidiots DO exist!

        Assault?? Given the current situation, I'd push for classing it as attempted murder.

      2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: Covidiots DO exist!

        I'm perfectly fine with it. Actions have consequences, and an action doesn't need to be a crime to land you in trouble with your employer. Potential for reputational damage is usually enough.

        SAP have clearly taken the view they don't want to be associated with people like that, and are sending a message.

      3. NXM

        Re: Covidiots DO exist!

        I think it probably would be a criminal offense, at least for right-pondians, if this gentleman's conduct and punishment is anything to go by:

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/18/hairdresser-daryll-rowe-given-life-sentence-for-deliberately-infecting-men-with-hiv

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Covidiots DO exist!

        Well, it is the USA, so I suppose you can shoot first and claim self-defense?

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Covidiots DO exist!

      Goes to show just how well-behaved people are in general.

      How is it that that woman didn't get a slap in face ?

      She certainly deserved it.

      Cough on me and I'll tell you to fuck off. Cough on my daughter and I will punch the living daylights out of you.

      1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

        Re: Covidiots DO exist!

        I would change that to: Cough on me once & I'll tell you to go away. Cough on me again & you'll wake up some time after the effects of the Taser wears off. Don't be surprised if you find yourself naked, taped to a tree, with a sign "laminated" to your chest that reads "Avoid me, I carry the plague!"

  2. ITS Retired

    Test the perp.

    If she tests positive, charge her with attempted murder. Sounds fair. Get some of these Covidiots off the streets.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Test the perp.

      That guy in Vietnam sent up for 5 years? They actually had to prove he'd killed one of the several people he infected when he brought Covid from the big city to his small village.

      Meanwhile in my locality, if I were just to too loudly *say* "Allahu akbar" I'd be shot by several of the maskless. Strange times...

  3. Schultz
    Go

    Behavioral Norms

    Independent of the crisis-du-jour, can't we just agree on being polite to one another? Deliberately trying to scare people (with COVID or any other dangerous weapon) is just a dick move. I'd say it deserves punishment and losing your job sounds appropriate -- who wants to work with such a person?

    Remember: Don't be an ass. Living together is much more pleasant when everybody remembers to be polite.

    1. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Behavioral Norms

      That's the thing I find most sad about this affair.

      So this person doesn't believe COVID exists and/or is dangerous - fine (not really, but nevermind for now). The other people around clearly do, because they're wearing masks, and you have to be able to imagine they don't want to be coughed on. It would be extremely rude even if there wasn't a pandemic; for someone who believes COVID exists, it's downright scary.

      So why the fuck would you do it? It does nothing for you, the only thing it does is make someone else miserable. What's wrong with you, to get your jollies from distressing others? Being an idiot is bad enough, can we at least not be evil idiots?

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Behavioral Norms

        People don't 'believe it exists'

        They 'know it exists'

    2. Kane Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Behavioral Norms

      "Remember: Don't be an ass. Living together is much more pleasant when everybody remembers to be polite."

      Yeah, I agree, but arseholes are gonna arsehole whatever the reason.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That woman needed a good hard smack in the face !

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's sad

    It's really sad. They're sending around 'Vax=Nazi gas chamber' memes on Facebook, and then they, their family, friends, or loved ones are dying of Covid 19. They feel guilty for their part in that, and its difficult to accept the reality of it and so they double down on the lie. I saw one couple, both dead now leaving their 3 kids alone, and it was so avoidable, they could simply have had the vaccine and they'd be fine now. They could simply have worn the 3 layer masks and likely would have avoided even catching it, or at least spreading it.

    Republicans should realize they've been conned by professional con-men.

    Those televangelists that tell them 'God' doesn't want them to wear masks, are professional con-men, they don't actually talk to God, they lie on TV to get money from their victims. Con-men.

    Those politicians that tell them Covid19 is a liberal hoax to undermine their freedom, they've all been vaccinated, they all have the anti-bodies for Covid19, and when/if they still catch it, they go run to hospital and get more monoclonal-antibodies too. Those politicians are con-men, they lie to their voters to get their votes. Con-men, running a con.

    Those shock-jocks, that lie about Covid 19, then catch it, then claim to be taking horse-dewormer, while actually receiving monoclonal anti-bodies. They're con-men, they feed the lies to gain audience for sponsorship money. Con-men.

    It's OK, to wake up, realize you've been conned and stop going along with the con. It's not your fault that your loved one died, its THEIR fault. The con-men's fault. The con-men lied to you, they told you it was a hoax and it is not, they told you it doesn't kill and it does, they told you God is the only vaccine you need while, while they get Pfizer and Janssen, THEIR fault.

    Blame them.

    Fooking Republicans and their fooking lies, killed your loved one.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: It's sad

      What on earth makes you think it's only republicans? Plenty of lefty types pushing the nonsense too. He'll, the sodding Guardian managed to publish some of it a few months ago.

      1. GrumpenKraut

        Re: It's sad

        Loudmouthed folks currently dying largely appear to do so to "own the libs": https://www.sorryantivaxxer.com/ (somewhat NSFW).

        The army of deluded does include some lefties, but these don't have the tendency to rub their belief into everyone's face, let alone attack random people.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's sad

          "The army of deluded does include some lefties, but these don't have the tendency to rub their belief into everyone's face THIS TIME, let alone attack random people."

          FTFY.

        2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: It's sad

          You're seeing a particular side of it. There are also the vegan-green-nutloaf alliance types involved in antivax.

          Of course, there is a lot of crossover between those and the far right, but they claim to be leftists.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: It's sad

      Use this on the religious, actually this is almost certainluy what most think.

      There is a reason God invented scientists. To develope vaccines to help protect us.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Stop

        God did not invent scientists. We did that with the intelligence God graced us with.

        Just as God does not punish us with landslides, floods or avalanches. We do that by not paying attention to where the dangers are when writing the zoning rules.

        Stop attributing to God things that are our own responsibility.

        The day the asteroid comes, it will be our fault if we're not ready and God will have had nothing to do with it.

    3. Lars Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: It's sad

      It's very sad just listen to these two Christian pastors, madness.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ae5O8lzlsIs

  6. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Of course she's an idiot, but...

    ...I'm always uncomfortable when somebody is fired for something he/she does outside of his/her job, in a situation totally unrelated when the company wasn't even mentioned.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

      If you do something that means people don't want to be associated with you, 'people' is likely to include your employer and co-workers.

      Certainly, consumers can and do legitimately question why a business would continue to employ someone they know to be vile, so just as a business matter it's a sackable offence to be vile in a way that attracts publicity.

    2. Kane Silver badge

      Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

      "...I'm always uncomfortable when somebody is fired for something he/she does outside of his/her job..."

      Then you may want to have a re-read of any code of conduct or employment contract that you're a party to.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

        Employment contracts will of course vary by country. It's entirely possible that an employee in SAP's home country of Germany would not be dismissed for doing something outside of work. But this happened in the USA, where it's much easier to fire people. Nebraska an "at-will employment" state, so protections are even weaker.

        1. GrumpenKraut
          Mushroom

          Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

          > It's entirely possible that an employee in SAP's home country of Germany would not be dismissed for doing something outside of work.

          She'd absolutely positively be fired. Some idiots have challenged similar firings in court, that's when they find themselves in the news.

        2. Adelio

          Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

          You mean Some Americans do have "some" employee protections. Shocking

          /s

          As much as i liked the people I fail to understand how Americans stand for the appaling way they are treated by their employers and by the state and federal government and corporations.

          Yes, Americans have freedoms. Freedon to be abused and misstreated and shot....

          1. GrumpenKraut
            Thumb Up

            Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

            > Americans have freedoms.

            Freedom to unnecessarily die in agony, also known as freedumb. You couldn't make it up.

            1. dhartsock

              Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

              Freedom entails obligations and responsibilities to your fellow citizens. It does not mean you can do whatever you damn well please, screw everyone else. This mindset is deadly and apparently out of control.

          2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

            Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

            Americans earn _a lot_ more money than we do. They're willing to be doormats, given the pay.

        3. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

          "But this happened in the USA, where it's much easier to fire people."

          Where does this misconception come from? It's much, much harder to fire people in the US than Europe. The whole of Europe has rules which are significantly less stringent than even 'at-will'.

          This actually makes sense when you think about it: in the US, there's no state healthcare, no real unemployment benefits, etc. They have a lot of rules about whether you've been reasonably fired or not because it's really important there. Here, you don't lose your family's healthcare entitlement, you won't be made homeless, etc, so we don't bother about unfair sackings as much. (Obviously discrimination on grounds of protected characteristics is something we care about.)

      2. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

        As far as I know, the code of conduct of a company doesn't apply when outside of the company. I even suspect it would be illegal to fire someone for such a reason when out of job, unless the offender would have made public his/her affiliation with the company.

        This is clearly a cultural thing.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

          "I even suspect it would be illegal to fire someone for such a reason when out of job, unless the offender would have made public his/her affiliation with the company."

          Ah, but there's the rub. If you are easily identifiable as working for the company, then simply doing something under your own name will, if it's vile enough, get back to your employer. At that point, byebye job.

    3. Ivan001

      Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

      I agree.

      If you click on the video link, the first featured comment mentions her being employed at SAP.

      I would definitely fire an employee after watching a video like that since I definitely don't want such kind of person in the company, let alone inside the office. But that would be an internal decision, not a PR affair.

      What bothers me is that Twitter's angry mob immediately link the person to their employer which has absolutely nothing to do with her behavior and somewhat it is expected from the company to take public action.

      What happens in the video should be a matter for the police alone.

      1. GrumpenKraut

        Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

        > What happens in the video should be a matter for the police alone.

        As the video is public the company has no choice but to fire her. I dearly hope she gets her day in court on top of that.

    4. iron Silver badge

      Re: Of course she's an idiot, but...

      If I worked with this person I would refuse to work until she was fired.

      Would you be more uncomfortable firing her or having the rest of your staff walk out in protest telling the press you condone attempted murder?

  7. GrumpenKraut
    Facepalm

    Fake vax certificate

    Learned the following an hour ago from an emergency responder (Austria).

    People avoid getting vaccinated get a fake certificate, no news so far. Of course they distrust the "evil government", so they pay 100 Euros and submit their personal info including *all* details of their ID/passport to a random web-site for the fake cert. A whole new level of brilliance right there.

    1. Adelio

      Re: Fake vax certificate

      The stupidity of stupid people is truly amazing.

      1. FuzzyTheBear
        Facepalm

        Re: Fake vax certificate

        people are stupid .. half of them are even stupider than we think ! ..

    2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Fake vax certificate

      Never underestimate how dumb people can be. They'll always find a way to prove you wrong.

    3. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Fake vax certificate

      In Vermont, the State Police are (well, "were") apparently selling them!

      And now, they're "former" State Police:

      https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2021/09/08/vermont-state-troopers-accused-in-fake-vaccine-card-scheme-resign/

      We'll see if they actually end up being charged with forgery of a Federal document, or if "professional courtesy" prevails.

    4. Little Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Fake vax certificate

      Not quite "random" - They've submitted all that data to a website that they know to be unequivocally dishonest, and that could cash in for a second time with a juicy bit of blackmail if it so wanted...

      1. GrumpenKraut
        Happy

        Re: Fake vax certificate

        The entire list could be sold to law enforcement as happened with data sets about people avoiding taxes. Wouldn't that be nice?

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Fake vax certificate

          No, you provide to law enforcement only the details of people that don't agree to pay a recurring fee...

    5. iron Silver badge

      Re: Fake vax certificate

      Printed in China and easily stopped by customs. Ars had an interesting article about seizures of fake vax certificates recently.

    6. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Fake vax certificate

      Paying _anything_ for a fake covid vax cert is utter stupidity. A simple Google search shows images of literally _thousands_ of covid vax certs, from a multitude of countries. Download a few images, apply the image editor of your choice, and print the cert out... and now you have a fake cert. For free, other than the few seconds, a minute tops, required to do the search, download the image, and mess with said image. And, of course, for the jail time and/or fines you'll get when (not if) you get caught using it. Paying €100 for one, _and_ sending your PII on top of that, is not merely incredibly stupid, it's also insane.

      Of course, the 'vax hesitant' are, for the most part, incredibly stupid, utterly insane, or both.

      1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

        Re: Fake vax certificate

        "For free"

        For nothing. Free of charge. Not 'for free'. Please?

    7. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Fake vax certificate

      As seen in France, it goes even better if they manage to have a genuine certificate without having being vaccinated (either using the stolen credential of a doctor or finding one without morals).

      When they start being scared and want to get vaccinated, the answer is: "sorry, according to the database you are already vaccinated, so you can't get it"...

  8. Lars Silver badge
    Go

    Well done SAP

    What else could one say.

  9. Unicornpiss
    Thumb Down

    Regardless..

    ..of whether we're in a pandemic or are all perfect, healthy specimens, I don't ever want some stranger invading my personal space and sharing bodily fluids with me. That's what Tinder and Grinder, plus various bars are for if you're so inclined.

    I'm glad SAP fired her. She clearly does not have the emotional stability, much less the intelligence to be an asset to any company. Perhaps she should be forced to do community service tending to people stuck on respirators due to Covid.

    I've always suspected that a large percentage of the population were just raving idiots. In the USA at least, the last 2 years have really driven home in a scary way just how many willfully ignorant people are out there though.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Regardless..

      A large percentage of the population are raving idiots. Average US IQ is about 98, and dropping, meaning a huge number of people are borderline functional at best.

      Western IQ averages are dropping across the board. It's not just a US problem, and it's getting worse.

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Regardless..

        "It's not just a US problem, and it's getting worse."

        It's more or less only a English speaking problem and to just mention a few reasons, lets start with Rupert, the two party system, education for profit, the "parliamentary" system and there is more.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Regardless..

          That's very 'nordic'. Do you have a few lightning-runes to share with us too?

          (Let's be honest, you're a swastika-cosplayer from the US, aren't you...)

  10. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Those psychometric tests win again!

    So, the SAP recruitment process includes the following :

    SAP numerical reasoning tests measure your numerical aptitude and your ability to interpret, analyse and draw conclusions from sets of data.

    -- "millions dead = it's all a hoax!"

    SAP situational judgement tests allow the recruiter to assess how candidates may approach workplace-based scenarios.

    -- "You disagree with someone else's choice. Do you (a) accept that other people have other opinions or (b) cough in their face and call them sheep"

  11. stewwy

    When you break it down

    Not wearing a mask, ok it's rude, antisocial, stupid and in some cases illegal

    Deliberately coughing on someone - that's assault clear and simple no question on the illegality.

    But she's an entitled American Karen and losing her job is the best we can hope for

    Good on SAP for at least doing this

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When you break it down

      Regardless of the pandemic beliefs, she's an American who behaved very poorly and should at least be missing several teeth and possibly have various limbs in casts.

      Violence is not "The Answer", but sometimes it is "An Acceptable Answer".

  12. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    r/byebyejob

  13. Andy the ex-Brit

    I'm not sure I could have resisted punching her in her stupid nose. I'd feel bad about it afterwards. A little. Maybe.

  14. Cybersaber

    The venom toward the _individual_ is understandible. That woman's actions are indefensible.

    However, she's one individual. To those posting about 'COVIDiots':

    Don't spew hatred sizeable swath of the population (i.e. the unvaccinated) that would never in a million years _intentionally_ do something like that which might harm a mother and her daughter in a store, no matter how misguided or misinformed about the disease they are.

    There's a word whose definition is "obstinate or unreasonable attachment to a belief, opinion, or faction; in particular, prejudice against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group" and it's an ugly one.

    That word is bigotry, and we have more than enough of that in the world.

    Also, no matter how right it might be to tell them they should get vaccinated, you're just perpetuating one of the vectors that spreads the problem - listening to social media and commentards like us give them medical advice. Just keep the message to 'When it comes to pandemics, talk to your doctor and consult the advice of your national infectious disease authority.' You know what advice they'll get from those sources, and when then next doozy of a disease comes through, maybe they'll go there to get good, real medical advice instead of Farcebook or El Reg's comments section.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      "Don't spew hatred sizeable swath of the population (i.e. the unvaccinated) that would never in a million years _intentionally_ do something like that which might harm a mother and her daughter in a store, no matter how misguided or misinformed about the disease they are."

      I have no idea where you get the idea that a group comprised mainly of antisocial loons wouldn't do this stuff intentionally. My observations suggest the exact opposite. You have to be some kind of cunty fuck to fall down a far right rabbit hole in the first place, and that's what we're talking about,

      Nice people don't 'accidentally' do far right stuff. They do it because they're _that kind of person already_.

      What you're saying is like excusing people for racist outbursts because they were drunk and angry. It's still not a place anyone acceptable goes for any reason.

      The anti-vax stuff isn't the relatively harmless conspiracy theory you imagine. It's a gateway into neo-Nazism. It is based on old-fashioned conspiracy theories about 'the Jews'. People are incapable of believing it unless they already believe that kind of nonsense.

      That's why the number of anti-vaxxers is roughly the same as the number of far right sympathisers - BNP members, etc - in this country,

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I never thought I'd see a far-left conspiracy theorist in the wild, but godammit, now I've seen one. Gotta check that one off of my list.

      2. Cybersaber

        So that whole swath of people are neo-nazis, racists, and they all want to harm mothers and their kids their daughters in stores. Right, well that's good to be clear on who's spewing hate then.

        Good to know. I had this weird idea that people are people and any large group is full of idealists, principled people, mislead and deluded people and bad apples all mixed together and it wasn't fair to categorically tar them all with the same brush.

        Oh, and the first line of my post about what the specific thing she she did being indefensible was written in invisible ink.

        Gosh, I'm learning so much from the Internet today...

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