The last time the word “Jack” and “Ship” were used in a single sentence was probably during the screening of James Cameron’s 1997 epic romantic film, the Titanic. Here in Papua New Guinea those two words have popped up again during Port Moresby’s hosting of the APEC Summit and there is nothing romantic about it this time.
Jack McNai’s infamous post while on the Jewel not only landed him in hot water among the ever vocal PNG social media audience but also out of the Jewel and reportedly out of a job too. It all started with what looked like an innocent post from an over excited young ABAC employee on the P & O Cruise Ship Pacific Jewel. Here’s the posting:
What Jack didn’t foresee at the time of posting was the unexpected backlash from PNG taxpayers on Facebook who quickly lined up to give him their piece of mind. And it wasn’t pretty. So vicious were the comments, Jack had to deactivate his account. What he probably didn’t realize, if the reports are true, was that both his presence on the Jewel and his employment would also be deactivated.
In hindsight, he probably now realizes that what he posted was both irresponsible and insensitive, particularly, at a time when the average Papua New Guinean worker is feeling the brunt of the taxes being deducted from their fortnightly pay.
But the amount of ammunition fired by the Facebook brigade on poor Jack was just too much, one would have thought that more supplies were being sought from the overseas military here to protect our waters.
But to look at the whole situation and the reported penalty that Jack has suffered, one has to ask – what exactly did Jack do wrong and whether the wrong amounted to his demise from Jewel and subsequently termination?
One has to ask, what were the terms and conditions of his employment or engagement while on the Jewel. Was he allowed to use social media on the cruise ship? Was he barred from posting any content on social media that would directly or indirectly “insult” anyone including the Papua New Guinea tax payers? We will never know the answers to these but if indeed such prohibitions constituted part of his engagement and that such behavior could lead to termination then the actions by his employer seems justified.
On the other hand, could the employer have reacted quickly in response to the public outcry without consideration of his terms of engagement? Was it to simply prevent the matter from escalating further if nothing was done, particularly, at a time when an important meeting like the APEC Summit was in progress? Again, we don’t know. But one must also understand that the APEC Summit is no ordinary meeting and it’s possible that organizers are likely to have the power to swiftly move in and defuse any situations like this.
Regardless of what the outcome is from this whole saga, hopefully the young Jack learns his lesson. To appreciate the opportunity he was given, to be more respectful to his employer and others, and to be careful in the use of social media.
Hopefully, the next time Jack is on board a cruise ship, there will be a romantic reason for it just like the Titanic but without the disaster and the Facebook backlash!
Jack responded with an apology this morning after having reactivated his account. The right thing to do and brave enough to apologise. Good stuff Jack:
First of all friends, leaders, and Papua New Guinea I want to sincerely apologize if my post was out of line.
I was just stating the fact that we are all tax payers that we should be proud and promote that idea that we made this apec and everything we see possible in our country through our taxes.
But if you see it differently than each have a freedom of speech. It’s nice to be heard.
For my friends and team that are working really hard to make this happen please be proud and promote our country to the world. We are the host we own this apec summit meeting.
For real I don’t take all this personally.
My friends I know myself better that, I truly don’t bother what you assume about me. It wouldn’t really affect me at all. I know we all go through life using our own level of understanding about life to make a history in our lives. People with low self esteem may try to talk negative and always try to find the worst in every thing.
But let’s try to find a good in every bad situation.
Thank you Papua New Guinea for hearing me out. We all should be an advocate in our country and community.