UPDATE: The Board of Aldermen rescinded the terminations Monday night.
The seven employees can return to work Tuesday morning.
(Dyer, TN) Why would seven Dyer, Tenn., employees be fired for signing a birthday card?
The humorous Hallmark card wasn’t well received by the woman to whom it was sent.
Problem is, employees weren’t supposed to sign the card because of an ongoing feud between the man who bought the card and the woman to whom it was sent.
They were fired after the Board of Aldermen met Thursday to discuss the matter.
Kevin Hurley is one of the seven workers fired from Dyer’s Street Maintenance Department.
“I just thought that by signing the card it was just doing a nice gesture for a citizen,” said Hurley.
Hurley and six other workers were fired after signing a birthday card for a female resident.
The front of the card read, ‘Hey, girl. Wanna see an explicit photo of an athletic, hairy-chested hunk in a tub?’
When the card is opened, it shows a small, furry, puppy dog in a washtub with the words Happy Birthday and “C’mon, he’s a real party animal!”
Kevin Hurley thought the card was meant to be fun.
“I had no idea by signing a card it would go this far. I mean it was an innocent birthday card with a little dog on it,” said Hurley.
But as innocent as it seems, the woman and the man who bought the card, W. C. Swink, have a troubled past.
“I’ve known the lady 30 -years or better…and you can’t talk to the lady,” said Swink.
Their disagreement is too complicated to explain, but she complained to Dyer’s mayor several times about Swink hanging out at the Street Maintainance Shop.
Mayor Chris Younger and the Board of Aldermen warned employees about letting Swink on the property or getting involved in the feud between the man and woman.
“They were let go for incompetence. This is not an isolated incident. They had been warned several times not to put their selves in that situation,” said Mayor Younger.
The woman also said she was offended by the card.
“She said that by it saying, ‘a hairy chested hunk in a tub’ that it was not only harassment, but it could actually be taken as sexual harassment,” said Mayor Younger.
The birthday card “brouhaha” has been the talk of Gibson County.
Addie Brelsford, from Rutherford, Tenn., looked at the card and thought it was amusing.
“It was a Hallmark card, at least. That’s about like a card my son might send me,” said Brelsford.
But the humor is now lost on Kevin Hurley, who thought he and other workers were valued employees.
“Three of us got a raise for doing exceptional jobs, even though we have not been there a year. And then this week I’m fired,” said Hurley.
Hurley said he and the other workers want a chance to tell their side of the story and aren’t ruling our legal action against the City of Dyer.
The Board of Aldermen could choose to re-hire the seven workers.