Unable to find lasting work, 37-year-old Adam Smith is living on food stamps with his wife and four kids in the RV they call home, he tells ABC News. “I think people are scared,” Smith says of potential employers. “I think people are scared that it could happen again.”
Back in the summer of 2012, as thousands of people were opposing Chick-fil-A’s stance on gays, Smith rolled into a Chick-fil-A drive-thru for a free glass of water and slammed the female attendant: “Chick-fil-A is a hateful corporation,” Smith told her as the filmed the exchange. “I don’t know how you live with yourself and work here. I don’t understand it.”
Smith posted the video before returning to work at Vante, a Tucson-based medical manufacturer — and the proverbial you-know-what had hit the fan by the time he got there.
The receptionist told him “the voicemail is completely full, and it’s full of bomb threats,” he says. Fired that day, Smith lost his $200,000 salary and more than $1 million in stock options. He and his family moved to Portland, where he got a CFO job, but lost it two weeks later when they realized who he was.
He says he has since been honest in interviews, but companies have been too wary of fallout to hire him. “I don’t regret the stand I took, but I regret… the way I talked to her,” an emotional Smith says of the worker.
The interview coincides with his recent digital release of a memoir, A Million Dollar Cup of Water (a paperback version is out April 21), which chronicles his professional collapse and years of soul-searching. It’s not faring so well on Amazon, which Smith addressed on the site on Friday. “Regarding the many 1-star ratings my book has received today and yesterday, I would like to note that I have only sold 17 digital copies thus far, yet there are 23 1-star ratings on my book. This fascinates me! LOL!”