Twitter is the seemingly endless repository for ill-timed comments, jokes and decisions. Here's one more tweet for us to put into the "too soon" file.
Though it has been more than two weeks since Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made some controversial comments about women asking for raises, the world is going to need a little bit more time to completely get over the stupidity of what he said. That means, Microsoft, if you've got a killer pun about raises that you're dying to tweet out, you should probably just keep it to yourself for the time being. Plop it in a Word document or your OneNote app, and save it for a better time when you're not under so much scrutiny for your company's views and policies.
Unfortunately, the Microsoft Developers Twitter account did the exact opposite of that earlier this week. On Oct. 23, the account sent out a tweet that said, "Why did the programmer quit his job? Because he didn't get arrays. #devlife," according to CNET.
The tweet was soon taken down, and the Microsoft Developers account issued and apology.
Our lighthearted (& bad) pun crossed into insensitive and unintended areas. Sincerest apologies.
— Microsoft Developer (@msdev) October 23, 2014
With Nadella's comments a couple of weeks ago that women should not ask for raises but have "faith" that the system and their "good karma" will give them raises during their career, it's probably still too early for Microsoft to be making jokes like this. Although he later apologized on several occasions, Nadella seemed to undermine the importance of women asking for raises with his comments, so yet again making light of the situation doesn't really help the company show that it has learned from its mistake and is now taking the issue more seriously.
Not only was it bad timing for one of Microsoft's Twitter accounts to crack this pun, but some Tweets also pointed out how the tweet wasn't politically correct, by solely using the pronoun "he."
@MikeBeas @_Jordan Why did the programmer quit his/her/their job? Because he/she/they didn't get arrays. #devlife fixed it for you — Michael Steeber (@MichaelSteeber) October 23, 2014
Now this is probably just splitting hairs here, but when it's widely known that men dominate the tech industry, you're bound to upset some people over solely using the male pronoun. Although in this situation, it's probably better that the Microsoft Developers account didn't say, "Why did the programmer quit her job?" We all know what the answer to that question would have been, "Because Microsoft keeps devaluing the importance of women speaking up and asking for raises."