A candy shop in Indiana is facing backlash after posting a job listing that many people on social media are calling "sexist."
Randy Good, owner of Good's Candy Shop in Anderson, Indiana, posted a detailed job opening announcement to the business' Facebook page on Thursday, May 20, according to the Kansas City Star. In the since-deleted post, Good said that he had had "poor experiences with certain types of employee behaviors, including laziness, manipulation, lying, and 'worst of all combined, the splitters,'" reported the Star.
Good then defined "splitting" as a "behavior of girls, young mostly but not always" and "usually taught by their mothers." The behavior is "hard to deal with," even though "many times" the employees are "good workers, which is even more frustrating."
"This is the person who talks about others in an attempt to split people apart and feel better about themselves," Good posted, according to the Star. " … This my friends is poison in action. These misguided gals have no end game. It's just spreading and stirring, all the while believing they are innocent. It's such a common thing among girls. This is where toxicity and drama find their roots."
Good continued, saying the behavior has "no cure," but male employees do not behave the same way: According to the Star, he wrote that boys "seldom practice this" and "just duke it out!"
Good told TODAY Food he included the description in the job announcement as a "tongue (in) cheek story" of his experiences after 40 years in business while also trying to "figure out the hiring crisis."
"The term splitters is the street term for the inability to hold opposing thoughts, beliefs or feelings," Good said in an email. "It was 1 of my experiences with people."
The post garnered more than 44,000 responses, mostly negative. The post was deleted and a second job announcement, simply stating a list of job requirements and asking that workers follow a simple motto of 'Work hard, be nice' in a "culture of hard work and kindness," was posted.
Good shared a second lengthy post on Wednesday, writing that he had "seen the worst in people" since sharing the job announcement and criticizing those who had attacked him and his family.
"On the post I did not list, mention, infer to a daughter or mother I know or otherwise who practiced and work behavior," he wrote. "I listed my experience. Not anywhere in that post do I state I was looking for a particular kind of person or type. It does not say I like a particular gender over another. I've never discriminated, hated or mistreated anyone in my employ. There isn't an ounce of evidence that exists on this earth to prove otherwise."
"My ingrained defiance, will and personality does not allow for perceived weakness, very easily," Good wrote. "Business is a tough sport … I've never attacked, disrespected, demolished or mistreated a woman or young lady in my life. I know this because I don't do those things."
Good told TODAY he did not see the post as sexist.
"Describing experiences isn't defined anywhere as sexist," he said. "The human mind goes where it is most comfortable with regularity. I have no control over that."
He also rejected that the second post was an apology, instead saying that it was a "stimulus" that "was well thought out, from the heart and met with it's [sic] intended results."
Good repeated in the post that there was "zero evidence" that he had "individually, publicly or personally injured anyone at anytime in my community or elsewhere."
On Facebook,one former employee, Laura McFarland, wrote that when she worked at Good's Candy Shop, she struggled with the behavior of other employees and a "lack of communication" from Good, as well as a rigorous work schedule. The employee, who Good confirmed had worked at the store, said, as a person with borderline personality disorder, she "became very suicidal" due to the work conditions and spent 72 hours at a treatment center in the area.
McFarland wrote that she was fired after the incident with little communication from the owner. Good said he did not recall the circumstances of her departure.
In an email to TODAY, McFarland further described the time she spent working at the store, from May 2017 to April 2018.
"We as Good's Girls were expected to look cute, act with grace and be overjoyed to say, 'My pleasure' to every customer every time," she said, adding that Good would "avoid" her when she wanted to talk to him.
She went on to say she hopes Good listens to his employees going forward.
"I was surprised when I saw the listing … I was thinking, 'You really think someone is going to work there now?'" she said. "I hope Randy Good learns that he has to listen to his employees and make time for everyone, not just the ones he likes."
Many commenters also criticized Good's second post for being insincere.
"If you think you haven't mistreated women you are simply wrong," wrote one Facebook user. "The post that started off this entire fiasco for you was a post about you generalising young women and making them out to he gossips and horrible people who just want to divide the workplace for personal benefit."
"Your 'I'm the victim' apology isn’t passing the smell test," wrote another. "It’s the non-apology of someone who still thinks he said and did nothing wrong. Your original post wasn’t 'misconstrued,' it came off exactly how you meant it to, these are just the consequences of a public who no longer coddles and tolerates misogynistic attitudes like yours."
On Friday morning, Good told TODAY over email that he would be putting the shop up for sale.
"The pressure from all this on this 62 year old who's been doing this for 40 years is taking it's [sic] toll on me and my family."
This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.