Son’s LinkedIn post about recently fired dad goes viral: good news


Former cashier Peter Judge was often the last face shoppers saw before leaving his supermarket in Phoenix. He always wanted to be the reason people kept coming back.

“He really enjoys interacting with people, approaching situations with empathy and humility and making people smile,” his only son, Patrick McCarthy, told USA TODAY.

When customers return to WinCo Foods, Judge will not be there to greet them. Despite his record as a “stellar employee,” Judge was fired last month, said McCarthy, who lives in Woodinville, Wash., near Seattle.

The judging job worked on a points system, and he had racked up too many. Judge walked and relied on public transportation to get to work, which sometimes delayed him, McCarthy said.

“If the lights weren’t working in his favor crossing the street, he might be five or 10 minutes late,” he said.

The judge’s days off a few weeks before his firing had apparently put him above his points level, according to McCarthy.

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The son wanted to help his father. He took to his LinkedIn network to let everyone know that Judge, who didn’t have a profile at the time, was open to work.

“I’m excited about her next step,” McCarthy wrote in her post, which went viral with nearly 20,000 reactions. “This guy is someone you want on your team.”

Overwhelming support

McCarthy, husband and father of 3-year-old and 9-month-old sons, can relate to losing his job: the marketing and communications professional was laid off from Coursera last month.

He says he’s also aware of the “power of LinkedIn” when it comes to rallying around others who are navigating “this very strange time of layoffs” at multiple companies.

But McCarthy said he and his family have never had such an outpouring of support until now.

“It’s a shock,” McCarthy, 31, said.

Hundreds of people responded to his LinkedIn post, in which he described his father as an experienced service industry worker who loved his job.

"He was a cashier at Winco. He loved his job. He loved his customers. Thousands of faces crossed his path, and he had so many stories about those faces," wrote Patrick McCarthy, a marketing and communications professional living outside of Seattle, of his father in his viral LinkedIn post.

“He loves seeing customers seek his way for check-ins and updates,” McCarthy wrote. “He said to me, ‘I’m good at it. “”

McCarthy shared with his network of over 500 connections that, like anyone would be, his father was “shocked, overwhelmed (and) emotional” after losing the job he had enjoyed for nearly four years.

Responses ranged from advice on where Judge might seek his next role to praise for McCarthy’s honest and thoughtful post supporting his father.

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Even LinkedIn’s own LinkedIn page responded to McCarthy’s post.

“Pete looks like a top employee! Keep us posted as he progresses on his journey,” the company’s post read.

“Incalculable amounts of support”

The unexpected popularity blew Judge away.

“The post itself was incredibly written, and I think that’s what got people hooked,” he said.

In the two weeks since the post was posted, Judge has spoken with several interested companies about possible opportunities, according to McCarthy.

“The abundant responses, opinions and support (were) a lot to understand,” Judge said. “I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve lost a job and within days I’ve had untold support from people I don’t even know.”

"Some people said I had a super power just because I'm a people person," said Peter Judge, who was recently fired from his cashier job in Phoenix. "I love and enjoy interacting with people."

McCarthy’s father has since opened his own LinkedIn account as he searches for the next perfect opportunity.

“He’s trying to sift through all of this and figure out what his next move is,” McCarthy said.

The job search did not come without its challenges. The judge’s years-old computer often crashes and “barely works”, according to McCarthy.

“My biggest barrier to this job search is transportation, as I rely on my feet and public transportation,” Judge said.

Yet he continues to seek employment where his interpersonal skills will be valued.

“The most important aspect of my next role is that it’s something that I really enjoy,” Judge said. “I think I want to interact with people face to face because that’s what I enjoy the most and where I feel I can have the most impact.”

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