Yoga Teacher Says She Was Fired For Telling Facebook Employee To Stop Using Phone In Class

Nothing says calm, peaceful meditation like someone fiddling around on their phone in the middle of a yoga class. Which is why one instructor who was leading a group at Facebook says she told her students to leave phones off during the session. She says a Facebook employee didn’t like being told to stay away from her phone, costing the instructor her job.

The teacher says she always asks her students to turn cell phones off at the beginning of class, so that no one is distracted from the lesson at hand. The San Francisco Chronicle says she had been teaching a weekly class at Facebook’s Menlo park campus since March.

At the start of the class, she noticed a student in the front row using a phone, so she asked the entire class to please turn off their devices. Then halfway through the class, during a particular pose, the same student picked up the phone again. The instructor says she didn’t say anything, but did shoot the woman a look. You know the kind.

“I’m sure my face said it all,” she later said in a blog post. “Really? Your e-mail is more important than understanding your body? It’s more important than taking time for you? It’s more important than everyone else here?”

The student then left class to use her phone, and later complained to the fitness center’s managers. Two weeks later, the yoga instructor says she was fired.

“We are in the business of providing great customer service,” said her termination notice from the center’s management. “Unless a client requires us to specifically say no to something, we prefer to say yes whenever possible.”

The teacher sees it differently — and doesn’t think anything going on at Facebook could be important enough to disrupt a short class.

“Hello — this is only Facebook,” she said. “We’re not talking about the U.S. government here. We’re not talking about Russia is about to bomb us. We’re talking about Facebook. Something can’t wait half an hour?”

Facebook declined to comment.

Yoga teacher fired over cell phone ban at Facebook [San Francisco Chronicle]