Does GameStop have a no-planking policy?
Yes, says John Mazzocchi, a former senior game adviser at a Massapequa GameStop who says he was fired after he posted Facebook and Twitter photos of himself, on the job, engaging in what's become a worldwide fad: planking -- stretched rigid, face down, arms at his side.
In one photo he's horizontal across an aisle, chest on one display rack and feet on another. In a second photo he's planked across the cash counter, face near the register and feet atop the videogame storage drawers.
Mazzocchi, 23 years old and a Farmingdale resident, posted both photos on his Facebook page, and the consequences were quick. The next day he posted a followup message: "Am I the first and only person so far to get fired from their job for planking? I think so!"
Mazzocchi's exploits, and his fate, are widely covered on the web, for example on the site joystiq.com under the headline "planking into unemployment." Joystiq reports, "His planking tweet went up the GameStop corporate food chain and came back down with a pink slip."
As of Friday afternoon a Google search of the phrase "gamestop employee fired for planking" had received 121,000 hits.
GameStop, with corporate offices in Grapevine, Texas, said it "does not comment on personnel issues, including the situation in question."
Planking, an often-daring stunt activity that first caught on in Australia, in recent months has become a global fad. To be authentic, planking must be photographed and posted online. That's what Mazzocchi said he did at GameStop's store No. 596 in Massapequa, on Sunrise Highway.
On his Twitter page he says he loves the Mets and video games, adding, "I'm also the kid that got fired for planking."
He also likes (on Facebook) the West Islip Planking Society.
Mazzochi's Facebook profile said he worked as a senior game adviser at GameStop, with previous positions at the chain's stores in Farmingdale, Syosset and Merrick. He said he studied mass communications at Five Towns College. He gave this description of his job: "I advise you on your... game choices, and tell you not to buy Grand Theft Auto for your 8 year old."