Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Well, DUH!

The day I started blogging, I realized there were some things in my life that I had to be more candid about, the most of which is my job and my employer. My experiences with work lead me to a better understanding of customer service, management, labor relations, union practices and faculty/student interactions from a first-person viewpoint. I use this knowledge to talk about the issues theoretically, distancing myself from work and the workplace, replete with co-workers and supervisors who may inadvertantly read my blog (not likely, since I'm the office token conservative).

Some people, apparently, never thought about that. In a snidely titled piece about blogging, "Warning: Your Clever Little Blog Could Get You Fired," USA Today reports:
Like a growing number of employees, Peter Whitney decided to launch a blog on the Internet to chronicle his life, his friends and his job at a division of Wells Fargo.
Then he began taking jabs at a few people he worked with.

His blog,, did find an audience: his bosses. In August 2004, the 27-year-old was fired from his job handling mail and the front desk, he says, after managers learned of his Web log, or blog.

The rest of the article (hyperlinked in title) goes on to detail what employees and employers are doing to prevent instances such as this from occuring. While reading through the list of Fortune 500 employers that were questioned for the piece, I couldn't help but wonder "What about personal responsibility?" When did it become the companies perogative to dictate what an employee can or cannot write about? Wouldn't it be miles more efficient to simply request that everyone, new or used, young and old, in the blogosphere exercise discretion and even a slight modicum of common sense? I think so.

I think that any blogger who writes things about the workplace that violate existing workplace policy should be terminated. Then, they can write about how they got canned - that's all well and good. If they're going on and on about what an ass their boss is, well okay, that's normal, but if they threaten to slash his tires - then its probably already covered in the HR manual. Bloggers need to start exercising discretion when they write about their personal lives. Politics, on the other hand, should remain completely unfettered. I should easily be able to say the following:
In other new today, Michael Jackson was inserted bodily into Michael Moore's anus, effectively creating a new dance duo "Salt and White Pepper" who will be booking dates across the country. More at 7.
And I like being able to do that.

You can pry my Blogger password from my cold, dead fingers...after my guns are empty.

There, I said it.