I got this email from one of the high-ups at my employer today, and it blows my mind. (Stuff I’ve edited is in brackets, to keep it generic and also to explain weird industry acronyms that we use.) Check it out:
“We have just come across an instance where [an employee] has put a range of comments on his personal blog site critical of [our main client], individuals at [our main client] and [us]. Even worse he has referred to projects under [non-disclosure agreements] in contravention of his confidentiality agreements.”
Whoa. How stupid can you possibly be? I understand the need to occasionally gripe about your job, and a blog is basically your personal space to vent about whatever is bothering you, but still. It’s a public forum that anyone can read. I’ve tried to never mention any company that I’ve worked for by name, although I’m sure there have been times when I haven’t done a great job of hiding it. But to mention people by name at a client’s location that you don’t like? And to blog about projects after you’ve signed a confidentiality agreement to not talk about them? Wow.
I try to live under the assumption that everyone else in the world knows how to use Google, and if they really want to find me or this site, they certainly can. That’s the thing that totally confuses me about this situation: we work for a technology company. If you worked for some little mom & pop hick business that owned one computer on a dial-up connection, then I can see how you might have a bit more leeway to complain about your job and co-workers. But online technology is our bread and butter. Did this guy really think they wouldn’t find him? Has he never heard of Dooce or the dozens of other bloggers who’ve gotten fired for writing about their jobs?
In case you were wondering, yes he was fired. And they’re “considering what further action to take.” I have no idea who it is, either. But then, I only know like three people at the whole company – one of the perks of working from home, I guess.
Lesson learned, boys & girls: if you want to keep your job, don’t bitch about it on your blog. I thought everybody already knew that, but just in case, there’s a helpful little reminder from me.