Wednesday, March 09, 2005

See and Avoid

The Globe and Mail ran an article yesterday on corporate policies regarding employees' blogs. It's a shame they just ran an American AP story, complete with references to the First Amendment. I would have been interested in research for an equivalent Canadian story.

Quite a few people have been fired for blogging. A flight attendant, a librarian, a congressional intern, and I'm not sure what this last one did, but her name, dooce, has become a verb meaning, "to be fired for your blog." I think technically most of these people have been fired for being rude to their customers or supervisors, for publically criticizing their employers, or for blogging when they are paid to be working.

These people, and many more who continue to hold down jobs, blog as if their customers, co-workers, and employers inhabit a world that does not have access to the internet. Yes, some customers are amusing in their ineptitude or arrogance. Some co-workers rival the characters on television dramas when it comes to back-stabbing guile. There are airlines managed worse than the fictional Wings. (How was that airline supposed to stay solvent with one single-pilot airplane and at least five employees? They must have done a few extra night flights bringing agricultural products from Cuba). I admit to sharing a few tales through gritted teeth in the crewroom, but in public I've got to be sober, sane and respectful of the people who pay my salary. The internet is a public place.

I can be fired for wearing my uniform into an establishment that serves alcohol. A pilot is legally allowed to go into the grocery store in uniform and yell, "These frozen turkeys are smarter than my management, and these grocery carts are better maintained than our airplanes!" But if there's a company VP checking out maynonnaise specials in the next aisle, advancement might be in question. Besides, you'd would have to be mad to do that, wouldn't you? If you did it regularly, sooner or later you'd be found out. The internet is a public place, packed with far more people than the grocery store.

And that's why I don't blog about my company.


Anonymous said...

Very wise. Nonetheless, self censorship could just be doing their job for them. I had an outspoken colleague who responded to a consultation by the MD in a way the MD found unacceptable. He was out of the building within the hour.

Lost Av8r said...

I'm hoping that if I don't show my company in bad light, everything will be allright....if not, well, I've got a PPC :)

Anonymous said...

Quite a few people have been fired for blogging. A flight attendant,

Her book version seems to be well-recieved... hint hint aviatrix... when will we see your novel blog-novel?