Recently a news anchor at a local Alabama television station was fired for comments she made on her personal blog. Among other things, she admitted to stealing people’s mail to learn things about them, and she also mentioned that she is terrified of old people. Apparently her silly bosses thought it was inappropriate for one of their employees to be biased against the only demographic who still watches the local nightly news. I’m guessing they also decided that employing an admitted thief was maybe not the kind of image they wanted to project to their community – although in defense of our probably-never-going-to-work-as-a-news-anchor-again protagonist, she did admit to maybe sometimes putting the stolen mail back.
Now I know you also want to world to see the real you, to recognize you for all the beauty and glory and feisty determination that makes you the godlike paragon of humanity that you are. But sometimes it’s hard to know what your employers will and won’t consider a fireable post. Fortunately for you, I’ve culled a few real-world examples to give you a guideline about what you can and can’t post. Hope this helps!
Scenario #1: You’ve been working at your company for a couple months, and things couldn’t be better because there is a smoking hottie in the office next to yours. As far as you can tell, they’re also single. You want to ask them on a date, but you’d happily settle for a semi-drunken hook-up some random Saturday night. The only problem is, you’re embarrassed to ask. Should you tell your social media friends how you feel about this person and then describe in intimate detail what you plan on doing to this person if that semi-drunken hook-up you’ve been fantasizing about ever actually happens?
Answer: Absolutely! Telling the world how you feel about someone is much more mature than asking someone to lunch, and there’s absolutely no way at all that the object of your affection will consider your graphic blog posts off-putting or grounds for a sexual harassment claim. Plus, if your bosses find out and fire you for your wildly inappropriate behavior, it’ll be that much easier to ask him/her out! Office romances can get complicated, so it’s much better to be working at different offices – or to be unemployed entirely! Smoking hotties love dating unemployed people.
Scenario #2: You are employed by an idiot. You can’t stand him, and you’re pretty sure no one else can stand him either. I mean, you haven’t asked everyone else how they feel about him, but you’re pretty sure they all hate him too – like 90% sure. Also, you happen to know for a fact that people really enjoy your acerbic wit and sarcastic sense of humor. Should you vent your frustration in a profanity-laced tirade in a public forum where everyone can see it?
Answer: Of course you should! Honestly, what are the odds that your boss will ever find out what you really think of him? Even if he were to accidentally stumble upon your post, it’s not like he knows how to read anyway. And once you blaze the trail of truth, your coworkers will surely mutiny en masse, depose their hateful master, and install you in his place. You’ve always wanted a fast track to the top, and now here’s your chance!
Scenario #3: You work at a company, and you’re generally considered a reliable worker with a solid track record. You also happen to be a closet racist. You know that people from other countries are inferior in every way, but your stupid employer continues to hire foreign workers. Fortunately for you, you happen to have found an online platform to spread your version of truth to the rest of the world. Should you use it?
Answer: What are you waiting for? You know how they say that 40 is the new 30? Well, 2013 is the new 1855! I’m pretty sure Congress is debating a bill right now to take the vote away from everyone but the landed gentry. Plus, once everyone you work with knows your particular views, you’ll quickly learn who your real friends are – and there’s a high probability that will end up being nobody!
I hope that helps. So go ahead and post every inappropriate, mean-spirited, vile, derogatory, churlish and unrepentant thought that comes into your twisted little head. I can’t remember the last time I saw any of those words in a corporate mission statement, but I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to be in there.