Enter your keyword

Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Jul 24, 2014

They Call it the Worldwide Web for a Reason...

Complaining about work online is like picking your nose in the car..while it seems private, those outside can see you.
This morning I switched on my computer to find this at the top of my Facebook (Fb) Newsfeed:
My boss calls me while I shower, she calls while I brush my teeth and pack my lunch, then I am trying to drive and she calls me again, so I pull over and try to talk to her, but she screams at me and hangs up a few times without telling me why she is flipping out. "WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?!!!"…

Two more days of being bludgeoned before the weekend arrives...in my next life I would prefer to have more choices...

She's gotten into the habit of abusing me, but since she pays me I am not allowed to complain. I think I need to start going home and being unable to work when she treats me too badly, because this shit will kill me. Must take stand, to preserve so-called sanity...
This is just an excerpt from the status update from my friend, an—obviously disgruntled employee, Robin*. I posted in response to her tirade, “..are you sure you want to voice your disdain for your boss/job on the world wide web?” Right or wrong, I had to respond to her. This woman is my friend, and I’ve seen the worst case scenario play out twice in the last three years. Individuals, friends lost their jobs in their respective fields after badmouthing their direct supervisor or company on Facebook. One of these has not been able to get another position in his field.

A Little Perspective:

Of course, you should have the freedom to badmouth whomever you choose when speaking to your peer network. However, the internet is a complex arena; Facebook doubly so:

  • If your privacy settings are set to only share your content with your peer network, you have one layer of protection from the rest of the web. 
  • But, do your ‘friends’ protect their comments, shares, likes, and updates with the same settings? Maybe some do, but definitely not all of them.
  • Once your friend comments on your negative work-related update, or shares it, it belongs to them and can appear to everyone who follows them. If they have an 'open"profile then anyone who finds them on them internet can view their fb activity--without even logging in!

To gauge whether you may potentially face negative repercussions at work answer this question, are any of your Fb friends coworkers, or friends of your co-workers? If you’re not sure don’t risk your job by bitching on the internet!

Unforeseen Repercussions:

Back to Robin. She immediately responded to my note with this: “Guess who doesn’t care…Maybe I will get fired….If she's not gonna pretend she's nice and reasonable, I'm not either.”

I get it, she hates her job and plans to be fired. She’ll have the opportunity to find another job—and hopefully have a more fulfilling experience. Hopefully when she is back on the job market she won't be applying with or interviewing with anyone who has had to read these hyper-negative status updates about her current boss.

Back when I was an undergrad another student was going through a stressful time at work. In Fb status updates she told the world daily, that she hated her boss, her job, coworkers, and the company. On one occasion I even commented that she was being harsh. She didn't care, she had been interviewing and was about to accept an offer. Our paths crossed again three years later. I was in the position of finding a graphic designer for my company and this woman applied. The memory of her rants about that last job jumped immediately to mind; how long would it take her to become disenchanted with work conditions before status update mudslinging at my beloved organization started. She did not get an interview.

*Her name’s not Robin

Popular