Thursday, August 17, 2006

Shits and Giggles

This guy has just been suspended from his job at Orange over this article for some right wing website. It's actually pretty damn hilarious in a Jeremy Clarkson kind of way.


bagelmouse said...

There's a daily news email sent out where I work, and the other day there was a mention of blogs. It said we had to make sure that, as we are representatives of the company, we stick to the company's values. Which as my company has pretty decent values that are normal and everyday, isn't too hard.

If, however, you're dumb enough to put your real name and photo on a politically motivated article where you slag off a colleague, you're evidently too dumb to keep your job. Reminds me of the furore a few years ago when I used to work for the British Council - an organisation commited to fostering relationships between the UK and other parts of the world, with a particular focus on Muslim countries at the moment - a communications guy was caught writing anti-Muslim articles with a very poor pseudonym. Moron.

kate said...

problem is, whatever you think of the actual article (i agree with you on the 'moron' thing), the issue here is the extent to which an employer should be able to control what you do outside work time.
if this guy had published the piece in a book, or if he'd made a speech saying much the same thing, would Orange have taken action?
the internet is a great thing but a worrying aspect is the access it gives employers to sections of their staff's lives that previously went unnoticed.
on the one hand yes you can say 'well he shoulda known this could have got him in trouble and used a pseudonym' but on the other hand, you can argue that this guy hadn't linked himself to Orange in any way, he was writing purely in a personal capacity, in his spare time, and ultimately, what he does in his spare time is none of his employer's business (other than the usual caveats about acting within the law blahdeblah).

(word of the day = oivrap btw).

bagelmouse said...

Having had an employer find my blog in the past and complain bitterly about it... I think it depends on what your job is and what you say in your blog. If, like Harry Cummins, your job is to communicate lovely fluffy policies promoting cultural understanding around the world, and it turns out you're slagging off the Muslim community on the side, it might hint to your employer that you're probably not the right person for the job and could do enormous amounts of damage if your real opinions ever slipped out in the course of your work. You'd get disciplined or fired for making racist remarks at work, why not outside work?

Of course, if you do a job like mine, where you're not in contact with anyone outside your organisation and would have a hard job ever being promoted as the face of the company, I would take any attempt to interfere with my blog very seriously as an infringement of my personal rights. But then, I'm careful not to talk much about work, VERY careful not to name where I work, and careful not to use my reall, full, name because at the moment it's very much a grey area and companies do seem to think they have a right to control what you do out of hours. Which they don't, but I think it's a fair argument that if what you say can be traced back to you and your position at work, and you're saying something that goes against the company and its image, you should be prepared to face the consequences (which shouldn't be sacking, that's way too extreme!).

Word of the day: "vansgk". Isn't that a port town in Siberia?