Bloggers learn lesson: Don't trash your boss


Cathy writes "Here is a Canadian article from the Globe about a blogger who got fired over content she posted on her blog.

When Penny Cholmondeley found piles of abandoned machinery and rusted cans lying on the snowy tundra outside Iqaluit, she decided they were a ''fascinating source of visual material'' and posted pictures of the garbage on her personal Internet blog.

Her boss at the Nunavut Tourism agency didn't think the 29-year-old's on-line journal showed off Iqaluit's Arctic charms, however, and fired her from her job as tourism marketing officer.


Much as I'm into free speech and freedom of expression, there has to be a line drawn where common sense comes into play. I'm a blogger, and I blog about several things, from my own personal minutia and dementia to my love of librarianism to my art to whatever. And as much as I love to exercise my right to free speech, I know that it's an unabashedly bad idea to talk shite about your job and your boss. Even if they don't fire you, your work life will probably become a living hell.

An friend of mine who was in the Army said the following: "It's an old military adage that you make friends with three people: Your CO, your Quatermaster, and your cook." This kind of thing flies pretty well in the real world, except we change some terminology. You should attempt a good working relationship with your boss and your suppliers. (Your cook probably isn't as important unless of course your cook happens to be your significant other!)

Your boss (who is sometimes the person signing your cheque) can make or break your work life. Your suppliers keep you alive and able to do your job. Piss off either one, and you really risk your job. So yeah, every now and again I have disagreements with admin, but I keep it professional. I don't go home and bitch on my blog about how so and so is an idiot or how someone is screwing up. Putting anything on the internet is like putting it on a billboard. Everyone can see it. Even if you hide it, people can still find it. I seriously doubt that my bosses know about my blog, but even if they were my most avid readers, they wouldn't find anything targeted at them.

Reading the article a bit more closely: she wasn't fired for "trashing" her boss but for posting pictures of trash lying around Iqaluit (capital of Nunavut) and I believe also posting a negative review of a local restaurant. Someone complained to her boss and her boss decided not to renew her contract.

This was a poor choice of the bosses part IMHO as it has caused more negative publicity for Iqualuit and Nunavut than a few posts on a blog. Some others have suggested that her employer might have taken advantage of the publicity her blog was generating for the area but that might be too much to expect.

The blog in question is here so have a look and decide for yourself.

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