But read closely. Maybe these bloggers weren't so "innocent", after all:
Suffering from "pure boredom" while working as a
features writer for a North Carolina newspaper,
Rachel Mosteller began keeping an online journal.
Anonymously, with names changed to protect the
guilty, she chronicled the people who inhabit just
about any newsroom - the foul-mouthed female
reporter, the chubby sportswriter, the co-worker
who hoards the free books sent in by publishers
seeking reviews. But her blog, called the
"Sarcastic Journalist," didn't stay secret for long.
Her bosses found out last year, and Ms. Mosteller,
eight months pregnant at the time, promptly
found herself sacked.
Guess you weren't all that "anonymous" after all, were you, sweetheart? And you made the people at your paper look like jerks. Not exactly professional behavior, was it? I'd have fired you, too.
The article presents four other examples clearly intended to make our blood boil with outrage. Let's consider them:
1. The guy who was blogging on company time and on the company computer deserved to be fired, I don't care what he was writing about. They weren't paying you for blogging, bud.
2. When the flight attendant posed for "sexy" photos while wearing her Delta uniform, she was representing the company. I'd have fired her, too, for making it look like Delta's flight attendants are just a step up from porn queens. Dress or undress as you like and take erotic pictures until your camera melts, but don't make Delta's flight attendants ashamed to wear their uniforms.
3. When one blogger discussed her company's "technical problems" online, she betrayed professional confidences and undermined the company's reputation. Talk about stupid. She's lucky they're not suing her. Next case!
4. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch features writer who dissed his paper's quality was obviously not a team player. And his bosses didn't fire him -- he quit after they found out about the unflattering comments in his blog. Good riddance!
Even the title of the CSM article annoyed me: Office Memo: 'Blogging' can get you bounced. Come on. It's not blogging that's getting these nitwits bounced. They're free to blog to their hearts' content. On their own time. On their own computers. And as long as they're not harming their employer's reputations.
Do I sound just a tad unsympathetic? Oh, I hope not. What I am trying to convey is that I am extremely unsympathetic. Bloggers who get fired under these circumstances like to yammer about being denied their freedom of speech, but, hey -- employers have rights, too, and they don't have to continue writing paychecks to lowlifes who take the money and then tell the world what lousy bosses they have.
I have yet to hear of a single case where a blogger was fired solely for expressing an opinion that his employer disagreed with. If anyone can find a story about a blogger who was not posting on company time, or from a company-owned computer, and who was not revealing company secrets or trashing his or her employer's reputation, but merely blogging about something his bosses didn't like, send me a link. I'm interested.