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Work/Life: Be Careful What You Kvetch For

Well, now, here’s a can ‘o worms for you. A retail worker in Britain had a bad day at work and felt frustrated with his bosses. To vent his frustration, he posted an angry entry about his feelings on Facebook, the MySpace-like sharing site. When his employers found out about it, they fired him. And, to add insult to injury, the posting was only read by three people.

Well, now, here’s a can ‘o worms for you. A retail worker in Britain had a bad day at work and felt frustrated with his bosses. To vent his frustration, he posted an angry entry about his feelings on Facebook, the MySpace-like sharing site. When his employers found out about it, they fired him. And, to add insult to injury, the posting was only read by three people.

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This, to me, was the action of a management team that needs a little balance. Criticism is hard to take, but how often do you get the opportunity to really hear a from-the-heart rant from an employee who is unhappy? Before you fire the guy, let him have a few minutes of face time away from Facebook, and maybe some middle ground could be reached. Who knows, maybe you could even improve employee relations via what you learn from someone who is upset. In fact, I believe this young man could have started a daring new trend: posting grievances on the Internet. I suppose, given the fate of the gentlemen in our story, we might have to make it anonymous, but how about a site called “Stuff-We-Don’t-Talk-About.com?”

Here’s a few examples:

FROM: An Underling @ underling.net
TO: You Know Who

SUBJECT: THE BIG DISS OFF

Okay, now that I’m home and have had a minute to think about it, I have to tell you that when you’re on the phone with a client and you say, loud enough for me to hear, “thank God you’re dealing with me and not the moron at the next desk,” it is, to say the least, counter-productive, bucket head.

FROM: Overworked – Underpaid @ ungrateful.org
TO: The Boss, and I Don’t Mean Bruce Springsteen

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SUBJECT: LINKS

It’s about time something was said: I don’t appreciate being told that I am inefficient and costing the company its productivity, when your idea of a successful day is sinking a putt on the green in your office. Plus you have B.O., but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.

FROM: Your Spouse @ home.com
TO: My “better?” half

SUBJECT: THE OLD DAYS
Hey, there, big fella. Just letting you know the last time you made it home before 8:30 at night was when cell phones weighed about three pounds and were bigger than your head. Remember those days? We used to tape “L.A. Law” and watch it on something called “VHS.” Time’s a wastin’, dear.

As you can see, they don’t all have to be work-related. So what do you say we encourage those we interact with to get on the sharing site of their choice, post a few grievances, and see how we deal with it? Oh, did I mention my computer was on the fritz?

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