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Dangers of Blogging About Work

This story about a blogger getting sacked from his job has already done the rounds in the blogosphere. But on the off chance that you haven’t heard it yet..

A bookseller has become the first blogger in Britain to be sacked from his job because he kept an online diary in which he occasionally mentioned bad days at work and satirised his “sandal-wearing” boss.


Joe Gordon, 37, worked for Waterstone’s in Edinburgh for 11 years but says he was dismissed without warning for “gross misconduct” and “bringing the company into disrepute” through the comments he posted on his weblog.

 

Published authors and some of the 5 million self-published bloggers around the globe said it was extraordinary that a company advertising itself as a bastion of freedom of speech had acted so swiftly to sack Mr Gordon, who mentions everything from the US elections to his home city of Edinburgh in the satirical blog he writes in his spare time.

 

Mr Gordon, a senior bookseller who rarely mentioned work in his blog and did not directly identify his branch of Waterstone’s, said he had offered to stop posting anything about his working life online when the company called a disciplinary meeting. According to his union, Waterstone’s rejected his plea despite it not having any guidelines on whether its employees are allowed to keep weblogs.

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Named after Monty Python’s fictional University of Woolloomooloo, the blog contains the typical musings of online diarists across the world, linking to interesting websites and sounding off about current affairs and favourite films. There is much to please Waterstone’s: most of the blog is devoted to extolling the virtues of reading and Mr Gordon’s favourite science fiction and graphic novels.

 

In the past two months, the bookseller, who helped set up a branch of Waterstone’s, ran bookclubs and appeared on radio and TV for his company, mentioned his work twice.

 

On one occasion, he ranted about his “sandal-wearing” manager he nicknamed “Evil Boss”, which he said was a caricature like the “Pointy Haired Boss” in the Dilbert cartoons. In another posting, Mr Gordon joked about “Bastardstone’s”.

 

After he was suspended pending an investigation into his blog, he was called before a formal disciplinary meeting and sacked last week.

I have always wondered whether anyone at work has ever read this blog. I doubt it, because I think I would be easily identified via this blog. Not that I really care. I put in long hours at work, always get the job done, and do not let my blogging interfere with the quality or quantity of my work. Also, I never mention the specifics of my job, nor do I ever complain about work (I actually like my job), so I do not believe I would ever be fired for the blog.

 

Update: I also think that fellow anglo-Israeli blogger Ashley has guts. He has his name and picture on his blog, and lets it be known how he feels about his job and bosses. But then again, he has made it known that he wouldn’t mind being sacked..

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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