You may recall that I blogged about an incident in work some years ago– when my employer found my other, non-anoymous blog and had found my mention of working at his organisation. He’d also found that I’d mentioned that I’d been abusing cocaine. He got a middle manager to tell me: Take down the mentions of drugs, or the mentions of your job. One or the other.
So I did as I was told.
I’ve told a handful of people about this conversation. Many have said to me, that’s your blog, with your opinions and your life. Who are they to dictate what you say online?
Unfortunately, it seems, My employer had some grounding.
I was walking through a shopping centre a few weeks ago and I saw a stall offering free legal advice. Curiosity got the better of me. I explained that there was an “incident in work” that I was curious about in terms of where the law stands, and was hoping just to get a bit of advice. So I gave them my number and waited for their call.
As you can imagine, a conversation like this can’t be done in work. Nor can it be done on public transport, nor around family members. You’d think it would be easy for them to pick a good time, consdering I live alone and I work part time. It took a few weeks, but eventually we had the conversation.
The lawyer on the end of the phone wasn’t particularly sympathetic.
“We do’t think it was unreasonable,” he said. “At the end of the day, it was a request, not a demand.”
Not true. They made me do it. I told the lawyer this, but it didn’t matter.
“If it was something that could potentially damage the organisation, then he had a right to ask you to remove it.”
Oh well. I plan on getting this other blog quite well-known. I won’t mention my employer on it, but what happens, I asked, if this issue arises again for some reason?
“It would depend on the employer’s situation. At that point we could advise further, but for the situation you mentioned, it wasn’t unreasonable to ask for it to be taken down.”
So there we have it. And now, considering how much info about my employer I’ve already dished out on THIS site, I could be in a world of shit already. Check this article about how frail “anonymity” really is. My employer could be sharpening his axe right now, whilst glaring at my ID picture…