Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Boundaries, or, a Dilemma

My mother does not like the previous post, now (maybe) temporarily hidden.

Phone call 1, at 7:06: “I read what you wrote on your blog and I’m concerned about it. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you—the hand that will eventually pay for your condo. Can you take some of it back, or something? It’s not good to have tales about your company on your blog.”

Phone Call 2, thirty minutes later: “I read what you wrote on your blog and I’m really concerned. It makes you look as bad as the people you’re advertising. Please do something.”

Three points:

1. Is what I have written on my blog incendiary, or specific, enough to get me in trouble? I’ve written tales about work before. And I thought about this post—a little—before I posted it. And I just re-read it, and I STILL don’t think I said anything wrong—the person in question truly is a fool.

2. Question: is this post bad news? I will send the original version to anyone who asks.

3. The real dilemma: It’s my BLOG. My WebLog. I keep it for me, not for others. It’s a funny story about a stupid person. I’m not always perfect, and I’m a good writer (and a modest one) so when I decide to skewer someone, I skewer them. It’s my BLOG. MY blog. The person in question doesn’t understand blogs or how to access them.

What to do, what to do? For the moment, I have yanked it. But I don't want to, just on principle! Free speech! Allow me to be mean and petty if I want! (Note: like I said, I read over the post just now, and I don't think it's mean--petty, but not mean.) On the other, no man is an island, and of course my mother doesn't want me to get fired, as it will definitely affect her, and her version of my happiness.

My version of my happiness involves getting my feelings out on my blog and respecting myself when I look in the mirror. If I get written up or fired, I'll sell my jeep, wait tables, and move to a smaller place. Whatever. I'm not dependent on this job for my self worth. It's just a JOB. Only in America do we define ourselves by what we DO for a SALARY--in Europe the idea is anathema! This is how the rat race chews people up and spits them out!

Ahem. So, I'm saying that I place more value on speaking my mind than I do keeping my job, and I'm very skeptical that such a moderate post would effect any sort of negative reactions anyway. And yet, to please my mother, I have yanked it for the time being.

Thoughts, audience? What would you do?


Alex said...

I thought your post seemed a bit harsh, too. There's a fine line between mean and petty, and the internet is not a high resolution forum.

Personally, I would leave it down, but then again I'm significantly different than you for that not to matter. However, I think the sage advice from Dooce is better, "...BE YE NOT SO STUPID. Never write about work on the internet unless your boss knows and sanctions the fact that YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT WORK ON THE INTERNET."

Quatoes said...

Pretty much, remember you can be fired for a web blog. Had a friend of a friend (whom I can't remember atm) who posted and contrasted Microsoft's offer with Google's offer. Prompty has BOTH yanked, and him fired from Google for violating NDAs. So blogs are public domain, be warned.