January 16, 2003

Fired for Blogging

Iain Murray was fired for blogging. That's what his bosses told him anyway. The kicker? His previous boss had no trouble with his blogging.

Posted by Andrea Harris at January 16, 2003 10:16 AM

because i am a poor, drunk, uneducated bastard, i generally approach stories such as this firing with a truckload of grains of salt and a boatload of cynicism.

this is definitely just one side of the story and i am willing to bet a fresh jelly donut it is an extremely truncated version.

notice how his story contains a bit about how his blogging on company time really only took up roughly the same amount of time others used for cigarette breaks? sounds like a rationalization to me and one that was probably repeated to his new bosses several times when they objected to paying him to blog on company time before the new bosses decided not to be like the old bosses (heh heh heh) and gave him the sack at which time he THEN probably said, "oh my gosh, ok, ok, ok, i wont blog any more on company time (which means i will but i will just be more careful about letting anyone catch me) and the new bosses (not the same as the old bosses) declined his generous offer.

or maybe not, eh? maybe the new bosses are just a bunch of heartless bastards who dont understand how the little people should be allowed their little diversions as long as nobody is hurt. judging from the myriad of comments to this guy's post, the consensus is THAT is the truth.


Posted by: mr. helpful at January 16, 2003 at 11:21 AM

Well, I sense that they wanted to lay off some people and this was just an excuse; but like you said, we only know one side of the story so far. In my comments to his post I wrote that if his previous boss had no trouble with his occasional blogging, but that internet use on company time was against company policy, then that is his prior boss's fault, not Mr. Murray's, and Mr. Murray should merely have been told that company rules would be enforced from now on. We'll see.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 16, 2003 at 11:34 AM

Sounds like a case of projection on your part, helpful.

Iain (allegedly) writes for various venues on his (alleged) areas of expertise, which (allegedly) is generally encouraged by his employer. As he (allegedly) posted, his blog posts (allegedly) were the seeds for these (alleged) external publications.

My employers were generally delighted for us to write (about our professional work) for popular publications as well, since our institutional affiliation would be mentioned, reflecting glory on to them. This isn't (quite) like someone in data entry goofing off.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at January 16, 2003 at 11:38 AM

I don't see why you can't be fired for any old
reason at all. It means one side doesn't find
the deal to his advantage any longer, and you
need two for a voluntary deal.

The usual rule is not to burn any bridges.

And a new employer will notice how you speak of an
old one, which he speculates he may be himself one day.

I have failed to pack my sentences with ``his or her''
again, I see. The seminars are not working.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at January 16, 2003 at 01:02 PM

angie...if we outlaw projections then only outlaws will have...er...uh...be able to project?

yeah..thats the ticket....

Posted by: mr. helpful at January 16, 2003 at 01:12 PM

I think it was simply the "at work" thing that got him nailed. Duh.

Posted by: Chip Haynes at January 16, 2003 at 02:55 PM

Well, there seems to be a gray area there, considering what he said about his previous boss accepting the idea that blogging helped him in his job. You know, for ideas, writing -- which I gather was part of his job.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 16, 2003 at 03:14 PM

I'm an employment lawyer, and here is my take. When someone gets fired, EVERYONE lies about it.

Any smart lawyer will tell you, you never know what really happened until you hear the other attorney depose YOUR client.

Posted by: Steve H. at January 16, 2003 at 04:28 PM

Well of course it's my side of the story and my previous employers will probably say something different. I probably won't accept their version. They possibly won't accept mine. That's why we have civil courts in the first place, not that I'm saying that court is appropriate in this case. Third party testimony is useful in deciding these questions, and I am confident others will back me up.

Choose not to believe me if you will, that's your right. I know where I stand.

Posted by: Iain Murray at January 16, 2003 at 10:49 PM