Thursday, June 25, 2009

Looking Back: Fired

This post is a part of 20SB’s Looking Back Blog Carnival, and Ben & Jerry’s is awarding free ice cream to lucky bloggers and readers!

Although I started this blog so I could talk about technology, communication and my job search, my initial entries are embarrassing, to say the least. I think I tried to hard at first, trying to straddle the line between relating to other 20-somethings and keeping my personal life private. Most of the entries are saccharine, superficial and...boring. I did find one, though, that I think shows how much I've grown as a professional (and a blogger). Fired was originally posted in November, 2007.

Speaking of new technology, a friend of mine was recently fired from her internship.

It's really an amazing story. Kate* is very intelligent and field-savvy, and she got a position with a very important news source. As part of her learning experience, and to use in her final project for school, she created a blog in which she wrote about her experiences. Kate is very witty, and it showed in her entries. Unfortunately, the newsroom director was not amused and had Kate fired. She will not earn credit, she will not pass go, and she will not receive her $200 stipend. Kate, understandably, was very upset by this development, especially when she learned that the HR department had been calling her internship adviser and promised that she will never work for this very important news source again.

When I found out, I was stunned. Kate was not writing about the sexcapades of politicians. However, she must have written something that the news director thought portrayed the very important news source in a negative light. I would tend to agree with this news source, especially if Kate had breached her internship contract, but I do not think they handled it well at all.

As I mentioned earlier, the internet is so new that we don't know what to do with it. This is also the age of Ugly Betty, Back to You and Devil Wears Prada. We love to hear about the behind the scenes scandals of big-name companies. It the grand scheme, Kate's blog was harmless, and probably would have served to humanize this news source.

Should Kate have remained anonymous? Absolutely. And it is unfortunate that the news director found out about the blog. But should the very important news source have fired Kate? No! With her writing ability and witty tone, they could have capitalized on her, granting her some guidelines about what should and should not go into the blog and a general time frame for when information can get out.

It's unfortunate that Kate lost her job over a blog, but it is more unfortunate that these big corporations aren't better taking advantage of them.

* not her real name

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