Keep your online mouth shut

Yesterday game journalists were all atwitter about some anonymous tell-all blogs. It just so happened that two disgruntled employees at two different venerable companies decided to speak their mind on the same afternoon. I read both entries, and walked away thinking the same thing, "What's the point?"

Don't get me wrong, I've been frustrated with jobs, employers, coworkers, and customers. I've even tweeted and blogged about it before. Where did it get me? Absolutely nowhere. In fact, it almost led me to unemployment once. I wrote one small line about my day job sucking a couple of years ago and my employer read it. I didn't think anyone knew about this particular blog, but apparently someone did, because shortly after posting that sentence, I saw a job description matching my position on Craigslist. I was arrogant enough to think it was someone else, or perhaps we were finally getting the extra person we so badly needed.

I asked my immediate boss, and found out it was posted because they thought I hated my job. They were being proactive before I walked out. Oops. We cleared it all up of course, and my immediate boss was amazing. She wanted to know why I wrote what I did and what we could both do to make it a better environment. We worked it out, and for a few months, it was awesome.

I did eventually leave that job for a new one though. I gave a very long notice and tried my best to leave on good terms with everyone there. After nine months working with the company I'm currently contracted with, I was told that on my first week, an anonymous letter showed up stamped with my old employer's letterhead. The letter was all about how big of a mistake it was to hire me. It said I was a bad person, a lazy employee, and more.

Thankfully, my current employers ignored the letter because it was anonymous. When they eventually told me about it, I was livid. I only told two people who my new contract was with when I left my old job, so I know exactly who did it. I wanted to lash out, write a scathing anonymous letter back, but again...what's the point?

It feels good to vent, and share your crappy situation with others. When we're in tight places, or bad jobs, we want to hear other people say, "Man that really sucks! I'm sorry you have to be in that situation." We want to share our pain. That's fine, totally natural really, we all need to vent. My advice? Don't do it online if you're not prepared to deal with the consequences, and if you're want  to do it anonymously, then you shouldn't do it at all.

I know it's easier said than done. And I know that sometimes, you really can get fired for standing up for yourself, or speaking out about something that isn't right. A lot of people will tell you that if you do get fired, at least you get to walk away with your integrity. That's true, but integrity doesn't pay the bills (it does, however, help you sleep at night).

I guess the point of all this is that I feel their pain, but I don't agree with what they did. The anonymous blog does nothing to help the problem. Also, if the author is ever identified, that blog will be a black mark on his/her resume forever. Trust me, when applying for jobs, I now know I can never check the "Yes" box next to "May we contact this employer?" for one of my past jobs, and that sucks. I know the anonymous letter was untrue and petty, but I don't want to have to explain it to someone else. So to all you anonymous bloggers, or people that just can't stand your job, boss, position, coworkers or customers, talk to someone. Call your mom, vent to your wife, better yet, talk to the people you have a problem with. Just keep it off Facebook, in the long run, you'll be glad you did.