Saturday, January 22, 2011

Suddenly, it's the end of the world....I guess.

I guess one has to assume that sooner or later it will happen. It snows a lot. Therefore, the first thing that must occur is the building of a large snowman. It takes a bit more to assume that only one part of the large snowman would be built, but considering it was done by 18 yr. olds, it isn't that big a stretch of the imagination.
Who knew that posting yourself riding on a 7-foot tall snow penis could land you in such hot water?
Such is the case of a high school band director, who was pranked by former students. They built this monument to him in his own front yard. So, the teacher posed with it and posted it on his "facebook page"....done on his home computer and not on the school equipment. Also, the facebook page is not a part of his work place communication.
The question: should this activity, done at home and on his own time, effect his employment?
At what point are we private citizens and at what point do we remain responsible to the company for our private activities?
As you can imagine, this made it to the news.
As computer users, bloggers and readers, surfers, etc., this may effect us all in how we spend our private times away from our jobs. What are your thoughts?
One of the really interesting portions of the link listed above is the other comments on that page. One was about priorities, which I found interesting. Another was about good choices, which I found sage. Take a look.


Sammy B said...

Hello Randy
I'm as careful as I can possibly be to keep my real life and cyberspace life separated - there's nothing I've said or done online which has the least bearing on my ability to do my job or relate to my colleagues, but I have little doubt that if someone at work found my blog and realised that I was the author, my career would be pretty much over. It's much easier to get rid of one person than to replace a full crew, and I'm sure that something along the lines of 'bringing the company into disrepute' could be cobbled together. What do they say about vigilance being the price of freedom?

Love & best wishes
Sammy B

randy said...

Very Good point, Sammy. My concern, does this vigilance equate with silence into the shadows? I have similar concerns that you have. I am proud of my blog. I believe it is moral and ethical, it doesn't seek to degrade anyone or glorify hurting someone. But, I am still concerned as well. One's private life ought to be private! We are paid to do a job, perform a service. If anything more than that, there ought to be employee ownership! randy.

Anonymous said...

I guess I am either lucky or foolish, but I live my life as an open book. My co-workers know my blog, and yes I occasionally write about them. My co-workers know I am gay and have a long term relationship with another person working the same place. We are often together, we eat together, we make no effort to hide our relationship.

While I will always be careful not to hurt anyone one I will never deny that which is me, my beliefs or my feelings. I don't expect others to be as me, nor do I insist that they agree with me, as we are all deserving of the right to our own beliefs. But to silence anyone is to silence all. What the employer did was very very wrong and against the basic human rights of the employee. I hope there is a legal remedy for him.

Randy I have received your email. I will have to wait until later today to write back. This is our first day off after working four 12 hour shifts and we have to work tomorrow, so it is an errand day. Be well and know I care very much about you.

randy said...

Hi Scottie;
Wow! Four in a row! You must be wiped!
The interesting thing about this story is that the employee is happy just to retain his job. I guess it is only via a lag in the technology/contract specifics that is making that possible. And, I'm with you...his basic freedom is being set aside in preference for the company. He did nothing wrong....potentially tasteless, yes, wrong - no. Except, the commenters on the above link noted, one should never allow minors to be "friends" on facebook. It is, ironically, one of those so called "friends" who reported him. It's an interesting lesson and I'm curious as to how it plays out.
Don't you worry about responding to the you noticed, it was me being worried about you. Sleep well and relax. randy.

Anonymous said...

Now we know the difference between snow men and snow women.
Seriously, I don't get why anyone would be so upset over this. Are the students being charged with anything for making an 'obscene' sculpture? Probably not. Perhaps the town should take a good look at themselves and see the danger in going down this road.
I better stop now before the thought police come knocking.