Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You're so Vain [guest blog]




Today I am proud to announce my first guest blogger. Adam from Throwing Quarters blog/podcast has written a great post about how blogging can affect your life. What you thought was just between you and the internet can hit close to home. It fits nicely with I have been writing about lately myself.
So let's welcome Adam....

You're So Vain

Hello to all you Vodka Logicals [can I say I just coined a term for all you Vodka Logic fans or what?]

If you have never heard of me, that's fine with me, and up until August, I was delightfully obscure in my own little blog world.  Only a small handful of readers, and all of whom I built a unique relationship with read my blog, or so I thought.

From reading mommy bloggers to photog bloggers, to reading about the mundane intricacies of life, I was a realtive unknown.  I would write exactly as I was feeling, about any subject I care to write about.  From the cult like properties of the Catholic Religion to explaining why Obama was NOT my candidate, to why I will never buy a GM vehicle for as long as I live, to going off about the hell that is becoming my job in retail.

Oh my job.  So like I stated before, up until August I was unknown.  29-30 followers, all of whom read and commented my blog.  Then Blog of Note happened.

Google and Blogger plucked me from obscurity and put me in the public eye.  My daily hits went from 400-500 a month to 400-500 and hour.  Within minutes my blog had more traffic than I have ever had since keeping traffic records.

I was delighted.  I would giggle as I read the enormous amounts of comments, I would giggle at the amount of traffic I was getting, and humbled by the amount of downloads my podcast was getting.

Then it happened.

My boss found out.  How?  Well it seems, as it turns out, my colleagues followed by blog with devotion.  They followed anonymously and would keep comments to themselves.  Then one day they started texting me and congratulating me on the success of my blog.

When I blew up, I continued posting as I felt I should.  No holds barred style.  I would use words like but not limited to, fuck, shit, bitch, fucktard, asshat, and cunt.  I would write about all you stupid retail customers.  I would write about my family.  I would write about anything.

Well one day, after attending several weddings over the summer, I shared with my readers an observation.  Why would you wear jeans to a wedding?  I went off.  I made up a fictional character which was a combo of every person I have ever seen at a wedding with jeans on, and I picked on them.  I used a line, which I now wish I edited out, 'I know you. I work with you. I know you have nice slacks and a tie'.

That line alone caught the attention of some coworkers.  Instantly all my colleagues who read my blog began wondering who it was.  One person was at a wedding with me and assumed the whole blog was about 1 person that we worked with.  So they took it upon themselves to tell said Jean Wearing coworker about it.  They said, "Sorry dude about what Adam said about you on his blog."

He was ignorant.  He didn't know.  Soon an entire store [not mine] was pissed off.  They took it upon themselves to print it and give it to my boss' boss.  She in turn, read every curse word, every phrase, and every disingenuous thing about it to my boss, and demand that I take it down.

Too late, by the time it got that far, I was tipped off and I took it down as to not piss off any more coworkers.

Too late the damage was done.  I was not fired, written up, or even sternly talked to.  It ruined my reputation in my boss' eyes, and her superiors eyes.  I was up for a promotion that I did not get.  I was considered a leader, now, I am nothing but a swearing asshole.

My employer can't fire me.  I never mentioned a name.  I never mentioned where I work, but somehow that post alone has put me into a place at work where managers think I am toxic, unpromotable, and just a downright asshole.

So as you read a blog that pokes fun at people, keep your opinions on the blog.  Share it with friends if you think to, but if you think a blog is about someone, and it never mentions their name, you are more guilty than I for pointing it out.  I didn't mention a name.  Since that person fit the description and you say, dude, 'that guy wrote a blog about you', you are basically saying it was not OK to wear jeans to a wedding, without the original thoughts behind your words.  You are saying something to someone without having to say it and somehow it protects you from being guilty.

The way I see it, you, my friend, are the asshole.  You, my friend, are the dickhead.  You, my friend, are the toxic one.

You're so vain, you probably think THIS blog is about you.

30 comments :

The Good Cook said...

I'm so glad I work for me. However, this is good advice for all bloggers. I NEVER write about my clients, EVER - as much as sometimes I would like to....

Will Burke said...

When I saw the title, I totally thought of NIN. And I just finished commenting on a co-worker's Blog about CYA in regards to work, but you were a little vague as to how Blog OfNote picked you up...

Will Burke said...

Two of my co-workers just started Blogging -- I just sent them this link! Should be required-reading for all Bloggers and wedding- attenders (for Gawd's sake, people, have a little class!)

Adam said...

Will, truth is, I have no idea why Blogger and Google picked me out of the 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 blogs out there, but, I am grateful.

adrienzgirl said...

I still think that employers don't have ANY business taking blogs, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet into account when measuring a employee or potential employees worthiness for promotion or hire. It should be against some personal rights or something. It seems like a violation of privacy and has no bearing on what kind of employee you will be. Just because I use foul language on my blog or social media outlets doesn't mean I speak that way while at work. CRAZY STUFF!!!

Brian Miller said...

my boss just asked about my blog yesterday...

gripping story as i have imagined it at times and have head others stories of broken anonymity with their blogs...

usually rumor is faster than truth...and people are just vain enough to think it is them...great post.

plainolebob said...

Adam, what a great blog, and I would hope that most bloggers will take your advice.
If I was your gm. you would have gotten the promotion for your creative skills alone, god know they need these skills in the retail industry.
I have never followed a blog of note before, most just seemed to boring, but I do believe you have changed my mind.
Having been a retail gm. for over 13yrs., and that was some 20yrs ago now, you keep it up, someone from a smarter company will pick you up.
BIG BIG HUGS

blueviolet said...

That was a great post. I'm sorry that your career has been compromised. It really doesn't seem right.

Vodka Logic said...

I have to agree that your personal business is just that. If you act appropriate and perform well at your job that should be the basis of a promotion.

If you had named names or bashed your job that would be different, maybe.

Good luck Adam and if you ever need a recommendation you have my email

Yankee Girl said...

Things like this really frost my cupcake.

People make poor assumptions all the time that lead to trouble. And it all could have been avoided if people just read your blog, had a good laugh, and then continued on with their day.

Tamela said...

That is why you shouldn't post about your work, unless you have a completely anonymous blog. Gossip is horrible.

Carol said...

Thanks V.L. for posting this writer.

I too value my writing, I am not a believer in fowl langage but believe you have the right to us such words.

I do believe that gossip is trash. But just saying that people should dress up at a wedding is not enough to point a finger at one person unless they were guilty.

Maybe that's the problem, no class on the part of the blue jean wears. That is there problem not yours, sorry it affected you.

jessalyn said...

i worked in retail for years. it is a harsh environment. in my store- everyone was everyone's best friend to their face, but constantly bad mouthed each other to the bosses- the only way i survived was sucking up to the male bosses and getting them to like me (well the straight ones anywho).
sucks it went down like that- i hate when people wear jeans to weddings and funerals. just isn't right.

Bruce Coltin said...

Well, without the tangle that you got yourself into, we would not have had this great story. Very entertaining.

Anonymous said...

As a media professional, this is why I have yet to blog. I would probably be too honest in my opinions and before I knew it, I'd have said something that could get me in trouble with the people who employ me.

That said, an honest blog which tells how you really feel is the most entertaining.

MiMi said...

This is a great post. I can't even imagine, (ok, i guess i can) how crappy that would be!
I'm dying to tell a story about something I did to this byotch I worked with, but some of my former co-workers read my blog and I know they'd tell the biznatch.

Steven Anthony said...

This is why Im so glad I work for myself from home....I can say whatever I want, and I only have to answer to myself....

Im sorry this happend to you, what ever happened to free speech?

great post....and btw: I so agree about the no jeans at a wedding.

WhisperingWriter said...

I'm glad I stay at home then.

Granted, I do write about people that I encounter but it's not quite the same.

And jeans at a wedding? Yeah, not appropriate.

Melissa B. said...

Interesting perspective. I try to keep the cussing to a minimum, but I have been know to spew some effing good lines...

Just Jules said...

Is this about me? seriously? is it?

BeautifulWreck said...

I love this blog post. Excellent.

marymac said...

Wow- you use the c word?!? Am a big fan of asshat and fucktard- use both all the time but never have used the Big C. Glad it's not getting you 'dooced' at work!
Rock on with your bad self. ;)

Stephanie Faris said...

Wow. That's what sucks about it. One Christmas when I was blogging on MySpace, I made a crack about how none of the women I worked with liked me and I'd brought candy. I said something like, "They probably think I poisoned it." I noticed none of the women went near my candy. Later I found out that all of those women were reading my blog and snidely commenting about it behind my back. I had to laugh at the poisoned candy blog when I realized it!

People have been fired over their blog. Two MySpacers were during my time there. In one case she was discovered to be spending too much time reading blogs when she was supposed to be working and they let her go. The other MySpacer was trashing his boss and his co-workers and his boss brought him in and fired him over it. I don't think he named the guy by name but the guy didn't seem to think he had recourse.

JennyMac said...

Great to see you Adam! And this blog is precisely why no one I work with even knows about my blog...nor if they read it, could they discern with 100% certainty it was me writing it. And there is a woman in my company with the exact same name. I shall blame her. LOL.

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

I definitely am glad that I work for myself right now. Everyone should take your advice though. Excellent blog and nice to meet you.

Sandy said...

Good on you for being true to yourself. Because I know people I work with and even clients read my blog I have tried to be careful. Sometimes I think of an idea for a post and then say.....nonono can't write that!

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