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Monday, July 24, 2006

Petite Anglaise, a British secretary in Paris, fired..BECAUSE OF BLOGGING!

I discovered on Loic´s blog that Catherine, a British secretary who´s been living in Paris for more than a decade, was fired because she was blogging.
Petite Anglaise´s former boss, a so-called Old-School boss in Catherine´s own words, evoked 2 main reasons why he dismissed her:
1) he was concerned by the fact that she might blog from work;
2) Catherine was broadcasting too much information about her workplace.

Here are my two answers to these two points:
2) On the latter, I can tell that, on, one could never guess which organization Catherine was working for...There are thousands of companies in Paris, most of them unknown to the mass. Wouldn´t her boss be a little paranoïc too?
1) On the former reason, well, if Catherine is a good secretary, why would she deserve such a treatment? Isn´t the most important bit the fact that her work is done and well done?
I have blogged from work too , that´s what I´m doing right now.

But I respect a few rules and an ethical, employer-employee interests convergence approach regarding blogging from the workplace:

- there should be economies of scale between blogging and working; I work for a capital and business development company involved at the moment in several entrepreneurial Internet projects. Consequently, blogging helps me bring ideas to the business, know in advance about new consumer trends, learn about ways to create a marketing buzz, etc.
In other words, blogging helps understanding better how the Internet shapes the world, and how a changing world will change the Internet. I´m pretty sure my boss is happy to have someone to ask questions to when uncertain about the raison d´être of a new web technology or website. And if it wouldn´t have been the case, he would have told me so and I would´ve stopped spending twice 30/35 minutes a day blogging.

- Oups, that was my second point. Getting disciplined is necessary: I never, ever spend more than an hour per day blogging. Too many things to do in 24 hours!

- Third, I prepare my posts the night before, from home (I´m sharing a flat where there´s unfortunately no Internet connexion yet), it´s a nice thing to do before going to bed, and behaving this way I don´t waste my time at work writing stuff that aren´t connected to my daily missions. A USB stick helps me carry support articles back and forth.

- Last, but not least, I make sure I do not disclose neither confidential nor negative information about my workplace, my company and its stakeholders. This is an implicit moral contract, that doesn´t apply to blogging only, I´ve always and will always abide by: when saying bad things about a place where you´re spending half of your time, if not more, you´re also sending a negative signal about you.

When all´s said and done, let´s wish Petite Anglaise good luck during her not-so-soon-to-come trial. By the way, Catherine´s blog is so cool, well-organized and her posts so clear and clever that I do not doubt 1 sec. that she´ll be job hunted in the next week thanks to her blog.

PS: this reminds me of another story. A Delta Airlines flight attendant was already fired for posting on her blog a picture of her in a plane...This is one more reason why you should never fly Delta Airlines. Delta Airlines is an awful company and here´s why.


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