I try to refrain from almost all mention of my job on this website because people who blog about work either:
A) have already made their peace and won’t feel surprised or wronged when they’re eventually served a piping hot, luberjack-sized helping of their own ass, or
B) are too naive to realize how risky it is to talk about work, even casually, in such a public forum.
I like dooce. I think Heather Armstrong is an insightful commentator and a powerful humorist. The first time I read her stuff way back when, I navigated to her ‘dooced’ entries fully prepared to be clotheslined by a litany of injustices from Dilbert-esque one-liners all the way up to first amendment violations. While there were plenty of the former, when I finished reading the archives, I thought, “Yes, it was malicious for that person to forward dooce’s site to the very people she vilified, but if I was a manager at that company … I probably would have fired the shit out of her too.”
This is just a really overly wordy, self-righteous way for me to assert my overly wordy, self-righteous thesis:
Do not type ANYTHING into a keyboard that you wouldn’t want THE ENTIRE WORLD to read. PERIOD. That includes instant messages, emails, and, for gawd’s sake blog entries AND comments on other people’s blogs. But Tony, emails AND instant messages? Yes, dingus. Under Sarbanes-Oxley, both have to be archived for a minimum of 20,000 years. Once it leaves your keyboard, it is in the PUBLIC FUCKING RECORD and you have no control over it, so make sure you’re okay with your mom, your grandmother, your boss, your boss’ boss, your cat, your spouse, and the FBI reading it because they can all get access if they want. My attitude may seem overly paranoid, but the internet is a hideous bitch-goddess and if you don’t keep your guard up, she will turn you to stone and take all your beer.
I don’t mean to imply that dooce should have known better. She was one of the first to venture into those waters and she took one for the team. It is up to the rest of us to learn from it and not doom ourselves to repeat previous indiscretions. I don’t think dooce’s first amendment rights were violated. She, like so many others, thought that by not mentioning names and places she would be protected by anonymity. She found out the hard way that connecting the dots is not very difficult for an outsider. There is no such thing as anonymity on the internet. Stop kidding yourselves.
This is actually all a big introduction to my REAL thesis: I start a new job in a couple weeks. And that’s all I’m going to say about it. I was pretty unhappy at my last job nearly the entire time I was there, but hunting for something new is a tedious endeavor when you’re tied up with your current job from 8am to 6pm every day. I finally got really serious about the search at the end of June. In the last paragraph of this post I make reference to an “excruciating ride home” from Savannah while several projects blew up at work. What I failed to mention then was that I actually had a full-on anxiety attack. I sat reclined in the passenger seat trying unsuccessfully to breathe deeply and calm down while Gia drove the entire way home. I’m a pretty stable person. I’ve never had anything remotely resembling an anxiety attack before. I knew then it was time to find something else or die of multiple brain aneurysms. So, I found something else and I start in a couple weeks. I quit the old gig last week, so I’m faced with a couple weeks of free time and no money to spend. Brace yourselves for wicked hella home improvement.