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View Full Version : Employers checking to see if one posts on websites..


ArenaBoy
09-21-2006, 03:44 AM
Such as this. :devil: I just learned this the other day. I was talking to my mom about blogging about SCs and she told me that at the arena they hire guys to check to see if employees do that. A waste of time and money I think. Anyway, what are your opinions on employers doing that? Mine is that we all have a right to do that because we can talk about our work events to friends and not get fired for it but post it on the internet and it's a big deal all of a sudden. Just something that makes me wonder.

Ryu
09-21-2006, 03:59 AM
well if you're badmouthing your employer and making others not want to shop or work there then yes its a problem
but if you're just talking about sucky customers without mentioning the employer i dont see the problem
it also depends on the company/industry, some are more sensitive to public opinion than others
take me for an example, the movie theater, people arent going to care as long as they get the food and get in in a timely manner if i'm happy or not, at least not most people
but, i dunno just guessing, barnes and nobles vs borders, if one has a ton of employees posting negatively people might decide to go to the other, just a guess though

Rapscallion
09-21-2006, 04:36 AM
There are perhaps three moderators here who know the name of the company where I work, and maybe one or two more. If a cow-irker stumbled across this place, there are few who could recognise a colleague. However, I always take great care to obfuscate where I actually am. It's basic Internet security.

In a way, it's sometimes easier for employees of larger chains, as you can say you were serving someone their burger and anyone searching would have to wade through the flotsam and debris of the Internet to find that you hadn't mentioned which of the chains you worked for.

Rapscallion

lordlundar
09-21-2006, 04:40 AM
And that's why we encourage the anonymity approach here. Do not say where you work, and they can't prove you posted here complaining about them.:devil:

There's no restriction to saying where you work, as long as you simply are venting. We have had a few people here who were banned simply because they badmouthed everything about where they used to work. When it comes to company policy, you take your chances. Some pieces of advice.

1. No baseless badmouthing - Ventings fine, but if someone works in the same company, don't post in their topics to simply badmouth the company. Quick ban there.

2. Follow Company policy - If they say something is confidential, then it is. If they find out you put it here, raps and the others will honour a removal request and you're on your own.

3. At work posting - This is delicate. Some companies don't give a damn under certain circumstances (see above), some block access as a matter of policy, (mine blocks anything that can be a problem in public), and some if they see you on here at work, will fire you.

In my case, I can't visit at work due to hardware restrictions, but on my own time is just that. Provided I don't break the above rules, my managers don't care. I tell them I come here as stress relief.

friendofjimmyk
09-21-2006, 11:33 AM
This is an interesting topic. Most of my posts are written while I am sitting @ my desk during down time. There are at least 3 other co-workers of mine on here. (I think I have the most posts out of us all...one only lurks around - he must come out of the shadows!!)

I know for a fact that our computers are monitored often. They banned myspace after it was discovered nearly the entire floor was on it. Understandable...myspace I am sure is not all that entirely safe for a corporate server.

I never mention my company by name. I have put some details out there about the company...and anyone, if they really wanted to, could put the details together and try to figure it out.

Sometimes, I don't know what I would do without this site at work! I am not sure how I managed with out it! It definitely helps with stressful situations as they happen. I can write about them rather than choking myself with the phone cord or breaking my computer.

Knightmare
09-21-2006, 12:34 PM
When I worked at RadioShack, it was a big no-no to post at THIS SITE (http://www.radioshacksucks.com) <---- Click here to see the site.

Corporate actually paid people to go to the site and try to figure out who was who and at what store they worked. Some people did get fired for posting at the site. Some LPMs even went on the site and went fishing for information. DMs and RMs did the same thing. There is an injunction against the website. Read the second page and see!

I used to post on the site frequently. I haven't been there in a while. When I left the Shack, I left the whole thing behind me.

Now I post on here, and I honestly don't care if someone from work knows it's me. I tell many co-workers about this site. I don't post any company secrets or anything that will cause harm to the company. I vent and rant, just like many people here.

So what is my opinion on corporations looking for these kinds of sites? I feel that, on one hand, it is necessary. You don't want employees or former employees divulging company secrets. On the other hand, it is a waste of time and money. The internet is just too big to monitor.

We, as Americans, have a First Amendment RIGHT to say what we want, when we want (yeah, I know there's more to it than that).

What bothers me the most is about the companies that do look for these sites. They are busy looking for people that complain. Well, most employees on these sites do. So why fire them? Why not think of these sites as giant suggestion boxes? Why not find out what bothers the employees, and change what you can? At RSsucks.com there was a topic on how to make RadioShack a better company, and most of the discussions were reasonable and heartfelt. But did corporate listen? Of course not. Now look where they are...

Ah, I'm sorry if this wasn't exactly coherent. I'm just getting back from my 3rd overnight shift, and my mind isn't exactly sharp. I can't wait til this week is over.

MadMike
09-21-2006, 02:25 PM
Wow, talk about having nothing better to do. :rolleyes:

I agree with the others -- best thing to do is not name names, including your own, if need be.

I don't post the names of any of the retail establishments where I worked, even though I haven't worked retail in 17 years, and the one place went out of business 15 years ago, so I probably wouldn't have anything to worry about. Still, you just never know...

protege
09-21-2006, 03:20 PM
Whenever I've talked about my past jobs, I always say something like "the bank," "scout camp," etc. The only place I refer to is Hechinger's. They went bankrupt 10 years ago, so there's not much they can do about it.

Becks
09-21-2006, 04:20 PM
I have mentioned a place or two that I've worked at by name. I might've named my current place or employment once or twice, but I don't think I've ever done any hardcore bashing of it.

I've told my department manager about this site, and he thinks it's hilarious. :D

MystyGlyttyr
09-21-2006, 05:46 PM
The folks here don't care. In fact, it's not at all uncommon for me, after something particularly weird happens, to announce "this is going on my forum!" I haven't named the paper (though if someone cared enough to really do their math, they could figure it out) and frankly, almost none of my complaints are AGAINST the paper, just the psychos I end up dealing with while I'm there.

Now, any of the places I've been forced out of or who unjustly fired me, I have no problems with naming because I'm very vocal about what was wrong with those maniacs. I just didn't name them on here because it didn't seem like it particularly mattered WHO they were so much as what they did.

Lace Neil Singer
09-21-2006, 06:32 PM
None of the places I've worked at or my current place are mentioned by name; I just call them generic names like "the supermarket."

Mr. Rude
09-21-2006, 06:32 PM
OOooo....I didn't know RSS was back :devil: .Time for some browsing.

ShockQueen
09-21-2006, 07:01 PM
Heh.....the worst place to post at work and talk smack about your company is any internet provider. Why? They know who you are, can track your IP, get the IP information from the board you post at (court order), and then nail you to the wall with it. Several people at the last place I was at found that out the hard way (raises hand), but thankfully the place I'm at now is so much better, it's like night and day! It's just the customers that are so stupid is causes the death of innocent brain cells, so I'm happy AND safe now! Yay!:angel:

SuperDan
09-22-2006, 02:51 AM
A recent update in my company's associate's handbook prohibits "blogging about the company". I highly doubt they would enforce that unless the offense involved sharing other private or proprietary information. It's not like I'm posting profit margins or sale statistics on here. I don't even mention the name of my current employer on here (although if you've visited my LiveJournal I mention it on occasion on there). I've shared the URL of this site with other co-workers including managers at my current job (as far as I know nobody has actually become active here) and I've never so much as been given a verbal warning about the blogging rule. Like I said earlier, I don't mention the name or location of my store here, but if you do the right clicking it isn't hard to figure out. If you want to figure out who I am, my avatar is me and my real first name is part of my username, and again further clues to my identity lie in my MySpace and LiveJournal. I just don't post any private information about my company and it seems everyone is ok with that.

powerboy
09-22-2006, 02:58 AM
Where I work, it is alright, if I post here. Hell, I do not post anything that I am not suppose too. Plus, I never mention the name of the store.

Luna
09-22-2006, 03:07 AM
A recent update in my company's associate's handbook prohibits "blogging about the company".

You too? We are now forbidden to talk about the company, it's customers or employees on any internet forum, blog or website. It's the best damn job I've ever had so far life to date, and I don't want to ruin it - but it does piss me off to no end. I had to go back and delete entire threads of mine just to be on the safe side. :(

AFpheonix
09-22-2006, 07:26 AM
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1531312,00.html

This was a recent TIME article on this very subject. Some of it is scarily orwellian.

ArenaBoy
09-22-2006, 10:48 AM
All the more reason as to why I think its an invasion of privacy. I don't mention where I work or the team I work for because for me it's a huge risk. The cell phone thing is too creepy, what if a female worker is being stalked by her boss because of that technology?

dispatch
09-23-2006, 12:38 AM
okay, if you're on salary or a company officer whose reputation could damage that of the company, MAYBE SOME of this would be justified, and I could see checking for naming names, divulging secrets, etc. but I gaurentee that if I followed my manager around on her day off and snapped pictures of the places she went I'd be labeled a pervert and thrown in jail!
if it's not happening on a company computer, leave it lie! you wouldn't fire someone for renting porn on cable.....would you?

of course all of this is why I mostly talk about past employment and even then don't divulge specifics this is all the more reason I want to own my own buisness, corporate america won't have reason to stalk me, but with my luck by the time I've got everything together for that to happen they'll check my IP adress and cookies for a buisness loan application

dispatch
09-23-2006, 01:02 AM
I must say I'm suprised, just checked the ACLU website, from what I can tell they're not even thinking about this, anyone from the US that's a member might want to ask your local rep if anything's being done about this kind of thing

Irving Patrick Freleigh
09-23-2006, 01:18 AM
When I worked at RadioShack, it was a big no-no to post at THIS SITE <---- Click here to see the site.

Corporate actually paid people to go to the site and try to figure out who was who and at what store they worked. Some people did get fired for posting at the site. Some LPMs even went on the site and went fishing for information. DMs and RMs did the same thing. There is an injunction against the website. Read the second page and see!

Nice. So Radio Shack can pay people to go onto a Web site, identify people posting their opinions and stories about Radio Shack on that Web site, and then rat out the posters and get them fired.

But they can't pay their people a decent wage or hire enough help, I presume.

I am not privy to any propietary information, so I shouldn't have a problem there. I think not only is a violation of privacy, but it's also a case of misplaced priorities of a company is going to go onto blogs and Web sites to try and identify the people posting on them.

Siduri
09-23-2006, 01:45 AM
That is messed up. When a government agency does things like that, people freak out. When your job does it, oh well!

Monica
09-23-2006, 04:41 AM
I think an employee needs a place to vent every once in a while. As long as you are not bashing the company I see no harm in coming here.

For me, I do use my real name, but I never say specifically where I work.

Argabarga
09-23-2006, 01:22 PM
For the ammount of time and effort any company that would do such a thing spends, they could get a lot more meaningful work done.

Every employee is going to walk out of work at least once in thier life muttering about how they hate the job, it's the human condition, trying to rat you out for it (presumably to punish you for it in some way) is a dubious proposition, as what would it possibly solve?

LadyMage
09-23-2006, 07:42 PM
My place of work actually has an enforced policy about blogging about work. How do I know? I was subject to it. No, I didn't get fired but it taught me to lock my LJ b/c I don't know who had it.

Long story short, I vented about coworker who got on my nerves and my ex and also coworker had the journal in bookmark. No, it wasn't locked. Yes, my mistake as I'm painfully aware.

since then we adopted a policy that, officially, prohibits blogging about any particular aspects of the job on the sheer accoutn that IF the postings breach confidentiality, then we get fired, no questions asked. I didn't because this frankly never happened at the office before. not proud of it, but I changed LJs and locked the one I have.

The UNOFFICIAL policy states: if it's locked, posted from a PC other than the workstation and everything is disguised by either initials of not revealing anything, then it simply doesn't exist.

hence why I bring my laptop to work; wireless network is not encrypted and no one is the wiser. Speaking of which I have yet to post about the recent semester start. Hoo boy, we HAVE had stories...and I'm back on Party Nights.

technical.angel
09-24-2006, 12:57 AM
I was talking to my mom about blogging about SCs and she told me that at the arena they hire guys to check to see if employees do that.

Corporate actually paid people to go to the site and try to figure out who was who and at what store they worked.

I'm at SOOO the wrong job!

I know it's probably horrible of me, but jobs like that sound AWESOME!

Of course, this is coming from the person's who's dream job is to get on the FBI Online Predator Taskforce. ;)

Jenni :angel:

XCashier
09-24-2006, 03:19 AM
Whenever I've talked about my past jobs, I always say something like "the bank," "scout camp," etc. The only place I refer to is Hechinger's. They went bankrupt 10 years ago, so there's not much they can do about it.
Yes, it is best to describe your workplace simply by what kind of business it is. You can embellish a little, like when I talk about the Drug Store From Hell or the Novelty Store at the Run Down Mall. But unless the place has been out of business for a while, it's best not to name names.

Sandman
09-24-2006, 12:29 PM
My managers know I come here, but they just know it's to blow off some steam.

Kitten in the box
09-25-2006, 04:15 PM
I agree with coming here to blow of steam.....as long as you dont post confidential information that is not supposed known then it should be fine. I don't think employers can fire you for venting here and getting things off your chest. That would violate your Free Speech rights amendment. Plus if the company you work for hires "fishers" how can they find out it is you if you have a username that does not identify you in anyway??

LadyMage
09-25-2006, 05:09 PM
I don't think employers can fire you for venting here and getting things off your chest. That would violate your Free Speech rights amendment. Plus if the company you work for hires "fishers" how can they find out it is you if you have a username that does not identify you in anyway??

They can't fire for posting in a personal area to vent about the job BUT they could terminate if in an at-will OR if there is a serious confidentiality breach - and how many of our jobs have a standard nondisclosure agreement? I know mine does; in accordance with it I can't so much as mention my job outside the workplace. Something I've bent on MORE than one occasion, I assure.

That's what I want to know as well re: the username. I can't think of anyone who'd be able to figure out that I am who I am...and I'm damn sure I'm the only desk-er from my place of work to post here :P

Rapscallion
09-25-2006, 08:10 PM
I don't think employers can fire you for venting here and getting things off your chest. That would violate your Free Speech rights amendment.

Free speech amendment doesn't cover private arenas, thus we're quite able to say that posters can and cannot do certain things on here. Well, that and the fact that CS is hosted in the UK, and therefore not subject to that fascinating piece of legislation... :p

Generally speaking, though, it's good posting practice to obfuscate your place of employment just in cace. The Morons in Management and Cursing out Coworkers sections are invisible unless logged in, so that should protect people from casual searches. However, that only goes so far. Cover your bums, folks :)

Rapscallion

LostMyMind
09-25-2006, 11:46 PM
I don't think employers can fire you for venting here and getting things off your chest. That would violate your Free Speech rights amendment.
The little pessy thing about the "Free Speech" rights. Everybody forgets that it's that the government that shall pass no laws abridging free speech. Private individuals and companies can and will do it.

If the property is "public" as in government owned, then you have the right to free speech. On private property, you don't.

Argabarga
09-26-2006, 06:42 PM
You may not have that right on certain public or government owned property as well either, try picketing in the middle of the street and see how long it is before you get written a ticket

LostMyMind
09-27-2006, 01:05 AM
Well, you can do it. You can get a permit and shut down that road, while you picket ;) Just call it a parade.

Sunsetsky
09-29-2006, 06:25 PM
I can't say I agree with it. I think I should be able to vent about my job without worry of getting fired. What I rant about in my personal time is really none of their business. Now...if I'm going around and blurting out company secrets then that's a bit different.

LostMyMind
10-02-2006, 02:19 PM
I agree sunsetsky, however the line is clearly drawn. Legally companies can fire you for "improper speech".

Just like CEO can be "fired" for having an affair. That pessy "immoral behavior" rules that almost every company has in their handbook.

booger
10-03-2006, 03:09 AM
Some days, I really don't like my job. But I think overall, it's the job itself, not the workplace or my coworkers. Usually it's just customers that drive me bonkers. But I never mention my place of work by name, or say anything specific about where I work. I usually just vent while sharing my amusing tales of crazy customers.

Rahmota
10-03-2006, 04:18 AM
Ahh fortunately for me all my employers are former employers and being a farmer is fun. Like what am i gonna do fire myself?

As for coming and venting I agree that an employee's time off should be that time off, away not dealign with the company or wearing the uniform or doing their bidding compleately and totally. Now telling secret codes and handshakes and stuff is wrong but saying I had a barfy day at mcjob should be hunky dorey. I mean venting like this would help employee morale which would help the company which would help the honcho's morale as turnover and all that icky stuff might go down a bit if the employees are not so stressed they wanna just go Milton on the place. Or so common sense would say.

Kitten in the box
10-04-2006, 06:25 AM
Me personally I like coming here to vent my day if someone at work pisses me off....I can't do it at work and Im not gonna talk to family about it because sometimes they just do not understand...as long as I do not give out confidential information then all should be well.....sometimes I do get the occasional co-worker asking if I have a myspace account and if I posted any blogs/rants about my work. (they'll say is your name so and so and are a member of (insert random website's name here)? I will just play it off and say no. Why do I need them fishing around and telling the boss what I am doing on the net? It has happened to other people before at my work.

Tria
10-04-2006, 08:25 PM
I mean venting like this would help employee morale which would help the company which would help the honcho's morale as turnover and all that icky stuff might go down a bit if the employees are not so stressed they wanna just go Milton on the place. Or so common sense would say.

"And he took my stappler and I haven't gotten my check...."