It seems like this week was an exercise in what not to do at work. From a woman who got fired for yet another Facebook rant, to a man who punched his boss, if we were to write a book on the things that will certainly not advance your career, all of the following stories from this week would be included.
Here are the week’s biggest don’ts:
1. Don’t pull a Mark Zuckerburg, circa Harvard 2004. Or, it’s not OK to send around an e-mail ranking your co-workers attractiveness, complete with pictures, like a group of 17 male colleagues in Ireland did. (If you haven’t seen “The Social Network,” Zuckerburg apparently got the idea for Facebook after he set up a website to rank the attractiveness of his female Harvard classmates.)
2. Don’t talk smack about your boss on Facebook. Are we really revisiting this topic? By now, the media has reported dozens of cases of employees getting fired for poor Facebook etiquette, but the stories of bad behavior just keep pouring in. The most recent comes courtesy of a Connecticut woman, who was fired by her employer, American Medical Response, after she called her boss a “scumbag,” and a few other choice words on her Facebook page. The firing prompted a complaint from the National Labor Relations Board, and the termination is under review.
3. Don’t punch your boss, even if she just fired you. Yes, this one seems like common sense, but like they say “apparently one man’s common sense is another man’s algebra.” Or maybe we just made that up, but you get the point. According to the Chicago Tribune, a worker in Downers Grove, IL, was reprimanded at the baby merchandise store (of all places for violence!) where he worked, because his female boss felt his inventory skills were sub-par. After the man was subsequently fired in a meeting, he punched his boss in the head, and then punched another male co-worker in the face on his way out of the store.
4. Don’t leak information that is clearly marked “confidential” to the press. Again, something that most of us would find to be common sense. This week, Google sent out an internal announcement stating that it would give all employees a 10 percent pay raise. Apparently, one employee was so excited about the extra cash, that he forwarded the e-mail to a blogger at popular business website Business Insider. The blogger then, naturally, blogged about the pay increases, and the Google employee was fired for leaking the info. The funny thing is that the following words were written on the top of the memo: “Confidential: Internal only. Googlers only (full time and part-time employees).”
So, to summarize our lessons for the week, if you think it might get you in trouble, it probably will. The word “confidential” should be heeded, and talking something out is often a better option than resorting to fists or Facebook. But, chances are, you probably already knew that.
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