The week of workplace don’ts

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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.

For more on getting fired, see:

Fired for a Facebook joke … again

Your co-worker is about to be fired, do you say anything?

  1. Here’s the really interesting part…

    In Story #1 everyone is up-in-arms becuase the “top 10 women” weren’t treated equally, and thus it must be some sort of sexism. (I’m sure that’s only really felt by the female employes who *didn’t* make the list.

    In Story #2: the female boss immediately retorts to “What, are you going to hit a girl?” which prompted the guy to hit her.

    So… just to be clear. You need to add a #5 to your “Workplace Don’ts” — Don’t be male! Becuase sexism is goign to be thrown in your face either way it goes. Just depends on what mood the female coworker is in.

    • You hit the nail on the head. Women think that intimidation will get them where men
      are. It only leads to lack of respect, and a lack of cohesiveness in the workplace.

    • Thanks Justin!!

      Men have to play by different rules in the workplace and outside the workplace. If a woman decides to get pregnant without getting consent from the man, always have to pay. Don’t we have a choice in the matter!!

    • So let me get this straight…… you approve of ranking women based on trashy male parameters like breast size and you think it’s ok to hit a woman if she taunts you? Just want to clarify so that I have even further justifaction for the gun I’m planning to buy to protect myself from misygonists like me! Oh, by the way……. misygonists are woman haters. Dudes like you seldom read so I figured you might not know.

    • I agree, sexism is a huge problem in the workplace. But only because feminists have been doing everything they can to get their way in all business venues.
      1. If you are going to wear clothing to work that you would normally wear to a dicso, expect to get stares, have comments made and smirks to be sent your way. There is a way to dress business “sexy”, just use common sense, less is always more.
      2. Political correctness and the “age of offense” needs to end. I’m tired of having to hear about employees whining about this person or that person because of something that was said or done. Grow up people.
      3. Women demanding to be treated “equally” is an interesting statement, because most of those women don’t treat their counterpart “equally” either. Again, grow up ladies, if you want equality, don’t just preach it, practice it too.
      4. Common sense people, don’t post something online that you dont’ want to become public information.
      5. Everyone just stop whining altogether. No one is going to get their was 100% of the time; it just is not possible. Get used to it.
      6. LIFE IS NOT FAIR. Again…get used to it.
      7. Men, be men, I’m so tired of pansy handshakes, wobbly voices and being altogether “whipped”. Grow a pair and use them.
      8. And yes, sexism is going to be thrown every which way including loose that’s the sad fact of the feminist movement. I’m not saying women need to lighten up, well yeah I am saying that…anyway those who stop having fits about equality are going to find that it happens much faster.

    • Justin- your comments are rediculus! what the hell are you saying? you need to stop crying ‘poor me’ and realize that everyone has their diffculties in life. i know for a fact that being male doesn’t put you at a disadvantage for career opportunities or prejeduce. in fact, males still make more and are more likely to be hired than females. so think before you make weak arguments that hold no water. grow up.

    • Well said Justin, however I am in Asia right now and its completely the opposite. Politically correct isn’t a word here! It’s still a man’s world here.

    • Guess what !? Many of us gals prefer working with/around you fellas and not other females because of the back-stabbing, pettiness the “typical” female seems to display at all levels. Is there discrimination in the workplace…certainly so! Sometimes it’s subtle and oftentimes not so. Get a life for there’s someone behind you always waiting to take your place in the workforce. If you love your job enough and enjoy making a paycheck, I’ve found you have to use good common sense, suck the piles of doggie doo-doo up and keep plugging on away, relieving tension on your own time thru exercising, hobbies, sex, whatever.

  2. Industrial psychologists will tell you that approx 2 of 3 bosses at all levels are incompetent. That’s why people say they would never again work for 2 of 3 former bosses again.
    One’s boss is THE#1 complaint of workers.
    Most people who get promoted have NO idea about how to supervise others.
    The Post Ofc, for ex, has a backlog of approx 100K unresolved worker greviences.
    As for the military, well, don’t get any ex servicemen of any rank started.

  3. Justin, you have no idea how much sexism still exists in many work places. I have worked for several men who have been great bosses, but also several men who have been just plain disgusting. At one job I asked about health insurance when my probationary period was up and the owner(a man) said he had to give me a physical first. I refused the physical and never did get health insurance. Needless to say, I quit soon after. How would you feel if this happened to your mother? I hope I never again end up working for you or anyone like you.

  4. no reason to punch your boss at all, but if there is a tsa agent who puts thier hands on me? iw ill punch him or her out, other than thatm no reasont to punchyour boss lol

  5. I agree that workers should not go around hitting the boss but the bosses need to start realising that correcting people and firing them in public is also unacceptable, in fact it’s stupid and causes bosses to get hit, after all what ya gonna do, Fire Me???

  6. Publicly ranking women or men based on attractiveness at work is sexist whether you’re male or not, and if “more attractive” females were given better treatment, then people have a right to be pissed off.

    Punching someone in the face even if prompted has nothing to do with sexism. It has to do with violence and assault.

    These people weren’t fired for being male, they were fired for being idiots. The fact that they were male really doesn’t matter. If you think being a male is a workplace don’t, then explain the pay gap between men and women and the inordinate amount of males in lead positions at companies. I think men are doing just fine, and most men are not sexist or accused of being sexist at work, it’s just the idiots that don’t understand workplace etiquette that are.

    • I just would like to know the hard data on the “pay gap” between genders. It is being brought up in every discussion regarding gender in the workplace. I’m not saying it does not exist, or it does, My personal experiences seem to be diferent than the norm. I served in a male/female job in the military for ten years in which all of my superiors were usually female. I then was a caseworker for child services where I worked for all female superiors. Now I am a teacher and my principle is a female. In all of my personal experiences my female coworers made the same or more than I. I seem to have always have had female supervisors and bosses.

      Perhaps my experiences are unique, but I have never personally witnessed the pay-gap or anything like that to the detriment of my female coworkers. Again, I am not denying the existence of a gender bias in the workplace; I am simply looking for the hard data that forms the basis for such.

      My wife has a 2year degree and I have a Master’s Degree. She makes twice what I make. I would just like to see the hard numbers so I can conduct my own analysis and make informed observations on the issue.


  7. Justin, you really think the problem with the two scenarios you give is the fact that they involve sexism against males? Are you kidding me? You really don’t see the problem here, do you?

    #1 has to do with favoritism. #2 has to do with you don’t hit ANYONE, male or female, as you exit your job. I suppose you think her statement justifies a good pop to the jaw, right? Oy vey.

    I bet if I saw the world the way you do, I too would find sexism everywhere (in your mind, against men, but sexism just the same).Let me suggest that perhaps the anti-male sexism issue here exists only in your head.

    • I was slowly-climbing-my-way-up in a small factory, in our small town. I sent a text message to a “friend” I worked with, that I had recieved myself late one Saturday night. The text was in relation to our good ole president Mr. Obama and apperantly the “friend” was an Obama fan, including the supervisors of the factory because when he came into work Monday I was fired the next day. The “friend” of mine was offended, for some reason he can’t take a good joke, and took it to Human Resources.” I tried to argue my case because we were not on the clock at this time but it didn’t go over with them to well. A few days later a girl was fired for showing a text she had recieved to another co-worker and was released of her duties at the factory too.

  8. In other words: Don’t be your self in FB or attempt to tell your side of the story….. Unless…. you’re retired or have sufficient cash flow to by both the judge and whoever is the other side of the story. How sad!! I though the social networks were just to make friends and to express your personality. Doesn’t all this “rules”defied the purpose?? What about the hackers??? Why rules aren’t that restricted for them?

  9. Welcome to The United States of America, Justin; please remember that your male son(s) will be reprimanded if they do not fill and return their Selective Service form within 30 days of turning age 18.

  10. Sexism towards males? Really? I’m sure the women who didn’t make it to the top ten positions were angry and uncomfortable, understandably more so than those ranked higher, but you’re forgetting that they shouldn’t have been ranked in the first place! This is a place of business where their attractiveness should never have been a factor.

    Now, I do concede that the woman in story 3 was really sinking to new lows by taunting her recently fired employee. I mean in a supervisory position, you really need to be above all that. But regardless of her stupidity, it should never have resulted in physical violence toward anyone, man or woman.

  11. First off, I must say that I’m quite sure many people are getting sick and tired of these stupid workplace “Dos and Dont’s” lists. I did like the “One man’s common sense, is another man’s algebra” line! But seriously, the lack of common sense and just plain old courtesy in the workplace is astounding these days. I personally see and hear so many stupid, idiotic things in the workplace, it becomes clear that our society is quickly devolving on all levels. As far as Facebook and twitter are concerned I believe you should be able to say what you want, just be aware your not the only one who reads these things. As far as the guy who punched his boss in the head after his firing? Who knows how tactful she really was? I’ve seen and heard the smug comments and looks on the faces of some people during those “Firing meetings”. Management has to be careful too! Especially if the employee has a few screws loose. As far as these moronic workplace who’s sexy lists?, All involved should be canned! These are the stupid things that we talk about in sexual harassment and “Sensitivity training” and if allowed to propagate, the managers should be fired for turning a blind eye. The other disturbing trend I see is this “I’m a protected class” comment thrown around by even the employees themselves! Especially after having a sensitivity meeting! The “Teacher” sat right there are ticked off who’s protected and who’s not in front of all of us. Shortly after, some employees and I will re-state, SOME, not ALL, start to feel they have free pass to do and say whatever the hell they feel like to rest of the “Unprotected group”. I know we do need these protections for legit reasons, but I fear as time goes on, the people who don’t fall into those categories will end up being the ones who end up bearing the brunt of the management’s wrath and singled out because the company can’t even move against the real offenders without reams of documentation ect, fear of legal reprisals ect…. just to write someone up for legit problems like being out sick too much or being late or some not even coming to work at all. What’s worse is the management may become shellshocked and may not take any action at all! I realize these subjects are not easy to unravel with the legality of it all, but I just wanted people to know how screwed up and complicated the workplace can be. And as a final note, if you know someone’s getting let go, don’t say anything or you could end up being next on the list, and trust me, nobody will be so kind as to let YOU know beforehand! And do you know why? For the reason I stated before!

  12. Justin
    Males who DO know how to behave have nothing to worry about, even in paranoid workplaces. Behave yourself – and you’ll be OK. (And if falsely accused, there are courses of action).
    I’m not justifying the female boss’s behaviour – she should not have been rude (told him to “shut up”) or taunted him, but the guy probably didn’t need much encouragement for violence.
    He also punched another male worker on his way out for good measure – so there’s equal opportunity for you…
    Btw, even if I’d made the actractiveness list, I wouldn’t see it as a great compliment. It’s not a matter of sour grapes, just – that kind of list is good for grade school – and not really even then.

  13. It’s sad to think that common sense is lacking amongst folks today… far too many folks want to blab about anything and everything instead of keeping their mouths tightly closed. The best kept secrets are ones that are never told in any fashion (spoken, written, e-mailed, twittered, texted etc.). Privacy and secrecy seems almost to be a thing of the past. Even the very own folks themselves tell about their escapades, however embarrassing and revealing, which shouldn’t even be mentioned much less disclosed and bragged about. UGH! No wonder folks are getting fired over opening their mouths.

  14. There was once a girl named Susan Jones from Northport, AL who went to UA-Tuscaloosa and Huntingdon who is remembered as the worst, incompetent volunteer coordinator at a hospice sadly and who eventually got fired bc of her utmost unacceptable behavior and character when she had no mind! She is known as the worst, one-sided nasty female bully who would sickly harass, gossip and act violent with nasty facial expressions such as scowls and eye-rolls for no reason and she was impossible to please. She is remembered as yelling at and snatching muffins from senior citizens This Susan Jones would stupidly bash her own boss, be loud and obnoxious over totally trivial minor things and yet complain of others being obnoxious and talk of how she to be trusted and how good she is rather than show through her actions. She would sickly act out over totally minor trivial things and make a big deal out of anything and yet have no regard for traffic laws or how to respect anyone. She seemed so delusional and paranoid by always asking whether something is done 3 times unnecessarily and acting irrationally nervous and shaking her head when seeing someone drive clearly safe and normal. She is clearly the worst, unprofessional and unethical being ever known who is known for having no people skills, totally narcissistic, antisocial and with no conscience! She always irrationally finding fault in others and is ungrateful no matter what positive is done and such a misfortune to be born and is the world’s biggest liar and hypocrite! It was best karma for her to be fired and it is so sad for Alabama Public Radio to ever have her as in intern! She is exposed on ebosswatch and listed badly on APR! She would dumbly reveal at the hospice how she was a former major alcoholic in college and no employer must ever hire her and if she owns a business which is unlikely it must be shut down! HEY KARMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Hey…guess what,boys & girls? From what I’ve seen first-hand (in the corporate world of cubicle-hamsters), men & women are both equally…STUPID. Need proof?

    When a sign says, “Don’t Unlock This Door”, it means just that. DON’T UNLOCK THE DAMNED DOOR. Doesn’t matter who you *think* you are. IT APPLIES TO YOU, TOO! And when the whistle blows, TAKE THE BLINDERS OFF! If you run over me because you’re in a hurry to get home, not only will I sue you, I will sue your employer for hiring your stupid @ss. I could go on & on, but you probably *still* won’t get it.


  16. First – seriously, people! Where has common sense gone? This is why these articles exist. And please review the article, folks – many of you are reading things into the “story” that aren’t there!
    Story 1: Duh! Sexism at its best – and yes, women do this, too… just ask the girl from Duke University (Karen Owen).
    Story 2: Once you put something online, you’re asking everyone to see it – no matter where you put it! (If you don’t want to say something to someone, don’t put it online!)
    Story 3: The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins. Is Oliver Wendell Holmes the only one other than me who knew this? Assault, people – still illegal. No matter what they say to you! (And there are MANY worse things than questioning stocking skills.)
    Story 4: If you receive “confidential” information of any kind from your employer and don’t respect the “confidentiality”, expect to no longer receive a paycheck! Easy as pie.

    Moral of the story? Where are people’s logic and ethics these days? Do we know how to think ahead anymore? We’re supposed to be adults, right? These stories don’t mention ages, but…. wow. That’s all I’ve got. Wow.

    • WOW!

      How about work ethics? What happened to the days of earning your dollars without a bunch of crappola?

      Yes, we all have issues we have to deal with in our workspace.

      If the boss if overwhelming and overdemanding? Look for another job…don’t post crap for others to see.

      Yes, it is an issue with the genders in any work place. Men still make 4.7 percent more than women for the same job. Women, rise above it and prove you are worth every penny and more. Quit and move on if the company you work for treats you differently.

      Men, you still treat women objectively in the workplace, just as you do customers, clients or patients. How can you expect a female employee be comfortable around you when we hear you say “Wow…look at that ass” when it’s regarding a customer, client or patient?

      FYI: We hear your sly comments about the people you work with (this applies to women too).

  17. Do none of you get the irony of common sense?

    Sigh, it’s with most of the world’s intelligence, sanity, manners and modesty. In a dark corner in every idiot’s mind, plunging deeply into obscurity.

    Please, don’t be an idiot. And make sure to use that sense every now and then so you don’t lose it…hopefully, it could trigger someone else to use theirs.

  18. Man and woman were not created equally. We were created to compliment one another; a balance of nature. We are, however, all human. And, equally capable of good and bad judgement. Sexism, racism and other hatreds in their various forms are bred from ignorance, indifference and insecurity. Perhaps the world would a better place, if we stopped pointing fingers at each other and took a good look within ourselves. We are a diverse culture with many backgrounds bringing different beliefs and ideas, relish in the richness.

    What are you all so shocked about?
    Story #1 – ranked the attractiveness of co-workers? We dress toddlers like whores, shove them down a runway to do stupid pet tricks, film it and call it family entertainment.

    Story #2 – don’t talk smack? Have you seen a recent political campaign?

    Story #3 – don’t hit your boss? Not only are employees shooting up their workplaces, but our children are shooting up their schools, teachers and classmates.

    Story #4 – don’t leak confidential info to the press? Watergate ring any bells?

    Perhaps we need to start re-thinking our priorities as a society.


    Here is a very sensitive and touching article of the sickest, unacceptable of sexual harassment still going on which better stop! Susan Jones from Northport,AL who is the worst abnormal female bully is known for harassing everyone as she has no people skills nor ethics which makes her more tainted to ever criticize anyone. The whole world better beware of her and not hire her to keep a good bottom-line and prevent tons of money being wasted on harassment/discrimination and hostile workplace and lawsuits. Susan Jones needs to become a human to survive and a human w/ a sane, normal mind and heart and act professionally and never repeat her worst mistakes!

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