Biting the hand

Almost everyone, at some point in their career, has reason to complain about their job. Only the naïve do it in public.

Yesterday there was a report on the BBC news website about a teenager who was fired from her job because she described it on Facebook as “boring”. You can read the details here.

The key thing about this story for me was not that the girl got all self-righteous about being fired but that the TUC General Secretary said that employers need to have thicker skins when it came to social networking websites. That’s possibly a fair point, but surely the more important point the TUC should have made is that workers ought not to speak negatively about their jobs or employers in public.

This is not about whether the teenager’s job actually was boring. It’s not about whether her employer was justified in firing her. It’s about the practical implications of being foolish. The girl in question doesn’t know any better, she is only sixteen. But perhaps the TUC ought to be advising workers about the practicalities of working life first and telling employers how to behave second.


  • When you are a crew member on the starship Enterprise and you wear a red tunic, don’t do or say anything foolish, otherwise the captain might assign you to an “away” team.

What happens when you wear a red tunic.

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