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October 8, 2009

Beware of Tweets and Facebook Comments

Filed under: General HR Buzz2:35 pm

As social media becomse the latest branding strategy, networking technique, job seeking tool and recruitment vehicle, they’re also becoming the latest way for people to find out job offers have been rescinded, to get reprimanded at work and even to get fired.

A recent tweet by a potential Cisco employee, for example, turned ugly when she decided to tout a recent job offer:

“Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”

Unfortunately for “theconnor” (the handle for the would-be employee), Tim Levad, a “channel partner advocate” for Cisco, saw the tweet and responded with this:

“Who is the hiring manager,  I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the Web.”

Terrible tweets
Everyone has their “My-job-stinks,” “I-hate-my-co-workers,” or “Give-me-more-money” moments. But they seem to forget that as employers increase their online presence using social networking sites as recruitment and branding strategies, it might be best for their career not to have these moments on the Internet.

Facebook fired
Twitter is not the only culprit in career self-destruction. Facebook, a popular social networking site, has had its fair share of user firings:

Kimberly Swann, a former employee at Ivell Marketing & Logistics of Clacton, U.K., thought her job was boring – and she said so on her Facebook page, according to an article in The Daily Telegraph.  Swann was called into her manager’s office and handed a letter that cited her Facebook comments as the reason for dismissal:

Following your comments made on Facebook about your job and the company we feel it is better that, as you are not happy and do not enjoy your work we end your employment with Ivell Marketing & Logistics with immediate effect.”

An MSNBC article tells of Kevin Colvin, the legendary young intern who e-mailed his boss, claiming a “family emergency” would keep him out of the office around Halloween. His co-workers (and Facebook friends), however, saw a photo of Colvin dressed as a fairy at a Halloween party time-stamped on the same day of the “emergency.” Colvin’s boss responded to him with an e-mail CC’d to the entire company, firing him and including the incriminating fairy picture.

In March 2009, the same MSNBC article cites Dan Leone, a Philadelphia Eagles stadium employee, who was fired after slamming the football organization for trading a player in this status update:

Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver. . .Dam Eagles R Retarted!![sic]“

Two days later, the head of event operations said they needed to talk about his Facebook status; instead, he got the boot.

As mom always said, “If you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything.”



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