introducing readers to writers since 1995

July 12, 2005

There at Random House But for the Grace of God...

by Ron Hogan

Like many of you, I spent last weekend mildly curious about that Gawker blind item about the junior editor* who got fired for blogging "catty commentary on her publishing-world coworkers." So I was pleasantly surprised to see they'd solved the mystery and identified the poor sap (who took down her web page soon after we all linked to it). Though it's not too hard to see how she brought it on herself when she comes back from her first weekend of unemployment to gush, "I was so worried about my former employer disclosing the reason why I was fired to prospective employeers, but I just called and they verified that the company policy is to only confirm dates of employment, regardless of reasons for termination--so that is a HUGE weight off my shoulders now!"

Here's a hint: If there's something you don't want prospective employers to know, like how you got fired for publicly badmouthing your bosses, don't mention it on your blog, especially not in ways that clearly underline how you blame them for your own mistakes. And what were you doing accessing your blog on your work computer, anyhow? Always assume that your workstation is being monitored by the IT department, and act accordingly. On the other hand, buck up: As Jill Sieracki proved, you can bounce back from just about any online foot-shooting in a few years.

* CLARIFICATION: For all those who were aghast that a woman with her prose style was ever let near a manuscript, never fear. Her actual title was "Associate Managing Editor," which pretty much means she was making sure that books stayed on their production schedule.
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