By now most of us know better than to post blatantly negative comments about our workplaces, our coworkers, or worse yet, our bosses on Facebook or other social media. Naming names would surely get us in trouble.
But how often have we seen a status update like this one by an RT we’ll call Mary Jane Jones:
“I am so tired of people who just seem out to make my life difficult.”
That’s okay, right? We know she’s upset with somebody, but we don’t have a clue who it really is.
Sure, in the initial post. But if you work with Mary Jane and you saw that post, and then you saw she had ten comments about it, would you click over to see what else was being said? Most likely you would, and so would lots of other people who work with you and Mary Jane as well. And that’s where our Mary Jane Jones gets herself into big trouble.
Here’s what you find in the comment box:
Joe Smith: “What’s wrong, honey?”
Mary Jane Jones: “I’m just so fed up with always getting treated like @#$%&.”
Joe Smith: “What do you mean? Who’s treating you badly?”
Mary Jane Jones: “I’d rather not say, but I’m just tired of being singled out whenever I make the slightest mistake.”
Joe Smith: “Yeah, I know what you mean. This has to be about work, right?”
Mary Jane Jones: “Well, you said it, I didn’t. But yeah . . .”
Joe Smith: “That boss you were telling me about?”
Mary Jane Jones: “She’s making my life miserable! All I did was come in an hour late for my shift on Sunday and she acted like it was the end of the world!”
Joe Smith: “Oh sweetie, you just have to let it go or it will eat you up.”
Mary Jane Jones: “I know . . . I’m trying, but it’s just so hard when you work for such a @#$%&.”
In Mary Jane’s case, those comments were seen by several coworkers, who passed them on to Mary Jane’s supervisor. Suffice to say, Mary Jane no longer works in the department.
When we’re upset about something, it’s hard to control our emotions, but letting them all hang out on Facebook is definitely not the way to go. As Mary Jane’s experience illustrates, even if you restrain yourself from saying too much in the initial post, it’s just too easy to eventually tell the whole story once people start commenting.
So do yourself a favor and make it a rule to never air any of your work-related grievances on social media. Like Mary Jane, you could find yourself out of a job if you do.