An interesting article from the management point of view bemoans the ease of posting a critical, perhaps anonymous, and seemingly immortal review of a company or individual boss. Of course, some of the reviews are good, but if you look at one of the sites mentioned, www.jobvent.com, there are some well-known companies with very low ratings.
From an employee’s point of view, it looks like a way to even the score. Someone treated poorly can anonymously post a rant, or score the company’s working conditions. Maybe the employee can save others from such a fate. Maybe the company will listen. On the other hand, maybe the employee will get fired. In an extreme case, maybe the employee will get sued.
Is it a good idea to use these sites? The frontiers of social media are wide open and subject to unclear rules. Anonymity on the internet is never a sure bet. Can a court force a site to reveal the identity of “anonymous” posters? Will the site fight that battle to protect your identity? Is it going to haunt you, whether you try to remain anonymous or reveal yourself?
I nearly always recommend that the unhappy former employee take the high road, and hope that the utter professionalism that he or she shows will win him a great new job, and the admiration of everyone in his network. This conservative approach addresses the economic and some of the emotional aspects of the end of the employment relationship. I personally believe that holding onto resentment and the wish for revenge leads to a self-destructive emotional toll.
But still. Read fired lawyer Edward Harrington Heyburn’s blog at http://levinsonaxelrodreallysucks.com/, for the poster child example of revenge. His former employer sued him over the blog; he’s fighting back in court and on his continuing blog, with the zeal of someone determined to bring about justice, and to insult his old bosses at every step (with a great deal of sometimes raunchy humor. This guy is spending a lot of time on his revenge – he left the firm in 2004! – but it also looks like he’s having a lot of fun. I hope so, anyway.