Man fired over weblog accusation

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a man in Britian has been fired for badmouthing his employer in his Blog. Apparently he complains that his dismissal “raises some disturbing issues of freedom of speech”. Well – what did he expect to happen? What would you do if you were his employer? I know what I would have done!

Sure, he has a right to free speech. But you can’t go badmouthing someone in the public domain and think nothing will come of it. Why post something in a blog thinking that nobody will read it, or make the connection?

Sorry – but I just can’t feel sorry for this guy. “You reap what you sow”…

Here’s the story:

An employee of British bookseller chain Waterstone’s has been fired for bringing the company into disrepute after he made entries on his weblog site identifying it in code as “Bastardstone’s” and accusing it of slavery.

Joe Gordon said he was dismissed from the company’s Edinburgh store on the grounds of “gross misconduct” and “bringing the company into disrepute,” although he had never identified the company by its proper name.

“I did not set out to attack the company in some systematic manner,” he said.

But Waterstone’s had refused to accept his defence that the blog entry had just been a satirical spoof, written at home in his own free time.

In the blog, called Woolamaloo Gazette, Gordon gave his company the code-name Bastardstone’s, called his line manager Evil Boss, and complained about his working hours and what he said was “slavery”.

A company spokesperson confirmed the dismissal, saying: “There’s an ongoing disciplinary procedure, and Mr Gordon has the right to appeal twice. We can make no further comments until then”.

The dismissal “raises some disturbing issues of freedom of speech,” Gordon said.