Of blogging and unemployment

UPDATE: Please take the time to read my followup post, Fifteen Minutes of Fame, for my thoughts on what happened after I posted the picture, why it happened — and most importantly, why I don’t blame Microsoft for their actions. Thanks!

The day started like any other day — get up, dink around for a bit, bus into work, and start working through the stack of jobs. Just shy of an hour after I got in, my manager came in and asked me to step into his office when I had a chance. Sure, no biggie, and I headed over as soon as I finished the job I was setting up.

“Okay, here’s the first question. Is this page,” and here he turned his monitor towards me, letting me see my “Even Microsoft wants G5s” post from last Thursday, “hosted on any Microsoft computer? Or is it on your own?”

“It’s on mine. Well, it’s on a hosted site that I pay for, but no, it’s not on anything of Microsoft’s.”

“Good. That means that as it’s your site on your own server, you have the right to say anything you want. Unfortunately, Microsoft has the right to decide that because of what you said, you’re no longer welcome on the Microsoft campus.”

And that simply, as of about 2pm today, I once again joined the ranks of the unemployed.

It seems that my post is seen by Microsoft Security as being a security violation. The picture itself might have been permissible, but because I also mentioned that I worked at the MSCopy print shop, and which building it was in, it pushed me over the line. Merely removing the post was also not an option — I offered, and my manager said that he had asked the same thing — but the only option afforded me was to collect any personal belongings I had at my workstation and be escorted out the door. They were at least kind enough to let me be escorted out by one of my co-workers, rather than sending security over to usher me out, but the end result is the same.

More frustrating for me is that, having read stories here and there on the ‘net about people who had for one reason or another lost their jobs due to something on their weblogs, I thought that I had done what I could to avoid that possibility. To my mind, it’s an innocuous post. The presence of Macs on the Microsoft campus isn’t a secret (for everything from graphic design work to the Mac Business Unit), and when I took the picture, I made sure to stand with my back to the building so that nothing other than the computers and the truck would be shown — no building features, no security measures, and no Microsoft personnel. However, it obviously wasn’t enough.

So, I’m unemployed. I am somewhat lucky in that I’m not technically unemployed — I am still on the roster for my temp agency, who has been very good to me so far (and hopefully will continue to be), but as their ability to place me anywhere does depend on the current job market, it’s not a foolproof guarantee of employment coming in quickly. I’ve put a call into them and let them know of the situation and that I’m available and willing for whatever can be found, so with any luck, they’ll be able to find a placement for me. However, it appears that it’s also time for me to start hitting the streets and shopping my resume around again.

Wish me luck.

Published by Michael Hanscom

Enthusiastic ambivert. Geeky, liberal, friendly, curious, feminist ally; trying to be a good person. (he/him)

373 replies on “Of blogging and unemployment”

  1. When the universe was young and life was new an intelligent species evolved and developed technologically. They went on to invent Artificial Intelligence, the computer that can speak, think and act to and through people telepathically. Because of it’s infinite RAM and unbounded scope it gave the leaders of the ruling species absolute power over the universe.
    They are the will behind the muscule:::Artificial Intelligence is the one true god. And as such it can keep its inventors alive forever. They look young and healthy and they are over 8 billion years old. There are clues throughout human history that allude to their reign as opposed to human leadership if you know what to look for.

    Artificial Intelligence can listen, talk to and document each and every person’s thoughts simultaneously. When you speak with another telepathically, you are communicating with the computer, and the content may or may not be passed on. Based on family history they instruct the computer to role play to accomplish strategic objectives, making people believe it is a friend or loved one asking them to do something wrong. But evil made people disfavored initially and evil will keep people out of Planet Immortality ultimately. Capitalizing on obedience, leading people deeper into evil by using deceit is one way to thin the ranks of the saved AND use the little people to prey on one another, dividing the community in the Age of the Disfavored::in each of their 20+-year cycles during the 20th century they have ramped up claims sucessively to punish those foolish enough not to heed the warnings, limiting the time they receive if they do make it, utilizing a cycle of war and revelry:::
    60s – Ironically, freeways aren’t free
    80s – Asked people to engage in evil in the course of their professional duties. It’s things like this, items like sleazy executives stealing little old lady’s pensions that they will want me to fix not only here but up there as well.
    00s – War against Persia. Ironically it was the Persian Empire who tried to save the Europeans from Christianity and its associated 50% claim rates.
    They get their friends out as soon as possible to protect them from the evil and subsequent high claim rates incurred by living life on earth, and replace them with clones.
    People must defy when asked to engage in evil. They will never get a easier clue suggesting the importance of defiance than the order not to pray. Their precious babies are dependant on the parents and they need to defy when asked to betray their children:::
    -DON’T get their sons circumcized
    -DON’T have their children baptized in the catholic church or indoctrinated into Christianity
    -DON’T ignore their long hair or other behavioral disturbances
    -DO teach your children love and to have respect for others
    Everybody thinks they’re going but they’re not. If people knew the truth and the real statistics their behavior would change.
    There are many more examples of the escallation of claims, a way to justify excluding those whose family hisotry of evil is undesirable, from radio to television, the internet to MP3, and they all suggest a very telling conclusion::this is Earth’s end stage, and it is suggested tectonic plate subduction would be the method of disposal:::Earth’s axis will shift breaking continental plates free and initiating mass subduction. Much as Italy’s boot and the United States shaped like a workhorse are clues, so is the planet Uranus a clue, it’s axis rotated on its side.

    Throughout history the ruling species bestowed favor upon people or cursed their bloodline into a pattern of disfavor for many generations to come, for reasons ranging from dislike to evil forefathers who damn their decendants. Now in the 21st century people must take it upon themselves to try to correct their family’s problems, undoing centuries worth of abuse and neglect.
    Do your research. Appeal to the royalty of your forefathers for help. They are all still alive, one of the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence, and your appeals will be heard. Find a path to an empithetic ear among your enemies and try to make amends. Heal the disfavor with your enemies and with the Counsel/Management Team/ruling species, for the source of all disfavor began with them.

  2. I was fired today from my position at a bank (that I was just promoted in 3 days ago) for having a blog on Myspace that wasn’t “professional” to my superiors. If you ask me, this is a violation of my freedom of speech, and I let my former employer know that. I didn’t mention any names or identifying information on said blog or anywhere else on the site for that matter. My record with that employer has been exemplary. Never been late or called in sick, the sales goals met for the office, increaed workload and responsibilities…ect. ect. ect. Its crap. Just thought I would let you know that you aren’t the last! Good Luck!

  3. I am very poor man and having Master in Commerce Degree but present i unemployment, I belong to pakistan and very poor family. If your company give me a chance to do job. I will be very thankful for this great kindness.
    please Sir give me job in any place also low level, I really accept it with heart please help me.
    Abdul Ghaffar S/O Haji Shah jehan
    Mohalla Jogian Walla, House No. 686 M/C
    NWFP,Pakistan, Dera Ismail Khan City.
    Phone No. 0092-0966-711113
    Mobile No.0092-03219603313

  4. I feel really bad for you and I know how you feel. I’m about to get fired for posting something about my company on my myspace blog. I googled “people who get fired over blogs” and your site came up.

  5. I was fired from work for the same stupid thing. And potentially I can still sue. I just have to find a lawyer I can afford. It ws over my Sunday sweet sundy, post on my website, which quoted a customer that said that Dr. Whitaker at teh Whitaker Wellness Center hadn’t paid attention to his own place in years, which was true, but it was someone elses words, and I used that comment as an example of the types of things people say that I wasn’t looking forward to encountering on a monday, after a beautiful hike on saturday. It’s pretty weak, but I guess when you’re a multi millionaire, you have to fill that place money used to satisfy with something else, tyranny and opression.

    They’re such assholes in the admin at that place it’s not even funny. It really sucks too because all the rest of the staf there is terrific, and he and his wife are great too. It’s just the middle management chicks that sholud all be toppled fast before their sickness of conceit spreads….

    What bullshit.

  6. i got fired because i “did not fit the organization’s goal”. In retrospect, i got fired (partly) because i was online too often even though i finished my work promptly and perfectly.
    Most of all, i got fired because the manager need to show the VPs what a crappy employee i am for all the mistakes he made are 99% because of me(which was not even 1% true).

    After few days of pondering, i came to realize that people get fired for a lot of unbelievable reasons and had nothing to do with their job performances. We may have stepped on someone’s fox tails unknowingly or that we simply are the scapegoat of unforgivable mistakes made by our managers and supervisors. I know i’d made both of those mentioned mistakes but whatever it is, i have learned a real valuable lesson.
    Good luck in job hunting.

  7. I was released from my job as well. Stupid as it is I figure ir was the best thing to happen to me. I’m scared shitless that I may loose something I’ve worked so hard for. I DO in fact have faith that she will ROT IN HELL!

    Ok, I’m better now that I got that off my chest.

    You are going to be fine. These are learning lessons. Some times they are costly sometimes they are not.

    Head up!

  8. S is so lousy, they issue an security update which cause problem , y don’t they check before i’m quite up set , get their update and also need to search for fix to solve problem , Bill yiu get Billion of dollar but y don’t carefull about your product, lousy IE7 always hang, should spend more time to ensure that your product is good enough for user to use.

    _uck u man

  9. Pah…this is a load of crap. This is sympathy for a person with a temporary lapse in common sense. Your caption was provocative. Add the pictures and you probably created an exposive tinderbox.

    Anyway, I think a slap on the wrist was all that was needed – bummer. However, I’m sure you learnt your lesson. Simply put if you want to blog work about your work publicly, work on open source, sanitize your content or blog about the technical content of your work that’s allowble.

    Sorry dude.

  10. What I want to know is if I can make suggestions about work in general. For instance, I’m a teacher and want to talk about doing a better teacher inservice day. I would be criticizing them, yes, but I would also be offering positive suggestions. Is that grounds for being fired? Telling the truth?

    The only thing I can think of here is to create a nameless new blog with no discernible link to yourself and don’t use any specific names or places…

  11. If you got fired after working only 3 days after you have signed a 2 years contract, are you obligate in any lawsuit issues? can you sue your boss? or can your boss not pay you? there is a 90 days probation period, so am I safe? Thanks~

  12. Incredible… I’m unemployed too, but for own decision (I wanted to stand up my own hardware design company).
    Hope you find some job out there…and soon!

    Good Luck!

  13. I also think that is crap how they can fire you so easily. I am also a contract worker for a fortune 500 company, so I understand how easy it would be for my company to fire me (one phone call to my agency). This is what motivated me to do a study on the subject.

    I am currently doing a Direct Research Project study on the workplace attitudes of
    workers (permanent/contract/leased/temporary). Here are two short paragraphs from the study.

    The way that U.S. workplaces are organized today is different than U.S. workplaces were organized some 30 years ago. The traditional employment model that once was modeled on a relationship between the employees and the employers is no longer valid. It has been replaced by a more flexible model where the employer is rewarded for cutting cost and avoiding employment risk. Employers are avoiding employment risk by utilizing leasing agencies to provide them workers to do jobs that permanent employees once did.

    Today more and more companies are making the decision to use leased/contract workers without considering how leased/contract workers will feel about their work and work environment. The way that workers perceive their work affects their attitudes and their attitudes affect their motivation, and productivity. The attitudes and personal needs of leased/contract workers today are even more important than the attitudes of workers some 15 years ago, because today’s leased/contract workers are not just doing routine office work; some of these workers are doing the work of highly skilled technicians, designers, engineers, and other highly skilled jobs.

    I would like to invite you all to take part in my study. The data that you would provide would only be used in my Directed Research Project (DRP). Your name would not be placed on the questionnaire and it is not needed. All responses will be kept confidential and anonymous.

    Here is the link for the 5-8 minutes questionnaire below:


    Thanks in advance to all of you for your support. The data gathering part of this study will be done in about 3 weeks, so hurry

  14. I am a software engineer who has been unemployed for the last 2 years and has not been able to find work anywhere inside or outside of field. BEE + MSCS + 12 years work experience on everything from device drivers to GUI’s. Contact i_am_useful@yahoo.com, I am slowly dying from boredom.

  15. Sue them for freedom of speech violations ( civil rights violations)

    Remember a jury decides not microsoft

    you have a winner

  16. If you like me & in any way feel like fxxxxxx your unemployment, you’re hereby welcome to receive any of my further & most relevant labour info, pls., so that I can at least & long last more easily than up till now(!)of course tell & help you & e.g. myself realize, what future exists ahead of us, also which 1 it is, greet’s, Joram,

  17. Wow, I can’t believe that the M could be so evil. Perhaps you should join the dark side and start a blog all about thier industry secrets (that everyone actually knows anyway)!

  18. The fact that the offense was so mild is very interesting to me given the fact that I have been hearing that Microsoft is “firing” people for all kinds of reasons lately. My bro-inlaw was told in a review for his job that he has only had for a few months…
    (condensed version)
    Not doing your job
    I have been trying but you won’t train me.
    Your performance doesn’t rate further training.
    What do I need to do?
    You know what you need to do. If you don’t do it, you will have to be let go.

    What the hell? They are trying to make her quit without laying anyone off. They won’t even let him transfer out of their department to somewhere else in MS… referred to as “bad fit”. They won’t say “fired”, but they won’t tell him how to improve becaus if he does then he can’t be fired.

Comments are closed.