Avalonstar
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Am I Condemning Myself?

I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time, and it’s sort of a weird situation that’s causing me to write this.

Let me start off by saying that one of my good friends from Rhode Island was recently “dooced” (if I may use the word), before she even began her summer internship. I’m left with this feeling of anger after reading her thoughts about it, but yet, it’s an o-so-familiar story that so many people have been through. We’ve been told about this over and over again to not post personal information on our journals, or not to show off anything that might be considered harmful to a job interview.

But before I go any further, let’s take a look at my friend’s situation.

Kristine’s Situation

As previously stated, Kristine was applying for a summer internship at a local museum in her hometown.

[…] After two weeks of getting hired, I received a phone call Friday saying I can’t work for them anymore.. yet the reasons why they terminated me still makes no sense. I was wondering if you could give me more insight with my situation? Here’s the story. After sending off my resume and cover letter expressing why I’d like to work for them, I was immediately asked for an interview with them. By interviewing me, they found that I had some museum experience and that I have proficiency with Apple computers (having worked with an IBook and owning a Powerbook G4) and decided to hire me that day. They provided me with a booklet about their museum so that I’d be well informed about how things worked there and also gave me a grand tour of the museum. I was expecting to start working this coming Monday, and I received a phone call from the museum today and they left a message regarding that it was urgent that I’d speak to them. I gave a call back to a woman who interviewed me and hired me, I believe she is a cofounder of this museum. She basically told me flat out that I can’t work for their museum now because I had supposedly wrote or advertised their museum in a bad name on my personal journal, but the only thing I wrote was “Scored paid internship at the [museum]”. I didn’t write anything negative about their museum at all, I was just expressing my excitement for starting a new job? Then, she went on to take apart my character, by saying that they don’t like how I represent myself on my website, they don’t like the way I advertise myself on my website, and this particularly fired me up, the way I call my boyfriend “lover”. I’m wondering to myself, why would an institution go so far into looking into my personal life to validate how my working skills are? I’m really upset about how they decided to go about this, and it makes me feel like they were trying to find a reason to not hire me, especially the “We don’t like how you call your boyfriend your “lover” comment”. It’s a personal website, it’s not like it showed my personal skills or how I would act professionally. It was like an attack of the type of person that I am, and not so much of the qualification that is needed for the job.

So it looks like they did a Google search on her and found her journal. Consequently, they didn’t like what they found on her journal so they used that has their judgment of character, not the in-person experience they had just had with her during her interview. Maybe they thought she was being fake and the online journal was her real life. In this so called, MySpace Generation, both future employers and future workers should understand that blogs and journals exist, and to a lot of people, it is another way to express themselves. Unfortunately, the people at the museum she applied for probably didn’t understand. And please, who the hell has a problem with other people calling their significant others, lovers? I personally think they watched a few too many episodes of Sex in the City or too many soap operas.

So, enough mocking, the fact of the matter is that Kristine shouldn’t even bother working with people that don’t understand the times. A person has open-minded as she shouldn’t let herself question her activities because a potential employer didn’t have the open-minds to realize that maybe Kristine was being truthful when she met them in person. Sure, there are examples that the media likes to use that would be classified as extreme. But this example isn’t extreme. This example is of a college student wanting a summer internship and how that wish was denied because of ignorance.

One more thing:

While I’m highly pissed off about what happened, I just think it’s hilarious that [one guy] hired me from my website… and highly blessed that this happened, so I wouldn’t be spending my summer with these types of people. To ensure that this isn’t going to happen to me ever again, I’m buying a second domain for my portfolio website - but I really think it was unethical and unprofessional the way they unhired me. Like Peter said, and I agree with this, if they had a problem with my character, they should have looked into my website first before even asking me to interview with them.

My Turn

I’ve heard a lot of stories about people refraining from writing in their blogs because their employers didn’t trust them enough, or they didn’t want to lose their job or get dooced. In my case, Avalonstar more-or-less had a factor in getting me my job, but I understand that not every case is like that. No matter what the case, there should be two things that are givens:

  • Search engines won’t help you.
  • Have some common sense.

I talk a lot about common sense here at Avalonstar, but I can’t stress it enough. I feel sort of blessed when it comes to my readers. This is because in my opinion, my readership contains some of the smartest (and most balanced) people I have had the pleasure of interacting with. But this is for those people who haven’t been here before, who haven’t quire mastered the art of when to keep things to themselves. But it’s not always about keeping your mouth. Just understand if you talk negatively about Google, like I have in the past, don’t expect a job there. That goes with any place, if you worship Windows, don’t expect a job at Apple. I write a lot about all sorts of subjects, and I do fear sometimes that it will affect my future professional life, and it might do that in the end. However, I know what I’ve gotten myself into and I’m not about to stop. We all have the power with your publishing medium to drive our lives wherever we want them to go. So let your blog or journal facilitate your journey. When it comes to jobs, let your blog be your screener. If you run into potential employers similar to those Kristine had to deal with, then screw ‘em, there are better places out there that’ll have more respect for you.

So in response to the question I posed above. Am I condemning myself? It’s a matter of perception. Kristine didn’t think she was, but in the views of the people at the museum, her journal wasn’t so appealing. Hopefully, she’ll run into a job in the future that will respect her and her journal. As for me, I know where I want to go. The path may not be as clear as I see it now, but no matter what happens, my goal is the same. I don’t believe that I’m condemning myself, but Avalonstar’s going to help take me where I want to go. However, I’m willing to say that if Avalonstar’s going to take me to hell, I’m ready to go there. Because in the end, it would have been my fault either way.