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Thursday, March 01, 2007

dooced?

apparently china isn't the only country that believes in censorship. today the powers that be informed me they've stumbled across my blog. this did not come as a shock since my site meter shows hits coming in from cities where our corporate offices are located. what did come as a shock was the request to stop blogging. however, isn't there a little thing known as the first amendment? personally my favorite amendment, since i'm a very vocal and opinionated person.

they're not pleased with this post, among others. though, i've never blogged the name of the company, or even the industry i work in. for all you know i could be working in fast food--but, i'm not. i guess negative fodder isn't great for a publicly traded company. it's the stuff i'm not blogging they should worry about, because that stuff would make for a great read.

63 comments:

Lincoln said...

I've long been worried about what the "powers that be" would think if they stumbled across my blog.

Was it a request to stop blogging or a demand? How seriously are you taking it?

Whatever you do, don't stop...if you can help it.

Anonymous said...

I'm emailing you a name of a local attorney. You should speak to someone.

I for one would be upset if you stopped blogging. In fact I'd be willing to contribute towards your legal costs if you should choose to take that route. I have a hunch a lot of your readers would. You might not be aware of your local fan base, but you'll be looked after.

James said...

Bellum,

I too am emailing you a list of legal counsel. Explain your dilemna and chances are they'll do it pro-bono. This will hit the media, especially with your popularity.

Do these poor saps have any idea what kind of press they're about to encounter?

If there is anything I can do, please don't hesitate to ask. I'll include my contact info in the email.

Good luck and continue blogging,

James

News Man said...

Don't you dare take this sitting down. Fight them. Sue them. The first amendment is not to be taken lightly.

Call my station, or any of the stations in the city.

Aimee said...

I will not be emailing you a list of legal professionals, nor do I posess any special media powers. However, I do agree that this should not be tolerated. Being told you can't blog is like being told you can't knit or bake cookies in your spare time either.

I check the blog daily and enjoy it immensely. I know for a fact that you have a ton of readers and fans, even international ones who would be very, very disappointed if anyone put a stop to your candid and hilarious blogging.

Dana said...

I love your blog, Sarah, and I seriously think that you have every right to blog when and what you want.
~Dana

Jeff said...

That is such bullshit!! How do they even dare ask that? Isn't that a major lawsuit? I can't believe this.

Suzie Q said...

im pretty sure my life couldn't go on without your blog! Stupid powers that be.. first they are messing with hellmouths.. and now you!

your ever loving Jen said...

If you stopped, how else would other SAHM's like myself feel the joy and excitement of having the door opened, if it be ever so slightly, to the life that we sometimes long for over spilled milk, permanent marker on the wall, and all nighters tending to a sick child.
Albeit quite selfish of me, but my feelings nonetheless.
Plus, you totally rock at what you do and are happy as hell doing it. Don't you dare stop.

Boston Matt said...

Sarah,
The Colorado Ski Industry is behind you!
Errr, not that it's much help.

Anonymous said...

I agree, you should definitely fight it. Your blogs always brighten my day and bring a fresh and interesting outlook on life. Don't let THE MAN stop you.

Luke said...

Like the rest of the band wagon, I say you fight it. The corporate fight is not easy either. I am surprised though that they don't recognize your fame from here has actually landed you a weekly spot in the local newspaper.

Candace said...

Oh Sarah...

Please don't stop blogging!
You're words are often the highlight of my day!

Love you

xoxo*

Pissed off reader said...

Total bullshit! What's next? They'll tell you what you can and cannot eat for dinner?

Tell them to go to hell and call the papers.

Darren Allred said...

I linked over here through Ethan's site. Fight the fight Sarah. You've got an entire blogging community behind you.

I don't have a blog but if I did I'd repost this ASAP. To all you bloggers, repost her message!

I'll contribute $100 towards your attorney fees. Set up paypal and I'm sure others will help.

Anyone want to match my offer?

theorris said...

Let me guess, the guys who talked to you were both named Bob? Did you file a TPS report on it?

The ludicrousness of the modern office knows no bounds, I suppose.

Ron B. said...

I can't match the $100 but I'll give you half that.

Why don't you look for real ad sponsorship on your blog? Dooce did it, I'm sure you can too. Utah can house all the good blogs! QUIT!

Anonymous said...

BLOODY BRITISH BASTARDS!

Melliferous Pants said...

No, no, NO! You can't stop blogging! I would surely wither away into nothing without my unrelated twin. We need all the recovering mormon, single thirty somethings we've got!

Anonymous said...

Utter nonsense you can't tell a person what they can write about. It's like a journal they can't regulate that either.

Fight it for sure!

Des News said...

Call our Business desk. We'd love to run a feature about this.

Thanks

cornflake girl said...

How can they regulate what you blog?

I think that sounds iffy. Take up some of this cash people are offering and get a lawyer. I'll give you 20.

Anonymous said...

Sara,
You have jepordized your employment outside of the first ammendment. Yes, you can fight the first ammendment and probably win a very long drawn out discrimination suit if your pockets are deep enough to endure the process. The other issues you cannot win, they will not terminate you based on the first ammendment issue, though that maybe the basis for the decision to terminate. By the way, I work with a great guy you need to meet. Call and we will discuss either issue. Ben has my number. Best of all.
Uncle Cabbage Patch

tgi56 said...

SB,

It never fails to amaze me how stupid management can be. I guess that is what keeps me in demand.

"POOR MANAGEMENT MAKES FOR STRONG UNIONS"

I think its time the workers come together to stand for their rights. Let me know if I am welcome to come to the property and start the organizing.

Dave said...

what is going on? i've been to the uk several times and none of the british have ever been stodgy like that! are your employers still bitter we dumped their tea in the harbor 300 years ago and want to take it out on you all of the sudden?

come on, whoever you are! go have a few pints, relax, and let things be!

chumly said...

I hate small minds. You blog on!!!

Rob said...

You have my support Sarah.

Anonymous said...

Quit. You should be writing full-time anyhow. One column per week isn't enough Sarah time.

I think The City Weekly would be interested in your talents.

Rob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SLC Sportsguy said...

I agree with newsman. Get Gephardt. And I could if you need me to.

Upset in SLC said...

What happens if you continue to express your feelings about your job? Did they suggest what may happen if you keep blogging?

If you can't vent on your personal blog where can you?

How is talking about work stuff online any different than discussing it at a bar with friends?

Anonymous said...

Looks like the consensus is to hit the media with it. I'd suggest pointing the option out to the company. I can't imagine any company would want bad press. They may be located elsewhere but if they do have an office here they'll want to stay out of the press.

Do they have any idea how popular your blog is?

I'd be interested to see how many hits you get over this.

I've already seen this reposted. God bless bloggers.

Lincoln said...

WOW. Perhaps you already knew, but I think this post (and the subsequent comments) is evidence of the following you have. Keep it up Sarah.

Ski Bum said...

Save our Macs! Save our Bloggers!

You need to quit, or better yet let the tea guzzling fools fire you.

As others have pointed out you should be writing more.

I for one would be more than happy to see you add sponsership on this site. I'd go to the ads daily. I think after this fiasco everyone else would support you in doing the same.

Justin said...

This will turn into a huge public relations media stink if they go forward with anything. You have the First Amendment and a ton of support behind you. I'm sure you'll come out smelling like a dozen pink roses.

fan said...

Funny but I've been reading your blog for a year, and I have no idea what you do at said job. You've mentioned the time spent there. From what I remember it was 9 or 10 years. Don't they owe you something for a decade of work?

I'm assuming your good at whatever you do since you've been there so long. Let them suffer without you. With your obvious pull, it shouldn't be any trouble finding a new job.

If I had something I'd hire you. There's got to be one of your readers hiring. Anyone, anyone, going once, going twice?

Hire our Bellum! But let her blog sometimes too ;)!!!

Anonymous said...

Good luck Sarah. I read your blog daily and would be sad to see it go.

If you like your job and want to stay (which it sounds like you don't) you could always go blog anonymously. Lots of people are doing that when forced with signing a no blog cause in their work employment agreement.

You might want to take a look at your company policies and see what is said about blogs.

Steve-o said...

Post your resume on your blog. Shouldn't take long to get snatched up. Looks like you have a lot of fans. Just make sure you can remain blogging. Our boring corporate jobs provide us with bleak days so your blog is a highlight.

It's been mentioned again and again but there's a reason. Go to the media with this. Doesn't matter how serious the request was, it will soon be forgotten in order to hush you.

Am I the only one who wants to know what the things you aren't blogging are?

Lori said...

OH Sarah - your blog is like my daily coffee. Don't stop! Don't stop!

Richard Watson said...

Sarah,
Your blog is too popular to go away. Too bad we don't know the company you work for, maybe we could hire someone to "take care" of the situation. (I'm kidding).
You have my support!
You know where I work, maybe we can get your Uncle to help out.

urban princess said...

bellum,
you know you've got my support.

mark said...

Booooo! I guess this explains your less than jovial mood last night. :)

a distant reader said...

I can't imagine that the big ol' Coach would have a problem about this??
Hell, wasn't this blog a big reason the Trib wanted you?

That One Guy said...

Dear New British Company Owners:

(Since you are obviously aware of this blog space.)

I've known Sarah for some time now. You haven't. I've had her in my home. You haven't.

She was one of the very first employees of the company you recently bought. Are you aware of her contribution to the value of the company you bought? I think not. If you should succeed in managing her out the door, the business you bought will suffer.

She isn't hurting you, nobody knows who you are, or even what industry you're in, and apparently the support here shows that you stand to lose a fair amount of community friendliness by sending her out the door for this blog.

Are you people DAFT? Is it customary to seek control of employees lives, both inside AND outside of the workplace?

It's not customary here, and you're making a mistake, on all sorts of fronts.

Now, kiss and make up.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi sarah I will support you! this ones kinda hard for me to read though? I mean understand

Anonymous said...

Wait, that's french...shit. I suppose the next best alternative is to burn the Union Jack in front of the British Pantry. (I wonder if Orrin gets all twisted in a bunch if the UJ were burned, or is it only the stars & stripes?) Anyway, I hope the blog love at least has you feeling a bit better today.

As the other lawyers probably told you (and what most people fail to realize), your 1st amendment prevents only the gov't from trying to muzzle you. In our glorious at-will employment system most employers can fire anyone for any reason at any time. I'd start duplicating and keeping hard copies of all evaluations and comments, especially positive ones and those since the norman conquest, although the further back you can document your performance the easier it will make an argument of your habitual, crunchy goodness as an employee. If someone provides a positive verbal comment, send that person an email thanking them for the comment and repeating the comment as close to verbatim as possible in the text, and then print the message out. Keep the work quality and chipper attitude up at the office, as painful as it may be - if you're interested in keeping the job. If not, depending on the circumstances, a Bridge Over the River Qwai style immolation is always pleasing at the visceral level. Since you have never id'd the company and only made secondary reference to the industry it'd be hard for them to say that you were sullying their reputation. At best, you'd have a potential wrongful termination lawsuit - unfortunately, that'd probably be very expensive to fight, although it'd provide excellent fodder to keep the conflict alive and the company's name associated with bad publicity in your blog and the media, always a useful bit of leverage. (We do have a couple of good attys here at my firm, though, that I could introduce you to.)

The best bet, I think, is to keep the references scrupulously clean, as you have. I suspect that since they are reading the blog, one look at all the posts and the obvious media implications would give anyone with half a brain serious reason to pause before doing anything stupid.

Buena suerte (good luck)!

Bob said...

Sarah-

Standing firmly behind you. Should you call a press conference, drop me a line.

Heck, I think we should hold a press conference.

Just don't quit your job! Or your blog!

-Bob

P.S. - My blog looks terrible in pink.

Anonymous said...

Censorship sucks.
Fight for what's right Sarah.
I'm behind you.

-pants

Anonymous said...

Sarah,

I don't think "the powers that be" realize who they're up against. You are an amazing writer. To be cliche, you've touched others through your talent in writing.

Silly, they think that by telling you to take this down you'll be under the radar never to have your words surface again?

You have loyal followers and admirers. This is ludacris...

Anonymous said...

Bellum,

Bad press is bad press, no matter how large or small a company is.

With your media connections you should be able to make a stink and hopefully come to an agreement.

Best of luck,

Al

Eric said...

I wouldn't work for a company with that sort of policy -- no matter what they pay.

for what it's worth said...

Sarah,
I am 150% behind you. I can not imagine having the ability to express my thoughts and opinions in a forum of support and respectful debate.
I say take up the folks who have offered to help, and make sure to call the media.
Brits are known for their uptight personalities. Here is proof of that.

Long live free speech!

Anonymous said...

FUCK THAT COMPANY!! I WILL PERSONALLY MAKE SURE THAT THIS DOES NOT GO UNTOLD!!! THIS WILL CREATE SUCH A MEDIA STINK FOR THOSE DUMBASSES!!

ryan said...

--i'm sure to get flamed for this--

Bloggers get Dooced all the time. .. and it's perfectly legal. Mainly because their blog is related and or sanctioned by their work.. I don't post anything particular to work or clients on my blog for this reason.

Legal counsel really won't help all that much either. There are lists and lists of people who have been Dooced. (just google it people.)

Business is a big world. And your first amendment rights allow you to speak your mind, and it also allows employers to fire you for it.

I love you Sarah, and I hope to hell you keep blogging, and keep your job. But.. c'mon, do you really feel your employer doesn't have the right to mention things you've said that they don't approve of when your blog is pretty much tied directly to your column? ..

Obviously, it would be a bad decision on their part to really do anything.. but still.

I hope all this works out for you though. :(

Anonymous said...

The first 'reported' blogger to get fired for things she said on her blog:

I started this website in February 2001. A year later I was fired from my job for this website because I had written stories that included people in my workplace. My advice to you is BE YE NOT SO STUPID. Never write about work on the internet unless your boss knows and sanctions the fact that YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT WORK ON THE INTERNET. If you are the boss, however, please don’t be a bitch and talk with your hands. And when you order Prada online, please don’t talk about it out loud, you rotten whore

Dainon said...

I never read your blog (unless I show up in it, of course), but I firmly stand behind your continuing to do so. Can you, eh, start a new, more positive one? Or is that exactly what The Man would want?

Damn the man! DAMN THE MAN!!

Anonymous said...

wow! that sucks! i can understand your company being upset if you were publicly bashing them, but i'd bet the majority of your readers don't even have a clue who you work for, and those that do are the ones you'd be just as likely to bitch about work with in person. seems awfully silly to me!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're having problems. Hang in there, you have an entire city behind you. We love our little Sarahbellum!

Juniper said...

I say you quit and then bring them down with all that information you haven't written about that they should be worried about! I'm sure you could support your Starbuck's habit on a fast food job! :)

Anonymous said...

What happens if you don't stop blogging?

I vote you quit and sell ad space on your blog. Controversery sells.

Anonymous said...

It sounds to me like it might be time to "Get Gephardt"

Anonymous said...

Your blog is one of the hippest and coolest blogs out there. And if it were to be wiped from cyber space the internet would lose all meaning. Sure, I speak with hyperbole, but it is a necessary trope to illustrate the point that your blog must stay!

subpolka said...

Their request is absurd, out of line and kind of...pointless. It's not as if you're damning the company by name (or any vague identifying characteristic, for that matter); why in God's name should it matter what you write in your free time, i.e. when you're off the clock and not acting as a representative of the company.

Ugh. Lame.

Good luck, Sarah.

~ Rachel/subpolka