How Not To Get Fired While Social Networking

First, the story of how to get fired. Hapless waiter Jon-Barrett Ingels had the kind of experience that garners some extra happy-hour attention and gasps over martinis, but it all went south once it hit the internet. He’d served Jane Adams, star of HBO’s “Hung” and when he delivered her $13.44 bill, she turned red and explained that she’d left her wallet in the car but she’d be right back to pay. Jane didn’t return and Jon-Barrett felt stung. But, he felt even worse the next day when her agent called to pay the bill — sans tip. He tweeted about it, and one month later her people saw it. She came in, gave him his three-buck tip, and he got fired. Here’s how to avoid a similar catastrophe after the jump.

  • Solve most problems by protecting your messages: Seriously, unless you friend your bosses and the people your bosses want to keep happy, this should keep you employed.
  • Don’t use your full real name: Fall into the anonymous world of internet land. Jon-Barrett Ingels can be fired, but SnowDrop42 would’ve been a mysterious entity.
  • Follow Grandma’s advice: Follow the old adage: If you can’t say anything nice …. It is such a simple way to stay out of trouble. So many times in a hot fit of hissy pique, I’ve wanted to throw up my grievances about everyone I know online. Can you believe the nerve of so-and-so? But I’m glad I kept my mouth shut and my fingers still because I would have regretted it later.
  • Remember Twitter has a search function: Politicians and celebrities like Jane Adams are people with people — Agents and publicists are paid to find the nasty crap people are saying about them and do damage control. Bad news to be on their bad side.
  • Don’t friend your boss: Duh.
  • Damage control: Unlike email, Twitter has something similar to an undo button. It is possible to make a mistake and go back and send that oops to the trash, hopefully never to be seen again. Unless someone unsympathetic took a screen shot. Then, you’re out of luck.
  • Resist temptation: This is the hardest and worst of all. Stupid, dangerous, tempting internet.