First off, thanks for all the commiseration and kind wishes I’ve received from everyone, whether it be via e-mail, blog/LiveJournal/Facebook comments, or Twitter. E-support is definitely still support, and it’s nice to have so much!

Yesterday, as may have been expected, was pretty much devoted to moping around. It’s been a while since I’ve had a good mope, anyway, so I suppose I was due, right?

Today I’m starting to get the gears turning to see where to go from here. I still need to haul out the resume and get it updated, but that shouldn’t take too terribly long once I manage to dig up my motivation from wherever it crawled off to. I spoke to my contact at the employment office that had contracted me to the job that just ended, and while the good news is that I was only let go because of economic cutbacks, got good reviews from my supervisors, and have sufficiently high keyboarding and data entry scores to put me at or near the top of the heap when new positions open up…the bad news is that there just aren’t open positions at the moment. Apparently, I’m not the only one out there trying to find a job right now. Huh. Who’da thunk it?

Still and all, hopefully something will turn up. I’m going to keep in contact with them, and start trolling Craigslist and the various job sites out there. Something’s bound to turn up at some point — I just hope it ends up on the “sooner” end of the “sooner or later” scale.

I suppose I should take a moment to expand a bit on today’s happenings, though there’s really not a whole lot more to say than what I tweeted earlier: the company needs to cut back, and as I was a temp employee, I was easily expendable. Apparently I should have been notified over the weekend, but for some reason all my temp agency had was my cell phone number, which I never bother checking. Still, everyone at my job was quite nice, and the manager has said that he’ll e-mail me a letter of recommendation.

I took today off to rest, process things, and generally mope around the house. Watched the most recent Battlestar Galactica episode, imported another old vinyl album, napped, and just aimlessly dinked around on the ‘net. The plan for the next few days is to take Prairie to work so that I can have the car, and then start seeing what I can find. First stop will be my temp agency to see if they have any positions open, and then…well, I’ll just have to see what I can find.

Wish me luck! The way the job market is these days, I may need it.

The headmaster of a technical school in Lozere, France, has been dismissed after discovery of his anonymously-written weblog, which was deemed obscene and pornographic (link to Babelfish translation). Apparently he was discovered when he posted his photo in a recent entry.

Can remarks published on a blog perso justify a dismissal? Yes according to the national Education which judged that this civil servant held a blog “obscene and pornographic”. It there posted its homosexuality and criticized its administration.

The fact is without precedent in France. Located on Internet via its blog, the headmaster of the technical school of Mende, in Lozere (48), at the beginning of January by national Education was revoked. The institution reproaches him for having published contents in “pornographic” matter on its blog, however held under pseudo (Garfieldd). But of the notes on its professional life frays with others intimate and on its states of hearts its function and identifiable place of work returned.

Besides in his last version(filedpartly), the chief of establishment posted his face in banner page. What could convince the professors of another college of the area to alert their hierarchy. “To denounce” others will say.

In an interview on line on the site of RTL, the headmaster reacts highly: “I challenge the pornographic term, that was never the case on my blog (…) in which I spoke about my life (and thus also) of my professional life. Objectively my blog was anonymous.” Like any civil servant, this headmaster was held with the duty of reserve, of which the blogs are not free.

I, unsurprisingly, discovered this when I noticed traffic getting a bit of a boost thanks to a link midway through the article.

This business rests the question of the freedom of the blogs compared to professional space. Abroad precedents exist: a Web designer American laid off in 2002, to have scoffed the life at its company (without quoting of names) on its blog; an employee of Microsoft in 2003, for an impertinent post published on its blog perso; an employee of bookshop in Edinburgh (Scotland) to have disparaged its employers; an air-hostess of Delta Air Lines to have photographed itself in uniform on an aircraft of its company in a sexy installation.

Heh. “Impertinent.” I like that.

I’m also starting to get hits from the ZDNet France article that the Yahoo! page was syndicated from. Two and a quarter years after ‘the incident’, and while things are slower, my 15 minutes of fame is still making itself known from time to time. Yikes.

Just adding another link to the ever-expanding 15 Minutes category here. Romm pointed out a mention of me in a commentary piece on TechNewsWorld that was published a couple of weeks ago. It’s a nice mention, too, as in addition to the standard “another fired blogger” mention, the author also follows up with my reaction to the incident, and contrasts it to Ellen “Queen of Sky” Simonetti’s Bloggers’ Bill of Rights campaign (which I think is goofy at best).

Contrast Simonetti’s response with that of Michael Hanscom. He was on a temporary assignment with Microsoft when he posted a picture to his blog that he took on the Microsoft campus. Microsoft essentially fired Hanscom, telling his temp agency he wasn’t welcome on campus anymore, thus ending his assignment.

The picture showed a pallet of Apple Macintosh G5’s being delivered to Microsoft. Hanscom said he took care not to show anything in the background that would give away Microsoft secrets, security systems or even building locations. But since the picture was taken on its campus, it made public an activity that Microsoft has a right to keep low-profile if it chooses to.

Unlike Simonetti, Hanscom concedes that Microsoft had a right to toss him out. Although he is a blogger, he realized that the normal legal rules apply to his situation. He started blogging back when blogs were just called “personal Web pages,” so maybe he has enough history to see blogging in its proper context — it’s just publishing. It is not private communications among friends.

I just dropped a note to Philip Albert, the author of the piece, thanking him for that.

I just got done with a lunchtime phone interview with Nick Jesdanun, a reporter for the AP. He’s still finalizing his article, and as this is going to be a wire story, there’s no telling where it might show up, but there’s at least a chance that my name will start popping up again over the next day or so (possibly as early as this evening) in the midst of another story about blogging, jobs, and the occasionally unfortunate intersection of the two.

I’ll toss a link up when I see it, but if one of you kind folks happens to catch it before I do, feel free to let me know!

Update: Prairie wins! She found the story first: Blog-related firings focus on policy. Just a small mention, but I’m in there…

In 2003, a Microsoft Corp. contractor was fired after posting photographs of computers from rival Apple Computer Inc. at a loading dock. Because Michael Hanscom had described a building in his posting, Microsoft said he had violated security, he said.


Microsoft refused to comment on Hanscom’s case, but pointed out that it encourages blogging and has more than 1,500 unofficial bloggers – the bulk on Microsoft’s official Web sites.

Update: And here’s a CNN version of the same story, courtesy of Tim.

About two weeks ago, I spent some time being interviewed by Amy Joyce of the Washington Post about my expulsion from the Microsoft campus for an article she was working on about the potential pitfalls of blogging about one’s job. The article went live today: Free Expression Can Be Costly When Bloggers Bad-Mouth Jobs. Here’s the section where I’m quoted:

Michael Hanscom started his blog, Eclecticism, before 2000, as a way to keep in touch with family and collect things he found on the Internet. A fan of Apple computers, he found himself working at a temporary job with Xerox on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash.

Hanscom said his family teased him that he would burst into flames when he walked onto the Microsoft campus. So one day, when he noticed a pallet of Macs — the same version he just bought for himself — ready to be delivered to Microsoft, he took a picture and posted it. “It struck my sense of humor,” he said.

A few days after Hanscom posted the picture, he said, his Xerox manager called him into an office. The manager had Hanscom’s blog up, and asked if the picture was his. Hanscom said it was, but said it was posted on his own time, on his own computer. According to Hanscom, the manager then said because it was posted on his own space and time, the company couldn’t ask him to take it down, but he could never come to the Microsoft campus again.

“It makes sense, really,” Hanscom said. “I’ve tried since then to look at it from their point of view. I never gave away any secrets, but I was in a position where I saw a lot.”

Quite a few other webloggers were quoted, too. Looks like my fifteen minutes isn’t quite over with yet! :)

(If anyone happens to be finding my site on a Google search after reading the WaPo article, my 15 Minutes category has all the gory details.)

Another one bites the dust, as they say — this time Mark Jen, formerly of Google.

TDavid has a good wrapup of information on this latest “blogger gets fired” story.

Update: A sure sign that I’m on the tail end of my fifteen minutes of fame: in this CNET article about Mark’s firing, I’m the only blogger mentioned who didn’t get a link. ;) This amused me.

(CNET link via Terrance)