Someone asked me what I would say if my employer (or a potential employer) ran across this blog. I just kinda shrugged, and apparently, I should have been concerned. I was warned about how I should care about what I post on the internet, and how I should care about my “Personal Brand”. Right about there is where my brain clicked into rant-mode.

First off, the idea that I should be in “buisness-mode” and looking out for how I can ease my fit into someone else’s expectations 24/7 just pisses me off. But it does a lot more than that. It makes me really believe that something is deeply and truly wrong. But there’s more to it than just that. The fact that someone can pass judgement on my life, even though they’re no part of it…

Let me clarify. In my private life, I listen to metal, wear lots of spiky clothing, play violent video games, and wear t-shirts with interesting remarks on them. I do such, because I like said clothes, I like said music, and said games are fun. That said, I bet a lot of people would think I’m an evil, horrible person, ill suited to do more than flip hamburgers. I won’t dispute the evil bit, but the rest of it is a bit inane. Also consider, that whenever I’m not playing a game, I’m hacking on Python, running web, email, and FTP servers for fun, running a network rig worthy of a small buisness, and usually watching the Discovery or Science channel. Now, if you took the spiky clothing, sarcasam, and metal out of that, what would you have? The local geeky kid that everyone thinks is going to grow up to be the next Bill Gates? (Though, I think we could use another Linus Torvalds more.)

It’s the old truisim that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. But there’s more to it than that. Frequently, what someone does in their off -time (Another rantworthy concept) has precisely zero connection to what they do at work. Lets be honest about expectations here. I expect to get paid for providing a service, and you expect to recieve said service in exchange for paying me. Pretty straightforward. So, I have to ask, what part of this involves you googling for my blog, reading it, and deciding if I’ll be a “good fit” for the company? Now, if you want to see what I have to say, that’s fine. But basing an employment decision off of if the hiring manager likes what I write personally is troubling. 

Besides, who in their right mind bases their opinion of the company, by the people that work there? Besides the customer-service aspect, customers generically have little-to-no connection with your employees.  Quality-of-product is a lot more important than your employees being your kind of people.

Outside of that, most people are capable of compartmentalizing their life. I don’t insult your stupid customers, but I do fix their computers. You pay me, and you don’t worry about what I do once I go away. It seems like a good deal to me. This brings up a good point. Why should you care if someone drinks, or smokes, or gets high off the clock? In fact, most of the employers don’t care if people drink off-the-clock, or over weekends.

Why should an employer care if someone smokes pot on the weekend? Because that shows a habit? What about the people that go and get smashed every weekend? Last I checked, alcohol was more habit-forming than marijuana. Because it’s illegal? So’s driving home drunk, or drinking underage, or speeding, or running red lights. Yet, nobody freaks out about that as much. But most places do drug tests. It’s not like they’re even impairment tests. It just tells them if you’ve taken any illegal drugs in the last random timeframe. Not terribly useful to see if you’re high/drunk/wasted on the job. So, it’s basically just another lifesytle test.

In short, just another way for employers to keep track of the personal lives of their employees. Somewhere I don’t believe the employer has any place.


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