I've been asked now by a number of people whether I am aware of the below censorship attempt coming from Orlando. And yes, I'm aware of it. I'll address it at some point further than this, but thought I'd put it out there for discussion at this point. I don't think we get the option of not signing it. I'm sure they'll make an example out of someone to scare everyone else. That's the corporate mentality. Maybe it'll be me. If so, I won't hold back as I honestly am currently. Not sweating it one way or another. If Red Lobster wants to take me down, I'm the small fish, they can do so. But the funny thing is that Stalinist attempts at censorship often creates martyrs. Will I dive on the grenade if it comes to that - we'll just have to see, but the equation is decidedly balanced in my favor on this one. Just how much publicity do you think I could get if this gets ugly? I'm betting a lot. Does Darden want to roll that dice in this economy?
Below is a report from CNN (the typo's are not mine!):
I'm an employee at Red Lobster, which is owned by Darden Restaurants.
We are being forced to sign an agreement that, for the most part, forbids us to blog, or if looked deeply into enough, even TALK about what goes on in the workplace. This "agreement" even reaches into our "off hours" lives.
I've attached a scanned version of the actual page that details the internet/blogging policy. What bothers me so much about this is the fact that the policy is SOOO vague that it could include anything. Vague policy IS the heart of censorship!
Here's an excerpt:
"When internet blogging, chat room discussions, E-MAIL, TEXT MESSAGES OR OTHER FORMS OF COMMUNICATION reveal confidential and/or proprietary information about the company or include inappropriate discussions abour co-workers, guests, or others, the employess may be violating the law and is sublect to disciplinary actions, up to and including termination of employment."
I'll leave it at that for now (read the entire policy if interested), but that little phrase is what makes this just seem wrong to me.
How can we even be hinted upon to control what we put in our emails or text messages? Who has access to this outside of us, the people writing and receiving them? Does the Patriot Act extend to Red Lobster?
Finally, what are these "other" forms of communication outside of the internet realm? Speech? Morse Code?
I'm not a lawyer, but something just doesn't smell right about this policy, I just can't put my finger on it.
I know it's wrong to slander someone or to give away company secrets (like what's the seven secret spices in the Colonol's chicken); but outside of that, we can say what we want. If I want to blog about how my boss sucks, I should be able to do so. Just so long as I don't say, "Mr. John Doe sucks because he's a loser and has no life.", I'm covered under the law.
So, am I wrong in these thoughts or am I just looking too deep into it? I don't think I am because this has become a BIG issue at my Red Lobster. And this is only one store in a small town, I'm sure it can't be going over well in the larger areas.
Censorship always starts small.