Saturday, January 9, 2010

One day at a time ...

I made a mistake at work, online to be more specific and it affected my work place. I teach, I was in a position of Leadership. I got annoyed, felt used and abused, became stressed, and still work ploughed on, mauling its way through people's lives. I was stuck, couldn't debrief, so I updated. Facebook that is. Yep, I can hear the online groan. It's like watching a B grade horror movie, 'Don't do it,' the audience shouts. Unfortunately, I didn't hear, didn't listen if I am to be more precise. I had a little voice asking me what I was doing, but flicked it out. My Facebook is set to private, and I have the right to vent; right? Wrong.

Lesson one: Don't have people on Facebook who will take the opportunity to show your Boss your status.

Lesson two: Delete most people from Facebook until you know who you can trust with your life.

Lesson three: Ignore the fact that your employer says that a policy is not needed for online identities, despite the fact that people are getting in 'trouble' for online activities. Write a policy yourself.

Lesson four: Get it all out. The anger at yourself (for being really, really stupid), and the anger at the person who used this opportunity to further their own career to the detriment of yours.

Lesson five: Remember that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. It's time to take stock, re-assess your career, what you want out of working, and focus on your other endeavours. I find myself three weeks into the five and a half week summer holidays. I am relaxing, writing a bit, happy with where things are at. I've moved on. Now I am able to explain the poems.

Iscariot's Rope is about myself and the person who showed my boss my Facebook status. I know, deep down, that I ignored the little voice in my head that was warning me not to update my status, but I still find myself incensed at the self righteousness of the person who showed my private Facebook page to my boss. I know what my motives were, and question hers. I was her mentor when she first started, hence the Judas reference. Betrayal from someone considered a close ally is even more horrifying than most acts of betrayal. It is as if one of the prerequisites for moving up the corporate ladder is to cut someone else down; the rope waits patiently for its next victim, and there will always be someone willing and able to assist the rope.

I felt stifled by the increasing restrictions that were being placed on me and my colleagues. Restrictions and levels of censorship that seemed to have no rhyme or reason, restrictions that people were being expected to work out for themselves. My workplace became quite Orwellian, mimicking elements of Nineteen Eighty-four. And like Winston Smith I looked around and saw so many people who seemed to accept all of these restrictions as commonplace and necessary.

I penned MMIX with the intention to link the events of 2009 to Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-four. I found that the word censorship had origins during the time of the Roman Senate, and I really liked the explanations of the role of the Censura, monitoring the public morality of the citizens. It definitely had an 'every man for him/ herself' feel to it, and this is what my workplace had started to feel like. Writing MMIX made me realise I was well rid of the rut I had found myself in. I didn't lose my job, but found that the career ladder suddenly turned into a slippery slope. I was unhappy at the time, but it certainly was a blessing in disguise.

Twitterazzi was written specifically for Nathan Bransford's Competition. I liked what I wrote, but I am sure not everyone did. My dad, for one, hates it. He says it is too violent, and it is. But that is what I work with, that is what my school can be like at times, that is what I read in the papers each and every day. What do people do about it? Not a whole lot. People complain that things are too violent, my dad complains that what I wrote was too violent. However, it is real, and in it's 'realness' people have to ask themselves what are we (as a society, as role models, as members of the community) going to do about it? One of the things I will do is to write about it, expose the rawness of society that makes people cringe and want to hide away. It also addresses the very elements that I let myself be caught up in; online communities. I was interested in how well characters could be developed using twitter or Facebook status updates; this was important because so often we 'get to know' people on line. How well can we do this in real life, let alone how well can characters be developed in this way. It is restrictive to have characters developed in this way, so I added the internal monologue. Another idea would be to have the characters share their thoughts in a variety of online mediums, and highlight the subtle difference people put into their own 'character' when on line.

Until next time ... adieu.


  1. Blessings and peace! If it's any consolation, been there, done that. ;}

  2. I have a few co-workers on my Facebook and I hate it. I hated to deny their request, though, because I would have caught crap for it. These are also the people who report everything they see to everyone they I keep work off of there. Which sucks! If I do vent, it's so vague, nobody could really pin it to one specific thing. But it sucks that you were betrayed in that way. Did you unfriend her?

  3. Thanks ladies :)

    ... and definitely defriended

  4. Indeed. I know a few people this has happened to. You have to work with these people, so for purposes of easier working cohesion you accept their friend requests on social networking sites.

    And then they stab you in the back. We can blame only oursleves, in the end. We all must remember that humans are the dominant species on earth because they are, by nature, the most vicious.