Posted by: healingtheworkplace | August 1, 2011

Complaining On-line About Your Workplace? Think Again!

Hi there, as is pretty usual for me…this weekend I spent some time reading the Working Section in the Vancouver Sun. There was yet another article about bad bosses which doesn’t surprise me considering the ‘bad boss’ epidemic that is threatening to destroy our workplaces.

What did surprise me was a second article in the same newspaper. This article mentioned a website that “allows employees to complain—anonymously”. The website is called officeleaks.com.

According to the article, Office Leaks  “lets employees post anonymous complaints for free. The catch is that the site also lets employers monitor the comments for a fee.  Ah, that’s how they make their money!

The creator of the site believes that providing this on-line forum for disgruntled employees to air their views in public is healthy. It’s healthy because employees need a safe place to vent about their bad bosses and their bad coworkers.

It’s also healthy because employers can gain an “uncensored view of their business” and hopefully do something positive with the information they glean. Like fire the boss?

Concerns are already being raised about legal issues related to the site. Despite the promise of anonymity there is no guarantee that your employer will not discover your identity and FIRE YOU if you go on-line and complain!

What I find even more interesting is a third article in the same edition of the Vancouver Sun.

This article or column (Howard Levitt is a regular contributor to the Working Section of the Sun) is entitled Free Speech at Work Has Its Boundaries.

Basically Howard shares a story about an employee who criticized his employer publicly and was subsequently fired from his job. The employer filed a wrongful dismissal suit but the judge ruled in favour of the company that he worked for. If you want more details you’ll have to read Mr. Levitt’s column!

“With the proliferation of social media, employees feel empowered to say what they like, particularly to friends, about their employers.”  Howard Levitt

But you do so at your own risk.

Bad bosses and bad coworkers can drive you round the proverbial bend. Venting about your distress may feel good at the time but remember…whatever you post on-line pretty much stays on-line and it is not always anonymous…no matter what the website says.

In the next post I’ll comment the the link between complaining about work and resilience.

Until then…enjoy your week! Lesley

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Responses

  1. “This article mentioned a website that “allows employees to complain—anonymously”… if a work place subscribes to this site – they are in a lot more trouble than they think … I do not professionally see the value at all – except maybe to reinforce ‘the dynamics of victimization’……

    IMO – the creator of this site wants to make money from other people’s stress, frustration and dissatisfaction – clear and simple… sad actually…

    • Hi Patrick, You make a good point…complaining annonymously does contribute to victimization. I think that it can also result in feelings of powerlessness. Complaining endlessley without taking some action is not a healthy thing to do because nothing changes. The problems remain and likely will get worse. Thanks for you comment! Lesley


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