It seems like every day I read about someone getting into trouble for a posting on social media. Whether it is the college student who had a job offer rescinded for a negative tweet or a worker getting fired for Facebook, people are facing consequences for what they say online. As a result, I am very careful about what I say online. However, it is equally important to monitor what I say in public.
Recently, I was reminded of this important lesson—be careful what you say, you never know who is listening.
My co-worker and I spent an afternoon watching a movie being filmed in downtown Raleigh starring Emily Blunt and Colin Firth. As soon as Colin Firth stepped out of the car, we were twelve year old girls at a Justin Bieber concert.
About two hours into our waiting for Colin Firth to notice us, a woman nonchalantly sat next to my co-worker and I and engaged us in a conversation. While she never identified herself as a reporter, it became apparent she was. During her interview with us, the reporter asked where we worked. As soon as I told her I worked at Lawyers Mutual, a woman standing in front of us turned around and asked me who my boss was. As it turns out, this fellow crowd member worked for one of our local law schools, is a close friend of my boss and partners with my company throughout the year.
Later that night, as I was thinking about the interview, I realized how lucky I was to have not said anything about my company while watching the movie filming. It would have been so easy for my co-worker and I to discuss our jobs or our company during the four hours spent trying to get Colin Firth and Emily Blunt to notice us.
Had we said anything negative about our company, at least two things bad things could have happened:
- Our negative comments could have been published in a newspaper as we had no idea how long the reporter had been standing in the crowd near us.
- My boss’s friend could have overheard our conversation and told my boss what she heard.
Either of these scenarios could have ended with us receiving a reprimand or worst case scenario, losing our jobs.
So whether it’s posting a picture online, updating your status or, I now realize, out to coffee with friends, be careful what you say in public. Talk about last night’s game or Kate Middleton, but don’t air your company’s dirty laundry. Save work talk for a more secure location.
Oh, and yes, my co-worker and I did get to meet Colin Firth and Emily Blunt! Check out the Lawyers Mutual Facebook page to see pictures.