Facebook and Hiring Policies for Companies -A Violation of Rights?

July 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm (The Serious Stuff) (, , , , )

A friend of mine and fellow writer posted some concerns she has  – on Facebook – about having Facebook at all, after attending a seminar on hiring  policies.   Apparently, she has learned that some employers don’t want to hire people who have “too many” friends on their facebook pages.  Another colleague of hers has mentioned that she used the Facebook page to vett potential employeees, including their movie lists and likes or dislikes.  If they like different movies that her other employees, apparently this woman won’t consider them for the job – regardless of qualifications – because they “might not get along”.

I got all opinionated about it, because to me, this is an invasion of privacy.  What is this arbitrary number that is “too many friends”? As someone else pointed out  – what if these people are merely “friended” for the purpose of having friends so they can play the games on Facebook on their off time?  Or is this  arbitrary number a petty thing – the hiring agent doesn’t have as many as potential employee, and consiously or unconsiously dismisses the potential employee out of jealousy, recognized or no?

I had a lot to say about it in this poor woman’s thread – I pretty well took it over.  So I’m going to copy all that and put it here, and expand and expound upon it.

 I look at it this way- a company that refuses to hire me based on the number of Facebook friends I have or don’t have is focusing entirely on the wrong thing. My skill set should matter most, my past work history should matter second, and my facebook friends should matter least of all.

And if that is what the company is going to focus on – already distrusting me before I put a foot in the door, then I do not want to work for those people anyway. I do not need the stress of working in an environment of distrust – no one does.

I can honestly say that of the 200 plus people, I know and have met in person over 150 of them, and know enough about them to put them here on my list. Others I have becomes friends with online, and just a very few others have added me because of the work I do.

For me, facebook is for play, but it is also for my work. I have one page dedicated to my writing, about to start one dedicated to my hat making, since my daughter has convinced me to open an etsy shop for it, but it also keeps social connections open for various events I attend, provide seminars at, and in one case, am helping organize.

So if an employer is only looking at numbers, then he’s missing a great deal of me as the employee – and I’m better off working elsewhere.

But I wasn’t done:

I forgot to add – the ethics swing both ways.

Have you added a page for your writing yet, dear friend’s name that doesn’t need to be revealed? If not, you should – because that shows you ARE using social networking as a tool, and THAT should be more important to potential employer as well – its an increasingly important tool that is not going away – check the sidebar for all the politicians using it right now! Plus, if you create a fan page, that will take people off your main page that you aren’t sure you want there anyway. Main page = personal stuff and friends. Fan pages =work stuff.

And one more comment – told you I took over her thread:
And what Colleague of my friend whose name also doesn’t need to be in my blog said is the reason I keep my main facebook page set to private. You only need to know, as an employer, about my personal life what I want you to know. And focusing on what movies I like? I’m sorry, that’s just not right. And I wonder if it can lead to legal issues for the company that does that – something to think about and find out, truly.
Other people – some of them hiring managers themselves – stated that this was an odd policy, because employees will goof off in many forms, and did before computers and Facebook even existed, if they are inclined to goof off. Some stated the companies they worked for had blocks in place on social networking sites, others said they were allowed to use the social networking sites duing their lunch and other breaks, and I know I have read where some companies encourage the use of social networking sites to home their employee’s skills, because they realize that this is the future of communication, information sharing and advertising.
One gentleman said, depending on the job, a large number of Facebook friends would show they have social skills, are technologically savvy, etc – and would be bonuses for employers.
As I stated – Facebook is for my personal side, and my fan pages are for my work side.  I may post my articles on my personal side, but I NEVER post the funny picture link in my fan page that’s directly related to my work.  They are separate, and they DO show that I am using SEOs and social media to promote myself.  And while I’m not as savvy as I should and could be, I am at least trying.    In fact, this blog post will get posted on my Facebook page as well.
But to have an employer use my friendship with let’s say, a couple horror writers I know, as a basis for my employment answering their telephones, or as an historical interpreter, or even as a proof as to the quality of my skills as a milliner and costumer, well that’s just wrong and unethical – and I’ll bet it’s not legal as well.  It’s opening your company up for countless lawsuits.  and while you may say “well, you put your life out there for all to see”, actually I didn’t.  My fan pages? Fully public.  This blog? Fully public.  But my main Facebook page, friends only and yes, I did disable that search option.  and even then, I may say something trivial like I did today “It must be allergy season because my allergies are kicking in” that’s not anything I wouldn’t say in any work setting, because it is so trivial – and could well explain why I’m using up the office kleenex supply. But you don’t see we talking about any marital issues I may or may not have, nothing about my sex life, nothing about my finances. You rarely  see pictures of me, my family or my dogs.  My address and phone number are not listed.  These are highly personal things to me;  if you’re a friend who’s never been to my house before, I’ll give you my address.  My friends have my phone number.  Everyone else is on a need to know basis, and baby, you just don’t need to know. 
Of course, if I were a pure idiot, friended my boss and then got on Facebook and talked smack about them, well yeah, my stupid behind would deserve to be fired. And we’ve all seen examples of that on Failbook.com and other sources gone viral throughout the web, and laughed at them.  And clearly people do it!
But if I were to find out that my qualifications were totally dismissed, and my hiring was fully dependent upon whether I liked the Twilight series or not, there would be hell to pay, in a most legal way.  And when we were done, I wouldn’t need that job.
What am I saying? I’m saying it’s time for employers to back out of our social lives, our private lives again.  Before the computer age, you didn’t know, and didn’t care, and employment was based upon qualifications and personality. It’s time for it to go back to that again.  A silly or stupid comment on a Facebook page, a movie list, or even the number of friends I have is NOT the basis for employment if it’s not about the company, not happening on the company’s time, and doesn’t interfere with how the work is done during company hours.
Privacy  needs to return – and now.
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The Power of the TRUE American Worker

July 29, 2010 at 9:37 pm (The Serious Stuff) (, , )

This isn’t a new whine, or whinge, or gripe – people have been complaining about illegal immigrants for decades now –  and to no avail – and you know why? I’ll tell you why.  Because Americans think they are too good to clean up their own shit – in a very literal way.  Too many of even the poorest Americans think they are above picking corn, cleaning a hotel room, working in a factory line. If this elitist attitude didn’t exist, then there would be no need to fill these jobs with people from another country who know that any job is better than no job.

Our grandparents who lived through the depression of the 30s knew that motto all too well. They carried it through and taught it to their kids, our parents. But our parents fell down on the job, or society did, or something, because we suddenly idealized the 80s yuppie as the thing to be, and working on a farm, or in a factory was not considered a good job anymore.  Forget that a factory worker STILL makes more money than a low level executive, even at the Fortune 100 companies.

Some people are crying out so loudly against illegals – tell me, how will YOUR personal budget stand up when suddenly you’re paying so much more for things like  food, tires, clothing, basically everything you buy – and I mean a huge increase, not just a few dollars, more like close to 400% increase. Are you going to cry then too? It IS what will happen, because those folks that do the crap jobs for the crap pay will be gone, and those employers wil be forced to pay at least minimum wage. They’re not going to be willing to let go of their profits either, so prices WILL increase.

When the American elitist attitude goes away, illegals will too – because they won’t be able to get jobs. And KNOWING that the jobs cut in the last few years are NOT going to come back, because the corporate execs do like their profit, this country and it’s people need to start embracing the agricultural and manufacturing jobs again, because they WILL be our only mainstay.

Now is the time to realize that any job can be a good job, and to stop treating people who make $9.00 an hour as if they are unfortunate, stupid, or lazy.  (And it’s even worse if you make minimum wage).  People with several degrees and loads of experience are suddenly finding themselves in these $9.00 an hour jobs – and liking it.  They have found that they don’t have the stress of the job anymore, they actually have more financial freedom, because their lives are no longer bound by aquisition of more and better. They are freer, more relaxed and happier, and most of them have something to show for their hours of work at the end of the day.

It’s a renewal of an old work ethic that most of us were taught, but so few remember.  Pride in your job, pride in yourself that has nothing to do with your pay grade. It’s something to get back to, for the sake of our country, our economy, and most importantly, for ourselves.  Time to once again celebrate that true american worker, the one who does his or her job with pride, honor and integrity, no matter what that job is or where it’s done. Time to honor the work our ancestors knew was necessary not just to build this country, but to keep it running. 

Because it IS the American worker that keeps this country going – not the elite and rich 3%, not Congress, or Senate or even state government, it’s the guy who made that tire on your car, the woman who cleaned those chickens for the grocery stores,  even the teenager babysitting his siblings so his parents can go clean offices at night. It is US – you and me – and we are also the only ones who can change our attitudes and opinions and bring things back right  for everyone we know.

You have the power – you too can be HeMan – get to it.

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Frugal Living Fail – making Spreadable Margarine out of Stick

July 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm (The Serious Stuff, Twitterpated Thoughts) (, , , , )

So, I “attend” a number of different forums, and on one we’ve been talking about things you can do to save money.

One was spreadable butter or margarine. If you buy the spreadable tubs at their regular price, you will find that you get less than a pound of butter or margarine, and even the really cheapie stuff is over two dollars. But if you look at the stick margarine or butter, yo get your full pound, and most are uder one dollar. (Given, real butter tends to cost more.)

So a friend offered up her grandma’s method for making spreadable butter or margarine – take a stick of either, let it sit until it gets to room temperature (of course, warmer in the winter months) and then take one cup of ice water, put the stick- unwrapped (hey, some people need to be told this) into the blender and start it running, higher speed. Slowly add the ice water. This will create a spreadable product.

So I give it a try – and water went everywhere. The margarine kind of broke up into bits, some of the water did appear to get mixed in, and the rest just spewed all over the kitchen.

Once it was put in a container, it had to be left out, or it got firm again as it got cold, and yes, it did spread a BIT easier than the room tempurature stick did, but the resulting mess was not worth the amount of effort. It was just as easy to put the margarine in the butter dish and let it sit near the stove for true spreadability.

Perhaps I would have better success with the bowl I have that has a lid with a small hole in the center, and the hand mixer. I’ll let you know if I give it a try.

Next frugal living attempt will be another friend’s recipe – taking those slivers of bar soap and making them into liquid soap.

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Winner of the Worst Opening Sentence Announced

July 1, 2010 at 6:56 pm (Humor too funny to NOT share, odd news) (, , )

Molly Ringle won the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest to write the worst opening line to a non existent novel.  Hers was clearly the worst and makes those with good imaginations cringe.

Here is her wnning sentence: 

“For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss–a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil.”

Can I just say eeeuuuwww?

The runner up was Tom Wallace, with an equally good sentence, in my opinion:

“Through the verdant plains of North Umbria walked Waylon Ogglethorpe and, as he walked, the clouds whispered his name, the birds of the air sang his praises, and the beasts of the fields from smallest to greatest said, “There goes the most noble among men” — in other words, a typical stroll for a schizophrenic ventriloquist with delusions of grandeur.”

There are plenty more –  http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/  read and cringe and applaud the skill it takes to write this badly.

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Proper measurements make for Better Costuming

July 1, 2010 at 5:29 am (Other Artsy Fun, Sewing Surprised) (, , , )

Getting  proper measurements before you start a project can save on costly and time consuming adjustments later.  To find out what measurements you need to take, here’s a comprehensive list:

Properly measuring for costuming

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