You've heard that MySpace is dangerous for your kids, but what about for your business? Behold the summer of talking smack. Lots of interns and other summer employees have been logging on and dishing out on blogs and social networking sites about incompetent co-workers, negligent managers, and annoying customers like, uh, you. Others use the sites to gossip or defend the companies against negative comments. A number of companies have banned interns from blogging. But so far social networking sites have escaped most employee conduct codes. With more than 25,000 groups on MySpace's companies and co-workers section alone -- including Publix Pimps, T.J. Maxx needs to die, and The Abercrombie is Evil Awareness Foundation -- no company is immune. Here's a taste of what's out there:
AMC Worked Me
NUMBER OF MEMBERS: 480
ENTRY: On management: "They're lazy b------- who pass the bill on to someone below them while they sit in their dirty little offices ordering more food or they sit on the loading dock with a cigarette for half an hour while the box office and concession stands are being pummeled and the ushers are on their radios calling for help to clean their sold out shows..."
COMPANY COMMENT: Social networking sites are not official communication vehicles for AMC [Theatres], but we recognize that they exist. AMC encourages its associates to share concerns through authorized company channels.
Best Buy Losers Club!
NUMBER OF MEMBERS: 284
ENTRY: "Don't b---- about the long receipts. You know there's no way I can make them shorter and you really think Best Buy gives a s--- about trees? The only paper Best Buy cares about is the one with the dead presidents on them."
COMPANY COMMENT: We're not going to pretend like we don't see what is out there, so we try to get into the conversation.
NUMBER OF MEMBERS: 260
ENTRY: "I'm angry at the fact that the corporate idiots cant find ways to make money without screwing the employees"
COMPANY COMMENT: We don't believe many of the comments are an accurate reflection of Blockbuster or of our thousands of high-quality employees.
The Disneyland Bitterness Convention!
NUMBER OF MEMBERS: 332
ENTRY: "I hate how the company takes advantage of us and doesn't give a s---. We are basically disposable to them."
COMPANY COMMENT: Tens of thousands of guests and cast members express their positive experiences visiting and working for Disneyland every day.
NUMBER OF MEMBERS: 850
ENTRY: "I finally had enough of the stupidity, lack of communication and the inability to hire associates with a brain... you ask a question and all you get is a blank look, and this goes all the way to management."
COMPANY COMMENT: The Home Depot respects the right of associates to express opinions on the Internet....Any posting of confidential information would be inappropriate.
By Kurt Soller