Friday, February 27, 2009

Another Social network casualty

Its seems a regular occurrence in the news that social networks, such as Facebook, Myspace are becoming a new way to restrict your employability.

According to Sky News, Kimberley Swann a 16 year old girl from Clacton, mentioned on Facebook that her office job was “boring” a fairly innocuous statement which millions would be able to make and do.

Her employer Ivell Marketing & Logistics were rather offended and apparently sacked her without allowing her to explain, her mother pointed out that “she didn’t mention the company’s name.

Steve Ivell of the company is reported to have said "Her display of disrespect and dissatisfaction undermined the relationship and made it untenable."

I just took a look at the website for Ivell Marketing & Logistics Ltd, and find it full of noble assertions for instance on the Welcome page it has this statement “We follow a zero tolerance social accountability standard” not sure what that means, but perhaps a little clearer are statements to be found in the Corporate Responsibility section and this one in particular headlined Basic Labour Standards

“We want to ensure that our factory partners respect basic labour standards defined by the International Labour Organisation and basic human rights defined by the United Universal Declaration of Human Rights and encoded the in the International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Civil and Political Rights”

Its my opinion that along with having worthy statements, Ivell Marketing & Logistics Ltd might like to take a bit of time to actually understand them, also they might like to add the European convention of Human Rights in particular article 10 which provides the right to freedom of expression, although this is also covered in the United Nations Declaration.

Lets hope that Ivell Marketing develop a better sense of humour or thicker skin, or maybe partake of the real world in which people will make far worse remarks about work, still I’m sure I’ve never come home from work and said something like “those mean spirited B*st*rds blah blah” , well perhaps I have but I’m old enough not to put such thoughts on this or any other website.

I’ve only ever mentioned work in the most general terms, but if I were to do so, on a social network pages, does it matter, these electronic conversations are a mirror to those we have face to face in the street, pub, cafe etc.

Finally I see on the website that this company are investors in people.


  1. This is certainly very harsh indeed!

    This raises another dilemma: if work colleagues (& particularly bosses) send people on social network sites "add requests" then should we accept them?

  2. This lady had done nothing to be sacked for.

  3. Tony frankly I am lost for words, a 16 year old who doesn’t find the office boring has probably been genetically engineered, Kafka pointed this out some time ago, and Python picked up on it, even Sir Arthur didn’t seem that enamoured with polishing his knocker.


  5. Quite aside from the fact that "zero tolerance social accountability" can be understood to mean zero tolerance towards social accountability this sort of news fails to do any good marketing for the "marketing company" all it does is fill the search engine results with less than glowing reviews and mentions of the company.

    What would have catapulted them to fame was to solve the fact that (as well proven by Tony) they are, in fact, clearly boring.

    In marketing today boring is fail. Don't take my word for it - ask the leading expert on the subject of marketing, Seth Godin (author of 12 best sellers on the subject). Boring and safe are both fail.

  6. Unfortunately we have all met and worked with jumped up tossers like Steve Ivell the person that sacked the 16year old young woman.

    He probably has done her a massive favour though, as she may now be offered a better paid, more interesting job due to the publicity this story has created.

    I hope so.

  7. This story sums up all that is wrong with the world.

    Don't agree with the politicans or the bosses and you will be sent to the back of the class!!

    I hope this pompous oaf of a boss is soon made redundant!