Proper Facebook Etiquette

#2089 [discussing a potential appointment]

Monday 25th November, 2013

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Dear Mariann,

Today, we have been discussing a new appointment at work.  We (at work) are all friends on Facebook and we also have a customer Group Page. Our new manager used to be a customer and she is now the Head of Section.  She was first recommended on our customer Group Page.  Since her appointment she has let our section fall to bits, and now the blame is at me. I sound intolerant, but this bl**dy woman has taken over and complained that until the workplace is 50% women, then we will only ever be inadequate and inefficient. Is there a way to un-recommend in the same way you can unfriend?…

Thanks, Department for the *********** and a Gentleman.

You have recruited via your customer Group Fan Page?… Well how ingenious, I am fascinated. Imagine the security protocol alone.

My dear man, do not patronise either your new Head of Section, nor me. We are both placed in a position of order and authority. And we are both women. You want to use your position to drum up negative ‘back-chat’ and not challenge any new mode of work.

Does your Group Page belong to your Department?  No. This is Facebook property.

I need to remind you that both yours and hers status is part of a complex set of networked relationships that are very public. Some of these relationships are all in an article that articulates Facebook as a village.

Using the metaphor of the village, Facebook’s a funny place, you know, Mister Gentleman. If you spill the beans – as you seem to want – you open up a whole can of worms. I am about to give you some original, convincing, some might say conclusive arguments against your actions: Can’t you see that it is in all our interests, especially those ordinary folk who are women, to let sleeping dogs lie before you let the cat out of the bag.  Bring in a new broom with a bushy head and if you’re not very careful you find you’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Remember, that if you change horses in the middle of the stream, next thing you know you’re up the creek without a paddle, and you’ll get a very unhappy customer Group Fan Page.

And then the Head of Section continue to propose, discuss, revise, redraft and provide months of fruitful work, leading to a mature and responsible conclusion.

Much work here. If the wrong people are doing all the work (as you suggest that She is ‘wrong’), then go behind the scenes. You can run a civilised Department by gradually excluding yourself from Her activities. Please note that I do not agree with your reproach, nor with this strategy. I think that you should sustain your Friend status, work with Her and how would you feel if She were to disappear.  Your Department is corrupt and incompetent, which means that you centralise, You are the flower of your Department. It may be a dung hill, but you can grow beautiful roses.

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