The code of silence


One of the ways management communicates at us peons is by posting typed sheets behind the counter. They’re titled “Did You Know?,” but half of their contents are things management has just dreamed up.

Last week’s was a little different, though. It had the usual — a paperwork tweak, advice on how to handle a badly coded coupon, and a reminder that we can personalize our Workday accounts if we desperately need to waste time — and it also had a last-minute addendum, scrawled in the store manager’s handwriting:

Store business does NOT belong on Facebook!

You see, when the wage slaves grumble amongst themselves face-to-face, it’s easily ignored, but when they do it on social media where a third party might read it, they’re Making the Company Look Bad, and that’s Frowned Upon.

I’ve asked a few of my grumblier coworkers, but none of them fessed up to being the Facebook Grumbler. This was probably wise of them, because if they admitted to the wrong person that they’d Made the Company Look Bad on Social Media… well.

I don’t remember swearing an oath of silence when I was hired, but it isn’t about what we agreed to. It’s about what management decides to demand.

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