Corporate Behavior: Having it Both Ways

Today I ran across an article in the New York Times talking about how corporations are using personal living websites like Myspace. Com to check out potential employees.

Apparently what is happening is that employers are disqualifying otherwise good job applicants based on what they have posted on their personal websites.

Now I don't know about you, but I consider this a tremendous invasion of privacy, another one in this day and age. From what I've seen, most of what's posted on the internet, especially on these sites where kids and teenagers and college kids hang out is posturing, an attempt by the posteur to be "cool" or "kewl" as my nephew corrected me in one recent text message.

What potential employers find out is that the potential job applicant is a kid. He/she drinks, smokes, parties too much and has some fun, sometimes. Kids are learning life. They are learning how to cope. They are experimenting. And most of it, unless there are pictures, is probably not true.

The employers are looking at him for his first job, for goodness sake. They don't intend to pay him good money like he's an adult and would be the first to tell you that there is not enough experience to justify a bigger paycheck. So what's the beef? He/she didn't spring from the womb full grown with grown up values and common sense. The time on these websites is downtime, personal time, time where corporations have no say. Or do they?

There is a huge movement in corporate America to exert more control over workers' personal lives, all hidden behind the guise of making workers healthier. In other words, there is the move to ban smoking, inside, outside, on the sidewalk, in the car and in the home. A couple of companies have been allowed to fire people for coming to work with smoke-breath. There are now random routine nicotine pee tests being administered. The courts are backing them up. They do this as a means, they say, of controlling spiraling health care costs.

That's a load of crap. If they want to control something, take a look at the pay packages and golden parachutes of upper management. Talk about something out of control. I guarantee you in any corporation, if the CEO takes six months off, nobody would notice. But if the mail room takes 8 hours off, everybody notices and comes to a stand still. Now you tell me who should be making the money, the CEO or the guys in the mailroom?

Corporations have long done criminal background checks on both workers and potential workers. Some perform them every couple of months. Emails are being monitored. Anyone with a brain who works in corporate America knows you don't put anything in an email that you wouldn't say out loud in front of your boss or his boss.

At the same time, while policing the employees and potential employees, they aren't doing anything to stem the flow of run away profit and profit taking by upper echelon company officials.

And from what I've read, upper management is pretty good when it comes to partying too, if you happen to make it to CEO level.

But then the Ken Lays of the world didn't have personal websites back in the day for someone to check out before they got the jobs, did they?
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