Kimberley Swann thought her job was boring. So she said so on her Facebook page.
Her employer, Ivell Marketing and Logistics of Clacton, U.K., gave her this update: "Following your comments made on Facebook about your job and the company we feel it is better that, as you are not happy and do not enjoy your work we end your employment with Ivell Marketing & Logistics with immediate effect."
Miss Swann, 16, was stunned. She told the Daily Telegraph: "I did not even put the company's name, I just put that my job was boring. They were just being nosy, going through everything. I think it is really sad, it makes them look stupid that they are going to be so petty."
Ivell's home page is a little on the dull side. But I did find a lively sentence at the very end of its home page spiel, almost every sentence of which begins with "We."
"We follow a zero tolerance social accountability standard," says the last sentence. Perhaps firing Ms. Swann is an example of Ivell's zero tolerance social accountability.
So I went to a very sober Web site to discover the definition of this Social Accountability Standard, which seems to be referred to as SA8000. Here it is: "(The standard) measures the performance of companies in eight key areas: child labor, forced labor, health and safety, free association and collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours and compensation."
Here is today's philosophical question: is your personal Facebook page an example of "free association"? Stephen Ivell, the owner, thinks the company acted properly. He told the Telegraph: "It is just a shame that it did not work out because she is a lovely girl. For a small company, when a decision is made, one thinks long and hard about it."
I was just wondering, but, well, how long and hard did the company think about snooping into its employee's personal Facebook pages? I only ask because I know there are some people who have zero tolerance for this kind of corporate behavior.