I found a horrible blog about a coworker — and it’s true

A reader writes:

What should one do when they find a nasty blog written about a coworker, but the horrible statements are true?

There’s a certain head of a department who I have to work with occasionally who is rude, dismissive, and just does not seem competent enough to do her job. I’ve spoken with other coworkers and they think the same of her. And she writes her emails in Comic Sans, so clearly not a person worthy of respect (I kid! Sort of…)

I googled said coworker after a very frustrating day trying to work with her (she totally screwed my team over for an international trip that she was told was high priority weeks ago) . I found a blog written about her. She’s a recruiter, and it sounds like it’s written by a candidate she worked with.

The complaints about her on the blog are similar to my complaints with her, only the blog is more scathing. I would be beyond mortified if someone wrote about me on the internet like that. In my opinion, it looks terrible for a company to have someone who’s the head of a department have this nasty blog show up as the second link when you Google her name + company (and she’s somebody who would get searched for, given her role).

The blog has been up for several months, so I’m assuming other people in the organization have seen it, even possibly her managers, and may have already dealt with it, but I’m wondering if the blog and complaints from coworkers might spur change? I don’t want to put my neck out there either though, so can I send an anonymous complaint? Casually let higher-ups know what I’ve seen? This isn’t a me or her situation or anything like that, but I’d still like to know this was addressed with her and she knows she needs to make changes to be productive within our company. So – what, if anything, can I possibly do here?

Ooof.

The blog itself probably won’t spur any serious change, because she’s a recruiter and it’s written by a former candidate. It’s going to be too easily passed off as the work of a bitter rejected job candidate. (And really, the fact that the person took the the trouble to create a blog about her sort of reinforces that perception. The person is almost by definition bitter.)

But it sounds like there are legitimate issues here that your employer might have an interest in knowing about and addressing (the rudeness and incompetence), and the fact that there’s a blog out there complaining about the same things could potentially be a piece of that, when it’s considered as part of that broader picture. It would be more of a side issue though — the main issue would be what you and your coworkers are seeing in working with her. You’d need that stuff to be known in order for her manager to take the blog stuff seriously; otherwise, the blog is just a loon with a grudge.

That means, though, that you and/or your coworkers would need to be willing to speak up about the problems you’re encountering in working with her, either by talking to your own manager(s), who could potentially address it with your coworker’s manager, or — depending on internal dynamics there — possibly by talking to her manager directly. If you’re not willing to do that, there’s probably no way to get this addressed.

I wouldn’t go the anonymous message route. In general, anonymous messages are rarely the correct way to handle a problem because their credibility is really low; the recipient has to wonder whether it’s a real problem or someone with an unsubstantiated ax to grind and whether they should spend time investigating (and how much time, if a first look doesn’t reveal problems?), as well as what’s up with the professionalism of the person who chose to communicate that way. I suppose you could anonymously bring the blog itself to someone’s attention (no credibility needed; sending the link would let them see that the blog exists), but like I said above, the blog on its own doesn’t convey the most important part what really needs to be conveyed here.

{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Anonnn

    I’m confused — is this an entire ongoing blog created about this person based on one failed interaction, or is it a single post on someone’s blog that is actually about a bunch of other stuff?

    Reply
    1. fposte

      I’m assuming, despite the OP’s phraseology, that it’s actually a blog post, though maybe on one of those flash-in-the-pan blogs where there’s a post or two and nothing else.

      Reply
    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      The OP sent me the link but asked me not to publish it. It’s a blog, but a blog with only a single page on it. So the whole site is devoted to the coworker, but there aren’t multiple pages.

      Reply
      1. Observer

        In that case, I really, really would not base anything I did on that. Yes, maybe I would include it with a bigger package. But beyond that, no. It just comes across as a bit off. It reminds me of the person who wanted to “out” the terrible interviewer who committed the crime of asking “so tell me about yourself”. Yes, I know what other issues were also mentioned, but nothing rose to a great level of terribleness.

        Reply
  2. Rowan

    I’m assuming by “blog” the OP actually means “blog post”? I can see making a post or two about a bad experience with a recruiter, but creating a whole ongoing blog seems over the top.

    Reply
    1. Shannon

      Yeah, if someone made an entire blog dedicated to the failings of one person, I would think that the owner of the blog was disturbed and advise the person being written about to think about getting a restraining order.

      Reply
  3. Deanna

    But if it’s not reported anonymously, OP will have to explain why he/she was Googling the boss in the first place.

    Reply
    1. Charlotte Collins

      She could always say she was Googling the company, since it seems that the company is mentioned, too. (Or that she had Google Alerts set up for the company and this just came up.)

      Reply
    2. some1

      Yeah, considering her coworker screwing her over led to her googling tells me the LW was looking for something bad or embarrassing.

      Reply
    3. ted mosby

      but there are so many perfectly legitimate reasons to google somebody. this wouldn’t even occur to me to ask.

      Reply
    4. OP

      OP here. I was googling her because I wanted to find her LinkedIn page to see how in the hell she became the boss of her department. Her name + employer brought up her LinkedIn page first and the blog post second. I certainly wasn’t out looking for anything other than her LindkedIn to get an idea of her work history. The blog post was the second result.

      Reply
        1. NoProfitNoProblems

          Can’t speak for OP, but sometimes I (a reasonably tech-savvy person) find LinkedIn’s search function really annoying. And if there are multiple people with the same name, I don’t necessarily want my name to show up in their “this person viewed your page” notifications.

          Reply
          1. Steve

            I turned off the LinkedIn “feature” that lets other people see when I view their profile. They warned me eight hundred or so times that I would no longer be able to see who had visited my profile, but I proceeded anyways.

            Reply
        2. AnonInSC

          I don’t think that’s fair. First, for most people using a search engine to get to that type of info is common. Second, LinkedIn is annoying as heck. The the boss was googled means nothing – people google other people all the time. I do it just to try and find email addresses at times or to make sure I have someone’s title correct.

          Reply
          1. Myrin

            Yeah. I don’t know about LinkedIn, but whenever I search for someone in my uni I google them plus the uni’s name – although I could technically find them via the uni’s website as well. But it’s so much more convenient to not do that.

            Reply
        3. OP

          Because typing her name into my search bar was easier. This is not some giant conspiracy to get this person in trouble.

          Reply
        4. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.

          I never use linked in’s search function first try. I always google the person and the company first, and that will most always get me to the their linked in fast. Linked In Search < Google

          Every once in a while it doesn't work and then I sigh and use Linked In search.

          Reply
      1. Seriously?

        Then why not go straight to Linkedin and search for her name? Methinks your motives are not ‘just’ what you say they are.. you WERE looking for ‘dirt’ to justify your opinions.

        And speaking of opinions… you ARE judging her on usage of a FONT. Saying ‘just kidding’.. doesn’t take away from that. You’re judging and want us to judge on that little tidbit too.. that says something about YOU, not the person you’re complaining about. And just for the record, some of us find Comic Sans to be really easy on the eyes. I wouldn’t use it in business correspondence, but I have used it in personal emails and elsewhere because it IS easy on the eyes. I do know people who are horrified (seriously, wth?) Go ahead.. judge me.. LOL. It’s your issue, not mine.

        Reply
          1. Seriously?

            Unfair? I don’t think so and I’m surprised you are using that word. Also that you’re discouraging the use of Linkedin AND saying is ‘sucks’. Come on now.. we expect better from you. At least I do, and I’ve been following AaM for a long time. You’re better than that.

            I’ve used the search function in Linkedin for many reasons and can usually find what I’m looking for – and/or information to help with a google search.

            Reply
            1. Ask a Manager Post author

              Yes, I do think it’s unfair to question the letter-writer’s motives like this, for the reasons others have explained. (And I do think LinkedIn’s search function sucks! There’s a reason so many people are saying they don’t use it.)

              Reply
        1. plain_jane

          I judge on fonts, just like I judge on whether someone’s hair is brushed at work. It isn’t the only piece of information I judge on, but it is there. And if it reinforces other pieces of information, I’ll give that more weight (knowing that this is also subject to confirmation bias).

          Sure, if I see you in the street on the weekend and your hair isn’t brushed, I won’t care, just like I don’t care if you use comic sans in your birthday invitations. But if you routinely show up at work and your hair isn’t brushed? (Yes, this depends on the job, I don’t expect IT to brush their hair, but I expect client services people to do so.)

          Reply
          1. Marian the Librarian

            Agreed! The person who was previously in my position used Comic Sans on all her professional documents and publicity documents, and it does make me low-key question her aesthetic judgment.

            Reply
      2. Mitchell

        side issue here, the blog poster could be sued for libel if it affects the person’s ’employability’ so to speak.

        Reply
    5. themmases

      I don’t understand all these comments… Is it really that big a deal to Google someone?

      I can see that it’s a little awkward maybe and people don’t usually tell each other that they did it, but we all do and it’s a totally legitimate thing to do. It doesn’t at all imply that someone was out to get another person in trouble or even that they were being nosy.

      Off the top of my head, I’ve Googled people who might walk by at any minute to make sure I got their title right; because I need to read their faculty profile, many people have several, and I want Google to find me the best one; it’s faster than going to LinkedIn first; I need a photo to jog my memory and LinkedIn might not show it if we’re not connected; they’re in a newsletter I’m writing and I want a link to what they did.

      Not exactly some nefarious plot to find the top most accessed public information about people.

      Reply
      1. Afiendishthingy

        Agreed. People Google each other. That’s why you have to google yourself every so often, to make sure your coworkers won’t come across stuff like this. I don’t think OP has anything to hide here.

        Reply
  4. KT

    I hesitate at this whole thing, mostly bc the OP says they have been talking to coworkers about this person as well, which just seems like a bad idea. Bringing forward the blog too may make it look like you’re on a personal vendetta.

    I would refrain from venting with coworkers and bring up legitimate concerns with your own manager or HR, but I’d leave the blog out of it. As you said, likely others are aware, but there’s not a whole lot they can do about it.

    Reply
    1. Artemesia

      This. I can’t see any upside to mentioning the blog post that doesn’t get mud all over the OP. She and her co-workers need to talk with their boss or her boss and the messed up international trip is the occasion. You can say that THIS very important plan was badly handled to the company’s and the teams detriment and it is part of a PATTERN of difficulties and failures to follow through with this person.

      The blog post is interesting but not likely to advance your cause because it will make you look vindictive rather than ‘concerned’ — and the tone to take when complaining about a co-worker is always ‘concern about how this is affecting our ability to do a good job for our clients.’

      Reply
      1. INTP

        I think the OP could mention the blog without tarnishing her own credibility if she brings it up as though she assumes it’s untrue but is concerned for the image it could create for the company when potential candidates google. Just “I found this and wanted to pass it along in case something could be done.” But of course, she couldn’t do that AND complain about the coworker’s performance – she would have to choose one or the other. And I don’t think they’re likely to do much about the blog besides send requests to have it removed from search results unless they’re already aware of performance issues.

        Reply
      2. ZenJen

        I would definitely discuss the specific example of the trip snafu, to the employee’s boss, because that is a concrete current example of the employee’s problems. I think that you can also mention that you recently found this blog post, and it was shocking because it also seemed to unfortunately corroborate your experience with the employee on this recent problem.

        Reply
    2. favorite son

      Could the OP be blamed for the blog? Would people at that workplace think that s/he wrote it and then reported it? Stranger things have happened.

      Also, I really want to read this blog…

      Reply
      1. LBK

        If it’s from the perspective of a candidate who got turned down, I think it would be pretty clear from context that it wasn’t written by an employee.

        Reply
      2. OP

        No. The blog has been up since before I knew this person. But that’s an interesting angle I didn’t consider, so thank you.

        Reply
    3. it will happen

      I zeroed in on the gossip thing too – mostly because I HATE office gossip, but the whole ‘I discussed with several co-workers who all agree’ – it could end up making the OP look like someone who wants or is part of some office drama.

      Reply
  5. J.B.

    OP – let the blog post go. Make sure your superiors know the problems about the international trip and the fallout from it, but an unemotional account of the issues created by this person will be much more significant than bringing up a blog post.

    Reply
    1. neverjaunty

      Yes, this. If management is going to listen to complaints about this person at all, it will be through direct communications by employees, not through a single angry blog post by an anonymous person who (allegedly) had complaints about her.

      Reply
    2. BeautifulVoid

      Agreed, especially since there’s not much that can be done about the blog post anyway. If you bring up the blog post and say “this makes our company look bad”, though it may be true, how far is the company willing to go to track down this anonymous blogger and take steps to ensure the blog is removed? Focusing on the more concrete issues will be more productive.

      (And I don’t think there’s any shame in feeling a little bit validated by this writer’s similar feelings about the person in question. But again, that’s not going to get you very far when it comes to trying to change things.)

      Reply
    3. Not So NewReader

      Yeah, I am tending to agree, let it go. I cannot see where it will help you and it’s a long shot but it might hurt you.

      The way I think about these things is that the company should have people looking at the net and doing damage control for negative things about the company. Let them do their jobs.
      Oh, no one is doing that? Well, then it’s up to the company to assign that task to someone and start working on it.
      How come she is watching her own reputation on the internet? I am not so sure I would rush in to help her do that.

      I just had a situation tonight, where a person came to me and asked me about situation X. Where X was a huge problem that happened a couple weeks ago. Seems that Sue told Jane who told Leo who mentioned it to Bob and then this person came to me and asked. Sometimes you just have to let things perk down through the grapevine. They always perk.

      Reply
  6. some1

    Besides the reasons AAM mentioned about anonymous messages being a big no-no, they have unintended consequences because the target can very well get angry and blame someone else who had nothing to do with it. This happened to me once.

    Reply
    1. Cautionary tail

      So true. I have been burned because big manager assumed I did something. All I did was bring an issue to the attention of big manager in a very professional, discreet and respectful way but since I was the messenger, only the messenger, and the only messenger (got all that?) big manager assumed I did it and publicly corporately flogged me. It hurt my career for the rest of my time at that company.

      Reply
      1. Artemesia

        I had a similar experience of being blamed for something like this that I did not do. There is no percentage in whining about the blog (and that is how it comes across) Own the complaint and make it about how it affects the companies ability to deliver.

        Reply
  7. Careful Now

    In my opinion, you haven’t explained why a bad exchanged with colleague caused you to Google them. That sounds illogical. You come across as looking to snitch, and everybody doesn’t love a tattletale. And then you wish to do it anonymously? Really, at least own up to it.

    Reply
    1. Anna

      I think the OP explained it pretty well in one of their other comments. They were wondering what the manager’s background was so they googled them. Not a big deal unless all googling of people is bad.

      Reply
    2. INTP

      She said she was looking up a coworker’s LinkedIn which is not a remotely unusual thing to do. She can easily leave off the fact that she was looking for the page because she doesn’t think the manager is qualified to do her job and just say she was looking for coworkers to add or curious about her professional background or whatever.

      Reply
      1. RE: Careful Now

        I think the tone of the comment is off, even if the concern is sincere. OP may look “bad” to management. All the other comments suggest that depending on how the blog is mentioned OP may come across odd or vindictive. OP should mention the blog in a manner that doesn’t come across vindictive. In addition, just to offer a more context, remember and consider there is no universal agreement as to how much weight should be given to information found on the internet. My assumptions about what is valuable may not be the same as yours, and you may never know it unless I choose to tell you. I just think the OP should be careful.

        Reply
    3. salad fingers

      I’m admittedly a little excessive in the curiosity department (a creep?) but I google pretty much any new coworker. Mainly, I’m interested in the same thing OP mentioned – their work history. I have to say I’m also interested in any really obvious lack of social media discretion or on the other hand, super cool knitting blog or whatever. This isn’t for the purpose of “snitching” or compiling a dossier or anything. Just curious.

      This did backfire(?) once when I googled someone and found that the first result was kind of revenge porny sort of site where you shame cheaters. Told no one and did my best to scrub my brain of any memory of it.

      Anyway, this seems normal to me but I’m also not ruling out that I’m a terrible person.

      Reply
      1. Marian the Librarian

        I do this, too. I was pretty surprised that several people immediately assumed it was malicious!

        Reply
    4. Stranger than fiction

      I google coworkers to look at their background all the time, so I don’t think it’s odd for Op to look up their linked in at all. (In fact we just hired a new employee and I can’t find them on linked in and it’s causing me concern since they’re supposed to be a biz Dev wiz so you’d think they’d have a presence there)

      Reply
      1. RE: Careful Now

        I’m curious, what is your role in context with your new coworker? Are you working directly with that person? Is Linkedin big in your industry? I ask because I’m on LinkedIn in the teapot industry and have observed some very prominent persons to have essentially no presence on LinkedIn. These people have 23 links, no picture, no summary, just a name and current position.

        Reply
      2. Cari

        Why would it cause concern? If they’ve already been hired, their previous work history should have already been vetted. Also not everyone likes networking and putting their personal information for all to see online.

        Reply
    5. GreenTeaPot

      We all Google people from time to time, and sometimes simply to learn something about them, something that might help us understand them better. It doesn’t have to involve “snitching.”

      Reply
      1. Afiendishthingy

        Yeah, and it doesn’t sound illogical to me at all… It’s not necessarily the most mature thing, but yes, I hate-Google people sometimes to confirm my dislike for them. It doesn’t mean I’m looking for something to get them in trouble. And I google people for other reasons, too! It’s Google. It’s a powerful tool, and let’s just admit we all do it for all kinds of reasons. We are all adults here.

        Reply
    6. Afiendishthingy

      It’s not tattling, though – it’s really more like telling someone they have spinach in their teeth. Embarrassing, but wouldn’t you rather know it’s there? Not that I think the blog’s comments will or should be taken as gospel, but the coworker and her employer should know that it’s the second Google hit.

      Reply
  8. Not today

    There is a similar issue at my workplace, but the blog was created and is updated by one of the manager’s direct reports. There is an issue with this manager that does not appear to be handled by upper management, and the employees are frustrated by that. But, instead of reporting issues to the manager’s boss some of them have gone this route. I wish I could report the site, but I fear it would only mean the person who created it would lose their job, and all complaints would be passed off as bitterness, instead of seeing that it’s indicative of a team that doesn’t feel like anything is being/will be done.

    I try to encourage people to report issues to the manager’s boss, but there’s definitely a feeling that it doesn’t do any good. It’s incredibly frustrating to know this is going on.

    Reply
    1. Dynamic Beige

      Do you know this person who writes the blog? If so, you might just want to say something to them about their posts being visible and identifiable. This person might have started their blog as a way to vent, but didn’t realise they had the settings on ‘Public’. If they are posting stuff publicly with intention, well, on their own head be it. Sometimes, you have to learn things the hard way and that would be one of those times.

      Reply
  9. Anna

    I would definitely go with Alison’s advice. The blog post doesn’t really do anything but confirm what you already know. The person who wrote it is not on your team and can’t back up anything you say in person, so go with what you have already (messed up international trip) and take that to your manager.

    Reply
  10. Shannon

    “The blog has been up for several months, so I’m assuming other people in the organization have seen it, even possibly her managers, and may have already dealt with it, but I’m wondering if the blog and complaints from coworkers might spur change?”

    Let me deconstruct all this:

    First, many people don’t routinely google their coworkers and their company names. I think it’s far more likely that no one has seen it, otherwise it wouldn’t be the second link. The most common way to fight a negative online image is to start building a significant body of online content.

    Second, let’s go along with your supposition that the blog has been seen by her bosses. The blog hasn’t produced any noticeable change yet. Adding more complaints and using the blog as some sort of “evidence” just amounts to “Everyone says Recruiter is a big doofus head.” Also, given the nature of online content, I’d wonder if that blog was maliciously ghost written by a current employee.

    Third, there are two problems here: how the recruiter is treating recruits and how the recruiter is treating you. It’s tempting to lump all three together, but, to her managers, they’re different problems. Come at your problem (the unfulfilled promises) with a problem and a solution.

    Reply
      1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2

        Management teams scan social media, and vet candidates that way. They likely do the same for their own employees.

        So you won’t find anything nasty on me on Google.

        However – if there’s a scurrilous document about someone in your company’s employ, I’d report it. Whether you like the person targeted or not.

        Reply
      2. Marcela

        And the real problem is that other people, such as clients or potential new employees, google the recruiter. Most people do that when trying to prepare for interviews or write thank you letters.

        Reply
    1. Anna

      I agree that the OP should focus on their issue, but I don’t agree in this particular case the OP needs to have a solution. It’s a bigger problem and would require bigger input to rectify the it.

      Reply
    2. Kate M

      “I think it’s far more likely that no one has seen it, otherwise it wouldn’t be the second link.”

      Are you confusing second page with second link? It seems to be the second result in google in my reading of OP’s explanation, not the second page of results. That makes it very likely people have and will see it, imo.

      Reply
      1. Shannon

        No, I’m not.

        It would make more sense to me that it had been seen if it were pushed further down the first page. That would tell me that the person who was targeted had seen the link and was building an online body of work to combat the negative publicity. If it’s showing up right under your name, the fact that it’s still that high up and is several months old tells me that no one is doing anything about it.

        Reply
        1. themmases

          Not really though, since the premise of this whole story is that the recruiter is incompetent. Just because she hasn’t Googled herself, or hasn’t done anything effective about the problem if she has, doesn’t mean that no one else has seen it. Obviously if it’s the second Google result then lots of people have seen it and shared it, and the only people likely to do so are those who work with her or are going through a hiring process with her.

          Reply
        2. Panda Bandit

          If it’s the second result in Google then plenty of people have seen it. They just haven’t told the recruiter it exists.

          Reply
  11. Adam

    Oof indeed. I’m curious how high the traffic on this blog might be. If it really was entry #2 in a google search I guess that makes it much more likely that it’s been widely seen, but I think letting the blog itself go is probably the best idea. I don’t think it’s that much different than a scathing review of a company on Glassdoor. The reader will take it as he will and the anonymous nature of the internet may lead many to dismiss the post.

    Reply
    1. Manders

      When someone has an unusual name and not much of a web presence, it’s possible that a blog like that could still show up as the first or second result even if their traffic is low. It’s probably not likely that many people are googling this person’s full name + company name.

      I agree that it’s better to let the blog go and address the real problem: an incompetent person is hurting your team, and you need to find a way to either get what you need from her or go around her.

      Reply
  12. AMG

    I’m always surprised when someone like this writes in Comic Sans too. Seems like they should be writing in Chiller or something.

    Reply
  13. INTP

    If you want to mention the blog, I think it would be fine to say, “I came across this while searching coworkers to network with on LinkedIn. I’m sure it’s just the work of an angry rejected candidate, but given that our company is mentioned, I wanted to pass this along in case it creates image problems for the company in the future or turns off candidates who might consider working with us.” If higher ups are aware of performance issues, they can use it while dealing with her, but if not, the OP looks like a concerned employee and not like she has any sort of personal issue with the recruiter.

    Reply
    1. Adam

      I think this is a good idea. If you really want to bring light to the blog this probably the safest way to go about it.

      Reply
      1. Stranger than fiction

        Except if they’re not aware of her issues, the stuff the Op is actually concerned about (how she’s treating her team) doesn’t get addressed.

        Reply
        1. Adam

          Good point. I think it’s an either or moment. If she wants to really address her concerns I’d leave the blog out of it.

          Reply
  14. F.

    It is entirely possible that the company and even the manager who is the subject of the blog already know about it. I know we monitor what is out there about our company.

    Separate this blog from you and your team’s legitimate problems with this manager. You will be seen as having a vindictive axe to grind by bringing up the blog.

    Reply
  15. Kelly L.

    I’d be worried that bringing up the blog would make HR mistakenly think the OP wrote the blog herself. Like when you’re in school and report that “someone” threw up in the bathroom.

    Reply
    1. Anna

      I don’t think that would be a concern, really. It would be some really convoluted logic to get from “employee found blog” to “employee wrote blog and brought it up to support their case for issues with manager.”

      Reply
      1. TootsNYC

        I don’t think it would be that convoluted to go:
        -employee got mad
        -employee wrote blog
        -employee waited only to realize that no one was paying attention to blog
        -employee “casually mentioned” blog to someone who might pay attention

        Reply
      2. Kelly L.

        Eh, I’ve seen a lot of people bring up their own complaints as “from some other anonymous person” in various situations. The whole “Some people think you’re a jerk” thing when really it’s only that person. Though the story is about interviewing and probably wouldn’t match up to the OP’s life.

        Reply
  16. AnotherHRPro

    If you go the route of an anonymous complaint:
    1) Include specific examples of issues you and your colleagues have seen
    2) Share names (including yourself) of people that the company should talk to as they have witnessed/experienced these issues
    3) Include the link to the blog as this post taken into account with internal complaints is important
    4) Be prepared to never find out how the situation was handled

    Reply
    1. Heavenly Mashpea

      But even then, what is the point of sending an anonymous complaint if you’re going to include your name after all? If anyone ever found out you were the one who sent that, you’d look really weird.

      Reply
      1. AMG

        The difference is listing herself as a 3rd party versus being the letter writer. Still anonymous as to who wrote to HR. But then everyone can say, ‘well, since HR came to ME and asked, here’s what’s going on.’

        Reply
        1. AnotherHRPro

          Yes, the OP should list herself in the 3rd person. It would be odd to not include herself as she knows information and has talked to co-workers about this manager.

          Including names for HR to interview increases credibility of the complaint and HR should talk to all of the people listed. If there really is an issue, at least some of them should raise it during their interviews and by doing so they would substantiate each others experiences. This means that HR can’t write the complaint off as just one person who has a bone to pick with the manager.

          Reply
    2. AnotherHRPro

      Also, larger companies will have a formal anonymous complaint process (telephone and/or web-based) that is managed by a 3rd party. These truly are anonymous unless the person making the complaint self-ids or shares something that only they could know. There is no tracking back via caller-id or ip address. Confidentiality is part of what the company is paying for. They want employees to have the option to complain anonymously if they feel the need. It is not that we don’t want people to raise issues themselves, we just recognize that not everyone will fee comfortable doing so and it is more important the the issue be raised.

      Reply
      1. Anna

        Yeah, if the choice is do it anonymously or don’t do it at all, sometimes the best way is anonymously if the issue is significant. I’m not sure this particular issue would fall in to that realm unless the OP is concerned about retribution of some sort.

        Reply
  17. AMG

    I’d really like to hear how this plays out. OP, please give us an update, especially if you decide to call out the blog to HR.

    Reply
  18. Cari

    Be sure it’s not actually written by a current employee first, if you do end up saying anything about the blog entry you found.

    Reply
  19. The IT Manager

    I feel like the LW thinks this blog post legitimizes her complaints about nasty coworker. As far as your management is concerned a blog post from a disgruntled applicant is unlikely to carry any weight. Forget the blog post and focus on what you can prove since your management should trust you.

    Reply
    1. OP

      It’s more like:
      -I have these certain issues with the coworker
      -I asked 2 trusted coworkers if they had worked with the coworker. That’s all I said – have you gotten a chance to work with so-and-so yet? Both responded, unprompted, with similar complaints
      -I found the blog and even though it’s from the other side (a candidate vs a coworker), the complaints on the blog are very similar to what I & others have experienced working with this person. That’s why I wrote in asking for help. Does bringing up the blog help at all? If I hadn’t have found the blog, I probably would just write her off as a really annoying coworker. But now I have evidence this is a pattern – should or would management be concerned? You certainly don’t want a recruiter turning off both candidates and the people she’s finding hires for.

      Reply
      1. Afiendishthingy

        I totally understand looking for independent confirmation that your coworker really is a jerk. I do! Some people here are apparently morally superior to us but I get you, OP. ;) nevertheless, telling your superiors “See, random Internet crazies have vendettas against Jane too” is not going to support your arguments. Stick with your firsthand knowledge about her work. Let your bosses know, nicely, about the trip screwup, and ask what can be done to fix that/avoid similar situations in the future. If you bring up the blog it should be at a different time, and on the note of “this could be embarrassing for us, just wanted to let you know so you could work with SEO” or whatever.

        Reply
      2. neverjaunty

        No. Your evidence is “random disgruntled person on the internet agrees with me”.

        If you have two trusted co-workers who agree with you, AND documentation of her problems (which shouldn’t be hard to do if she’s making huge screwups), take that to upper management and make your case.

        Reply
      3. Not So NewReader

        You do not need it to show a pattern. A pattern can be shown by three examples. You have yourself and two coworkers, there’s your three right there.

        Reply
  20. Jeanne

    If the department manager is really rude to most coworkers and screwed up some big project for you, I suspect other management already knows about her deficiencies. A blog post won’t make any difference. I doubt there is anything you can do. Upper management has decided not to care. I’m sorry. Is there a way to avoid her as much as possible?

    Reply
  21. Zach

    I am amused to see all the earnest advice to OP recommending they “blow the whistle” on the manager to higher ups personally. Here’s some better advice: don’t ever do this unless you’re happy to be fired.

    Reply
  22. Cari

    Bit shocked to see so many “it’s normal to Google your co-workers” comments here… OP has a reasonable explanation, and I get that when considering hiring someone, those involved in the process would be looking into their online presence too (although personally, I don’t think it’s fair to do that in most cases *shrug*), but for anyone else to do it? Comes across as super nosey and rude to me.
    I’d be really creeped out if I found colleagues had been looking me up on the Internet, whether they found anything on me or not. Unless I’ve shared something with them, what I do online is none of their business and what they do online is none of mine.

    Reply
  23. LavaLamp

    I’ve gotta say, if you don’t want people to google you, make your online presence controlled so people only see what you’d be okay with.

    As for the OP I get you’re probably looking at this blog going “I’m not insane! So & So was a jerk to this person too!” But the reality of it is the screwed up international trip mentioned will hold more weight with your superiors.

    Reply
  24. Miss M

    I’d have to say that by blogging, the author makes himself/herself publicly known. And that he/she will have his/her work scene.

    Reply
  25. Willow S.

    To me, it was absolutely a dumb move of the blogger to use real names. If you are going to blog about work, never use real names of yourself, your coworkers, or your company, unless you want your boss to find you in Google.

    Reply
    1. Afiendishthingy

      The blogger isn’t an employee, though- sounds like they’re a rejected job applicant. Not that that makes it a good choice by any means!

      Reply
      1. Willow S.

        Well, that is still problematic. Potential employers may find the blog during a background check. If I were a hiring manager, I would wonder about the person’s professionalism.

        Reply
  26. Janelle

    “I’d still like to know this was addressed with her and she knows she needs to make changes to be productive within our company.”

    Would you know, though? I mean, if the post has been up for months, and others have seen it, as you suspect, maybe it *has* been addressed. Management probably wouldn’t discuss with other employees that it had been addressed, though. At least, as far as I understand it, any sort of conversation about co-worker’s behavior would (should!) be kept private. It’s not as though HR is going to alert you with an “it’s handled” follow-up message.

    Reply

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