More on The Rules

Life JP's been asking in the comments about how my job search is going. I was apparently a bit too subtle during this post about finding a job. I wrote at the bottom -- "for various reasons I won't be going to that same paper shop on a Sunday. Because I won't be completely unemployed" -- which on reflection was ambiguous to say the least. Yes, I've actually found some work -- it's a weekend job, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I haven't started quite yet. What will I be doing? I can't tell you. But not for reasons related to the Official Secrets Act.

Some readers might remember that when I set up the blog I gave myself a set of rules. They're there so that I can stop myself getting into trouble, so that anything I write online can't adversely effect anything that's happening in the real work. The rules were originally posted here. But I'll repeat them anyway:

(1) Don’t write about your friends unless they’re doing something amazing
(2) Don’t talk about work unless you’ve left
(3) Don’t talk about things you know nothing about
(4) Don’t make the rules too conspicuous
(5) Some rules can be broken ...

All very Fight Club. But they've been really useful for those times when I've wanted to slag off an employer in a fit of pique or wanted to say what I really think of my friends or relatives when they've pissed me off for whatever reason. They're also a good way of making sure that the blog doesn't simply become 'Stuart's rants' and therefore boring. Rule (5) mostly relates to rules (3) and now (4). Obviously.

I might continue to be in a state of paranoia when I haven't got a job, or an interview that someone's googled my name and found the blog and decided I'm not the person for them. Anonymous blogging isn't for me -- and I don't trust myself not to slip up and post the wrong bit of text in the wrong place and blow the whole thing. Besides, you also have to keep something back for the inevitable autobiography.

I've actually spoken to people who've been reading the blog for years and had no idea what my job was. Which does add a bit of mystery, although I'm always sure I can detect a flicker of disappointment in their eyes when they find out it was a call centre or whatnot. Sometimes they'd say I was far too good for that, which is nice of them, but my ongoing self-esteem issues can't agree. So from day to day, not talking about work on here has provided some protection. You wouldn't believe the big huge job related excitement I've been through sometimes which would have made for exciting reading but I haven't gone there on here.

Which is of course a few paragraphs worth of justification and explanation as to why I'll not be naming names or mentioning my new employer. That sort of thing could lead to this if I'm not careful and that would really be a shame. Just be rest assured, it's exactly the kind of thing I've been looking for and as I said at the interview, slightly more articulately, it'll offer me some great experience which will help me get to where I want to be.


  1. Anonymous11:16 pm

    Well that's about as clear as mud ;) All this "rules" stuff seems to portray some kind of paranoia. When interviewing someone the last thing that would ever enter my mind, and the vast majority of other interviewers too, is to "google" an applicants name. Blogging it would be fair to say is still quite a mystery to the common man in the street. Personally I can't see what harm it would do to just simply say - "I have a new job, working for *blank* and will be doing "blank*". Unless you are applying for a job at MI5 or an equivalent, I wouldn't worry about people searching the internet to find out trivial facts. Just my opinion as an outsider I guess. Maye I just don't get it ?

  2. Of course it's paranoia and I'm sure you're right. But I have heard of a couple of companies who actually have this is part of their interview selection policy and that's good enough for me because you never know.

    But to be honest even before I began the blog, I'd been reading others and almost always at some point someone had written "X read what I wrote about them on my blog yesterday and now they hate me" or "I've been fired. They told me its because of what I wrote on here".

    In my last full time job I don't think I told anyone about it, but it slowly became apparent that a good few people were reading. Imagine what might happened if I'd been talk about work or them...

    Plus, try typing "stuart ian burns" into google. It doesn't get more visible than that...

  3. Anonymous8:43 am

    "Fit of pique"

  4. Anonymous5:42 pm

    Fair enough, but this still somewhat misses my main point - what is your new job ? How can saying what it is be that catastrophic ? I'm not asking you to slag it off or to slag off people who will be future colleagues you haven't even met yet. I can't see the problem. If you keep to your own "rules" you will never mention work again. Therefore if anyone was to "google" you, however unlikely, and find a reference to you and the company, they will only find out that you have said "this is my job" or "I work for so and so", thus keeping to your own "rules" you will still be safe from hoisting yourself from your own petard, so to speak. Anyway, I wish I'd never asked now lol.

  5. I always write what I think. Fuck them. I've come this far -- why not go all the way?

    I do think about the social, moral, political &/or creative implications of what I'm saying (depending on the context), then say what I intended to say.

    Hope that feeds into your debate.
    A x