The Judge RANTS!
Write A Blog And Win...A Place In The Dole Queue
I'd never heard of Joe Gordon until today.
Then, on my daily trawl through The Register, I came across
It's a scary thing when employers start to believe that they not
only have the right to order you about when you're on the premises, but
that they can decide who you communicate with (and in what way) when
you're sitting in the comfort of your own lovely home.
Joe Gordon had, by independent accounts other than his own, worked
very hard for Waterstone's in the eleven years he'd been with them,
even to the point of doing a fair bit of work in his own time and at
his own expense to promote his employers' events and services.
For some jumped-up little twerp of a new branch manager to sack Mr.
Gordon without any warning whatsoever (and to use one of the favourite
boss-yob catch-all excuses of 'bringing the company into disrepute')
for writing a blog which seldom mentioned Waterstone's at all, and then
in only a pretty oblique and generalised fashion, is beyond what we
should be prepared to tolerate in a supposedly 'free' society.
If, in fact, we do actually live in such a one.
It's particularly worrying that a business which, one would
suppose, relies on the fact that we do have freedom of expression,
should take such action.
If you buy books from Waterstone's, perhaps you'd like to consider
an alternative stockist (perhaps not Amazon, though; they run
Waterstone's website. Also, they call themselves Hatchard's in
London and Hodges Figgis in Dublin).
Perhaps you'd also like to write to the company's head office at:
Waterstone's Booksellers Ltd
Capital Interchange Way
to tell them that you won't be buying from them again until such
time as the matter is resolved to Mr Gordon's satisfaction (a tribunal
case may be pending).
(Please be polite. Firm, but polite. It creates a stronger
impression that way).
You may also wish to consider a boycott of HMV, which owns
What I hope you will also do (as I will) is to support Joe Gordon's
What with the whole nasty business of the ID Cards as well, we are
in danger of losing what few rights we still have. Waterstone's (and
other companies who try the same thing) can't be allowed to think that
they own the minds of those whom they employ. Else we might end
up with a song like this (with apologies to Merle Travis and Tennessee
"You work eleven years, and you toil and you sweat,
When a new branch boss who's a right little get
Says, "Boy, I don't like it that you're writing a blog,
So I'm going to flush your career down the bog"."