Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Workplace Conversation

I'm going to preface this by saying that management and I are never friends. It might be my loud-mouthed nature, my take-no-prisoners sense of humor or just the fact that I curse like a sailor and am unapologetic about who I am but we clash. Often.

So in the last clash, I was sitting in an inquisition and my boss asked me, "Are you the author of an erotic novel?"

As a character in a book I'll never write would say: "Butter my buns and call me biscuit."

In other words: say what?

I have written a book. That book is coming out soon and I'm excited about it. I'm delighted and overjoyed and dancing on ceilings. I don't annoy everyone with conversation about it but I have done a little bragging and given a little whoop.

Apparently a nearby nurse voiced her disapproval because I have spoken of and shown the cover for a book that she disapproves of. Because she's decided it's erotica. (It's actually a humorous, paranormal romance with lots of imp tossing.)

My manager disapproves of my smut. (Yes, she actually said the word smut in describing my world.)

I'm in a tizzy trying to understand how my writing has any bearing on my job or even my discussing my writing with an interested co-worker can be grounds for a managerial scolding. At what point does my right to enjoy my life and my personal labors become inappropriate and open for discussion with management? When do they have a right to label my work with a title of "erotica" and therefore call it unacceptable?

Needless to say, I am not a happy camper.


  1. This is soooo infuriating. Who the eff do they think they are? You aren't listing your company as a sponsor of the book and frankly what you do in your personal life has nothing to do with your job. That would be like questioning me: "Is it true you collect comic books? Or have you ever had sexual relations with another man?" Like that somehow affects my job performance. I think you should sue.

  2. What happened to the concept of a private life??? Now, when people appear on reality programs to blab the most intimate details of their lives... and no one turns a hair... define "smut" [I didn't even know that anyone used this word anymore amywhere for any reason].. I don't know what to bark about first,I'm so stunned, but I'm with Demotheus. Sue the bastards!!! MJ

  3. I'm gobsmacked, Lori. How dare they even ask something like that. Demotheus and MJ have the right of it; it has nothing to do with them.

    It's not as if you're standing on your desk at work reading aloud erotic passages while people stick their fingers in their ears saying lalalala.

    You sik'em girl.

  4. I approve of your smut, and if I had a job to give, I'd offer it to you.

    People needa get over themselves.

  5. Your workplace is stikin' it's nose where it doesn't belong...ask about legal services from your Union. It sounds like your employer is looking for a reason to discipline you or worse.

  6. I found your blog after reading '666 Angel Lane' (which rocked my socks off) and decided to weigh in.

    Needless to say, that's outrageous.

    I worked for a bank for two years (escaping only four months ago) and during that time, there were strict guidelines on what could and could not be said on social networks. There weren't any buzz words, per se, but if you wanted to go on FaceBook and bitch about your boss, talk about rotten customers, that was understandably a big no-no. However, you likewise couldn't talk about religion or politics because it might offend someone. There are reasonable guidelines in how to conduct yourself when representing the company, but someone telling you how to manage your personal life is ridiculous.

    Hell, my current boss wants me to include the company name in one of my publications to attract customers.