Did you hear about a Gen Y Blogger on Brazen Careerist who touted her undergraduate degree in psychology and diagnosed her colleagues at work with mental illnesses? Yup, this Gen Y blogger called one of her co-workers bipolar and diagnosed the others with a bevy of mental disorders.
Holy crap, dudes. That really happened.
Breanne Potter, a psychologist and MBTI pro, caught wind of the original post and wrote a scathing response. At the time, I happened to agree with Breanne. It is wholly irresponsible to go around calling your co-workers crazy. Don’t put that on the internet, fool — save it for happy hour!
This whole situation didn’t sit well with me. I’m a recruiter by training, and the narrative seemed a little off. Who writes a post about her co-workers and calls them crazy? Who is so naive as to post something so ballsy and reckless? I contacted the blogger and asked some questions. Here’s what I learned.
- The blogger is a lovely woman named Katie.
- She writes a blog called Liberal Arts Leftovers.
- She doesn’t have an undergraduate degree in psychology. She has a BA in English and she manages to hold down a real job (unlike me).
Katie attempted to write a silly and fun blog post that was meant to cast light on weird & unhealthy workplace relationships. She FAILED, dudes, and she openly acknowledged her failed attempt at humor.
So it goes, right? Better writers than Katie have failed at humor & satire. I applaud her efforts, yo, but I was a little surprised with my own reaction to her post. Why was I so quick to jump on it? Why was I so quick to cut?
- Was it the failure of the writer, who didn’t seem to be joking when she called her co-workers crazy?
- Or was it my inclination — as a passive-aggressive blogger — to assume the worst and jump all over Katie?
I am always fascinated when good intentions go awry. I wondered — what accounted for the gap between Katie’s words and the reaction of her audience? Why did some readers go ape-shit when other readers seemed to get the joke?
I asked Katie to reflect on the situation & write about it. I wanted to know
- Was Katie angry about the readers’ response? Was she surprised?
- Did the reaction change her relationship with her readers?
- What did she learn?
Katie responds here, and she makes a plea to the HR bloggers out there who didn’t like her post.
I would like to maintain some employ-ability, so if ever an HR person from a company I would possibly ever apply to is reading this: