re: Don't Burn Bridges, And Don't Be A Jerk
Debra, thank you for this post! My rule for social networking is "If I would not want my mom or employer to read it, then don't post it." I also agree with '"don't be a jerk" and do my best to live up to that one. :)
"Don't burn your bridges" I agree with in theory. However, I was very glad to read Smith's article because I feel very strongly about customer service and support, and think the message about delighting customers - and then shareholder happiness will eventually follow - is a good one. If I put myself in Smith's situation, and had written a public article like he did, then I seriously doubt I would want to return to that employer. If I did, I think some major changes, at the employer and with myself, would need to happen first.
I am having my own struggle with how to effect positive change. If a company says, "This is the best we can do," there is some truth to that. But if customers or employees believe, "We can do better," how do you bring such a message forward? Accepting "this is the best we can do" supports the status quo, complacency, stagnancy. As Doug H said so well, sometimes you have to stand up for what you think is right.
So, I certainly agree that Smith burned a bridge but I'm guessing he was fully conscious of doing so. Even if his depiction of the employer is not fully accurate (it is just one person's take, after all), I appreciated reading his thoughts on the importance of culture, and of valuing customers.