back to article Teen sacked for 'boring' job Facebook comment

A teenager from the international financial powerhouse that is Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, was given her marching orders after bosses discovered she'd described her office administrator's post as "boring" on Facebook. Kimberley Swann, 16, was dragged before the powers that be on Monday morning and summarily dismissed from her job …


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  1. Tom


    Sounds like an excuse to let her go without having to make her redundant!

  2. Anonymous Coward

    simple really...

    She's 16, has virtually no legal leg to stand on (not employed long enough), they need to make cut back. Oh look, easy target.

    Maybe she should start a Mytwitterbook campaign slagging them off.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    trust me

    being an office administrator never gets more interesting.

    But it should be a march into boses office, get sack, march into unfair dismissal court.

  4. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton


    So, what dirty old man was browsing a 16 year old girls Facebook profile???

    Paris, just because.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    hahahahaha networking metrosexual morons....

    Lose your pricacy, lose your partner, lose your bank details, lose your job... then you will have time to rebuild your facebook virus ridden pc.

    All beacuse you think people really care about you and what you think.

  6. Joe K
    Dead Vulture


    With all of our jobs collapsing around our ears we're hardly gonna weep for a 16 yr old.

    16! At that age they are nothing more than a breathing tea machine, you can't trust them with anything more.

    I guess she made shitty tea.

  7. Aortic Aneurysm

    I hope

    she takes them the whol way and sues them for everything they have

  8. Aaron

    Possible case of unfair dismissal?

    I really thing she should public fight this, at the end of the most people don't like their job, they do it because they need a wage. To dismiss someone because they said their job was boring without even mentioning the company name smacks of a company just looking for an excuse to sack someone.

    How many people in the UK have thought their job was boring at one point or another? Also comments someone makes on facebook on their profile is something on their own time. So long as they arn't slandering or particularly naming companies its all just personal opinion which she's damned right entitled to.

    As far as im concerned im paid to do my job, so long as I do my job to the best of my ability that's all my employer can ever ask. They have no right to anything more. Least of all the right to try and control my thoughts and view that I choose to express among friends.

  9. Psmiffy


    It's probably a good thing that most of the people on (irc) don't use their real names

  10. Paolo
    Black Helicopters

    Unfair/wrongful dismissal surely?

    Sacked on the grounds of a Facebook comment? There must be more to this or I'd be wheeling in the industrial tribunal.

  11. Jimmy Floyd

    Employment tribunal

    I rather suspect that, if she'd been there for over 12 months, then she could easily win a case for unfair dismissal as she didn't actually name (and thereby defame) the company in question.

    However: a) she's only 16, so probably hasn't been there long enough; and b) if she was bright enough to take them to an employment tribunal then she'd have been savvy enough to fix the privacy settings on her Facebook account in the first place.

  12. Aaron

    Investing in people

    LOL apparently they invest in people, then sack them for finding work to be lest enjoyable as their own social time.

  13. Ian McNee

    Street-corner bullshitters and shysters more like!

    "Labour Standards, norms and rules that govern working conditions and industrial relations are regarded as basic labour rights. As such, they are considered inviolable and universally applicable. They form together with the core Conventions of the Internal Labour Organisation (ILO), an agency of the United Nations, the basis of our corporate responsibility and are manifested in a Social Accountability Code of Conduct. It is a requirement that our factory partners display a copy in a factory area which is freely accessibly to the workforce."

    The term "hypocritical to$$ers" comes to mind.

  14. Sillyfellow


    isn't this invasion of privacy?

    what this girl does with her own personal time, in her own personal social networking circles is her own private life.

    so what if she thinks her job is boring? i'll bet there are millions who feel this way.

    she never named her employers in her comment so this could not cause bad press for said company... unless of course they fire her unjustly like they did.

    she should get a decent lawyer and sue the hell out of them. she will win.

  15. Maverick
    Black Helicopters

    Black mail

    Revenge is the only option i feel. Kimberley Swann needs to take some dodgy pictures of Stephen Ivell while on a drunk night out (although she can't drink of course). Then post them on Facebook and tag them while he is on holiday (and not checking his account). A whole week of his friend's seeing him in a compromising position with a 16 year old (wait, do i hear sirens?).

  16. Deckard


    "...All beacuse you think people really care about you and what you think."

    Do you see the irony of posting your thoughts on the matter in a public forum? you?

  17. foo_bar_baz

    Let them go

    All employers let go all people who consider their job boring and you'd be looking at 70% national unemployment.

  18. Pete Silver badge

    on the bright side

    ... she won't be bored anymore

    I wonder if she'll show the foresight and intelligence to remove that comment, before going for her next interview

  19. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Let them go

    My job is never boring. After all, I moderate the comments on The Register.

  20. Anonymous Coward


    You mean I've got to /enjoy/ my job as well as do it?

    I suppose I'd better clear my desk...

  21. Galaxy Bob

    Invasion of privacy?

    Err, it's facebook. She allowed her profile to be viewed by all and sundry, how is it invasion of privacy?

  22. Tim

    IF it was

    If it was done on company time then they have every right to dismiss her for inappropriate usage of company resources. If they had said as such this wouldn't be news. However since they gave the reasoning of the facebook comment then a wrongful dismissal doesnt sound out of the question.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    But why not just make her redundant - she's 16 so she's not entitled to any money.

    They've made a real problem for themselves if she decides to take it to unfair dismal courts.

  24. Frank Thomas

    Never tell your PC who you are

    and the Internet... never never never tell the Internet who you are. it's a recipe for disaster.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Ehhhhh ... ?

    She's 16 AND and an "Administrator"? WTF?


  26. Dan Mullen

    Don't contact us

    I guess they've had enough of people contacting them about this...

  27. Dale Morgan

    Ivell isn't a proper job

    Looking at their website reminds me of the first office job I had, working in a small office trying to sell outsourcing to large companies, normally those businesses are a front for something else.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Ivell Bastards...

    Unfair dismissal or what?!

    What an absolute disgrace. Let's hope they crash and burn as noone can contact them to give them any more business. Absolute tossers, and as someone else noted - what on earth was her boss doing sniffing around young girls profiles on FB?!

    Story and links to website propogated accordingly... Ah the power of the internet ;) Best of luck Kimberley - you may be a bit stoopid for even using Facebook, but Ivell are even more stoopider...for sure...

  29. Dale Morgan

    Sexual harrasment?

    She could turn this around and claim she was being sexually harrassed by her employer, someone browsing 16 year old girl profiles on facebook is a borderline peado.

  30. Anonymous Coward


    AFAIK, In the UK, 16 != sirens

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not surprised

    To be fair, posting a work rant on Facebook is prety stupid, even if you make no reference to your companies name on your profile. If they catch you on Facebook (and I suspect this is what has happened - given that Facebook is a staple of those who are bored at work) they might just do some digging around. And if they find negative comments about the company they're going to be understandably upset.

    Okay firing her was a bit harsh, but with scores of applicants for every job vacancy in this country I'm not going to shed a tear for the people in work who don't appreciate it. And now she's learned a valuable life leason; in todays world banter is best left to the pub where no one's watching you... yet.

  32. fluffy

    @Greg Fleming

    "Office administrator" is modern parlance for "secretary," now that secretaries almost never actually do any secretarial duties and mostly deal with administering aspects of the office itself (supplies, mostly).

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Wrong reaction

    Seeing as she didn't mention the company name, she should've said the job she was talking about was the household chores her mother made her do, then take the wankers to court for jumping to conclusions and make even bigger fat arsed fools of them.

  34. Pete Silver badge

    @Greg Fleming

    administrator, manager, DBA ... it's only a job title. In real life it means nothing - what you actually produce is what counts.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Armchair lawyering

    1) There is probably more to this than meets the eye.

    2) How many of the people throwing up "unfair dismissal" tribunals are solicitors? (I'd wager none)

    3) Google "Bringing company into disrepute"

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "IVELL Sourcing Corporate Responsibility and the Global Market

    In recognition of our accountability for the social impact of our operations, the need to systematically address the issue of potential labour abuses and to safeguard our clients interests, we have developed a comprehensive social accountability programme as part of corporate governance."

    I guess the social accountability charter doesnt extend from the sweatshops of the far east to the chav sink hole that is Clacton.

    Paris, to her the words "social accountability" and "corporate governance" are just that, words!

  37. Jason
    Thumb Up


    If she posted that during work than there is grounds for dismissal. And how can anyone claim that Facebook is private? Everyone knows the Internet in general is about as public as you can get.

    Enjoy searching for a new job to post about!

  38. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down

    Employment Tribunal?

    More deserving of a swift kick in the nuts, the mendacious little wanker.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Soppy tart

    Fancy leaving her FB open for all to read. Next we'll be reading about her marrying a Nigerian and giving him all of daddy's money. Some people really do get all they deserve.

    Paris - cos she's been a soppy tart before too.

  40. adnim

    kids and learning curves

    Swann described herself as "shocked" at the perfunctory nature of her ejection as a result of the comment "on her personal site"

    "Personal site" in a publicly viewable space... Wake up. Ignorance used to be bliss, these days it's a bit like wearing a target. Yes, I know she is only sixteen. At least this will be a lesson on where to place trust, and it only cost her a job.

    Stephen Ivell, owner of Ivell Marketing & Logistics, insisted the "global product development and sourcing company" had done everything "by the book". He defended: "It is just a shame that it did not work out because she is a lovely girl. For a small company, when a decision is made, one thinks long and hard about it."

    The man I feel is, in the politest words I can muster, disingenuous. I wonder if a profit making incentive would get dismissed as quickly if it didn't go "by the book".

    Staff is unhappy.... oh hum.

    Do I like them?

    Are they good at what they do?

    Are they so good that it overrides my animosity?

    If the answer is no to all those questions... Find excuse to get rid on the cheap.

    If the answer is yes to any of those questions... Have a chat and find out what can be done to improve the work experience.

    Maybe she was disliked and just not good enough at her job. Maybe she refused to perform certain tasks, after office hours, that she felt were outside of her job description.

    Whatever the case her dismissal was unfair. We have a right to feel any way we like about our job, and employer for that matter, providing it doesn't affect our ability to do the job in a proper and professional manner.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Dan

    But the power of google compels you:

  42. Anonymous Coward


    it really is her fault. facebook is publicly available so theres always a chance that she would get found out that she is not happy at her job.

    you can't compare it to people chatting in the pub as you do not record everything you say in the pub whereas writing stuff on facebook means its saved and is there for everyone to see.

    also I wonder if she left her profile open to everyone to see. That would be the biggest mistake.

    As an employer I'd rather not have someone who is bored with their job as this reduces productivity, and there will definitely be a lack of focus which will obviously lead to mistakes.

  43. Tea-800


    "Office administrator" is just buzzword-ridden jobsearch terminology for "Coffee machine with some rudimentary typing skills"

    The black flag because....Eh....Yarrrr?

  44. LaeMi Qian

    My job is often boring...

    ...but I rather like it that way.

    It pays the bills. Interesting stuff is what evenings and weekends are for.

    When I took the job my boss told me I probably wouldn't want to keep doing it for more than 6 months before I left to accept a better offer. Here I am 11 months later.

    Boring or not, it has perks - good working environment, great manager, I can live outside of Sydney/Melbourne and walk to work (no exorbitant rent or car-ownership costs). In bad weather I can take a bus from the end of my street to work's front door. Hours are flexible within certain margins (mainly as long as I get the job done). I love my often-boring job.

  45. gribbler

    Not sure who's the biggest f*ckwit in this...

    ...the employer for sacking someone who finds work boring: don't we all? at least part of the time? I for one can think of a million better things to do with my time involving olive oil and strawberry jam... remove that restriction and I am sure I can come up with billions more.


    the daft young girl who posted comments about work on her facebook profile when she has it set as publicly accessible.

    Verdict? Both f*ckwits, methinks.

  46. David Jones


    IANAL, but the company appears to have disregarded the Employment Act (2002) and this sort of action is liable to land them in all sorts of hot water. The company should have followed Statutory Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures.

    Whilst with less than 12 months continuous service she would not normally be able to bring an unfair dismissal case to the EAT there are certain "automatically unfair" dismissals. Also, if she were able to prove discrimination she would be exempt from the 12 month requirement.

    I'm not making any comment as to whether she falls into either of those two categories, merely that if she did she would have a case.

  47. Glenn Amspaugh


    "She's 16 AND and an "Administrator"?


    I guess she does make good tea.

  48. Dark Ian

    Screw Facebook...

    ...I just mouth off in the office about how shit it is. And here of course.

    The little tyke needs to learn to make herself at least mildly indisposable, so that perhaps they'll give it some thought before sticking in the boot.

    But now it's done... yes, she could do the whole photo on a night out thing to get him back, and if that doesn't work finish him off with a shovel.

  49. Paul Taylor

    Not the first time.

    My company has Fired employees many times for comments made on Facebook or Bebo.

    About 11 so far i think.

    Its actually policy for our HR departments staff to regularly check the Personal websites of staff.

  50. Steven Raith

    @greg fleming

    Administrator = does some filing and makes sure the tea is piping hot for those of us who do the *real* work.

    Still stinks a bit, mind - not a nice experience to be sacked from a job, at 16 that is likely to be one of her first, bet that won't exactly enamour her to get back into the job market pronto....

    Steven R

  51. Matt

    @Ehhhhh ... ?

    It's a polite way of saying she makes the tea and does the filling, maybe sends a fax.

  52. Andy Mabbett


    Google has a cached copy here:

    Contact e-mail is info@[domain name] and, of course, they're in the phone book.

  53. Steven Jones

    Beware of what you type

    In this case it would be a clear case of unfair dismissal if the girl had worked for the company long enough. However, there's a more general story in these testing times - it's a common practice in the US for prospective employers to trawl through social networking sites when evaluating new candidates. A friend of mine set up the "good and responsible" version of herself online with all the sorts of qualities employers look for and kept the more trivial fun stuff on a completely different account (complete with more carefully chosen friends on the "good girl" pages). It may have been paranoia, but be careful what you write - any views deemed unacceptable by prospective employers could count against you.

  54. Cameron Colley

    Was her employer on her profile?

    ... because I suppose that could be defamation?

    Still, this is one of the many reasons to stay anonymous on "Web 2PointOh" (still trying to recall where I know the name Frank Thomas from).

    @Greg Fleming: Administrator, not root...

  55. J

    @Never tell your PC who you are

    OK.... "Frank Thomas".

  56. ElFatbob


    seems a bit excessive. I bet most work seems boring when you're 16.

    Still, a lesson on why you need to be careful about what info you give out to the world...

  57. Rick Giles
    Paris Hilton

    "It is just a shame that it did not work out because she is a lovely girl...."

    Here in the States, that comment would be enough for a sexual harassment suit.

    Paris cause she causes a harassment in my suit...

  58. David Richardson
    Thumb Down

    @Greg Fleming

    She's an office administrator not a network admin. Her job probably involved making tea and filing. Lot's of it.

    It's a clear case of unfair dismissal if she had a permanent contract, it's more likely though that at that age she's on a 6/12 month trial period in which case they can sack her for pretty much any reason they like including just saying "We don't think you are right for the job".

  59. Kevin


    Bored? I barely made it through their mission statement without nodding off.

    I wonder how many of their employees on the "China. Tawian and Vietnam" side of the operation are bored with their jobs.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Dan Miller

    Though the google cache is still there...

  61. Mike Groombridge

    @Sarah Bee

    Yeah but most of ours must be as we spend so much time posting on The Register.

    personally i enjoy my job and have finished my day so can safely post here with out reprisal.

  62. David Eddleman
    Black Helicopters

    Unfair dismissal

    See, I know where I live that the state laws would constitute this as an unfair dismissal and there would be retribution. What she did was off the job site, non-slandering and non-libelous, and non-defamatory. I don't know the laws of the area, but there *has* to be something protecting against unfair dismissal, right?

    My boss found my Facebook page, simply because I list where I work in there (though don't use my real name). What did he do? He laughed and gave me some ribbing (as is par the course for where I work).

  63. Dave


    As far as I am aware, you cannot be pulled in and fired on the spot. There is a process and from the sounds of it, it was not followed. That wouldn't surprise me for a small business; so unless she was within her probationary period (which would still be one weeks notice or the contract terms) she has grounds for unfair dismissal IMHO, though IANAL. Saying that, there would be next to nothing to be gained financially (under 21, recent employee, blah blah blah).

    @Greg Fleming: 16 & Administrator == Office Bitch a.k.a Gopher (go for this, go for that) *hehehehe* :)

  64. Anonymous Coward

    @Don't contact us

    "I guess they've had enough of people contacting them about this..."

    That is just so funny :D

  65. Anonymous Coward

    I hope she sues the shit out of them!

    ...and that the company gets as much bad press as possible from this!

  66. Christoph

    I think it was a very courageous decision by her firm.

    They should be congratulated for having the courage to announce to the whole world that Ivell Marketing & Logistics is an incredibly boring company.

  67. Anonymous Coward

    oh dear

    Ok - it does not matter what is behind this actually. What matters is the idiotic justification given by the representative of the company. As posters above have discovered the company is bragging about how good their relationship to their employees is. Well their own arguments and justification for why this girl got the sack speak for themselves. Not at all compatible with advertised company "policy". A manager with any professional integrity and some back bone would not feel threatend by a comment from a teenage girl that thinks her job is boring. Does the manager only want to have people who lie through their teeth as employees? Well good luck to them - they deserve no better. Morons.

  68. Anonymous Coward

    Kimberley Swann is a dumb @ss

    Anyone who posts anything on the web thinking it is only "personal" and should not affect their professional standing is just plain stupid. You are the sum of everything you do, and your public persona is the sum of every public thing you do. Posting anything on the web is a public act, despite what the Web 2.0 kool-aid drinkers try to tell you.

  69. andy

    @ Dan Mullen


    Always worth a try!

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Child Labour?

    Ivell monitor labour conditions abroad, so you can imagine how ethical they are in their treatment of their own staff. No way would they employ children, or be caught pawing through a 16 year old girls myspace page:

    'Display of Social Accountability . Monitoring is part of the process of implementing a code of conduct. The process of regularly collecting information on working conditions at the production locations, to check whether the working conditions recorded comply with the standards set down in the code of conduct, is a task which forms part of our daily factory visits. Given the complexity of supply chains which arise from outsourcing arrangement and the prevalence of informal labour, it is clear; it is difficult to establish the identity and status of the workforce producing goods, without having a strong on the ground presence. We have immediate access to a team of over 20 inspectors and auditors working in factories everyday and at the head of their list of responsibilities include monitoring and implementation of our Social Accountability programme.'

    Shouldn't they be most interested in how well she did her job?

  71. Neil Greatorex

    @ Greg Fleming

    Sorry mush, administrator now doesn't mean somone that administrates, it means someone that answers the telephone/email.

    On another note, what does this company "Ivell Marketing & Logistics" do?

    Oh, a swift google search shows that they are mainly known for sacking people for facebebomybook entries.

    Not the most intelligent then, and not someone I would be doing business with.

  72. Anonymous Coward


    I can see the rationale behind the complaints, but I agree with the company. In a small place the atmosphere matters: why have somebody around who doesn't like it? Better let them find something else and get someone keen.

  73. Doug Glass

    If You're Going To Be Dumb ...

    ... you better be tough.

    Their job, their money, their decision. Would somebody please punch this cretin's TS card.

  74. David Edwards

    Saiy that when its you paying someone then

    Obviously comments from people who have not employed anyone. If you see the amount of legislation that you undertake when you employ someone and the general shit way in which you get no thanks whatsoever from the majority of your staff who the "the company pays" then fine, let some 16year old slag off the company you spent 10 years working your ass of to build. And if you knew anything about employing people you would know that what they did is perfectly legitimate.

  75. PaulK

    Cooking Inadequate Funts!

    The real issue, of course, is the proliferation of saddoes who are socially inadequate and can only make virtual friends on Arsebook. What's wrong with the pub? Only 16? Never stopped me...

  76. Anonymous Coward


    Deckard made you look a fool there.

    My job is interesting to me but there's no way on earth I would actually discuss work outside of the workplace because I know it's boring. I work in IT FFS, I know what middleware is, proof positive that my job is boring (to anyone but me)

    @Greg Fleming

    Administrator means nothing special, you can administer the quantity of sugar cubes which must be allocated to the correct resource prior to administering the hot water and applying the milk subsequently coordinating the blending process with a spoon.

    Nobody wants to be called a secretary unless it's a member of public office.

  77. James O'Shea

    re Ehhhh

    She's an administrator the same way a garbage man is a sanitary engineer.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    There are so many valid excuses you could use for getting rid of a 16 year old employee. Ones that wouldn't risk bad publicity or employment tribunals.

    If she didn't even name the company, they have no justification in using this as an excuse to sack her. In any case, for teenagers, it's 'cool' to find everythign 'boring'. If it doesn't have flashy lights and play cool sounds then it's 'boring'. 'Boring' is pretty much a meaningless buzzword these days.

    Imagine, one Friday lunchtime, you go down the boozer and your boss overhears you saying "Sometimes I find my job boring". Would that justify sacking you? Doubt it.*

    *Unless of course, what you said was more like "[Insert Name of Employer] is a crappy, boring place to work and [Insert Boss's Name] is a clueless moron"

  79. Medium Dave

    Boring? Of course it's f--ing boring

    Administrator for a marketing & logistics firm in Clacton? It makes me weep just to think about it. Hopefully the case will be pressed, because I'd love to see Ivell in the dock attempting to testify that, actually, importing landfill from Chinese sweatshops is a fascinating and rewarding career.

    "Enjoy the benefits of Asian sourcing without the pain"?

    Bugger that for a laugh.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sod the technicalities

    She said her job was boring; management decide to find someone with a better attitude (and with sufficient intelligence not to broadcast such things to the world). I'd do the same.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Investing in people,err,outsourcing

    thanks for the link:

    their "contact us" page has gone down mysteriously

    and they specialize in outsourcing - let's make everyone redundant - delicious

  82. Anonymous Coward

    My job is boring! Go on fire me...I dare you!

    Well i find my job tedious and boring. And my boss is a total arse!

    Oh, thats right Im self employed....i'll get my coat....

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    True but admit it even you'd trade being subject to all of us commentators for a boring admin job sometimes. Well except for me of course cos I'm like all innocent and thoughtful and stuff (/polishes my halo).

    Now as for this girl I do suspect she may have a case for wrongful termination (at least I know she may here in the states). But the fact is companies use crap excuses like this all the time to sack employees that they can't find anything else on. They count on people being to lazy or to apathetic to call them on their decisions. Or in this case a 16 year old who probably doesn't have the resources to pursue any action against them.

  84. Chad H.


    If any of my previous employers followed that policy, they'd be out of business cos they'd have noone to do the work... All my collegies at every employer so far have very harsh things to say.

  85. Chas

    Ivell Marketing are morons - my personal opinion - sue me if you dare!

    @Galaxy Bob

    No names were mentioned, either the actual company or any individual employee, therefore the comment cannot be deemed libellous. Ergo, the company has no justification for castigating someone in such a heinous manner for expressing a personal opinion, since there is no proof that she was explicitly talking about her employers.

    Even if she has said the same thing in a public place, such as her local, and had been overheard by a member of the company's management, they would still have zero justification. Even if their written employment policy explicitly stated that any criticism of the company would lead to summary dismissal, they would still be laughed out of court because no names were mentioned.

    Personally, I think she is fortunate not to be employed there any more - any company who had that fragile a grip on their own egos should not be in business. I hope she sues these egregious idiots for every penny she can get.

    Conduct such as evinced by Ivell Marketing represents the slippery slope to totalitarianism and must be challenged at every turn. The right of free speech must not be eroded.


  86. Maty
    Thumb Down

    but ...

    Are there any interesting jobs in Clacton?

  87. P. Lee
    Paris Hilton

    Shock story: Admin job is "boring."

    And in other news, Pope is Catholic...

    She may not be the brightest button, but if I were upper management I'd be concerned that:

    1) lower management was spending time on facebook looking at her profile

    2) lower management actually thinks that tea-making and filing are interesting

    3) lower management is firing anyone with ambitions above tea-making and filing

    I smell an easy cutback in expenditure.

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    work and play

    I thought it wasn't work if you liked it.

    .. Paris, because she enjoys it.

  89. Dave

    title required

    I like how everyone saying that looking at 16 year old girls profiles is a bordline peado, but correct me if i'm wrong but the legal age for sex is still 16 and it doesnt have any restrictions on age either like US law does.

  90. This post has been deleted by its author

  91. David Neil
    Thumb Down

    @ David Edwards

    Slight problem with your rant Mr Edwards, she did not identify her ex-employer.

    I wonder if you are involed with this bunch of ethically dubious clowns?

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silly child

    Here I thought everyone knew enough to make a sock puppet account for putting that kind of stuff on facebook. Oh well, some people have to learn the hard way.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Aortic Aneurysm

    "she takes them the whol way "

    That's the problem now, innit? She didn't take them at all.

    I have specifically recommended to the fruit of my loins that they NOT use facebook or any other crap like that; it's too easy for anyone to get to stuff they shouldn't and posting there is like asking for trouble. sooner or later you get it.

    I almost always post AC since I really don't want my employer tracking directly back to me as I know they would pull something like that too. They're only too ready to abuse employees.

  94. Nanki Poo

    Choose Facebook

    The stuccatto in debaser's post got me thinking and I couldn't resist... absolutely nothing against Facebookers per se, just those endless friend-finders who you don't know from frigging adam!

    Choose Facebook

    Choose a name

    Choose an identity

    Choose an avatar

    Choose a fucking big wallpaper

    Choose smileys, music,

    Facebook Mobile and Your own web address

    Choose photos, low res videos and a sad profile

    Choose to share everything you're up to

    Choose some old friends

    choose your friends

    Choose lists and their matching luggage

    Choose to publish your identity

    Only to lose it the next fucking day

    Choose slagging off your boss

    and wondering why you have no job Monday morning

    Choose sitting on that couch sending mind-numbing

    spirit-crushing bulletins

    Stuffing junk food in your mouth,

    Choose posting you're skiving cos you're hungover

    then pishing yourself when the boss finds out

    Nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish,

    fucked-up friends

    You have spawned to replace yourself.

    Choose your future. Choose Facebook.

    I chose not to choose Facebook...

    I chose to choose something else...



    With sincerest apologies to Mr McGregor and the writer...

    Yeah, yaxi to hell...


  95. Anonymous Coward

    Facebook user

    Too stupid to hold a job.

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Martha and the Muffins

    From nine till five

    I have to spend my time at work

    The job is very boring

    I'm an office clerk

    The only thing that helps

    Pass the time away

    Is knowing I'll be back

    At Echo Beach some day

    Echo Beach

    Far away in time

    Echo Beach

    Far away in time

    ...... lalalala

  97. Steve Roper

    @ David Edwards

    You want comment from someone who's worked their arse off to build a company and pays people to make it work?

    As a part-owner and IT manager of my company I must say they've botched this badly, and since they are an SME (as we are) the bad publicity from this is going to hurt them sorely. And if she felt the need to criticise her job on Facebook, maybe it's because her bosses AREN'T LISTENING to their staff.

    As an employer, I also make a point of reviewing my staff's Facebook / Myspace pages - but I don't pass work-based judgement on what they say on them. I treat them as they are - an out-of-work social interaction. That said, however, if one of them did post something about their job sucking, I would then talk to that person and ask them what the problem was, and work out ways it can be fixed. That's my job: identifying problems and finding solutions. Certainly I'd find it hard to justify laying someone off on the strength of what they posted on their Web 2.0 page; even if they called me all the bastards under the sun, I'd want to know why and see if it can be solved. Showing them the door is a last resort, and if I have to lay someone off (and I have), I see that as much my failure to manage properly, as it is their failure to perform.

    I've been on both sides of the management fence, so that at least has allowed me to step into my staff's shoes and see their side as well. I make sure they understand what their responsibilities are and that they know what mine are. It may be a tired old saw, but it's still true: communication is the key. Yes, you can end up hiring freeloaders and troublemakers, but they're easily spotted in an office where most people pull their weight. If you can engage their enthusiasm you can change a fractious employee into an effective worker. That's where it is important to maintain morale: a staff with a high morale are much less likely to tolerate the presence of someone who's dragging the whole team down. The odd hardcore bludger who just won't come on board despite all the help and encouragement I can offer, is the only one I have no guilt getting rid of, while I work like hell to keep the good ones on and not lose them. This way, over time, you build an effective team of competent, productive staff who will carry your company through even the worst recessions. Remember, you may own the company, but it's your staff who make it work. Your people ARE your company!

    Because of this, I haven't had to lay anyone off as a result of the current financial crisis yet, and it doesn't look like I'll have to in the foreseeable future. We have enough work coming in to keep everyone paid for at least the next year, and with the positive effect our staff morale has on our customers, we get more word-of-mouth referrals these days than people coming in as a result of our advertising!

  98. Steve Swann

    Employment Rights

    UK Law is very clear on the reasons one can be dimissed from a job, and expressing the opinion that you find your work 'boring' is most decidedly NOT one of them. In actuality, you can only be 'fired' (summarily dismissed or 'on the spot' dismissal) for the act of 'gross misconduct'.

    Gross misconduct is defined differently by many companies, but normally runs to events such as violence, fraud, theft, dangerous behaviour, being under the influence of drink and drugs, and so forth. However, the definition MUST be made clear to employees in the staff handbook (that you are required by law to produce) and somehow I doubt the company had a rule saying "no saying you're bored on social websites".

    If she was on a probationary period (normally 3-6 months) then the company can dismiss her at any time for any reason.

    If she posted on facebook in violation of the companies internet usage policy then there is a legal argument that they should've BLOCKED facebook and not allowed use of the internet during working hours.

    under any other circumstances the company is obliged to follow a 'performance improvement' disciplinary model wherein the employee is first talked to about the behaviour (ie. in this case, asked to remove the comment and the subject discussed with team leaders/managers to see what can be improved for both company and employee relations) and the escalated to a formal warning process and performance improvement plan. All this BEFORE being fired!

    IANAL, but I have served as a union representative and attended several employment tribunals in my time.

    Oh.. and I'm not related to Karen as far as I know, but if she'd like to drop me a note on Facebook she's welcome to do so!

  99. Anonymous Coward

    @Steve Roper

    Can you be my boss please?

    Actually, on second thoughts my boss is excellent, great at her job, and highly repestec by all who work with her..... well as being a total fox.

    AC for very obvious reasons.

  100. James


    Pretty harsh sacking her because she said it was "boring", its not like she said it was "the worst job ever, everyone that works here is a prick and i hope the building burns to the ground with them in it".

  101. Secretgeek

    @ Martha and the Muffins

    From nine till five

    I have to spend my time at work

    The job is very boring

    I'm an office clerk


    'Excuse me Martha, could you just step into the office for a minute? I'd like a quick word. Oh and are the Muffins out of their meeting yet? I'd like a couple of minutes with them too.'

  102. Andy Worth


    "isn't this invasion of privacy?"

    No, Facebook is a public website, so unless they broke into her Facebook account to get this information then she's just an idiot. I'm also assuming that she must have had one or more of her colleagues on her friends list, which makes posting this even more stupid.

    A lot of companies now have social networking policies specifically aimed at issues like this (to cover their own backs). If the company don't have one then you could possibly argue they are on dodgy ground, but I don't think the girl would win a case against them.

  103. Chris


    She might be only 16, but being fired isn't great at any time (unless you want it). Last night I had has my status about how I was working late again due to circuit problems and had a jokey moan. If my manager pulled me up on it I'd say...ermm yeah, who exactly likes to work late working out what some dumb arse hasn't done correctly and have an argument about it. But being 16 I would have a guess she probably wasn't going to voice things (stereotyping but I remember what I was like at that age). I think that's terrible. I bet HOD's on 100 K a year have times where they go...god I just really cannot be fucked to work today.

    Agreed with looking for easy lay off

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Not at all, totally justified. If you slag off your employer (and you are the employer it identifiable) then you deserve what you get.

    Stupid girl.

    @Steve Roper - your response gives me the creeps. You spy on your staff? Crikey.

  105. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Using my considerable legal knowledge...

    I have reached a priori conclusions on why she was sacked...

    1. The boss has a small penis.

    2. The boss has a small penis and likes to vent his frustrations on powerless members of staff.

    3. The boss has a small penis and his lothario like advances were shunned by aforementioned powerless member of staff.

    4. Aforementioned powerless member of staff had evidence of his small penis on her Facebook account and he didn't want Mrs. Boss to find out.

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    And there was me thinking that I got paid to do my job to the best of my ability and make the company money when all along they were paying me to enjoy myself, silly me.

    She should ask them to point out the clause in her contract where it states "at all times the employee must be having a right old laugh during their work and love every minute of it". I somehow doubt such a clause exists.

    Lets face it, whos going to want to work for them now, a boring job that you MUST enjoy or they fire you?

  107. Anonymous Coward

    @Nanki Poo and "Martha and the Muffins"

    Just when I thought the comments on this article were heading south, your two entries completely redeemed the situation - Nanki great use of artistic license, "Martha" hit the nail right on the head - we (as a society) need to chill out.

  108. Andus McCoatover

    @By Steve Roper

    Splendidly put! No need for more from me, except I'd crawl 10 kilometers over broken glass to the office very day to work for a manager with your attitude (pity I'm in Finland, and no real programming skills).

  109. N1AK

    keep mouth shut

    She's been taught a valuable lesson in privacy at the beginning of her working life rather than part way through.

    Is there really anyone here who thinks posting negative comments about your job online, in a place where work colleagues you evidently can't trust will see them is not a bad idea?

    On first glance it does look like an excessive reaction, especially if the company actually thought she was a good employee but like many things in life there are almost certainly other factors in play.

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Cameron Coley and J

    Frank Thomas is a well known purveyor of motor-cycle apparel and footwear.


  111. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    boring Job

    Im Sorry it is also the Companies Responsibility to keep their employees happy

    Who gives a fuck if there job is boring i dont see millions of factory line workers driver being sacked left right and center !!!!

    Jeez what a ghey company !

    tbh she will probably be better off not working for them.

    yes i am against companies using online accounts to monitor their workers.

  112. Anonymous Coward

    More management spin doctor bullshit

    Now, be fair, Ivell are concerned about "Basic Labour Standards" and that they "want to ensure that our factory partners respect basic labour standards defined by the International Labour Organisation and basic human rights defined by the United Universal Declaration of Human Rights and encoded the in the International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Civil and Political Rights".

    I know this to be true, 'cos I read it on the internet

    @Paul Taylor and Steven Jones

    WTF…. So the all the little Winstons in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth (aka HR), spend their days looking at arsebook in case somebody posts a comment they don’t like. Why don’t they just install cameras and microphones in the toilets and in the canteen (or in our case above the company kettle?)

    Should make for interesting annual reviews in the HR dept, though,

    HR Stompenfurer: “Now Ms Troll, what did you achieve last year and in what way did that contribute towards achieving company goal of not going down the tubes?”

    HR Troll: “Well I spent most of my time rummaging through arsebook, twatter, behole, and numerous online forums looking for staff making dissenting comments about the company”


    HP Troll: “I managed to find one comment made by one of the 7,842 John Smiths on arsebook who said he didn’t like his job”

    HR Stompenfurer: “Excellent Ms Troll, have all the John Smiths in the company fired, and keep up the good work, and while you’re at it will you re-issue the memo reminding all staff that the beatings will continue until morale improves”

    Mines the one with the updated CV/Resume in the pocket

  113. Colin Barfoot

    bear-faced cheek

    Chyurr, what do they expect hiring a panda? If there's one thing members of the Ursidae family can't do it's filing. And their tea-making is awful: that nasty China stuff. They just sit around all day chewing bamboo.

    Black bears are even worse, of course. Try telling one how to use the fax machine and it will have your arm off. Shredding. That's all they know. I was lucky to escape with my life.

    Advice for employers thinking of hiring bears in the office: just say no.

    I'm not sure why this is news. As we sit here contemplating the wisdom on The Register's message boards millions of sixteen year olds (some possibly pandas) are out there losing their jobs due to strops. She'll bounce back.

    The real question is why did Ivell hire a teenager to do their admin. My thoughts are: to create sexual tension in the office; because teenagers are cheap and disposable; because they felt sorry for her. These are some of the mysteries of life that mine is too short for.

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    In the news

    From her facebook pic (not an open profile BTW), looks like she's quite pleased with making the front page of the local rag.

    I bet Ivell are going to regret this though. No such thing as bad publicity? Yeh, right.

    "The 16-year-old's comment went unnoticed at the time, but several weeks later her boss found out about the old post, and she was fired. "

    Several weeks later? Blimey, I hope my boss is never so bored with his job he has time to root through my old postings...

    Paris, because she's been bored...

  115. Anonymous Coward

    Perfunctory Nature of Her Ejection?

    >> Swann described herself as "shocked" at the perfunctory nature of her ejection as a result of the comment "on her personal site"

    I wonder if that is the phrase she used? Obviously it's not in quotes, so she didn't - but it is quite nice to imagine these words coming from the mouth of a 16 year-old essex girl.

    >> described her office administrator's post as "boring"

    She obviously hasn't got the necessary skills in gossiping and bitching to make a good admin. assistant.

    >> "It is just a shame that it did not work out because she is a lovely girl"

    Something tells me they either really needed the cash they were paying her (can't have been much - minimum wage for a sixteen year-old) or, more likely, her skirt wasn't short enough. You don't employ a sixteen year old and expect them to have a professional attitude or do much useful work (unless they are in China/India/Poland).

    With regard to the employment tribunal type comments - unfortunately in the UK you need to have been in continuous employment for 12 months - before that, you can be fired for no reason (except maybe if you have a contract). Being 16, it is very unlikely she has worked for them for over a year (according to the BBC, she was there for 3 weeks).

  116. Simon B

    Unfair dismissal - Go get them gal!

    Unfair dismissal - The company name wasn't even mentioned - take them for all they are worth, which isn't a lot based on this pathetic affair

  117. Sarah Davis

    ivells contact page is down

    well I'm guessing they must be getting flooded with crapmail as their contact page ( is giving a 404

    given the number of entries in google ( it looks like the moron Ivell has well and truly shot himself in the foot (lol, should have aimed 3ft higher). Way to do business in a recession Einstein.

  118. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    Wouldn't worry....

    Wouldn't bother luv, just move on and try to repair the damage to your fledgling career. Irrespective of any wrongdoing, I think the company name being blasted all over the popular press is it's own reward.

    Forget it and move on, damage done!

  119. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unfair dismissal - they surely do deserve it.

    And their website's shite.

    So there.

  120. Ben Cooper

    I remember when all this was fields........

    I must be getting old, my first thought upon reading this was of the "in-my-day-we'd-have-been-sacked-for-even-thinking-about-stuff" variety.

    We didn't even have email, let alone "social networking sites" - we called them pubs in my day etc, etc, etc.

    Mines the one with the reek of Old Spice and the packet of Condor Ready Rubbed pipe tobacco in the pocket.

  121. Paul

    Pompous, unimaginitive bunch!

    I’d say she was bored because these pompous asses were evidently making no use of her obvious talents. Given that she has run rings around a supposed ‘marketing’ company, I’d say she has a bright future as a hack or flack. She’s clearly too good for them and they either didn’t have the imagination, or staffing budget, to use it. Basic hr – if someone is bored it’s because you are underutilising them. Although friends would still know where she worked, it sounds like she was discreet by the standards of FB. You go girl, as Oprah used to say. This company have been well and truly owned!

  122. DPWDC

    It wasnt a public profile?

    From other sources for this story, her profile wasnt public, she had some of her friends at work as her facebook friends - one of them grassed her up for the comment (some friend eh!).

    The company statement made me laugh: "Had Miss Swann put up a poster on the staff notice board making the same comments and invited other staff to read it there would have been the same result."

    Her friends only profile is hardly the same as a staff notice board now is it... They need to get a grip!

    The companies contact us page is down at the moment - shame that.

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why can't I get Ricky Gervais out of my head?

    Stephen Ivell, owner of Ivell Marketing & Logistics, insisted the "global product development and sourcing company" had done everything "by the book". He defended: "It is just a shame that it did not work out because she is a lovely girl. For a small company, when a decision is made, one thinks long and hard about it."

  124. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    They didnt like the idea of bad publicity

    I find it ironic that the good people at Ivell Marketing & Logistics fired this young lady as they didnt like the bad publicity they where recieving as a result of her facebook posting. A posting which didnt actually mention the company by name.

    This its now all over the national news and now Ivell Marketing & Logistics seems to be a company run by fucktards. I hope they reap what they have sown and that their reputation is fucked over like it should be.

    16 year olds have no concept of how work actually works. Some education perhaps might have helped, a quite word in her ear. Perhaps she was crap at her job or economic reasons means not paying her minimum wage any more will be the boost the business needs. Either way it was as shitty way to deal with a young, inexperienced worker and they now look like a bunch of shitbags.

    If you do any business with Ivell Marketing & Logistics, i suggest you consider that relationship because they seems to be arseholes. I hope they enjoy all this publicity.

    facebook may well be for idiots wont find me on there, but when I was 16 computer games where for idiots etc and you wouldnt have found may 36 year olds playing afterburner etc...times change!

    Paris, well she has 'inappropriate behaviour' all over the internet, it doesnt seem to have harmed her career!

  125. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The sirens would be coming for her, for taking compromising photos involving a 16 year old girl.

  126. Anonymous Coward

    Interesting Idea

    Sacked für Facebook Comment, interesting idea. Do you think, we could send him


    on training to Ivell Marketing & Logistics?

    There would be no need to return him to Austria afterward ...

  127. Anonymous Coward

    Management Cowardice

    What is wrong with this company? Why didn't they just tell her it would be better if she not post that comment on her facebook? She is 16 years old for goodness sake! Tell her not to do that and move on!!!!

  128. Edward Virtually

    to all fascist sphincter suckers

    Regarding "She said her job was boring; management decide to find someone with a better attitude (and with sufficient intelligence not to broadcast such things to the world). I'd do the same.":

    What people do OUTSIDE of work is none of their employers business and what we need is a few lawsuits punishing busybody corporations who waste their stockholders money harassing 16 year old girls. And for those who are apparently illiterate and defend the company's actions as defending their name, go reread the part where she says she didn't mention their name. So they have no moral justification at all. I hope the company suffers for this disgusting display of pathetic power tripping and that those that are cheering their behavior suffer from being on the receiving end of it as soon as possible.

  129. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Ivell Marketing... how to ruin your reputation...

    What a bummer!

    "....I find it ironic that the good people at Ivell Marketing & Logistics fired this young lady as they didnt like the bad publicity they where receiving as a result of her facebook posting. A posting which didnt actually mention the company by name....If you do any business with Ivell Marketing & Logistics, I suggest you consider that relationship because they seem to be arseholes. I hope they enjoy all this publicity...."

    I second this. Slashdot it. Digg it. Generally spread it around. Do you think the company really appreciated what they were doing to themselves when they did this? Widespread publicity of this type may save many people, including ourselves and our kids, from a similar fate in the future...

  130. Anonymous Coward

    One last bitter ironic laugh


    They might lose it next year....

  131. skeptical i

    "Right to work" states

    While I can't blame management (why should I pay someone who can't take the initiative to ask for more tasks or otherwise make the job less "boring", complains to world plus dog about it, and doesn't have the smarts to cover her/his tracks? I was washing dishes when I was 16, and having an office functionary job would have been a marked improvement.), I suspect she might have a modicum of recourse across the pond. Here in Murka, boss can fire anyone, any time, for any* reason in "right to work" states; those lucky enough to have accrued enough time before getting the boot can get unemployment (unless boss claims termination was extra- justified, e.g., for theft or something serious). (* Exceptions revolve around race/ gender/ age discrimination, with sexual orientation/ gender expression still in this the year common era of 2009 not similarly protected.)

  132. Steve Roper

    Re: Unfair?

    Actually I don't "spy on my staff", since they know up front that I look at their FB/MS profiles. In fact, I make a point of asking in job interviews if the applicant has a blog or FB/MS page I can look at, and if they answer yes, I go online and bring it up right there in the interview, in front of them. If nothing else, this wakes them up to the fact that information posted on these things is not private which, if they were actually labouring under that delusion, is doing them a favour!

  133. Anonymous Coward

    In the shi1t

    Ivell will be in the deep and nasty if, as part of standard contract, they did not inform staff that they would be monitoring their online behaviour either at work or home. If they haven't explicitly stated that use of Facebook or similar stupid-people Id fraud kit is verboten at work, then they've no leg to stand on. Regardless of her age or time at the company, she has rights under law. Also, sacking because of opinion given on website would be breach of right to free speech under ECHR. Chuck in a bit of sex discrim, age discrim and stupidity discrim and Ivell will wish they'd neve employed the girl.

    That said, if you're stupid enough to slag company off using real name then you deserve everything you get

  134. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Points here

    It is her fault for keeping her profile public with her personal details, afterall... without a full name/photos how could they prove it was her.

    But, this shouldn't lead to being sacked, for just making a boring job comment, everyone makes them. She didn't even mention the company either.

    And why would a company just outright sack someone, isn't it common place for most places to at least warn someone?

    Maybe they will hire a monkey next, which is a bit more amused at making tea for everyone.

    F**k Ivell... there, you can't sack me you pissing idiots. I hope you rot for idiocy.

  135. Law

    RE: Re: Unfair?

    Hopefully we will cross paths one day, I can see it now...

    SR: Do you have a facebook/MySpace account?

    ME: I do, I have a facebook account, it allows me to keep up with activities of friends and family. Is that a problem?

    SR: Can we take a look now?

    ME: Sure, just type in my name...

    SR: Ah, it's a private account, do you mind logging in to view it?

    ME: I do indeed mind. You may judge me on publicly available information, information I provide you, and my responses in the interview... sorry, but you can't be too careful these days... you could be a pedo after pics of my nephew for all I know... no jobs is worth my family's security.

    SR: Fair enough... you are obviously an awesome candidate, so you are hired... our only issue is that you are so obviously awesome that you will need to tone that down a little in the office, we wouldn't want to demoralise the rest of the team. Also, we can only offer you a salary of £1.5m

    ME: Apologise, I will work on that... your terms seem resonable. *shakes*

    So when can I start?? ;)

  136. Steve

    WTF is wrong with you all...

    People nowadays just got no fucking idea. Having been in a position of IT Manager (although now earning much more money contracting) this story makes me laugh.

    Firstly, Facebook, bebo and all the other shitty social sites out there should be blocked completely from work, for social reasons, family reasons and just so that prick doesn't make anymore money from it (green... slightly).

    For small businesses it can cost thousands of pounds in manhours wasted. If you want to see sharon on receptions facebook status, do it in your own fucking time!! And don't be quoting me "human rights" or "invasion of privacy".. Bollocks. Go to work, do you job and stfu. If you don't like it there, fuck off somewhere else, theres plenty of polih workers who'll do your job better and without spending half the day farting about poking neil and dave joining "i'm a fucking pirate" groups and the like. And if your dull enough to slag the company off then its your own stupid fucking fault for being so dull in the first place.

    Get a real life. TALK to your friends rather than text/msn/FB etc...

    This country has gone fucking nuts with all this "my rights" bollocks.

    If i had staff wasting time looking on fuckbook or pebo I wouldn't hesitate to sack the fuckers on the spot. You don't get paid for surfing, sorry, fact of life.... do what your employed and paid to do and nothing else. Cival fucking liberties....

    And if people are so concerned about their "private life" getting into the wrong hands.... stop fucking posting it online for the whole world to see. Twats!!

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