The Grey Chronicles

2009.August.13

When Grey Becomes Black Libel



Yesterday, I signed-off a post with this words: “And, probably they are doing something about it.” The “it” was the series of revealing posts that «The Grey Chronicles» have published in July. This morning, while on my morning read from a stack of my magazines subscribed while I was still a Team Leader of NSC’s Liquidator, I came across this passage when I opened to read Bob Gill’s Editorial (2009) for the June-July issue of Control Engineering Asia, page 1:

When a man knows he is to be hanged, it concentrates his mind wonderfully, said English essayist Dr. Johnson in 1777. While, hopefully, no-one should need such a dim prognosis to focus and trigger action, recessionary times such as these do have a habit of throwing up some surprising positive activities.” [Emphasis added.]

Eyes fixed on the Editorial’s first sentence, and for a brief moment, I even stopped reading. Again, a rush of cold nerves tingled my spine. I thought, This is very very odd. I don’t know what yet; but something ominous is going to happen on this day. Today, I was scheduled to attend a meeting at 14:00H (2 PM) regarding something which I had some inkling already. Remembering when I was faced a military tribunal back in my Long Grey Line days that I asked whether I would be escorted in and out of plant, which my immediate superior brushed aside. Incidentally, yes, I have been promising to write about those Long Grey Line days in here, but it seems other more important matters are unfolding. Thus, reminiscing those days would have to take a back seat. So, please indulge me for a moment.

The 2 P.M. meeting turned out to be a preliminary hearing. Asked directly whether I was Rey Adel and I affirmed it. Someone said: “So, you are not denying it?” I answered: “My pen name has been an open secret as an Area Coordinator [AC], which some of us here also held that same position before for NSC News.” I should have added: How could I deny the fact when already printed pages upon pages of the posts and some sort of my biographical sketch are neatly stacked beside the inquirer? Denying the fact would also put me in much deeper shit, to use a word commonly used somewhere, and disowning what I have have written is beyond my sense of proprietorship. Anyway, in the «The Grey Chronicles» Who’s Rey Adel?, it is clear who I am.

My offense, punishable under the company’ Rules of Conduct for the first offense with a 15-day suspension; and for the second offense with dismissal, boils down to:

“Use of any media/ email services to pass information or spread messages detrimental to business interest of company or to threaten employees and their families or spread misinformation” [Emphasis added.]

The meeting also became counseling, whereby the lessons on loyalty, truth, idealism and libel were discussed. For loyalty, an enunciation of a familiar passage by Hubbard; which I already knew from my Courage, Integrity, and Loyalty days in the Long Grey Line. For truth, the Rotarian 4-Way test was cited. For idealism, someone suggested that I could tone down such idealism to a level more in tune with the present circumstances. For Libel, they are seriously considering it.

For my part, although somebody told me not to offer something—mitigating or incriminating, I have to literally explain the process of blogging and all the intricacies of what the activity entails—writing, posting, and dealing with comments, visitors, or readers. For me, explaining what blogging is, which surely could in a way bolster the company’s case against me, at least somewhere there, the attendees would see that it was a labour of love for writing thereby squashing some belief that I earned pecuniary rewards out of all these. Someone said that there might be a way that my efforts, compulsion was the word used, could be tapped by the company to its benefit. I countered that The Phoenix, the supposedly company newsletter, which was envisioned as an official communication venue between management and its employees, failed its promise because it never got off, or words to that effect.

Improvement was all I ever wanted. Everybody wanted that, they said. Someone asked that within a year of blogging about it, of all the topics under the sun, have I not seen some improvement? I was silent, but not to agree. Not everything in «The Grey Chronicles» was about the company I work for, yet they initially thought every post therein was about it. Someone corrected that I also wrote some other topics, too; but added that my posts about the company were all negative. Being an insider, my posts would have weight, they said. I claimed I have published some good things about it, too, if only they would just click the links, in addition to the fact that each post were littered with suggestions and recommendations. I added that if everyone focused on the perceived negatives, they might fail to see the positives. This fact is a classic example of what similarly happened in my post on The Positive Side of Filipino Values.

Or with the suggestions included in the some posts, were these also brought to the attention of whoever was concerned? Yes, I claimed. In more ways than one, I could have added. The attendees of the meeting were also some of the very same persons who have the ability to suggest action, within their corporate capacity, of course, I thought, and if they have read some of the posts, as they claimed they have, then in all probability they could also do something about it. I have no doubt whatsoever in mind that even prior to the existence of «The Grey Chronicles», they did so. Furthermore, I know it in my heart that all local managers and supervisors, even the rank-and-file personnel, have indubitably done their share of suggesting improvements for the betterment of the company and all its employees.

But the disconnect between suggestions and reality is also riveting. Truly, something is missing, which I earnestly believe I brought it out in the open through this blog. They, however, thought that it was not the right way to do it; that bringing it for all the Internet to read was detrimental to business interest of company, fearing that the posts could be used by other forces to bring the company down in this time of global economic crises. All the posts were based on readily-available news articles and similar blogs on the Internet; or working papers, magazines or books I have recently digested, all referenced with appropriate respective links.

What the «The Grey Chronicles» presented in each single post is but a summary of the various interrelated issues inviting readers to click the referenced links if the presented facts were seemingly lacking, which would be ultimately my fault; or to comment if they have some different opinions, which I don’t have, but limited, control. I thought that by presenting it in a single page, the reader could then be free from searching and sifting through the billions of available pages on the Web. Thus, the busy bodies could then do something ever more useful rather than being tied up clicking or reading all the numerous search results, often times leading to nowhere. For me, this is the true essence of blogs. The notations and analyses were entirely my own.

Something was really done. And the Grey becomes Black! I am contemplating of entirely deleting this blog, but unfortunately it would not change a thing or improve my chances of emerging from all these unscathed. The deed was done. The die is cast. Some punishment had already began. Occupational hazard. I should have heeded the call of other bloggers to do it anonymously, yet some of these anonymous yet virtually famous bloggers still got caught (Reporters Without Borders, 2008). In retrospect, my mind concentrating now almost wonderfully, do I really might have wanted to get caught, as my wife predicted? No, I don’t have a death wish. I don’t have such illusions of grandeur, fame or fortune, either. I only wanted to have a voice, not silence.

Fertile minds during idle times. I can’t write what I don’t know. Free press, anyone?


Notes:

This particular post is published here for the information of the blog’s readers to explain the personal circumstances I am face with, aside from the intermittent Internet connection Iligan City seemed to be suffering in recent days, why the posts have not been updated since the last one posted a week ago. I have lined up several posts, but inadvertently left it as drafts. Kindly accept my sincerest apologies.

Gill, Bob (2009). Silver Lining, Control Engineering Asia. Singapore: Reed Business Information, June-July 2009. p. 1. back to text. Also refer to a previous post, Doing More With Less, dealing with the same featured book by Scott D. Anthony, president of Innosight, and title.

Reporters Without Borders (2008). Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents. Reporters Without Borders, March 2008. back to text.

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 LicenseDisclaimer: The posts on this site do not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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