Be careful what you post on Facebook

When Kevin Colvin, an intern at Irish Anglo Bank, called off work before Halloween, saying “something came up,” he probably wasn’t expecting his boss to monitor his actual activities on Facebook.

But Colvin’s boss did, in fact, check Colvin’s Facebook profile. He found photos of him at a Halloween party at the same time Colvin was supposed to be tending to his unknown issue. The photo showed Colvin dressed as a fairy, holding a magic wand in one hand and a can of chilled beer in the other. According to, the boss responded in an e-mail, “Hope everything is ok… (cool wand),” and BCC’d the rest of the office, attaching the photo of Colvin.

While Colvin did lie to his boss and failed to even reasonably cover his tracks, we can’t completely condemn him for his fib. Colvin was not the first person to make up a false excuse to skip work for a day, and he probably won’t be the last.

There are entire books, like Ellie Bishop’s The Sick Day Handbook: Strategies and Techniques for Faking It, that have been devoted to the task of calling off work on those days when it seems impossible to get out of bed.

Regardless of the severity of his crime, Colvin’s experience is evidence that social networks such as Facebook aren’t always harmless fun when users post too much information about themselves. Social networking sites are no longer activities for young people. Bosses have quickly gained the know-how to track their employees on such networks.

The moral to this story: Be careful what you share. And do not think that simply because your profile is restricted, your boss cannot gain access to any embarrassing photos or groups you may belong to. recently reported how one company asked Facebook to access an employee’s restricted profile. Facebook is rumored to have obliged, sharing the employee’s photos and information with the company.

People should be cautious when calling off “sick” for work. Long gone are the days when all a hooky player had to worry about was running into a coworker.