The time I got someone fired

I have no idea what triggered this memory for me today. Perhaps it’s because it was around this time 15 years ago that my husband and I went on a Baltic cruise (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Poland, and Russia). Our time living abroad was coming to a close, and this was one of our last major excursions — and our first (and only) cruise.

At the time, I was a travel blogger. I was doing it before it was cool. That blog led to some paid work writing travel articles and guides (super fun and I miss doing it). Even so, I don’t think I had a large readership. I mostly blogged for friends and family so they could keep up with what we were doing.

But, you just never know who is reading, as I discovered a month or so later.

As we were at sea one night, we decided to take in some entertainment. It was … underwhelming, shall we say? Especially one of the acts performing that night. (I’m deliberately not mentioning the name and type of act here. You’ll see why in a minute.) I mentioned this on my travel blog. And I mentioned this act by name. And I think I used the term “boring” without going into much detail because I was more focused on writing about our shore excursions.

The person behind this act apparently got fired from the cruise line because of what I said on my blog that I didn’t think anyone was reading. How do I know? He emailed me.

This is one of the hazards of putting things out there for public consumption. For me, to have this person contact me out of the blue to claim that my blog resulted in his termination — it was awkward and I felt obligated to update my post to appease him. But in general, anyone who puts themselves out there opens themselves up to criticism, whether they perform on a cruise ship or post a public-facing blog.

It’s 15 years later, and I’m still skeptical that it was truly what I said that caused this. I’m just one person out of 2,000+ on that ship. I wasn’t an influencer (that term didn’t even exist then). I didn’t have 100 followers of any kind, let alone thousands.

Still, this crosses my mind sometimes. Especially since social media has suggested on occasion that I connect with him. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Gotta love social media. Someone emails you once or twice, and years later, social media thinks you should be friends.

In case you’re wondering, his career is doing just fine. (Or it was, last time I checked. Because I was curious.) And I have this anecdote I can tell people because it is a weird story. And who doesn’t love weird stories?

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