Gazing Into McChrystal Ball
General Stanley McChrystal learned a hard lesson about workplace behavior. No matter how incompetent you think your boss is, you don't vent your ill will to a public source. Recently, there was an article in the Des Moines Register about some locals who had lost their job because of Facebook. I've had situations before where clients thought I was writing about them in my blog. I assured them that while they may see themselves in the pages, I have a policy about not writing anything critical about an active client (besides, I have MANY past clients who provide me with ample fodder).
Sometimes, people think they are justified in bad-mouthing the boss. In this soft-economy era, there are more and more stories about employers who have abused the relationship with their employees. I know of one recently dismissed individual who could easily and justifiably go to the media to blow the whistle on his boss' inappropriate and unprofessional behavior, but he refuses... bad-mouthing the boss just comes back to haunt you.
Granted, I've broken this rule myself throughout my career. And I've paid for it. And I've learned from it. I'm fortunate now that I can be selective in my project choices, and I've learned to tell good client managers from bad client managers through the interview process.
So if you think YOUR boss is a complete schmoe, just remember what poor ol' Stanley is going through this week. Then watch yourself before you let your inside voice play outside.