Adventures of a Forced Migrant Contact Me
Since I believe in open and honest communication and people are curious as to what transpired between Change.org and me, here is a fleshed-out version. It is not meant to ruffle any feathers but just a statement of facts that transpired over the course of the last few days.
I was told early Friday morning — before my last law school final and arguably what was supposed to be the best day of my life this year — that all blogging contracts were being terminated. Shocked and upset, I rushed off an email to the “Immigrant Rights” team, asking them to clarify what was going on and whether there was something else in the works.
I received a clarification: they would love to keep me on at 1/3 pay and did not discuss a new contract with me because I was doing my exams. I still don’t understand why it is acceptable to send me a notice of contract termination during my exams but not two sentences about a new contract. It is incompetent communication.
I was noticeably livid and posted on Facebook and Twitter about my disappointment over losing my job. Then I went to take my final exams. That evening, instead of celebrating with my law school classmates, I stayed in and received a copy of my NTA from DHS with charges that made no sense. I was in removal proceedings facing provably false charges and just lost my job, which would have been a tremendous help during proceedings. It was an extremely tense and stressful situation for me and my entire family.
I checked my email later, which had apologies from practically everyone from the owner of the site down to the Editor of “Immigrant Rights.” On Saturday, I was on the phone with the “Director of Immigrant Rights,” who tried to apologize once again and work through a new contract. On Sunday, I was given a new offer with an apology. I accepted the apologies, agreed with the offer and asked for a formal contract to be drawn up.
I don’t need to get into how I virtually built that site and lent credibility to several causes over the last two years. I wasn’t just a blogger — I went above and beyond the call of duty to teach people how to write, organize and even recruit new members for the team. I was a constant model for how to organize using social media. And that is an understatement. But I digress.
Late on Monday night, I was told that the company had issues with my use of social media. They felt disparaged and pointed to a contract provision that stated that I could never speak ill of an employee or the company under the old contract and going forward in the future. I was told an exception would be made for my past use but not going forward.
In typical law student fashion, I pointed out that the contractual provision from the old contract and the new one on the table was
1) unconscionable (standard boilerplate contract)
2) a violation of public policy (per , prohibiting a worker’s concerted use of social media is illegal) v. American Medical Response of Connecticut
The next thing I hear, there is no contract for me: clearly, a violation of an agreement-to-agree in good faith.
Sometime today it was hard to avoid the #uknowhowiknowurgay trend on twitter. It’s full of filthy, vile and stereotypical comments about LGBT folks and often nothing in particular.
@thelinster started a counter-trend with #yaygay which became a trending topic at the expense of #unknowhowiknowurgay. You can call this a mini (meaningless) social media war although some are dubbing it as the power of community.
After 3 hours, #yaygay surpassed AT&T, the lowest trending topic, so it should have replaced #AT&T on the trending list. Instead, it came behind AT&T and the homophobic trending topic was removed / replaced.
Maybe I am reading trendistics wrong but #uknowhowiknowurgay was still trending much higher than #yaygay before the removal. It was only after 30 minutes of its removal that it plummeted. Did Twitter step in or are the ‘real-time’ trendistics slow in updating?
Either way, #yaygay lasted at the top for only a short while, before plummeting. 5 hours later #uknowhowiknowurgay was trending again. I checked trendistics and it revealed this chart which certainly does not match up with Twitter trends:
There are plenty of losers in all of this but in this 4 hour war, one winner was certainly our cellular phone companies. The other winner is Twitter–way to keep both sides happy.