I Pushed the Envelope Too Far. Or Did I?

Last week, my Facebook status update had the word “boner” in it.

It was very funny, in my opinion, and talking about how I cannot deal with such things in the morning because I need coffee first.

If you follow me on any forms of social media, you know this is pretty normal, coming from me. Heck, I am a Relationships Editor for Curvy Girl Guide, and that job includes a bi-monthly sex column (which features a boudoir shot of me). So saying the word “boner” didn't really feel like a big deal.

Until I showed up to work.

I was pulled aside by a friend and told that some people had complained. She explained to them that I am a freelance writer, and I view social media as the ultimate traffic driver, and she was sure I didn't mean to offend.

But I was like, “What the heck? I don't ever friend request people who work here. And when they pop up on my Facebook page as a friend request, I immediately send them a private message. I explain to them that I have a second job as a humorist, and that I talk about relationships a lot. And then I tell them they do not have to be my friend, and I would not be offended at all. So this is crap.”

I didn't write “boner” from my HR office. And I didn't say “boner” in regards to a coworker. I was talking about my husband in a humorous and totally relatable way. I am sure many women wish they could just have a morning coffee before dealing with such hard issues.

I was feeling offended by them being offended!

But instead of freaking out (like I wanted to), I very quietly went into my office, deleted my totally awesome and brilliant Facebook status update, and began deleting Facebook friends. I thought about putting people into categories, and then decided against it.

If you don't like me on social media, then you get none of me on social media. But you can see me at work, and you can totally stop by my office and we can chat whenever you'd like. T

hat door is always open.

I also made sure, with the new Facebook privacy settings, that anything I had done, or was doing on Facebook from here forward was marked as “private”.

Facebook Privacy Setttings

I kept a few people I work with, mainly because they have been super supportive of my second job, or they own the joint, or because I know them well enough to know they don't care. But I ditched the rest of my coworkers.

And let me tell you guys something, you have been so right! Not being Facebook friends with your coworkers, when you work in HR, is super awesome!

So, I take it all back! I have been so wrong about being socially transparent! You really should not accept friend requests from your employees (unless you know FOR SURE that they are your actual real-life friend). You really don't need all of them knowing all the things about you. But I still stand by the fact that you should be yourself. Just don't be yourself around your employees.

Hell, they won't even know I wrote this article now!

*and the Heavens opened and the angels sang*

And as I am sitting here, reading this out loud to my husband, he is staring blankly back at me.

Meredith, doesn't this new epiphany go against everything you've ever said about social transparency?

Yes! But I was wrong! I have to tell the other HR people! 

You're talking about my boner on Fistful of Talent?

Yeah. You're welcome. I'm also adding this story to my book.

Happy Tuesday, y'all! And Happy Belated Birthday, Holland! You're the bestest FOT editor ever!



FOT Background Check

Meredith Soleau
Meredith Soleau was supposed to be a famous country singer, but her parents made her go to college and major in something “real.” She graduated with a B.S. in Business from the University of Toledo, and landed a gig as a Human Resources Director at a large car dealership in Ohio. After eight years of HR at a car dealership, she burned out, decided to sell cars herself, and has since launched her agency, where she specializes in finding blue-collar workers. Clearly she has plenty of stories. But the best stories are probably about Meredith, herself. Read them on her personal blog, meredithsoleau.com, where she holds nothing back. Follow Meredith on Twitter. Become her friend on Facebook. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


  1. Tim Sackett says:

    That FB post made me laugh out loud – I’m glad we’re friends on FB so I can read your updates!

    • Meredith Soleau

      Right? I mean boner is just a funny word in general. It’s awkward and it sticks out.

      I’m glad we’re IRL friends, too!

    • Karen Siwak says:

      That facebook post is the reason Meredith came onto my radar. Somebody I follow posted a comment, and it showed up in my facebook stream, and “wow, how did I not know about her before this” happened.

  2. Keith says:

    I’m not sure how I even found your post but being a stereotypical male my long term memory is now full of Charlie Brown’s teacher muted noise and the words BONER and BOUDOIR SHOT. Which, when put in the same sentence would be candidly redundant. Anyhoo – anyone with a sarcastic, realistic sense of humor who happens to be friends with Ruettimann is a new heroine of mine. By the way, please email me a direct url link to the aforementioned picture…. it’s a slow day.

  3. Amy McDonald says:

    OK, so one of us ladies has to do it, so it might as well be me. Do you think you would have had the same reaction to this if your male counterpart used the same word on your facebook post? (Notice, I was careful not to use it here, just in case.) I am not trying to change the point here; I am struggling with the whole transparency thing myself, but in my case, mostly because a lot of my posts on facebook relate to my kids. I would like to know your thoughts on that though. Maybe it would have been the same in your environment. Sometimes, it seems to me, there is a lot more rope available before you hang yourself if you are male when it comes to these issues.

    • Meredith Soleau

      One person that complained was a male. One was female.

      So are you asking, would it be okay for a male to use the word “boner” on Facebook? Yeah. What the hell do I care? I say “vagina” as much as possible.

      And have you ever HEARD the way boys talk to each other? I know. I work with them all. It’s very creative. And WAY worse than things most women can come up with. Oh, and they write it online as well.

  4. Jody says:

    I wish I had your guts!!! It’s 2013, time for new beginnings. Thanks!

    • Meredith says:

      Just do it.

      What’s the worst that could happen? They fire you? Fine. Then I will just pack my glorious hair and go someplace else that’s awesome.

      But thankfully, I already work at the most awesome place.

  5. Deborah N says:

    I think there needs to be more people like you in the world.

  6. Kim says:

    The special snowflake that is offended by the term “boner”needs to take a deep breath, bend over, and then pull the giant uptight bug out of their ass.

  7. Lisa says:

    I am so sorry that I missed the original FB post… I’m sure it was totally a Kick A** post and one that would have made my mediocre day a thousand percent better. I don’t remember exactly what it was that brought you into my FB and Twitter life, but I am so very glad and thankful that you are here!!

    • Meredith says:

      The original post was something like:

      Shaun Soleau just said to me, “Why won’t you just play with my boner in the morning?” And I responded with, “Because I haven’t even had any coffee yet! Now stop staring at me until I wake up! It’s creepy!”

  8. Shannon says:

    Concern over employment has prevented me from putting some seriously funny crap online. It’s such a bummer.

    And when I switch jobs, the first thing I do is send friend requests to all my co-workers that I had become real-life friends with.

  9. Nikki J. says:

    Sigh…I saw that post originally, made me chuckle and think. I thought about how I wish I could be that open sometimes on social media, but I’m always thinking of my readership when I post something. Really, most people that know me know how off key I can be and what I have to say sometimes pisses people off. My Mom is on Facebook, but she’s the last of my worry. I’ve also done the putting people in categories thing and all that. It just creates even MORE thought on what category gets to see what post. It’s a mess.

    Quite frankly you are a pleasure on social media, even more on Twitter! Honestly I was more offended the day I was blog stalking you and found out you don’t like dogs 😉

  10. Jason Paul says:

    I have the FOT blog auto-post on my Twitter feed. I saw the first line of the blog, and FREAKED OUT! Immediately clicked on it, and breathed a sigh of relief, sorta. I didn’t write it, after all. haha.

    Good article btw. And, for reasons like this, my personal FB account is under a pseudo-name.

    • Meredith says:


      Can we be Facebook friends? Sounds like you have a pretty good feed.

      • Jason Paul says:

        HAHA I just sent a FB request (SOJLEMC btw)…nice to see it’s set to private now! And on a side note, I was compelled to look at your “other blog”…made me blush a little

  11. Nicole Price says:

    Absolutely hilarious. I am impressed that you chose being happy over being right. Happy semi-private posting.

Comments are now closed for this article.

Contact Us | Hire FOT to Speak | About FOT