You wouldn’t think this could actually happen, but it did. Naomi the NASA intern swore at Homer Hickam for commenting on her language. Her friends also dogpiled on Hickam, swearing and tagging NASA in the tweets. NASA rescinded her internship shortly afterwards.

Homer Hickam’s life story was told in the book Rocket Boys, and film October Sky, starring Jake Gyllehaal (can recommend)

After the debacle, Hickam released the following statement

This whole incident divided people, with many people saying he should not have commented on her language and indirectly caused her to be fired. But I can really see his point that she was tagging NASA in profanity-laden posts and he felt it may have consequences. Which it did.

Whatever the truth of this, it consolidates how I have always lived, which is representing myself at all times. I never rant and rave on social media. I never post on socials when I am angry. I am aware that my clients can look up my social media. I am also aware that even private messages and private groups are as private as a postcard. And permanent. I never write anything in any form of social media that I would not speak openly about. I try to treat people nicely, whoever they are. Luckily all my youthful mistakes, comments and tantrums were made before the internet, so that there is no evidence anywhere. The worst thing I have done was using reply instead of forward during my days of IT, when I was complaining about a customer to a colleague. That was awful enough, but at least it was not global!








Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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