Many of you have undoubtedly seen my site as temporarily unavailable and wondered what the deal is. First off, no, I did not forget to pay the bill :-D. All is covered in that department but I have run into another issue that is serious so let me explain.
The company I work for has a policy in their Policies and Procedures Manual and one of their policies (a very legitimate policy I might add) mandates that a person cannot start a business that directly competes with the style of work or business that the hiring company provides and this is referred to as a conflict of interest. Conflict of interest defines as the use of a position to make or influence decisions which may confer a personal advantage or opportunity on them or their interests to bring about detriment to the organization. For example, if a 5-Star restaurant hired a culinary artist (fancy cook) and trained them in all of their special recipes this policy would bind that worker from going and creating another restaurant and using the special recipes learned at the original restaurant or even starting a restaurant using all new recipes if it would compete with the hiring agency. This prevents someone from using a job as a training ground to start their own business that might incidentally compete with the original agency. This policy makes sense to me and seems fair.
When I started FPN, my goal was to market to parents that were looking to further their education on parenting, improve their relationship with their children, and help them work with tough kids "and even those that aren't." My intended demographic was established families that had sufficient income to afford the internet, a computer, and most likely an iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, or Android smartphone that would be multitasking their days by listening to FPN while working at their desks, while in the garden, taking a run in the morning, driving in the cars, or even waiting in the doctors office.
FPN was created since the salary I take from this company is not enough to support my family and I desire to create more revenue, involve my passion of teaching parenting, and continue to work at this company (I genuinely love where I work and who I work for). So even if I was not making enough through my salary and I love my job, why not create a unique venue for bringing parenting skills to those who might never get it otherwise especially with our busy schedules.
The demographic of families that I serve in my agency job is in the lower-class bracket, many if not most cannot afford the above mentioned items. I felt as though my target audience was not influencing the organization. The parenting information I teach was assembled, practiced, and taught long before I began my work at this company (this company did not teach me what I know) and was a contingency of me taking this position since I wanted to continue to use this material.
My company informed me last week that I am, under no uncertain terms, to continue to do Family Podcast Network since it creates a "conflict of interest" (due to the issue listed above) noting that it is a direct competition with the company. My specific program calls my position a "caseworker" where I provide parenting education, life-skills assistance, parenting support, employment assistance, help with food, clothing, utilities, or referral to other services. FPN was created to serve a set of folks I will likely never reach with my current job. And if it did I would be taking numbers away from my own program and that is the last thing I want! Again, I love my current job! As an aside, I never refer my current families to this website and why would I? They are getting much more direct and hands on information through me at my organization.
So the next questions is, what am I doing from here? I believe in honoring my authorities even when I disagree with them. I believe in honoring decisions to the point that they are not asking me to violate civil liberties or moral and ethical principles. So I will continue to update the blog section of FPN with personal examples, lessons learned, and experiences I glean from being a Daddy. We can consider them "Deep Thoughts" by Trey Gibson. The lessons are still there, but in a more applicable and personal fashion.
Subsequently I am taking the Podcast portion of FPN offline until I can discuss the matter more in depth with my superiors. I believe that my company has good folks in leadership positions and will listen to my case and release me to the Podcasts, or find some type of middle-ground that we can both be happy with.
I am also removing the membership and donation pages from the bar so that I am not collecting any revenue from the blog section (this is for transparency sake and again to honor the decision made) until I can discuss the matter more specifically with my superiors.
Hang tight with me guys and know that I am working diligently to get this issue resolved. I love FPN as much as you guys and am willing to, with justness, kindness, and humbleness, push to get it back on its original path. Thank you for your time and I look forward to any comments on this matter, and on subsequent blog posts.
And never forget: "it's all about the relationships!"
Family Podcast Network