I’ll bet you didn’t expect to find this headline here, on my own website.
This isn’t what I had planned to write on a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon, but it’s necessary. Recently, a person took it upon themselves to stalk my LinkedIn profile and contact the companies and organizations listed there, in order to expose me as a “fraud.” This person has published a blog post that “proves” I have engaged in fraudulent behaviour – specifically, that my online resume is full of lies and I haven’t actually done the work I claim to have done.
This cyberstalker has also harassed several of my clients by contacting them repeatedly asking if I work there and emailing them complaints about me.
The emails about me to various organizations were titled ‘Urgent!’ and began: “I am sending this message in regards to an individual by the name of Miranda Miller who, on her Linkedin page, claims to work for your company.”
The public tweets use irrelevant hashtags in a desperate attempt to spread the ‘news’ far and wide, and say, “Miranda Miller AKA @mirandam_ecomm is NOT who she says she is; lies about working for companies.”
When this person did not get the response they wanted from some of these companies and organizations, they threatened to file Better Business Bureau and Information and Privacy Commission reports against them. It’s certainly way outside of anything you would consider logical or rational – one might call this blackmail. You do as I say and fire her, or I’ll attack your business, too.
Inexplicably, this disturbed individual also contacted my professional writers organization, the Hemophilia Society and even my own local police detachment to warn them of my dastardly deeds.
And just what is at issue here? I won’t link to the blog post because I’m not giving it an ounce of publicity, nor will I name a person who doesn’t deserve a modicum of recognition.
I am accused of:
- verbally attacking this individual. My tweet history is accurate and complete. I stand behind the words I put out into the universe and I always have. People don’t always agree with me but I expect rational adults to stand behind their words, as well. This person erased every one of their abusive, profane messages towards me before launching a campaign to damage my reputation by playing the victim in their constructed fantasy of an altercation. Enough said.
- harassing this individual. As I wrote to my harasser in my cease and desist letter Friday, June 6, it is crystal clear who is the aggressor. I have asked this person both publicly and privately to stop contacting me – and stop contacting people connected to me. My only private communication with this person – the only thing you don’t see on my Twitter feed – was that cease and desist notice. I refuse to respond any further, yet the harassment continued and escalated.
- being “a liar using the names of companies to make herself appear relevant.” By the end of this post, you’ll know what’s what.
Now, if you set out to investigate and verify a person’s employment history on LinkedIn, it’s important you understand what you’re talking about.
My harasser does not.
I’ve used LinkedIn as my online resume and portfolio for years. In fact, I direct people there before here on my own website, because I’ve been busy doing work for (not imaginary) companies/organizations and haven’t had time to update my site.
Right at the top of a LinkedIn profile, you’ll see ‘Current’ – this indicates your current employment.
Mine says ‘Current: Miranda Miller” because I am self-employed.
If you call any other company in the world besides mine and ask them if I work there, they will say no. Strange but true.
When my cyberstalker took it upon themselves to contact several different people at a company listed on my LinkedIn to ask if I work there, they said no, because that is the truth.
At the top of the main part of my profile, you’ll see my Background Summary. Have a read sometime if you’re bored.
What Does Miranda Miller’s LinkedIn Actually Say?
Below that, we have samples – and this is cool; I love this feature on LinkedIn. Each sample is either uploaded or embedded from another website, so you can check things out and see more about each project yourself.
Again – and this seems so silly, I shouldn’t even have to spell it out – these are not imaginary. They are a small sample of the over 400 writing and content creation projects I’ve successfully completed over the last 10 years, and they are real things, you guys. For reals.
Next, we have Skills & Endorsements. This is the place where people you’ve worked with – or for a writer like myself, those who have read your work – can endorse you for specific skills.
Not only are these people all real, I’m connected with them on LinkedIn and believe them to good, truthful people. It’s always a nice surprise when you get those notifications that someone has endorsed you; it’s a warm, fuzzy, “They really like me!” kind of feeling.
LinkedIn Projects ≠ Employment
Moving on, you’ll see a few of the different publications in which my writing has appeared over the years. Just below that, there’s a section called ‘Projects’ – this is the place from which much of my cyberstalker’s misplaced indignation seems to stem.
Now, when I work on a project, it can happen in a number of ways:
- Yes, it might be within the context of an employment situation – I’m doing a project for my boss.
- It might be a project with a specific deliverable that I’ve been hired on contract to complete, as in the case of each of the literacy books and guides I’ve written for Ningwakwe Learning Press.
- It could also be a project completed within a contract spanning a specific period of time, eg. my relationship with the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade & Employment.
- It just might be an ongoing project with a defined scope and a beginning and end date, eg.: editing for ClickZ.
- Finally, it could be an ongoing, open-ended contract, in which we agree I will provide XYZ services for a rate of $XX.
As you can see, there are a number of different ways companies and I can work together for their benefit. However, if you called any one of these companies today and asked if I work there, I hope they would say no – because I don’t.
I am a self-employed service provider.
This really isn’t difficult, guys.
So, when you contact Quark Expeditions and ask someone if I work there, they say no. This seems to be the example my cyberstalker has chosen to latch onto and ride to death. This does not mean I am a fraud. It means I am one of their service providers and they probably have many, of all different varieties, as most companies do.
It’s not even a secret that I write content for them – see the blatantly obvious “Written by Miranda Miller” credit at the bottom of this post.
Now, in my ‘Experience’ section, you’ll see some positions I’ve held within specific companies. Again, I feel I shouldn’t have to say this, but… this is real.
This is where I’ve listed companies in which I held a full-time position. Yet if we get completely technical about it, I still wasn’t an ‘employee’ in the traditional sense, in some cases. I was an employee of Avenue A, an advertising agency in Owen Sound, Ontario. I sat at a desk in their offices and got a paycheque for my work. This applies to Transliteracy Conference, as well, which was an initiative spearheaded by Adult Learning Centres Grey-Bruce Georgian.
Conversely, I occupied a position at Search Engine Watch with Incisive Media – yet I wasn’t really ‘employed’ by their company. They are an American entity and I am a Canadian business, so I still invoiced them and they paid me as a service provider.
My Patchwork Experience
Sometimes, you’ll see me say something like, “I worked at Adult Learning Centres in an Industry Canada-funded position.” This is not a lie. Sometimes, organizations receive funding for a period of time or for a specific project so they can bring someone like me on board. In that case, yes I’m an employee and I get a paycheque for the duration of the funding period.
You might also see some overlap in dates, or gaps. If you have any questions about a specific entry, please do contact me to ask about it. However, much of it is due to the fact that I’ve rarely had just a full-time, 40-hour per week job with one company. Even when I have, I freelance on the side. My projects and employment often overlap and I usually have four or five things on the go at once.
It’s not as financially necessary now as it was when I was a single mother putting myself back into university at almost 30 years old, working part-time at the Library and writing at night to make ends meet. But it’s fun. I love the work I am blessed to do and enjoy the people I work with – whether as a consultant, a service provider, a ghostwriter, a contract employee or whatever.
It’s probably not the traditional career path, but it’s real and it’s mine. If my cyberstalker had an ounce of integrity, they would have taken care to verify what it was they were planning to publish – but that wouldn’t have suited their agenda.
I’m pretty open and it’s all out there. This affords me some excellent opportunities but also seems to invite people with questionable intentions to throw their two cents in. Let’s all band together and not let the whackadoos win.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about my experience.