Unvarnished: Website For Coworkers to Trash You

Last Updated Apr 7, 2010 11:32 AM EDT

In case you've been caught up in earthquakes and baseball season openers, you may have missed the latest brilliant brain-fart to hit the Web. The company's called Unvarnished, although the URL's getunvarnished.com, just to confuse you.

Cofounder Peter Kazanjy, who I heard on a radio interview today, calls it Yelp meets LinkedIn. The site's supposed to be a sort of reputation meter for individuals in the workplace. And why do we need this? Kazanjy says he's just trying to duplicate online what already happens offline.

Really? So, let's see if I've got this right. In the real world, lots of people talk about Joe Manager around the water cooler and what-not, behind his back, to his face, whatever. And maybe a few dozen people ever hear these rumblings.

Now, with Unvarnished, those people get to post all sorts of garbage, true or not, online so millions can read it. Every perspective boss, business associate, customer, girlfriend, friend, you name it. Sure, that's the same thing.
Yeah, I know Peter, the site's got this whole process of evaluating how trusted the reviewer is and, although he's anonymous, the site does validate his existence by requiring him to have an active Facebook page.

Well, I'm sure that'll make Joe Manager feel a whole lot better when his life is in ruins.

But wait. If somebody defames Joe, meaning the reviewer makes specific, non-opinionated allegations that are untrue and materially harm Joe's reputation, and Joe can somehow find out the true identity of the individual from Peter's company, perhaps by subpoena or something, then Joe can sue him, right?

Sure, and that'll be a tremendous consolation when everyone on the planet's running around saying that Joe sees a shrink three times a week, is on antidepressants, and likes to take long hot baths in oatmeal with his favorite rubber ducky.

You know what? I'm just going to save myself a lot of heartburn and out myself. Sure why not? I'm just going to get it over with so I never have to worry about it, ever. Here you go, the dirt on Steve Tobak:

  • Former dysfunctional executive with narcissistic tendencies
  • Lousy, selfish husband always trying to pull one over on his sainted wife
  • Drinks too much
  • Big ego hides a deep-seeded (or is it deep-seated?) inferiority complex
  • Acts like he's listening when you talk, but he's really not
Hey, that actually felt great. You should try it; it's really cathartic. Come on, go for it.