When I was fired by the law firm Paul Hastings six days after my first miscarriage in April 2008, I responded with an angry email to the partners of my department and senior management. I pressed "All Associates" on the cc button, a recipient list nearing 1000, and attached a copy of the ridiculous non-disclosure agreement the firm had asked me to sign. Within an hour after I clicked "Send," I received an email from the editor of a legal blog Above the Law informing me that he had posted my email and attachment. Within a day, the post generated close to a thousand comments. I received hundreds of emails from people I didn't know and others I hadn't heard from in years.
When news of my email was circulating in the virtual sphere, I didn't think to explain it to my parents in New York. They did not use the internet and did not have a computer. I told them I was fired and explained the circumstances, but I did not tell them that I had sent a mass email. I wasn't sure if they knew what an email was. I told them in my simple Korean, "I told my boss that he shouldn't lie when he fires someone." But I did not explain that I may have burned my career. My risk-adverse parents grew up in a culture that expected employees to brew coffee and to run errands for their bosses. Would they understand?