If you have ever in the past mistakenly assumed that I work and speak for a company that competes with your employer because I have been vocal in expressing my personal opinions which just happen to be critical of your employer....
And then you decide to claim it is offensive for me to even question whether your public speech might be influenced by the interests of your current employer....
That earns you a place on my growing list of people who I'll go out of my way to be critical of as an individual who may or may not have unstated motivations coloring their statements. I just want to be clear of that. I will attack this sort of hypocrisy unapologetically.
I don't have a problem with people making the mistake of assuming that I have unspoken intentions and motivations. I would prefer those people to ask me to clarify instead of assume. But hey I know the score, everyone makes assumptions. I can forgive those human mistakes.
But what I cannot forgive is the hypocrisy of making those assumptions selectively simply because I disagree with you and not applying the same assumption filter to yourself. So for the rest of you out there who may read this, and who may find themselves stuck in a discussion with me over some sort of heated topic. Considering this your warning. You want me to play nice? You want me to go out of my way to avoid offending your very delicate sensibilities? You want me to be humane? Then do yourself a favor, don't blithely assume I'm speaking as the shill for a corporation I don't even work for.
This goes double-so for managers or executives at corporate entities who I might engage in public discussion over corporate policies that I disagree with. Think very carefully about what it says about your own corporate culture when you find yourself assuming I am speaking on behalf of a corporate entity I don't even work for.