On her last day on "Today," Ann Curry asserted herself on camera, on her behalf and to the detriment of her employer NBC. At the time some praised her courage and considered that a shrewd career move.
Now that some may be rethinking all that. NBC remains Curry's employer and it is not allowing her to do live interviews, only taped ones. Those of us who understand how organizations operate would contend that Curry is in the penalty box. Her employer is showing her, one might say, who is boss. In addition, this muzzling could be construed as a public spanking warning others who might be considering asserting themselves in the future about the possible consequences.
The reality is that employers have the upper hand. That's why those with naturally assertive natures find making a living in them impossible. They go the self-employed route. As long as employers are signing the checks they can determine the terms and conditions of employment, as long as those are legal. That carries over to myriad client relationships. In some cases we vendors sign ironclad NDAs (non-disclosure documents) about the relationships. In most other cases we know to keep our mouths shut, take the experience and the money and go.
From the time caveman went hunting for dinner and often became dinner for another species, surviving has not been easy for the human race. In the 21st century, it has even become tougher for many of us. The bottom line is that if we need to change an employment situation we have to become more skillful as well as cunning in how we go about it.