You're fired! 3 terminally stupid user tricks

An IT contractor sees firsthand how employees' abysmal decisions can lead directly to their immediate dismissal

You know what's really taken for granted? Common sense. It's a subtle attribute that often heads off bad situations. Usually you don't notice when it's there -- but you definitely miss it when it's absent.

In contrast, acting stupidly is definitely more obvious and can lead to being fired. When I worked as an outsourced tech contractor, I witnessed some employee-created disasters that still leave me shaking my head in disbelief.

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Why can't you store porn at work? This story took place in the early 2000s when the concept of the Internet was still new for some users. However, the responsibility of adhering to workplace policies was as old as time.

This story took place in the early 2000s when the concept of the Internet was still new for some users. However, the responsibility of adhering to workplace policies was as old as time.

I was on-site doing routine maintenance when I stumbled across a trove of pornographic pictures -- several thousand of them. I was definitely surprised, as they were located on a public mapped network drive and categorized in numerous subfolders with names that were, ahem, highly descriptive of the content.

The main folder was given the exact name of an employee who worked at the office. I figured that perhaps another employee had put the pictures there since it was stupendously foolish to use one's own name for such a thing.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I found the employee whose name was on the folder. I told him what I'd discovered and asked if they were his. He proudly proclaimed, "Yup! Nice collection, huh?"

While I was not there to debate the merits of his accomplishment, I did point out its general stupidity. I demanded that he remove the pictures immediately, but he refused. I again explained to him how such actions were against workplace policies and he needed to remove them.

He finally agreed, but said he wanted to make a copy of them. This was in the days long before Dropbox or USB jump drives, so copying that much data to take home was best done by burning it to CDs. His computer did not have a CD burner, so he asked me who did.

I'd had enough of the situation by that point and mentioned that the HR director had a CD burner in her office. He took me seriously and went straight to her office and asked to use it.

I didn't even have to inform management of the situation before nature took its course. He was fired the next day -- and wasn't allowed to take his pictures with him.

The one about the fire

One day I got a frantic call from a client shouting, "Help! Our building is on fire! We're being evacuated by the fire department! What should we do with the servers?"

He quickly explained that the fire department was on the scene and the fire was in two rooms on the other side of the building. He was headed to the stairwell when he thought of the servers. I told him to leave them and get out.

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