19 February 2007

Man sues IBM over firing, says he's an Internet addict - CNN.com

Interesting AP story:
A man who was fired by IBM for visiting an adult chat room at work is suing the company for $5 million, claiming he is an Internet addict who deserves treatment and sympathy rather than dismissal.
A few observations:

First, who still visits chat rooms, for crying out loud?! I didn't know they still existed.

Second: Everyone's messed up. Everyone has challenges and problems. That's not your employer's fault. If you've got PTSD, get counseling; don't steal time and productivity from the company, and certainly don't flip out when your employer fires you for your unacceptable behavior at work, using company resources.

Third: I would really like to know how this offense is any more severe than, say, posting in a gardening blog at work. I know people who are addicted to some much less offensive-seeming things than "adult chat rooms," and I would hope that IBM has a uniform policy about firing people for misuse of company time and resources, rather than simply witch-hunting teh s3xx0r addicts. In the article, they claim to have a standard policy for all employees, but one wonders how objectively it is applied.

4 comments:

marshwiggle said...

hmm. as to # 3... for some reason, public outcry about company resources for gardening blogs is much less than the public's interest in the sex chatrooms

luaphacim said...

But it shouldn't be. :-)

Liz said...

I completely agree with you on that point. Wasting company time is wasting company time, period. Unless the chat rooms were prompting him to, er, partially disrobe at his desk and/or indulge in other inappropriate behaviors, then it really shouldn't be treated any differently. I find the notion that sexual subject matter is more objectional to be largely circular: it's more objectional because we say it is.

marshwiggle said...

Circular? :) You can find it to be that way... but regardless of the type of logic behind it, it's a fact of life that people think that way. Whether it should or shouldn't be... Sex fascinates humans like nothing else does, hence the piqued interest.