Author Topic: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him  (Read 9588 times)

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artk2002

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2013, 12:59:31 PM »
This isn't about mean or nice. He broke the rules and management will have to figure out if there is a consequence or not. Neither you, nor we, can decide what approach to policy is right for this company.

Edit: Oh, and email accounts may be preserved to retain the information they contain.  If I were to leave my current company, they would need to keep my email account open so that they would still have the records of the work I've done.  The onus is on me to have integrity, if I fail that then I don't deserve anything given in a severance agreement that I've broken with my own actions.

So? Preserving the account doesn't mean that the ex-employee still has access to it. My account at my former employer is still open, but I can't access it. My former boss has the passwords and I don't know what they were changed to. If you (generic) lay someone off (or fire them, terminate them, RIF them, "let them go", or "encourage them to seek new opportunities" -- how many angels can dance on the head of that particular pin?) and you don't immediately change their passwords and other access data, then you are a fool. Even the nicest people can do bad things and if a company actually wants to protect themselves, they have to take positive steps to do so.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

TootsNYC

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2013, 01:56:30 PM »
This isn't about mean or nice. He broke the rules and management will have to figure out if there is a consequence or not. Neither you, nor we, can decide what approach to policy is right for this company.

This is a good point. LilacRosey, your brother's course of action may not be one he is authorized to alter. Even if he *is* "management," the things he has to do may be policy.

Jones

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2013, 02:47:19 PM »
As someone who has participated in RIFing people before (least enjoyable aspect of that position) I am apalled that your brother discussed this guy with you. He could say he had a rough time doing layoffs, and feels bad/angry about it in very *general* terms, but the fact you know so much of this particular case disturbs me.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2013, 03:48:06 PM »
I'm not sure I completely follow the OP but I believe:
-Laid off guy tried to access his company provided email account after he was no longer with the company.  (I'm honestly not sure how your brother was able to confirm it was him unless he was able to track his IP address, but let's assume your brother was correct.)
-Company provided Laid off guy some type of package as part of the layoff.
-If your brother reports this unauthorized attempt to access the email, the company may choose to modify the package benefits.
-You believe your brother reporting Laid off guy is mean.

First, there are many things the ex-employee could do with unauthorized attempt to do.  He could send fraudalent emails from the account, he could download company or proprietary information that he had saved as attachments in the account, or he could send out an infected email to a huge distribution internal distribution list and since it was an internal email, most users would open it.
Second, Laid off guy KNEW what he was doing was against policy and he obviously didn't care.  He was willing to risk loosing the benefits to get access to something in his old email account.
Third, it is probably required by your brother's employer to report any known fraudulent activity.  Do you want him to loose his job for not reporting it?

Laying anyone off is emotional.  I hope you didn't say anything to your brother that you think his actions are mean or unfair.   

LilacRosey

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2013, 07:13:55 PM »



Laying anyone off is emotional.  I hope you didn't say anything to your brother that you think his actions are mean or unfair.

I did say that I felt bad for the guy because of the kid situation but no I didn't say to my brother that I thought it was mean. I feel better now thank you I understand it much better. I work in a grocery and don't do anything with computers there really., LilacRosey

Aquamarine

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2013, 09:06:10 AM »
That fact that this person has a child is irrelevant.  You break policy you may get sacked, sounds pretty simple to me.  This is business, it's not about social politeness, those are two very different things.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

strawbabies

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2013, 10:36:46 PM »
DH and I used to work for a company his family owned.  DH was the network administrator.  He always insisted on being told in advance when an employee was about to be terminated for any reason so he could disable access to email or anything else on our network. 

The guy claims he was just trying to get references, but sending malicious emails to a business' contacts after being notified of termination is not unheard of.  The guy should not have been trying to access the company provided email account for any reason after being let go.  He was no longer authorized to have access to the company's email system, and deserves for the severance package to be altered. 

Sharnita

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2013, 01:02:39 PM »
Honestly, in my experience with lay-offs, both in teaching and the auto industry - people frequently end up being called back.  Same people get hit bay lay-offs annually only to be called back.  Some teachers can still sub for the district that pink slipped them.  I would not assume that everybody who was in that situation was denied e-mail access and I would not assume that if they were they clearly understood that expectation.  I think the way to make that clear is to cut off the access.

auntmeegs

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2013, 11:25:50 AM »
Personally I think it would be petty to try to mess with the guys severance package because of this, so yes, I think your brother is being mean.  Iím not saying he wasnít wrong to try to access his old email account, but the poor guy was just trying to get some information to help in his new job search.  No harm was done, they should just let it go and change the password so he canít get in anymore, you know? 

lurkerwisp

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2013, 11:36:53 AM »
Personally I think it would be petty to try to mess with the guys severance package because of this, so yes, I think your brother is being mean.  Iím not saying he wasnít wrong to try to access his old email account, but the poor guy was just trying to get some information to help in his new job search.  No harm was done, they should just let it go and change the password so he canít get in anymore, you know?

The problem with that is that if he also collected client information (such as email addresses) he could be setting himself up to work for a competitor and take his old clients with him.  The real problem is that he was told not to and did it anyway.  That shows a real lack of integrity, so how is anyone to know based on his word that no harm was done or that all he did was try for references.  If that's what he wanted, he could surely use his personal email to make that request.

lowspark

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2013, 01:25:22 PM »
This isn't about mean or nice. He broke the rules and management will have to figure out if there is a consequence or not. Neither you, nor we, can decide what approach to policy is right for this company.

Edit: Oh, and email accounts may be preserved to retain the information they contain.  If I were to leave my current company, they would need to keep my email account open so that they would still have the records of the work I've done.  The onus is on me to have integrity, if I fail that then I don't deserve anything given in a severance agreement that I've broken with my own actions.

So? Preserving the account doesn't mean that the ex-employee still has access to it. My account at my former employer is still open, but I can't access it. My former boss has the passwords and I don't know what they were changed to. If you (generic) lay someone off (or fire them, terminate them, RIF them, "let them go", or "encourage them to seek new opportunities" -- how many angels can dance on the head of that particular pin?) and you don't immediately change their passwords and other access data, then you are a fool. Even the nicest people can do bad things and if a company actually wants to protect themselves, they have to take positive steps to do so.

This. Exactly. I can tell you right now that where I work, the minute you are no longer employed, for whatever reason, IT is informed and all your accounts, including email, access to share drives, ability to connect from outside computers, etc., are terminated. Again, as artk pointed out, that doesn't mean they disappear. Not by a long shot. Just means the former employee no longer has access. If the company your brother works for doesn't have a process in place to handle this, they are asking for trouble and sooner or later, someone is going to mess things up a lot worse than just sending emails for references.

I also agree that someone's personal life should not enter into consideration of how good an employee thay are or whether to lay them off or not or whether to bend the rules or not. It smacks of the old "men have a family to support and women don't" philosophy for paying men more than women. Employment, compensation and expectations should all depend on employee performance and nothing else.

ETA: I'm not sure how this relates to etiquette, though. More like a discussion about business practices.

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2013, 02:01:05 PM »
Personally I think it would be petty to try to mess with the guys severance package because of this, so yes, I think your brother is being mean.  Iím not saying he wasnít wrong to try to access his old email account, but the poor guy was just trying to get some information to help in his new job search.  No harm was done, they should just let it go and change the password so he canít get in anymore, you know?

Another point to consider is that typically very rigid, formal policies govern severance packages and if the OPs brother overlooks this violation he himself is now violating policy.  Then he could face disciplinary action.  You also don't want to make an exception for this employee when you haven't made any exceptions for other employees who have been laid off and accessed their old email accounts. 

I've been involved in a number of mass lay-offs in my past and it's always been a very detailed, careful process with serious consequences for anyone who deviates from the outlined policies. 

MurPl1

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2013, 06:16:40 PM »
Personally I think it would be petty to try to mess with the guys severance package because of this, so yes, I think your brother is being mean.  Iím not saying he wasnít wrong to try to access his old email account, but the poor guy was just trying to get some information to help in his new job search.  No harm was done, they should just let it go and change the password so he canít get in anymore, you know?

It's called being responsible for your actions.  He violated a policy and there are consequences.  Feel bad fro him all you want, but he made his own bed.

auntmeegs

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2013, 12:21:56 PM »
Personally I think it would be petty to try to mess with the guys severance package because of this, so yes, I think your brother is being mean.  Iím not saying he wasnít wrong to try to access his old email account, but the poor guy was just trying to get some information to help in his new job search.  No harm was done, they should just let it go and change the password so he canít get in anymore, you know?

It's called being responsible for your actions.  He violated a policy and there are consequences.  Feel bad fro him all you want, but he made his own bed.

IMO its also called having some compassion and cutting someone a break. 

Sharnita

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Re: Is this mean? Or do I just not know enough. I feel bad for him
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2013, 12:27:08 PM »
I wonder if there isn't some failure to be responsible for following policy and cutting off his access on the other side, as well.