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Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 4290543 times)

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #60 on: February 21, 2010, 09:27:00 AM »
I hope there is a way to get everything off the harddrive - I have recently changed computers and have a lot of banking information and personal documents on the harddrive of the old computer.  If I can't permanently erase data, that computer is not leaving my possession!

I need to figure that one out as well!  But for now, that's why my old computer with the dead hard drive is stuffed in the back of my closet!


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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #61 on: February 21, 2010, 09:32:38 AM »
there is always the barbarian method of removing data from your hard drive

step one - remove hard drive
step two - bash with large hammer till small bits
step three - throw away

that is if you are going to just toss the computer anyway.

I have heard about programs that will erase and rewrite and erase and rewrite stuff on a hard drive till there is no way to retrive info off of it.  Don't know how good they are (or even IF they are)

but then you know those CSI people can take 3 pixels of information and make a whole picture out of it --- giggle
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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #62 on: February 21, 2010, 10:42:09 AM »
Hm, dunno if this still works or not, but could try taking a magnet to the hard drive, that used to be good for wiping a drive.

When I started my current job, it was through a temp agency, the recruiter was very clear that the call center's hours were 8 am to 8 pm Eastern, because we were dealing with claims for supplemental health insurance a lot of the calls were likely to be rough, but the training would be thorough and the supervisors were very helpful. But don't mess around.

My training class started off with 12 people, including me, by the time we hit the floor, there were only 4 of us, including me.

The first two that were let go were a couple of jokers who sat and muttered at each other not paying attention to class (and these were guys in their 30s at least) and getting snarky at the instructor when she called them on it. They didn't show up again after that day.

The next to go was a girl in her early 20s, the only reason I describe her as that is because she acted like she was still in high school. She was let go the day she called out for an extremely important part of our training which included a test and it had been stressed for a week how important it was to be there, otherwise you were gone.

The other five just failed at their final tests, laughed about it saying that they would just get something easier from the temp agency. Considering how hard it was for any of us to even get the offer for the company, I think they were deluding themselves.

Now when it came time for us to hit the floor, we were getting the garbage shifts, because let's face it, we were new. I'd already figured out that I'd be working until 8pm, but we were told there was a 10-7 shift, and to be fair they had us pull our shifts out of a hat. I got the coveted 10-7 shift, and one guy flipped a nut at me when I refused to trade with him. He kept going on and on about how he had a little kid at home and I should let him leave early, etc. The rest of the trainees tried to pressure me also into giving it to him, but I refused since I had my own life that this schedule would be better for. Fortunately the supervisors quashed those attitudes quickly, but the way he went off on me left a bitter taste in my mouth and I was never more than professionally cordial to him for the short time he was there after training.

He got let go for yelling at one of the customers. I know this because I could hear him screaming at the person on the other side of the call center and he got escorted out by security.

Not sure what happened to the fourth person, she just wasn't there one day.

So a little under 3 years later, there's only one other lady and myself out of a class of 12.


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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #63 on: February 21, 2010, 11:00:55 AM »
I have heard about programs that will erase and rewrite and erase and rewrite stuff on a hard drive till there is no way to retrive info off of it.  Don't know how good they are (or even IF they are)

but then you know those CSI people can take 3 pixels of information and make a whole picture out of it --- giggle
That's too true to be funny. Unfortunately the programmes aren't effective. Even if the disc is overwritten the data can still be recovered. The best method I've known was an accident - one of the control chips had magnesium in it and went off like a flare. The inside of the hard drive was completely destroyed. Otherwise we tend to use content replacement, magnets on the platters and then physically destroy the drive.

This is from personal experience: I'm nowhere near a CSI but I've done data recovery during a misconduct case which was pure professional darwinism. The gentleman in question turned off his computer's anti-virus and malware detection in order to download content of "dubious provenance" onto his work machine. He no longer works for the company.


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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #64 on: February 21, 2010, 11:45:23 AM »
I've not encountered anything quite that bad but I've overheard many things in the years I've been employed in various places:

*The lower level manager who got let go from a Golden Arches location I was working at while I was in college as he was hitting on many of the teen/college girls there and/or harrassing them.  He never hit on me, maybe me being plain and fat wasn't his type.

*Some people that got promoted to manager at the Golden Arches store I worked that had no business being promoted.  Some of them weren't on time for opening of the store or were late for their shifts.  Some of them barely knew how to do certain tasks as during rush hours, all managers had to help in certain areas, and you could tell who either had no business in the grill area helping to cook or working on customer orders in the front or drive thru.  Some of them ran their mouths telling others what to do better than because they couldn't do the actual work themselves in a particular area.

*In the various call center / customer service places I've been working in, some people were often rude in tones of voice and what they said to customers.   Most people slip up 1 or 2 times in a long period of time, but there were people that were famous for it.  In fact, I seen some places where those people often got promoted ahead of those who never yelled at a customer, and seldom if ever were rude to the customers which irritates the heck out of me.

*Some other call center / customer service places, people who abuse the schedule and come in/leave when they feel like it.  I know that there are times you have to schedule an appointment for the doctor for a certain if you work 8-5 or 9-6 as an example, and need to leave early/come in late.  But there are people who still claim "family/kids" stuff as to why one day they are on time, the next day they come in 3 hours later, and seldom can you count on them to be on time more than 50% of the time.  Many times they are the same special snowflakes who are late returning from breaks and lunches too.  There is certainly resentment from those who are on time for work, and returning from breaks/lunches, and get talked to if they are late 1 minute 1 time compared to the SS's.


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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #65 on: February 21, 2010, 12:40:19 PM »
I hope there is a way to get everything off the harddrive - I have recently changed computers and have a lot of banking information and personal documents on the harddrive of the old computer.  If I can't permanently erase data, that computer is not leaving my possession!

Sorry to threadjack a bit, but I thought I'd answer the data removal question.  I used to work for state government IT.  We had to remove lots of sensitive data from old computers before disposing of them.  It is, in fact, possible to remove all data from a hard drive.  Don't believe everything you see on CSI or other shows.  They do things all the time which are completely impossible.  (I now work in the criminal law field and some of the stuff they do with forensics makes my head hurt too.)

To confirm, just hitting delete does not remove any data from your hard drive.  It removes the pointer to where the data is stored.  You will overwrite this data if you add more data to the computer, but due to how hard drives are organized, you cannot guarantee that just saving more files will remove anything.  So, just hitting delete is a bad option.

In truth, if you want to be 100% sure the data is gone and you're not an IT person, then pay someone to destroy the data.  There are companies that offer this service.  Find one that is bonded and has a good reputation with their customers and the Better Business Bureau.  This won't be inexpensive.

However, there are three basic methods of removing data such that it cannot be recovered.  Two of them fairly easily available to the individual computer user.

First is the physical destruction of the hard drive platters.  (Do a Google image search for "hard drive platter" if you aren't sure what one looks like.  They're the disk thingies.)  Don't just take a hammer to the hard drive, unscrew the case and take the hammer to the platters until they break.  If you have cutting tools you know how to safely use, that's even better.  (There are machines that shred metal if you know someone who works in recycling.)

Second is the software solution.  There are programs out there which will overwrite the data on a hard drive.  (You may have to install the hard drive on another machine first, though some software will come with a boot disk so you can use it on the computer in question.)  Basically, if you overwrite the data with all zeros, all ones, or a random combination, the data is gone.  Some of the software will get really thorough and do all three of those one after the other.

Third is using a magnet.  There are powerful electromagnets you can buy that are designed just the right size and power for hard drives.  This will randomize the contents of the hard drive.  However, this is an expensive device and probably not something you have lying around.  This technique also has a theoretical flaw that you cannot guarantee you hit the entire hard drive with a hand-held magnet.  I've seen recommendations that you use the software method first if you're using magnets.

If you want to be really thorough, you go the software route, then you use the magnet, then you destroy the platter.  For your personal data, you generally aren't going to need to use more than the software method.  Though feel free to use the physical destruction method if you never want to use the hard drive again and have some computer aggression to work out.  >:D

Brown University has a web page on data removal, including software suggestions.

Ending the Threadjack.

When I worked for the government, we had a guy who was just a little computer savvy and wanted to look at porn.  So, he figured out there was an IP address not being used and would switch his IP to that in the morning and then back when he was done for the day.  He was literally surfing porn for eight hours a day sometimes.

At least until IT got the usage report and saw that a server which had not even been installed yet was topping the charts for web usage.  The network also recorded the hardware ID of the computer connecting, so it was about 60 seconds work to figure out whose computer this was. 
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and science.  He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, his eyes are closed."  Einstein, 1930


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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #66 on: February 21, 2010, 02:42:10 PM »
Threadjack 2:

Sorry, but the data removal reminds me of something that happened in Middle School.

I worked as Treasurer and extra help for the Computer Club at my Middle School.  We're also located next to a DoD/ Navy Weapons Base.

Thanks to this setup, we got declassified computers and laptops for use in both the club, and the teacher's computer class.

Turns out we got an entire batch of Powerbooks that were not, infact, declassified as stickered on the case.

Thankfully, the actual information pertained therein was declassified at the time, but I wonder if the guy who let 30 or more laptops go with a greenlight got fired or worse...

(Nostalgia bonus: My dad also works as an engineer on Base.  He had a work laptop with an 8-Ball Trackball that he gave back sometime ago.  I recovered the trackball with the teacher's permission.  ;D )


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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #67 on: February 21, 2010, 03:29:18 PM »
Thanks guys!

Sorry for the threadjack, but I was really curious. He wasn't a bright boy, and I don't think he did anything high tech. He usually got the local computer repair place to wipe it.

It was a bit of a Darwinism in itself, come to think of it. I don't think they will let him back in the store even after he gets out of jail. His crime involved another (innocent) employee, so even if they could overlook his record they probably won't want to.
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.


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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #68 on: February 21, 2010, 03:41:49 PM »
Hm, dunno if this still works or not, but could try taking a magnet to the hard drive, that used to be good for wiping a drive.
Just want to emphasise that an ordinary magnet is not sufficient. It has to be a super strong (and thus super expensive) one. I can't remember exactly how strong, but a common fridge magnet certainly won't do it ;)

As for professional darwinisms...

One colleague would repeatedly refuse to do tasks set to him, without giving  a reason. He and I were working on task A and task B. There were good reasons why I should do A and he B. I told him that he was to do B, and the reasons why this was the smartest way to delegate the tasks (I was his supervisor at the time - he was an external free-lancer we'd hired for some busy work). A couple of hours later we had the following conversation:
Me: Colleague, what's the status on B?
Colleague: Oh, I'm not working on that, I'm doing A.
Me: No, you're not. Like I told you, I'm doing A, and you should work on B.
Colleague: No.
Me: Excuse me?
Colleague: No. I'm working on A or not at all.
Me: ....*speechless*
Boss: (who overheard the conversation) Colleague, I don't think we'll be needing your help any longer. Your pay will be in the mail tomorrow.

Another colleague would repeatedly look at porn while at work. This in itself wasn't enough to get him fired, as we're actually free to browse at will as long as we get our work done. However, he'd also get REALLY drunk at work parties, and once got arrested for mooning a Scientologist meeting, and breaking the glass with his butt. When at the police station he demanded his one phone call (having watched too many movies I think) and proceeded to call the local pizzaria for takeouts!! He's gone down in company history for that.
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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #69 on: February 21, 2010, 04:12:02 PM »
I worked somewhere where a processing clerk was fired for printing porn to the networked printer.  The networked printer just outside the boss's office.   Seriously, who thinks it's okay to look at porn at work?  I thought that was magnificently dumb until I read this thread and saw how common it is...unless this guy just travels from job to job...


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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #70 on: February 21, 2010, 05:14:32 PM »
Gardengirl, I can one-up that.

Coworker had a "back office" by himself. He was caught twice watching p0rn on his company computer (not live action, but animated I believe, maybe he thought that was more okay??) The first time he was caught by a female coworker. She reported it but the supervisor decided to give the guy a second chance (benefit of the doubt? I dunno, eew. I don't think he brought it up with the male coworker, though.)

Anyway, you'd think Mr. Watching-Inappropriate-TV-at-Work would, you know, been a little more discreet after that, right? Nope, another female coworker caught him doing the exact same thing not long after. That time they let him go. It was pretty traumatizing for the women who'd encountered it, though, as they had to give depositions about what exactly they'd seen.

The thing is, this guy worked in a room that required the doors to be shut, and he was behind a cube wall. He had plenty of time to close out the video screens if he had been alert. But clearly he had his mind on, uh, other things.

He had a wife and 3 kids, we always wondered how he explained why he got fired to her! Must not matter to some employers, though, because he found another job in the same town not long after. Eeew.


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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #71 on: February 21, 2010, 05:16:50 PM »
Thought of another one

Speech Therapist -

Went to the principal and told her I wouldn't help her get into her e-mail. I told principal that ST wanted me to get her into her Yahoo mail and private practice email. These were blocked by the filter.

She kept scheduling students to go to her during specials (Art, Music, PE, Library, Tech) For Art, Music, Library, and Tech it would mean that that child would NEVER get to go to those classes the whole year. It is against campus policy to pull them regularly from those classes.  For PE it meant she was breaking the law. Texas requires a certain number of minutes for physical activity. We use a combination of PE and recess to fulfill this requirement. She couldn't understand why the children hated going to her class and pitched fits. The younger ones cried when she took them out of my class.

 The other 2 teachers in my Pod and I complained that she would stand in the middle of the hallway screaming into her cell phone.

She trashed talked about how the therapist from the previous year hadn't done all the required sessions. It would have been difficult - she died. Yes ST knew this.

When she was fired for refusing to follow procedure after numerous times being instructed repeatedly about correct precedure - she tired to hold student records that she removed from campus hostage to until they paid her the whole year's salary. They got them back without paying the extortion. I heard that she lost her license over the records extortion.
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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #72 on: February 21, 2010, 06:12:39 PM »
RE: hard drives.  There are a few programs that do rewrites and wipes and are used by the Dept. of Defense as drive wipes.
Most wipe progs do NOT wipe info,they re create the table of contents, showing a machine the drive is empty.

If you have doubts or want to truly be rid of data- destroy the platter inside drive and toss in separated garbage bags.  If platter pieces were found it IS possible to get data- but thats a professional, lab, federal level kind of job.

Home users? destroy platter, dispose and smile.



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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #73 on: February 21, 2010, 07:03:32 PM »
At a company I worked with there was a guy who hurt his back at work.  There as no doubt he actually hurt his back, however he strung it out for years, getting full pay all the time.

His downfall came when his photo was spotted on the back of 'major state newspaper' after winning a statewide triathlon event.

His lawyer actually tried to fight the claim stating that the swimming, etc was rehabilitation for his back.


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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #74 on: February 21, 2010, 08:00:23 PM »
Some instances of professional Darwinism I've encountered:

1) My father is a doctor and was in charge of a small department consisting of himself, secretarial staff and a few nurses. He had noticed a nurse was behaving slightly oddly and some of the needles, syringes and controlled medications were going missing. He came in one day after lunch to find the nurse in one of the consultation rooms with a tourniquet tied round her arm and a needle and syringe still in one of her veins. She tried to pass it off as 'practising injection technique'.

2) My parents both worked full-time when I was little, and as as consequence neither had time to keep on top of the housework. They decided to hire a lady to come once a week to vacuum the carpets, do the dusting, clean the bathrooms and mop the kitchen. When this lady was employed, my mother asked her if she would prefer tea or coffee or something else to be left for her to drink while she worked. She said she preferred lemonade if it wasn't too much trouble. Mum ensured there was always lemonade available, and this lady would do her work with a glass of lemonade beside her all day. One day my parents were having a dinner party, went to the alcohol cupboard and found a bottle of vodka, which had been nearly full, was now practically empty. They were a bit suspicious, but shrugged it off as having evaporated. They replaced the bottle and didn't open the new one. A few weeks later they fancied a V&T, and found the seal on the new bottle had been broken and half of it was gone. The cleaning lady didn't wait to be fired. She did, however, give my mum's contact details for a reference when she applied for a new cleaning job. Needless to say, the reference was less than glowing.

3) My personal favourite, and happened while I was working in the food hall of a well-known chain of stores in the UK. This was a few years ago, and the self-check-out tills were new and had recently been installed in the store. A few members of staff were fully trained in using them and spent most of their shifts supervising and assisting customers using the tills as necessary. Sometimes the new tills wouldn't accept a bank note because it wasn't flat enough, or sometimes a customer would try to pay with a 50 note which the machines wouldn't accept, so the supervisor would have to exchange it for smaller denominations which were kept in a designated till next to the self-check-out operator's station. One particular member of staff, a young man, was one of the people trained to use these tills. He pretty much insisted on always working on these tills rather than on a normal till. One day the normal routine was disrupted as all the security personnel and the police swooped down on him as he worked and arrested him for theft. Turns out he'd stolen a huge amount of money from the store by pocketing all the flat notes from the operator's station every time he had a shift.

4) While working at the same store, another employee was arrested as she worked. Every day her partner would come into the store and buy something and he'd always hang around until she was on a till and make sure he went through her till in the food hall. He'd usually have some item of clothing from elsewhere in the store that he was buying as well, and it transpired that she would ring up all his other purchases, but would never ring up the clothing.

5) While working in the same food hall one of the people employed to stock the shelves rather than work the tills was fired. The food hall was on the ground floor of the building and there was an entrance in the back of the food hall out onto the street outside. The employee in question lived around 20 yards up the street from the back door of the food hall. He was using his swipe card to swipe into work, thus registering that he was on site, then he was making sure he was seen in the store before sneaking out of the back door and going back home. He got away with this for quite some time, as if he couldn't be found on the shop floor people assumed he was in the store room and vice versa. Needless to say, he ended up fired.

Incidentally, not all the people I worked with were crooks!