Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1339612 times)

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Quesselin

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #90 on: February 22, 2010, 08:33:37 AM »
I have two of such stories (and may I just add that some of the stories in this thread just blow my mind!):

Shortly before starting my previous job, this happened there: For a while they'd noticed that there seemed to be much more traffic on their servers than usual. This is good, right? We want people using our website!
So they bought more equipment (obviously expensive). After a while, someone began to think that the volume of traffic was unrealistic for what the organization did, so she began to look into it. And found that one of the IT-guys was using the servers for an illegal download service (like a torrent), pirating movies, games, etc. They turned him in, the police showed up, he was arrested, fired, and send a bill from some of the copyright holders of the pirated materials for the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars.


A friend of my family was the manager of a department in a huge, multinational corporation. One day he saw the newest phone bill for his department and noticed that it was somewhat higher than usual - the equivalent of maybe a couple of hundred dollars, but hey, that's how it is every now and then, right? After all, even though his department don't use the phones that much, they do place calls abroad, and maybe this was just a period with some extra phone calls, or some phone calls further away than usual.
Three months later the new phone bill arrives, and it's even higher, so he decides to look into it and gets the list of calls. It turns out someone has been calling phone s*x lines after normal working hours! Luckily, it's pretty clear who it is (since he's the one who's recently begun staying late  :P ), and my acquintance (MA) calls him into his office and has a chat with him. Now, MA is a strict guy, but nice and fair, and he gives the guy the chance to explain himself. He does, he apologizes, and he offers to pay back the money or work some extra unpaid hours.
As I said, MA is a nice guy, and he feels bad for the man in question, due to some personal circumstances, so he tells him not to worry about that, but that obviously it needs to stop.
And of course you all know that it didn't. Next phone bill arrives, and it is even higher. MA gets the list of calls, and his employee has managed to spend more than 11.000 DKR (something like 2,000 USD) on phone s*x *after* their little talk.
He is fired, and the corporation sent him a bill...


the Wyffe

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #91 on: February 22, 2010, 08:37:12 AM »
I worked in a pub once where one of the barmen punched one of the customers in the face for not leaving when they called time. 

Classy.  This in one of Edinburgh's most upmarket pubs.

TychaBrahe

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #92 on: February 22, 2010, 09:24:03 AM »
Long, long ago when I worked as a cashier at a drug store (Fay's - obviously not your average drug store!) the scam was to ring up CDs as candy bars. That way every item was punched in and money changed hands so from a distance it looked just fine.  Some people did get too greedy and get caught, of course.

I just can't understand why you'd pull scams at work and try to cheat your employer! Not that I advocate scamming, cheating and stealing in any other sphere of existence, but most of us need our jobs and if we move jobs we'll need a reference, so I don't understand why you'd sabotage yourself!

I seriously doubt PeterM did that.

Nah, and I assumed she meant a general "you." The worst I ever did was give my buddies my lousy employee discount, which basically just cut out the middle-man since they could've easily given me money and had me buy whatever for them.

As for needing a reference, this was when I was a teenager. No one cared too much about that, and when I was finally driven to quit by the new idiotic manager I walked next door to the supermarket and literally had a better job in five minutes. References weren't really on a guy's radar screen at that age.

This is why I support the use of the impersonal pronoun "one."  I know it sounds stilted and formal, but would anyone have inferred that Kitty_ev was imply anything about PeterM's involvement in nefarious activity has she written:

Quote
I just can't understand why one would pull scams at work and try to cheat one's employer! Not that I advocate scamming, cheating and stealing in any other sphere of existence, but most of us need our jobs and if we move jobs we'll need a reference, so I don't understand why one would sabotage oneself!
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TychaBrahe

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #93 on: February 22, 2010, 09:28:08 AM »
One of my SO's job functions as a contractor working for a bank is to monitor Internet usage and "ding" people who access sites they aren't supposed to. One of the no-no sites is Facebook. A couple of weeks ago, he dinged an intern 30 times in 10 minutes for continuing to try to access FB despite being told no FB at work.

Sometimes I wonder if the job market is really that bad, or if some people are just monstrously stupid.

I wonder if the intern was told to look into creating some sort of presence for the bank on FB (yes, I know this is a REALLY kind way to look at it.)  We have an internet filter at work that keeps me from doing things my boss is able to do, so the boss is always suggesting that I do some neat technological thing, which I then can't access - and it takes me a few tries to figure out that it's not my imagination or a mistyped address, they really do block Amazon or Demco or Sports Illustrated Kids, and I will have to plead that the site be opened for teacher-level users and IT may deign to allow me access for a week.  Of course, I've never tried 30 times in 10 minutes, but I'm sure I've tried 5 times from different angles (maybe it will open if I search it!  If I use a link from here!  Or here!)

Sounds like bad blocking technology.  If a block is in place for a valid reason, the user should be informed.  "Access to this site is not permitted at your current classification.  Please contact X if you have a legitimate requirement to access this site."
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gadget--gal

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #94 on: February 22, 2010, 09:36:05 AM »
re physical Hard disk destruction;

I've read you can damage the disk but storing it in a freezer for half and hour or so? Correct or no?

gardengirl

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #95 on: February 22, 2010, 09:54:10 AM »
Sounds like bad blocking technology.  If a block is in place for a valid reason, the user should be informed.  "Access to this site is not permitted at your current classification.  Please contact X if you have a legitimate requirement to access this site."

That is absolutely the case - the problem is that overriding the block is like pulling teeth, because even with administrative permission to unblock, IT likes to insist that a site is inappropriate and refuse to unblock it, or offer to unblock it for a limited time, unblock only the splash page, or neglect to whitelist it with the filter so it will re-block each time the software upgrades.  So really, the badness lies with both the product (I'm a librarian, I rarely think filters are the way to go) and the people maintaining their positions by playing power games.  Then again, being the only one in charge of the filter probably makes our IT guy free of the need to adapt and evolve, thus keeping him from professional Darwinism!

GirlyGirl

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #96 on: February 22, 2010, 09:57:20 AM »
re physical Hard disk destruction;

I've read you can damage the disk but storing it in a freezer for half and hour or so? Correct or no?

I wouldn't count on that working.  I once was recovering data from a damaged hard drive, and I'd pop the drive in the freezer for a while before working with it.  For some reason, it worked a lot better when it was cold.

At work, we use this software to erase hard drives:  http://www.dban.org/

Perfect Circle

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #97 on: February 22, 2010, 10:00:42 AM »
DH had a colleague, Barry, who did incredibly stupid things until he finally got fired. Firstly he was generally very rude and used horrible language at work. But his first major stunt was when he got annoyed at another colleague. While this person had to step out of their computer room to deal with an emergency, Barry opened up fifty or sixty pornographic sites on this colleagues machine. He got suspended for this, but so did the colleague because he'd breached security by leaving his machine logged on.

He finally got sacked after calling another co-worker a lazy nword. In front of his boss. Absolutely no get out from that, thankfully. So, that was 26  years of service in a nuclear medical diagnostics laboratory.

I have also met two fantastic darwinists. One person, a very senior manager, turned his laptop to be fixed. Yep, you guessed it. Full to the brim with adult content. He wasn't given the opportunity to resign.

But the second one I think takes the biscuit. This guy was not happy with his supervisor and during one night sift decided to do something about it. Rather than using the approprite channels he found a loophole on IT security and send a lenghty email to every person in the address book. 180000 people. And requested a read receipt. IT rang him straight away and asked him to recall it, he refused. Our IT servers were out for three whole days. He was not required to report to duty the following night and actually tried to sue the company for unfair dismissal.

Personally I think it's somehow worse when an established, experienced person commits such acts. It's easier to understand with someone with very little experience, and I think in those cases the guilty parties can learn. When it's someone with ten plus years of experience, you kind of know they are fully aware of what they are doing.  ::)
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 10:02:37 AM by susku »
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sparklestar

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #98 on: February 22, 2010, 10:01:06 AM »
Just a couple:
* The girl who knew the phone bill was itemised but didn't think that premium rate numbers would show up  :-\
* The assistant who fell asleep under his desk in the office and was STILL late for work... He got promoted so I don't know how that worked...
* Company had installed something colloquially known as the "flesh filter" - if anything was more than say 90% flesh coloured the email filter would block it.  A more enterprising member of staff downloaded a programme to colour all the porn green on its way into the email accounts and therefore let you see it...  Unfortunately there was a very evil virus embedded in the programme and it wiped out about half the computers in the building - the male half!!  ;D


gadget--gal

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #99 on: February 22, 2010, 10:43:48 AM »
re physical Hard disk destruction;

I've read you can damage the disk but storing it in a freezer for half and hour or so? Correct or no?

I wouldn't count on that working.  I once was recovering data from a damaged hard drive, and I'd pop the drive in the freezer for a while before working with it.  For some reason, it worked a lot better when it was cold.

At work, we use this software to erase hard drives:  http://www.dban.org/

My mistake, I should have been clearer: it was recommended to me to put my HDD in the freezer to try and recover some data but not for longer than a few minutes or else it would be "an expensive paperweight"

Hence I my wondering if leaving a HDD in the freezer overnight would be a good way to kill it?

(gadget--gal, who's really good at database, and application usage but not-as-good with hardware) :)

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #100 on: February 22, 2010, 11:47:05 AM »
Once, at the DMV, a customer came in to renew his registration, and we told him that there would be a late fee.  Oh, no, he said, it does not expire until next week.  Oh, yes, we said, you never renewed last year, so you are in deed late, VERY late.

So customer runs out to the car and returns with both his registration and the actual plate with the tab on it, and everything is current.  Now sometimes, I will encounter computer glitches, where transactions do not post, and I initially assumed that this was what had happened.  But to be safe, we called IT support which investigated the computer audit trail.  No, the transaction had been voided about 10 minutes after being processed.  (Please note, the lost transaction had occurred at a different branch office).  Now it is starting to get hinky.  If the transaction had been voided, the customer should never have received the registration or the tab.  The audit trail also revealed that the customer had paid cash.  So, trying to be discreet, I asked the customer, "Did the clerk who waited on you give you back the check you paid with, perhaps in error?"  Oh, no, the customer insisted.  He had paid cash, and the clerk didn't give it back to him. 

Now, typically only managers have the ability to void out a transaction, but you are allowed to grant admin rights to a designated clerk in order to go to lunch or the bathroom, etc.  When I spoke to the manager of that branch, I learned that he had clerks permanently designated to handle admin tasks because he didn't like to be bothered all the time.  Both the other manager and I did have trouble believing that the clerk could be so stupid as to be stealing because her name was all over every aspect of the transaction.

We also have to submit all voided transactions to our central complex, and that's when suspicions really were raised because the clerk had submitted a form that the transaction had jammed in the printer and was destroyed when trying to pull it out.  So now we know she is doing something for certain.

Investigations Division followed her for about a month, and they then had her arrested and escorted from the premises.  It seems that if the customer was paying cash, and it was for at least $100, she would void out the transaction after the customer was gone and pocket the cash.  Her manager was also given a reprimand for not following procedure, and although clerks can still have admin rights, they are not allowed to use them on their own transactions.

And the reason she was stealing so much?  She was dropping about a thousand dollars a week on bingo.
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GirlyGirl

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #101 on: February 22, 2010, 12:54:05 PM »
re physical Hard disk destruction;

I've read you can damage the disk but storing it in a freezer for half and hour or so? Correct or no?

I wouldn't count on that working.  I once was recovering data from a damaged hard drive, and I'd pop the drive in the freezer for a while before working with it.  For some reason, it worked a lot better when it was cold.

My mistake, I should have been clearer: it was recommended to me to put my HDD in the freezer to try and recover some data but not for longer than a few minutes or else it would be "an expensive paperweight"

Hence I my wondering if leaving a HDD in the freezer overnight would be a good way to kill it?

(gadget--gal, who's really good at database, and application usage but not-as-good with hardware) :)

It has been a few years, but I think I left it in there for a couple hours at a time.

Martienne

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #102 on: February 22, 2010, 01:04:07 PM »
I was working as a waitress in a restaurant in an area where the tap water is very hard. You can practically see chunks of limestone floating in it. The coffeepots would become covered in a lime scale and normal cleaning procedures were not enough to remove it. One day I started my shift at 3 (a very quiet time of day as the lunch rush is over and the dinner rush doesn't start until around 4:30) and that day we didn't have a dishwasher until 4, so I decided to do a thorough cleaning of the coffeepots. I took half of them back to the dish room and soaked them in water with a high concentration of Lime Away. After about 20 minutes I rinsed and scrubbed them, but found that the Lime Away did not remove the coffee stains on the metal parts of the pots, so I rinsed them very, very thoroughly in preparation to bleach them.  I could remember very clearly being taught in middle school and high school science classes about how dangerous it is to mix bleach with other chemicals, especially if the label carries a warning against mixing them with bleach. I checked the Lime Away label and there was indeed a warning, so I filled the sink and pots 5 times with hot water and re-rinsed the pots individually a further 5 times. Then I soaked them in bleach water and then followed the same rinsing procedure so that no one would end up drinking a bleach-flavored cup of coffee.

By the time the dishwasher showed up, the first batch of pots was clean like crystal and I took back the second batch of pots to be cleaned. By this time I was actually getting tables, so I told him not to put away the stuff I was using as I would be coming back to clean the pots. Now, some might say that what happened next was partially my fault, since I left a bottle of Lime Away and a bottle of bleach sitting together next to an industrial-sized sink with a seventeen-year-old boy. It really never occurred to me for a second that the seventeen-year-old boy had not at some point been told you never mix bleach with an unknown substance, especially one with a warning on the label. All I knew was that I was taking orders and noticing the bleach smell becoming quite strong. Even at this I assumed he had started bleaching the pots himself and felt kind of irritated as by the odor he was using far too much bleach.

Next time I walked to the front to turn in an order I see that the grill cook is yelling at him. He pops out the swinging door and says jokingly, "Well, now we know what happens when you mix bleach and Lime Away!" I was aghast and started to say, "I already know what happens," but he finally heeded the grill cook's yelling and went and opened the back door. He went to the dish room again, I supposed with the intention of cleaning up his mess. All he managed was to move the bucket he had been mixing in under the faucet and turned the faucet on. Then he came back out to the front. His joviality was gone. If you've ever seen someone messing around with chlorine gas you know what he looked like. It looked like his face had started to melt off. He asked me to call the manager and went to sit outside the back door to get air. I called 911. No fooling around with this situation.

He got fired. I believe his mom also made him pay for the ambulance run and the oxygen and everything they used on him (ambulance services are not covered by most insurance plans). I saw him recently working at a grocery store and I like to think he seemed much more mature. I hoped so anyway.

artk2002

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #103 on: February 22, 2010, 01:23:49 PM »
re physical Hard disk destruction;

I've read you can damage the disk but storing it in a freezer for half and hour or so? Correct or no?

I wouldn't count on that working.  I once was recovering data from a damaged hard drive, and I'd pop the drive in the freezer for a while before working with it.  For some reason, it worked a lot better when it was cold.

At work, we use this software to erase hard drives:  http://www.dban.org/

My mistake, I should have been clearer: it was recommended to me to put my HDD in the freezer to try and recover some data but not for longer than a few minutes or else it would be "an expensive paperweight"

Hence I my wondering if leaving a HDD in the freezer overnight would be a good way to kill it?

(gadget--gal, who's really good at database, and application usage but not-as-good with hardware) :)

Extended freezing may damage the electronics; most integrated circuits aren't rated for sub-zero temperatures, unless they're MIL-SPEC.  Freezing may introduce some moisture into the case where the platters are, which could cause a head crash and scratch the platter, or cause overheating in a bearing.  But unless the head crashes, scratching the platter surface, the information is till recoverable.  Given enough time and money, of course.

If you do use a wipe program, make multiple passes.  Just one pass writing ones/zeros won't do the job completely.
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

sparklestar

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #104 on: February 22, 2010, 01:27:16 PM »
I was working as a waitress in a restaurant in an area where the tap water is very hard. You can practically see chunks of limestone floating in it. The coffeepots would become covered in a lime scale and normal cleaning procedures were not enough to remove it. One day I started my shift at 3 (a very quiet time of day as the lunch rush is over and the dinner rush doesn't start until around 4:30) and that day we didn't have a dishwasher until 4, so I decided to do a thorough cleaning of the coffeepots. I took half of them back to the dish room and soaked them in water with a high concentration of Lime Away. After about 20 minutes I rinsed and scrubbed them, but found that the Lime Away did not remove the coffee stains on the metal parts of the pots, so I rinsed them very, very thoroughly in preparation to bleach them.  I could remember very clearly being taught in middle school and high school science classes about how dangerous it is to mix bleach with other chemicals, especially if the label carries a warning against mixing them with bleach. I checked the Lime Away label and there was indeed a warning, so I filled the sink and pots 5 times with hot water and re-rinsed the pots individually a further 5 times. Then I soaked them in bleach water and then followed the same rinsing procedure so that no one would end up drinking a bleach-flavored cup of coffee.

By the time the dishwasher showed up, the first batch of pots was clean like crystal and I took back the second batch of pots to be cleaned. By this time I was actually getting tables, so I told him not to put away the stuff I was using as I would be coming back to clean the pots. Now, some might say that what happened next was partially my fault, since I left a bottle of Lime Away and a bottle of bleach sitting together next to an industrial-sized sink with a seventeen-year-old boy. It really never occurred to me for a second that the seventeen-year-old boy had not at some point been told you never mix bleach with an unknown substance, especially one with a warning on the label. All I knew was that I was taking orders and noticing the bleach smell becoming quite strong. Even at this I assumed he had started bleaching the pots himself and felt kind of irritated as by the odor he was using far too much bleach.

Next time I walked to the front to turn in an order I see that the grill cook is yelling at him. He pops out the swinging door and says jokingly, "Well, now we know what happens when you mix bleach and Lime Away!" I was aghast and started to say, "I already know what happens," but he finally heeded the grill cook's yelling and went and opened the back door. He went to the dish room again, I supposed with the intention of cleaning up his mess. All he managed was to move the bucket he had been mixing in under the faucet and turned the faucet on. Then he came back out to the front. His joviality was gone. If you've ever seen someone messing around with chlorine gas you know what he looked like. It looked like his face had started to melt off. He asked me to call the manager and went to sit outside the back door to get air. I called 911. No fooling around with this situation.

He got fired. I believe his mom also made him pay for the ambulance run and the oxygen and everything they used on him (ambulance services are not covered by most insurance plans). I saw him recently working at a grocery store and I like to think he seemed much more mature. I hoped so anyway.
Aw - that's a shame.  I never did chemistry at school either...  :-[
It is true Darwinism in action though!