Posted by: thescoundrel | February 21, 2008

You’re Fired!

I was reading on QCOnline an article about the current Dilbert comic strip. I am a regular reader of the Dilbert strip. I can also say that the pointy haired boss seems like a conglomeration consisting of several of my past bosses and that many of Dilbert’s coworkers remind me of past coworkers. The current comic contains a storyline based on the firing of a security supervisor from an Iowa Casino for posting a Dilbert comic strip on the company bulletin board that compared Dilbert’s bosses to drunken lemurs. Oops! Embarrassing a company or it’s executives is certainly a firing offense. I wish I could say I have not done similar – but over the years I have put myself in events that were embarrassing to companies and/or company executives. I was fortunate because no severe punishment ever followed my transgressions. That does not mean that punishment was not deserved. 😉 It just means they took mercy on me. And while taking comedic potshots at deserving bosses and coworkers is great fun, I think that we often forget that we have a duty to protect company assets and company image is another one of those assets.

It was almost two years ago, when a local woman that was protesting the hog plant abused a company asset by using a company fax to get out her message was fired. One of the more infamous Quad City firings came in 1980’s, when John Deere fired a woman by the name of Jodi Stutz, now deceased, for using the company Xerox machine for making a photocopy of her nether regions. I can remember what a stir that caused in the news, nationwide. The story was even included in one of my favorite 80’s television shows, “That’s Incredible!” Truthfully, though I have never had to carry out the warnings, I have had to threaten people with termination for less significant reasons. One of the current rages among young people, tattoos, creates considerable career peril for them and untold headaches for those of us explaining that, while their new tattoos may look sexy and symbolize freedom of expression, they are required to be covered when on the job. Other trends like spiked hair, rainbow colored hair, goth looks, improper dress (too skimpy-too baggy- logo laden etc.) can follow the same path towards termination. The circumstances are that all of us who work for companies, including those with contracts, are bound to company policy and rules and are expected to respect those guidelines, and when we break them and/or simply refuse to adhere to those policies, we are subject to punishment and even termination.

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