• Justice (unregistered)

    So what was the extent of the disciplinary action? Obviously it didn't affect him too badly, but what was the punishment for his non-crime?

    Anyway, the Real WTF is an adult using a webcam for something other than naughty purposes. Get with the program, people!

  • NaN (cs)

    Pussy.

    It doesn't make sense that you would sign it. It's obviously not your fault and you caved.

    Why would you do that?

    Why would anyone with an ounce of common sense agree to that?

    Plus, it wasn't his CAMs fault - he wasn't streaming into the office, he was creating a page that other people were fetching.

    Since I'll never get to know you, that story makes you another stupid person who wants their life to resemble Dilbert.

  • operagost (cs)

    I find it morally wrong to take the blame for something I didn't do unless I'm protecting someone from grave harm. Normally, signing a writeup merely acknowledges that you received the warning; if this company considers it an admission of guilt, that's the second WTF.

  • GettinSadda (cs)

    If I discovered that an idiot like Cam was working for me I would fire him on the spot - for signing the form.

    So, he's happy to sign a form that puts a black mark on his record for life just because, although easy to argue against, his boss put a very small amount of pressure on him?

    What next? Hey, I know you aren't supposed to give my your password for the ultra-secure server, but I just need it and there is nothing else I can do?

    I hope some cop finds this fool and takes the opportunity to use him to clear up any outstanding crimes lying around... "Yeah, I know didn't do this stuff, but if you don't sign this confession then the sheriff will get upset"

  • Outlaw Programmer (cs) in reply to GettinSadda

    If he was able to eventually rise to "Lead Developer," I'm going to say that this mark is neither very black nor forever-lasting.

    At first I'd be pretty pissed also but it looks like his manager had a level head and explained things pretty well. The whole point here is that everyone worthwhile realized Cam wasn't to blame, but the paper-pushers needed someone to take the heat. So yeah, Cam is the fall guy, but the writeup is meaningless.

    Hell, the only thing this guy did wrong was not asking for a bonus for all the stress they put him through. "Hey, we know this sucks, but we'll give you $5k if you just drop it and don't pursue this."

  • ... (unregistered)

    Don't sign a disciplinary action form unless you agree with it. You were lucky and hopefully you know better now.

    Jeez.

  • Rune (unregistered)

    Scapegoat anyone?

    Just as long as fingers can be pointed, no matter if its justified or not, management is happy. Responsability is a scary thing these days.

  • OldMan (unregistered) in reply to NaN
    NaN:
    Pussy.

    It doesn't make sense that you would sign it. It's obviously not your fault and you caved.

    Why would you do that?

    Why would anyone with an ounce of common sense agree to that?

    Many states are "At Will" and as such, you can be fired at any time, for just about any reason they want. Maybe his (unspoken) options were "Sign this or get scapegoated and fired," and he values his job more than some miguided sense of "principles."

    Knowing how to choose your battles shows more maturity and common sense than the choice you're supporting. But it's always easy to play the internet tough guy when it's not happening to you, isn't it?

  • ObiWayneKenobi (cs)

    In a situation like this you tell them to go fuck themselves, refuse to sign it, and let them fire you. Then collect unemployment and/or if your state allows it sue them for unfair dismissal, and cite a threat (i.e. "Sign this and admit you did something you didn't do, or we fire you") to generate bad press for the employer

  • sarl (unregistered)

    If you're actually good at your job, there's no reason to fear getting fired. Anyone who's good (hell, or even "decent") will be able to find another job quickly, and if they're firing you for something stupid (which, if you're good at your job, is probably the case), then you shouldn't want to keep working there anyway.

    This is assuming you live somewhere with more than one option for employment, of course. I know a tiny town in Ohio where there are several large buildings housing a headquarters for a bank; apart from working for the bank your options are basically limited to "grocery store clerk" and "liquor store clerk". So yes, if you live there, never mind.

  • andrewbadera (cs) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    In a situation like this you tell them to go fuck themselves, refuse to sign it, and let them fire you. Then collect unemployment and/or if your state allows it sue them for unfair dismissal, and cite a threat (i.e. "Sign this and admit you did something you didn't do, or we fire you") to generate bad press for the employer

    100000001% agreed. This d-bag needed to grow a spine.

  • cristoir (cs) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi

    I'd love to see how many of the people here, who are so outraged that Cam did not get himself fired over a disciplinary record, would have done anything different in his shoes.

    Is it outside the realm of possibility that maybe Cam had other responsibilities, like a family to support?

    Nah, sure what sense would that make - NERD RAGE will put food on the table!

  • pitchingchris (cs) in reply to Justice

    I think word got around he was working from home and almost everybody at work was looking at his webcam. That being said, the only way they would have found out about it was through the boss who Cam was talking to. So its back to the old boss covering his *ss again and letting his employee take the fall.

  • pitchingchris (cs) in reply to cristoir

    [quote user="cristoir"]I'd love to see how many of the people here, who are so outraged that Cam did not get himself fired over a disciplinary record, would have done anything different in his shoes.

    Is it outside the realm of possibility that maybe Cam had other responsibilities, like a family to support? quote]

    I totally agree with you. Why should we put ourselves on the job market because a speed bump in management ? Some situations call for such measures, but not this one. If you're at anywhere for too long, you're bound to have at least a few things come up. We can't just bounce from job to job at every bump in the road.

  • Jay (unregistered)

    Being fired would be a much bigger black mark on someone's record than having a reprimand. When I've applied for jobs, they've routinely asked for a list of all previous jobs and why I left each. I've never had someone ask for a list of reprimands. So from a long-term career point of view, even if from that point on the job actively sucked, I think you'd be better off to accept the reprimand, hang around for another few months or a year, and then look for another job.

    There's also the question of whether the form he was asked to sign was an admission of guilt or just an acknowledgement of the reprimand. I've never gotten an official reprimand like that -- usually they just drag me in a back room and beat me senseless -- but on annual performance reviews I recall they've always asked me to sign it with small print on the form stating that by signing I am not saying that I agree with my boss's evaluation but simply that I acknowledge receiving it.

    And I don't know about where you live, but around here you can't collect unemployment if you're fired for cause, only if you're layed off for "lack of work". Sure, if you really didn't do what they accuse you of, you could fight it in court. But if you think you can tell the judge "I didn't do it, I was just a scapegoat" and he's going to say, "Oh, okay, you win then" you're being awfully naive. Maybe, just maybe, the judge will consider the possibility that a guilty person might falsely claim to be innocent! Hard to imagine, I know.

  • imMute (unregistered)

    Sounds about like the time that my school district tried to blame me for saturating their fiber link with a single computer running uTorrent. Supposedly I took down 3 of the 5 schools. Go figure.

  • methuseus (cs) in reply to OldMan

    Absolutely correct. I have been in the same situation. If you don't sign and fight it, you will get fired, and possibly your boss who stuck up for you as well. The guy did the exact right thing for his career by signing it. He got to continue working with a boss that liked and respected him, as well as coworkers with whom he seemed to have good rapport. He did move on, but on his terms, not theirs, which is important on your job history.

  • ChiefCrazyTalk (unregistered) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    In a situation like this you tell them to go fuck themselves, refuse to sign it, and let them fire you. Then collect unemployment and/or if your state allows it sue them for unfair dismissal, and cite a threat (i.e. "Sign this and admit you did something you didn't do, or we fire you") to generate bad press for the employer
    Good plan - except you cant collect unemployment if you are fired for cause.
  • Jay (unregistered)

    Personally, as someone who enjoys having a roof over my head and food to eat, it would take an awful lot for me to quit a job without having another job lined up. Maybe those of you who are still living in your parents' basement and just use your paycheck to buy video games can get all high and mighty on standing your ground and all. Sure, if my boss demanded that I do something grossly dangerous or immoral -- like, You go out there right now and have unprotected gay sex with our client to convince him to close this deal! Then murder the 6-year old child of this other client who reneged on a contract to teach him a lesson. -- I would say sorry, no way and quit. Fortunately I have never been threatened with anything quite that extreme. I've had jobs where I've been beaten up for things that I thought were non-issues or distinctly positive things to do. At the time I said fine, if that's how it is. None were bad enough to make me quit or even start looking for another job on the spot. They were just annoying.

  • inhibeo (unregistered)

    The real WTF is he signed that document!!! I'd have riped that document in half, he won't be working there much longer if they think he lost them money. PLUS if he DID sign it, he is admitting guilt to causing a DoS attach!!! His employer could sue him and WIN with just the one piece of paper...

    Let alone how this would follow him for the rest of his life anytime a perspective employer calls his previous ones, as we all know HR just reads from their files when they call.

    If he didn't sign and they fired him (for that reason) he could sue them for false termination when they couldn't prove in court he was the cause of the problem.

    The only way they could let him go for not signing it, is if he wasn't allowed to work from home. So they fire him for not showing up. The then if he sue them, demands email records they better not have said they should let him go for the network issues INSTEAD of not showing up to work.

  • anonymous (unregistered) in reply to imMute
    imMute:
    Sounds about like the time that my school district tried to blame me for saturating their fiber link with a single computer running uTorrent. Supposedly I took down 3 of the 5 schools. Go figure.

    I actually did saturate my high school's 1.5 Mbps DSL line torrenting Knoppix one day. ;-)

    It was pretty funny. Once I noticed people were having connectivity problems, I immediately stopped the torrent. The computers teacher knew (because I told him what was going on, so he wouldn't be concerned it was a connectivity problem).

    Probably a month later, my advisor called my parents (at home, in the evening). He was calling for other reasons as well (mostly a handful of ways that a geek could get distracted from their schoolwork ;-), but one of his complaints was that I was using "powerful search engines". It took me a while to figure out that he was talking about BitTorrent, but it had filtered through my computers teacher, who probably tried to explain it to him in a non-technical way.

  • cparker (cs) in reply to ChiefCrazyTalk
    ChiefCrazyTalk:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    In a situation like this you tell them to go fuck themselves, refuse to sign it, and let them fire you. Then collect unemployment and/or if your state allows it sue them for unfair dismissal, and cite a threat (i.e. "Sign this and admit you did something you didn't do, or we fire you") to generate bad press for the employer
    Good plan - except you cant collect unemployment if you are fired for cause.
    That statement is not true in every state.
  • OldMan (unregistered) in reply to inhibeo
    inhibeo:
    His employer could sue him and WIN with just the one piece of paper...
    Unless that piece of paper wasn't an admission of guilt, but an acknowledgment of disciplinary action...
    Let alone how this would follow him for the rest of his life anytime a perspective employer calls his previous ones, as we all know HR just reads from their files when they call.
    By law, previous employers cannot comment on specifics like that, only whether or not they'd hire you again.

    The ignorance of employment practices here is staggering.

  • Tired (unregistered)

    The proper response would be to sign the form, become critical to as many projects as possible while looking for another job and then give your two weeks notice and be as little help as you can get away with for those two weeks. A little passive aggressive but it about all you can do.

  • WhiskeyJack (cs)

    Yeah, those of you who have mortgages and families and careers to protect realize that it's far wiser to pick your battles... the rest of you ("I'd rip the paper up, and let them fire me, dammit!") are either grandstanding or at a point in life where it really doesn't matter if and where you're working -- enjoy that while it lasts.

    At a previous job I actually did set up a "webcam at work" where I had a camera in my cubicle streaming images to my personal website. How times have changed... if I tried that today I would surely be fired on the spot for breaching company security.

  • Nether (unregistered) in reply to OldMan
    OldMan:
    inhibeo:
    His employer could sue him and WIN with just the one piece of paper...
    Unless that piece of paper wasn't an admission of guilt, but an acknowledgment of disciplinary action...
    Let alone how this would follow him for the rest of his life anytime a perspective employer calls his previous ones, as we all know HR just reads from their files when they call.
    By law, previous employers cannot comment on specifics like that, only whether or not they'd hire you again.

    The ignorance of employment practices here is staggering.

    On the internet, everyone is an expert.

    For instance, did you know that in real life I am a doctor, a lawyer, a physicist, AND a cowboy? Go ahead, ask me anything and be astounded at the answers I can provide! My expertise knows no bounds!

  • FredSaw (cs) in reply to NaN
    NaN:
    Why would anyone with an ounce of common sense agree to that?
    Because the kids keep getting hungry on average three times a day?
  • Frank Butcher (unregistered) in reply to Jay
    Jay:
    Personally, as someone who enjoys having a roof over my head and food to eat, it would take an awful lot for me to quit a job without having another job lined up. Maybe those of you who are still living in your parents' basement and just use your paycheck to buy video games can get all high and mighty on standing your ground and all.
    Spot on. The number of pompous self important windbags on this site has been going through the roof lately. If i see one more post along the lines of "if they asked me to write a string compare function during an interview i would tell them to stuff their job! How DARE they ask such a thing from ME!!!!" i think i might throw up on my keyboard.
  • Sanity (unregistered) in reply to OldMan
    OldMan:
    Maybe his (unspoken) options were "Sign this or get scapegoated and fired," and he values his job more than some miguided sense of "principles."

    I don't know, I'm not sure I'd continue to value my job so much if it was at a company that can blame me for something PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

    I can understand having mouths to feed, and bills to pay. But it really does seem like the perfect opportunity to find out if there are companies out there who have a basic understanding of concepts like bandwidth.

  • Stevenovitch (cs)

    I can't wait for one of you jokers to actually take the "rip the paper up and sue them for false termination!!!11one!!1" route. Please get back to us when the crushing reality of lawyer's fees makes you look like the ass that you are. (hint: they aren't cheap.)

    The only reason I wouldn't have signed the paper was if it was an express admission of guilt, because I'd be worried about my legal liabilities and even then I wouldn't rip up the form, I'd tell my boss that I'd need to talk to a lawyer first...

  • DC (unregistered) in reply to pitchingchris
    pitchingchris:
    I think word got around he was working from home and almost everybody at work was looking at his webcam. That being said, the only way they would have found out about it was through the boss who Cam was talking to. So its back to the old boss covering his *ss again and letting his employee take the fall.

    Did you get the "My upstream connection is capped at 360 kbps. There's literally no physical way that anything I did from my house could even make a dent in our massive T3 lines" part?

  • Grovesy (cs) in reply to Nether
    Nether:

    On the internet, everyone is an expert.

    For instance, did you know that in real life I am a doctor, a lawyer, a physicist, AND a cowboy? Go ahead, ask me anything and be astounded at the answers I can provide! My expertise knows no bounds!

    Could velociraptors really open doors? and do you think they would be able to pick locks?

  • Cam S. (unregistered)

    Okay, let me 'splain.

    Everyone is correct, it was an absurd accusation. My manager was aware of this. However, the manager over the networking team had a bit more, shall we say, pull with the upper managers, and he was absolutely convinced he was right.

    Why didn't I refuse to sign or walk? Because I actually liked that job. I liked it quite a bit. I stayed for another four years after that for a total of seven years. By the time I left, I was the lead online banking developer.

    Stupid as it was, I learned a valuable lesson about corporate politics that day, and it helped to embolden me. From then on, I wasn't afraid to truly speak my mind or do what I thought was right, because I'd been written up before, and I lived through it. :)

  • curtmack (cs) in reply to inhibeo
    inhibeo:
    The real WTF is he signed that document!!! I'd have riped that document in half, he won't be working there much longer if they think he lost them money. PLUS if he DID sign it, he is admitting guilt to causing a DoS attach!!! His employer could sue him and WIN with just the one piece of paper...

    Let alone how this would follow him for the rest of his life anytime a perspective employer calls his previous ones, as we all know HR just reads from their files when they call.

    If he didn't sign and they fired him (for that reason) he could sue them for false termination when they couldn't prove in court he was the cause of the problem.

    The only way they could let him go for not signing it, is if he wasn't allowed to work from home. So they fire him for not showing up. The then if he sue them, demands email records they better not have said they should let him go for the network issues INSTEAD of not showing up to work.

    Yeah, he could totally sue them for false termination. Spending a long time (possibly months) in court battling a company which has access to much better lawyers. Without pay, because you can't collect unemployment if you're fired for cause, and you can't get a job because you have to be present at court.

    Not to mention the fact that the plaintiff has to pay the court costs, unless the defendant does as part of the settlement, which is common - if the employee wins. Pop quiz: Big GOVERNMENT corporation (yes, banks are government corporations) with highly paid lawers versus Joe Schmoe with Stan's Rent-A-Legal-Counsel. WHO WILL WIN?! Courts aren't ideal. No matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, there is a possibility that the developer would lose anyway, have to pay for the cost of court, plus all the bills he's accumulated during that time.

    Oh, and if he wins? He gets a letter of apology and a revised employment history. Usually some reimbursement for the weeks of lost pay, but probably not enough. What, did you think that suing a company magically makes everything better and he'd have his job back? Moron.

    Or, he can keep his job, survive unscathed, career intact, and keep working at a place where obviously he is respected by his peers (if his immediate boss argued with higher management for him). Since there was no actual disciplinary action (or else it would've been mentioned in the story), signing the disciplinary action report just means that the signer acknowledges the fact that discipline has been taken. It's like getting a warning from a cop. Big whoop.

  • Vlad (unregistered)

    This is a sad story... things like this happen all the time, and somehow whoever is lying is not paying, but anybody who looks or behaves differently is treated as an enemy.

  • OldMan (unregistered) in reply to Sanity
    Sanity:
    I don't know, I'm not sure I'd continue to value my job so much if it was at a company that can blame me for something PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

    I can understand having mouths to feed, and bills to pay. But it really does seem like the perfect opportunity to find out if there are companies out there who have a basic understanding of concepts like bandwidth.

    Good luck finding a job where every boss and manager is perfect and has perfect knowledge of technology.

    If you're happy with what you're doing, getting paid well, and enjoy your coworkers and immediate managers, then who cares that someone above you is a drooling moron? Be happy with what you have, and realize that at every job, unless you're on top, you're probably going to have someone above you that you feel is an idiot.

  • Yoooder (cs) in reply to anonymous

    When I was a tech at my school I'd constantly tie up all bandwidth by working on doing windows updates to 30+ machines at one (no budget/motivation for a cache/WSUS server). I was actually told when reloading labs during school hours to work on no more than 2 machines at once; which I suppose makes sense when you consider that I wasn't making much and that they contracted nearly all their server/service installs for way too much $$$.

    I also took down the entire network when I added an uplink cable to the front of a switch that looked to be off the network, when in fact it had a dedicated uplink port (scsi-like) on the back that was wired in. I'm actually not entirely sure just what went down technically to cause the issue, as the switch wasn't part of the backbone and was only 10/100 when we had a fibre connection tying the 3 buildings together.

  • Anon Fred (unregistered) in reply to cristoir
    cristoir:
    I'd love to see how many of the people here, who are so outraged that Cam did not get himself fired over a disciplinary record, would have done anything different in his shoes.

    Is it outside the realm of possibility that maybe Cam had other responsibilities, like a family to support?

    Nah, sure what sense would that make - NERD RAGE will put food on the table!

    I love you.

  • FredSaw (cs) in reply to Nether
    Nether:
    For instance, did you know that in real life I am a doctor, a lawyer, a physicist, AND a cowboy? Go ahead, ask me anything and be astounded at the answers I can provide! My expertise knows no bounds!
    What can you tell us about the 8th dimension?
  • Anon Fred (unregistered) in reply to OldMan
    OldMan:
    By law, previous employers cannot comment on specifics like that, only whether or not they'd hire you again.

    The ignorance of employment practices here is staggering.

    Irony!

    Can you show us "the law" that says employers cannot speak to whatever they want?

  • FredSaw (cs) in reply to inhibeo
    inhibeo:
    I'd have riped that document in half
    Sounds like it was already ripe by the time he saw it.
  • kingjoebob (unregistered) in reply to Cam S.
    Cam S.:
    Okay, let me 'splain.

    Everyone is correct, it was an absurd accusation. My manager was aware of this. However, the manager over the networking team had a bit more, shall we say, pull with the upper managers, and he was absolutely convinced he was right.

    Why didn't I refuse to sign or walk? Because I actually liked that job. I liked it quite a bit. I stayed for another four years after that for a total of seven years. By the time I left, I was the lead online banking developer.

    Stupid as it was, I learned a valuable lesson about corporate politics that day, and it helped to embolden me. From then on, I wasn't afraid to truly speak my mind or do what I thought was right, because I'd been written up before, and I lived through it. :)

    That is a valuable lesson.

    Learning how the politics in your cooperation or office work is probably one of the hardest things to learn, but is a must for everyone in that setting.

    Another one for those of you who would fight is: making Upper Management look like morons is usually not good for your career. You may win that battle but you will lose the war, as you will be fired for the very next offense you commit no matter how minor.

    The only time you get to shove it in management's face is when you have already given notice and received confirmation from HR. And even then it is not the wisest of actions. Burning bridges usually never is....

  • Salami (cs) in reply to WhiskeyJack
    WhiskeyJack:
    Yeah, those of you who have mortgages and families and careers to protect realize that it's far wiser to pick your battles... the rest of you ("I'd rip the paper up, and let them fire me, dammit!") are either grandstanding or at a point in life where it really doesn't matter if and where you're working -- enjoy that while it lasts.

    The third option is that they are used to finding new jobs. I worked with a guy who had been with 12 companies in 10 years and even with his 3 small children he'd quit on the spot because he knew he'd always be able to find a job quickly.

  • OldMan (unregistered) in reply to Anon Fred
    Comment held for moderation.
  • NaN (cs) in reply to Cam S.
    Cam S.:
    I wasn't afraid to truly speak my mind or do what I thought was right, because I'd been written up before, and I lived through it. :)

    Yes, you truly show yourself as someone who spoke their mind.

    I'm not amongst the people that would have tore up the contract. I merely would not have signed it.

  • Scott (unregistered) in reply to Salami

    Nice spot to be in. Was the guy a self-employed contractor on a lot of short-term contracts? I can tell you that as an employer I would be pretty reluctant to hire somebody to a full-time position that appears to wear out his welcome that quickly and that often.

  • valerion (cs)

    Providing an income to pay my mortgage and feed my kids is my #1 priority. Everything else comes a distant second. If signing something I didn't agree with meant I could carry on working and getting paid, I'd probably have to sign it. I wouldn't like it, but I'm not about to let my moral high ground put my family under pointless strain.

    If the atmosphere of the place changed afterwards then it's time to move on with the cushion of your current job still there.

  • rich (unregistered)

    Why would you wait to get fired? The instant they present you with something like this you have to walk away - at least you do if you have any self-respect. This is just pathetic.

  • Talkie Toaster (unregistered) in reply to Nether
    Nether:
    Go ahead, ask me anything and be astounded at the answers I can provide! My expertise knows no bounds!

    Would you like some toast?

  • Anon Fred (unregistered) in reply to OldMan
    Comment held for moderation.

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