• dc (unregistered) in reply to OldMan

    i'm going to go middle ground on this. i disagree and agree with both of these points.

    firstly, "NaN", it's highly immature to make a blanket statement that he was weak and caved. although it is possible that was the situation, your shortsightedness is such that it hardly warrants a response. however, "oldman" did respond and thus i'm responding to that response!

    it's also possible that the "at will" scenario applies. it depends on who you know and how well valued you are at your company, just as it depends on who "they" (whoever is pointing their finger at you) know.

    that said, being the type of person i am, i very likely would not have signed. i would have:

    1. written out a document with pretty pictures and graphs (for those who aren't technically savvy) with a detailed explanation of what is possible and what is not in this bandwidth/DoS fiasco with citations pointing to multiple credible sources. this would be copied to HR, my manager, and whoever else needed to know. let whoever is pointing their finger at you try to refute it.
    2. if above was not enough or was ignored and i got fired for it? lawsuit for wrongful termination using same document to win the suit.

    that being said, there are situations where money is a problem - lawsuits take time and if you don't have the money or the job market to pick up a new job in that time, it's not realistic to do anything but sign the bs write-up and start actively looking for a new job. now you might get stuck between a rock and a hard place if someone from the prospective job calls the wrong person at the current job and finds out about this bs, though.

    i'm obviously not this person, though. he says he signed the write-up because he liked his job. that's impossible in my mind. if i were put in a bs situation like that (and it didn't end with an apology to me), i would not, could not like my job regardless of other components.

  • Ryan Smith (unregistered) in reply to Cam S.

    I find write-ups are mainly a way for the corporation to hand off liability just in case they get sued later on.

    I was once written up for a similar situation, and everyone agreed that the writeup was just a prop in case of future litigation.

  • Jon (unregistered) in reply to KenW
    As Cam didn't post the specific content of the reprimand, you don't know what it said, and therefore can't offer any advice about what he should or shouldn't have done.

    For all we know, it could have said "Cam intentionally degraded our network performance to the point of impacting our ability to do business, and is hereby informed that he will be liable for financial damages if it happens again." That's pretty specific about it being his fault, isn't it? And without additional knowledge about what it actually said, could in fact be representative of the content.

    Somewhere on page 2, he said, "Use of company computer equipment (network) for non work related purposes."

  • Jay (unregistered) in reply to SuperousOxide

    Wow, this thread is either popular or beaten to death, depending on how you look at it.

    Pointing out that you said "it is illegal" when the truth is "it is against company policy in most cases" is not pedantry. It is pointing out that you don't really know what is going on, so taking advice from you is foolish.

    Yes, the original poster is incorrect in saying it is illegal. It is not against the law, it just makes you liable to be sued. That is, it is not a crime; it is a tort. So it's not just a matter of "company policy" either, except to the extent that the company adopts policies to avoid being sued. I presume the company adopts policies against breaking the law, too.

    While the original post was technically inaccurate -- whether from ignorance of the difference between a crime and a tort on the part of the poster or whether it was just poor wording -- his essential point is correct: Anything a company says about you beyond the coldly factual could be construed as slander by a court and get them into legal trouble.

  • Jay (unregistered) in reply to CatsAlmighty
    There is a solution to this problem: Don't sign the paper, get fired and sue for wrongful termination (easily proven in this case). ...

    What makes you think it would be "easily proven"? Have you ever actually been to court?

    A true story: Once when I was called for jury duty, we were going through the process where the lawyers question the prospective jurors to decide who will actually be on the jury. It quickly became apparent that the defense was going to argue that some prescription medication that the defendent was using messed up his head enough that he didn't know what he was doing. So they asked each juror if he/she had any experience with this particular medication or knew anything about it. Only one did -- a woman who was a nurse. SO SHE WAS EXCLUDED FROM THE JURY! Only people who were completely ignorant of the relevant subject are allowed to be on a jury.

    I understand that the reasoning here is that someone who knows just a little about the subject could mislead himself and other members of the jury. Like, suppose a member of the jury used this medication and had an unusual reaction, one way or the other. He tells the other jurors about this, they believe him, and rule on that basis. But the juror's personal experience is never presented as evidence in court, so the other side has no opportunity to present rebutting evidence. That would be unfair.

    But then what happens? I was excluded from the jury for other reasons and that case wasn't important enough for me to watch for news about it, so I don't know what happened. But it's easy to guess: The defense presented "expert witnesses" who testified that this drug really messes up someone's head. The prosecution brought in "expert witnesses" who said that this is ridiculous and this drug has no more effect on your mental state than an aspirin. Then the jury decided which experts sounded more convincing.

    I would think that if the key point in contention was the effect on one's head of a particular drug, the best jury would be one composed of doctors and nurses who had used the drug. But no, in the American system, the stated goal is to pick a jury made up of the people who are the most incompetent we can find, so that they will not be "biased" by their prior knowledge.

    You think it's tough explaining how the latest system you deployed works to your users? At least they were chosen as people that the company thought were capable of learning. Imagine if your users were chosen only from those who had gotten the LOWEST grades on a computer test. That's the people you have to explain bandwidth and caching and load balancing to. Good luck.

  • (cs) in reply to Cam S.

    I only hope that the disciplinary form also had a place for you to write your counter claims, so by signing it you can actually sign something true.

  • s. (unregistered) in reply to anonymous

    ...I once saturated a whole city's academic network (some 5 universities and many more) with something like a couple of 56K modems.

    Trick: Send out a LOT of requests to websites that host BIG files.

    Outgoing HTTP request: a kilobyte or so. Incoming response: MTU (64K?) per packet, all packets that didn't reach the destination get resent until timeout occurs.

    Of course my downstream can't nearly handle the incoming traffic from the routers on fast connection with the world, so my reply packets stuff the servers' queues awaiting being served to me. As they time-out my requests to have them re-sent go out just fine (outgoing queues are empty).

    Result: If you can't stuff the big pipe directly because you're connected to it through small pipe, pull something very big from the other end of the big pipe and it will get stuck in the big pipe where it connects to your small pipe.

  • Anon Fred (unregistered) in reply to s.
    Trick: Send out a LOT of requests to websites that host BIG files.

    Outgoing HTTP request: a kilobyte or so. Incoming response: MTU (64K?) per packet, all packets that didn't reach the destination get resent until timeout occurs.

    Gotta love web caches!

  • (cs) in reply to Cam S.
    Cam S.:

    Okay, why am I the first to point out the irony that the poor soul's name is CAM and he was wrongly nailed by his webCAM?

  • Jon (unregistered) in reply to Pecos Bill
    Pecos Bill:
    Okay, why am I the first to point out the irony that the poor soul's name is CAM and he was wrongly nailed by his webCAM?
    I assumed his name was changed for anonymity.
  • (cs) in reply to FredSaw
    1. Get scapegoated. 2. ... 3. PROFIT!
    I hope you're roffling with me and not at me.
  • Everyman (unregistered) in reply to Cam S.


    Good for you. I think you made a good call in a tight situation.

  • (cs) in reply to KenW

    I understand why Cam made the decision that he made, but I'd just like to point out that what the network engineer and the 'apparat' did in blaming Cam for the problems was libel (in the form of the written disciplinary action). Since the statements were Defamation per se, he doesn't even have to prove any damages or actual defamation. The company would have to prove that the statements were actually true in order to successfully defend themselves.

    It's quite obvious YANAL. If you were, you wouldn't have posted such an irresponsible, erroneous, and plain stupid statement without any knowledge whatsoever of the content of the "written disciplinary action".

    Anyone with any brain at all would know that without having at least some verbatim content from the reprimand you can't make a judgement that it was libelous.

    Please go back to the playground, and let the smart grownups here talk in peace.

    OK, slander then ... either way it's DEFAMATION PER SE. I made the wild assumption that the write-up stated the presumed facts and didn't merely say "Bad Cam! No Mountain Dew for a week!"

    From the OP:

    In the troubleshooting process, the lead network engineer caught wind that Cam had been "streaming live video" over the network, and was going to tell! He complained loudly to Ron that Cam had caused the issues and lost some revenues for the bank in the process.

    I'm sorry for making such an obvious mistake.

    On the plus side, tomorrow I'll feel better having corrected myself. KenW always be an A-HOLE!

  • nos (unregistered)

    Well - imy dying to know ! What was the actual reason for the troubles ?

  • (cs) in reply to 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.

    More NERD RAGE

  • (cs) in reply to FredSaw
    This isn't the Army or a fucking pirate ship!
    * Trying to picture one pirate ship humping another *
    I refer you to the classic British animation series, "Captain Pugwash." If that didn't feature an example of one pirate ship humping another, then I'm sure it wasn't for want of trying.
  • (cs)

    At some point, you have to decide to stand up for yourself. Sure, in this particular case, it worked out eventually in that he got promoted. However, it just as easily could have been a disaster with someone using that document as leverage to keep him at a low rate of pay or preventing him from getting promoted or even putting him first in line for firings if the company goes through a downsizing.

    Since I do not know the company politics, the financial situation of the webcam guy or the exact text of the document, I cannot say exactly what I would have done. If the document was no more than a declaration that you were disciplined and assigned no fault, then sign it and move on. However, if it assigns fault to you for the network outage that is entirely different. One solution would have been to rewrite the document so that it states you were being disciplined for a network failure that clearly could not have been caused by you. Another would be to bring in HR and tell them that this is libel and if the company continues you will contact the Dept of Labor and have them mediate.

    I would at least want to confront the actual person demanding disciplinary document. Who made the call to write me up and based on what information? However, it all depends on what exactly is said in what they want you to sign.

  • (cs) in reply to ChiefCrazyTalk
    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.

    If the employer disputes you collecting unemployment don't they have to prove their reason for firing you was legitimate? I think the assumption in that post was that either A) they'd cave in or B) they'd lose.

  • (cs) in reply to Cam S.
    Cam S.:
    If memory serves, it was "Use of company computer equipment (network) for non work related purposes."

    That said, as has been pointed out by another commenter, it was my server, my webcam, my connection. The other folks on my team were just browsing to my site. The accusation got trumped up quite a bit by way of the network guy's "streaming live video" hyperbole.

    And, for that matter, demonstrating to co-workers that you are in fact working is not necessarily "non work related purposes"

  • (cs) in reply to KenW
    Then the REAL WTF is the concept of "insubordination". This isn't the Army or a fucking pirate ship!

    Insubordination has nothing to do with the military or pirates. It simply means you failed to show the proper respect to someone in a position of authority, and/or refused to follow an instruction from that person. Try a dictionary.

    The idea of "failing to show the proper respect" being something that one can or should actually be disciplined for - per se, without any other offense along with it - is something that some people think ought to only apply in the military and/or on pirate ships.

  • Carra (unregistered) in reply to FredSaw
    Why would anyone with an ounce of common sense agree to that?

    That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps

  • anon (unregistered) in reply to Frank Butcher
    Frank Butcher:
    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.

    No corner of the internet is safe from the summer effect.

  • bpb (unregistered)

    I can't believe that people would get their back up about this. If you are displeased about the company that you work for, plan your exit strategy and on the exit interview never let your feelings known..theres no point, all it will do is burn a bridge that you may need later. The advantage is that you will not hurt your bootom line; investments are continuing, holidays don't get canceled etc. There are some battles not worth fighting - you usually don't win.

  • John Aines (unregistered) in reply to OldMan
    miguided sense of "principles."
    Certainly the words of a mature man!


  • tarek (unregistered) in reply to Justice
    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!

  • john (unregistered) in reply to OldMan

    pussy. work for assholes and you get assholed.

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