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Bad IT People Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2011 12:28 AM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Bad IT People






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Post #1071756
Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2011 12:35 AM


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I agree that it happens more than you hear about. I have seen it happen a couple of times - it is a pretty ugly thing to witness or even hear about second-hand.



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Post #1071759
Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2011 6:25 AM


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Good editorial Steve, but a point not mentioned...

I have had two major incidents in my career where people I hired turned out to be, well, criminals. In one case a fellow I hired who seemed a decent great worker, turned out to be addicted to oxycontin and heroin, and he stole from the company and fellow employees to feed his habit. In another case, I had an employee who was stealing data and selling it to marketing companies.

What enrages me even to this day, is that after we pressed charges in both cases (and both these chaps were arrested, one winding up in prison for a year), we were NOT allowed to mention any of this in any reference requests.

I can remember one reference phone call for the guy who had the addiction problem... The lady asked me "good worker", and I answered "Yes, great". And then other questions followed like that. The guy was talented after all... But then came, "would you hire this worker again?" and I answered "NO!". She said "Why?" - and I said I cannot divulge that information.

This just seems totally stupid to me - if someone has the ilk to commit crimes, that should be mentioned. But our lawyers said no, you cant do that. Really? As it turned out with the addict, when I checked his references, they were all stellar, but we later came to find out he had done the same stealing at other companies - no one ever mentioning it. They too were not allowed to do so.

To me, if you have any kind of criminal 'bent' you don't belong in any decent workplace and people should be allowed to say so. To tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth - but Human Resource Directors tell me time and time again, no, you cant do that. Everyone deserves a second chance.

But when the second chance is actually the third, fourth, fifth, tenth, (who knows) chance... Whats the point?

Yes, all of us at some time are going to run into people with a non-functioning moral compass - but why is it that we as employers, managers, and directors have to pretend, in fact lie by omission, that these people are something they are not - honest! To me, that stupidity just perpetuates a very big problem.


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Post #1071871
Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2011 6:41 AM
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@blandry

I've run into the same thing: when checking references on what appeared to be a very good candidate, I asked, "would you hire them again?" and they said no. I pressed for details and they referred me to the legal department. The person there just read a bland statement confirming the dates of employment and the position but nothing else. Needless to say, I didn't make an offer to the person.

I think asking questions like "would you hire them again?" or "why the person left your firm?" will often uncover important information. Even if the person is not supposed to give you details, sometimes if you ask in the right way they'll be more forthcoming. And even if they won't, you can sometimes read between the lines. After all, you can never be completely sure about a candidate and if you uncover some red flags then that is probably a reason to consider someone else.
Post #1071878
Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2011 6:52 AM


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Had a co-worker who used his admin rights to break into e-mail accounts of senior management personnel. I found out about it after he'd been fired for it.

I used to work for a bookstore. A few months after I left, I found out from a former co-worker that the regional manager had fired the whole store's management team, and they had retaliated by using a loophole in company policy to sell every book in the store to the employees they liked for 1 cent. Not 1 cent per book, 1 cent for the whole contents of the store. Apparently it was one huge cash-register receipt.

Another place I worked, an employee stole another employee's credit cards out of her purse, used them to purchase pharmaceuticals online, and set the front desk of the company as the delivery address (more than slightly dumb). Upon further investigation, the managers there found out that the reason she'd been on the job market is because she had been fired from a local school district for abusing the children, and was actually pending trial on criminal charges related to that. Background checks didn't show this, because she hadn't been tried yet (innocent till proven guilty and all that).

I have a friend who once arrived to work to find sheriffs manning the doors. They wouldn't let anyone take anything from their desks unless they could reasonably prove it really was their personal property. Turned out some of the business partners had been embezzling funds, and some employees had benefited from this in terms of "personal property paid for by the company". The business was shut down and people were prosecuted.

So, yeah, there are ethics issues out there. Keep you own nose clean, help others to do so, report criminal stuff, and try to keep from getting burned. If you want to do more, you can, but it's not pretty.


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Post #1071886
Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2011 7:54 AM
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This is a huge problem.

A while back there was a discussion of police officers who were fired/convinced to leave for abusive conduct who promptly became officers in other towns becasue the terms of dismissal or fear of lawsuits prevented their misdeeds from being shared with the other forces.

On the other side there is the valid concern that a vicious or vindictive boss may unfairly poison the well for someone who leaves (even legitimately) under controversial circumstances.


...

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Post #1071939
Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2011 7:56 AM
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Stories like these are the reson I laugh nervously and update my resume' anytime I am somewhere that executives or higher start to talk about the business limitations of SOX, Sigma 6, and other mandated security policies.

In the end when you hear that, what you are really hearing is the drone of someone trying to drum in the next ENRON or Author Anderson.

I hear everyday from employees about how they need full unlogged access to production to resolve an issue. When I ask if they have tried to reproduce the issue in QA or Dev or UAT environment (yes we have 3 mirrors of production) the answer is always a meek no. Makes you wonder what they really wanted.



Post #1071940
Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2011 8:48 AM
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What about when management forces or tries to force you to do something that you know is wrong? Such as giving them data that's private, but they do not want to go through the proper channels to get access?

I realize the easy answer is "Tell them NO" - but when it's management, especially upper management, it's not easy to just say no, unless you have another job lined up.
Post #1071992
Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2011 9:05 AM
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Dizzy Desi (3/2/2011)
What about when management forces or tries to force you to do something that you know is wrong? Such as giving them data that's private, but they do not want to go through the proper channels to get access?

I realize the easy answer is "Tell them NO" - but when it's management, especially upper management, it's not easy to just say no, unless you have another job lined up.


That's got to be tough, though getting fired is still better than getting arrested. If you have a legal dept, one might go there first.

[Fortunately my employer has an anonymous hotline where any employee can report any ethical or legal problem-- hopefully more companies will do this]


...

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Post #1072003
Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2011 9:10 AM
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SanDroid (3/2/2011)
Stories like these are the reson I laugh nervously and update my resume' anytime I am somewhere that executives or higher start to talk about the business limitations of SOX, Sigma 6, and other mandated security policies.

In the end when you hear that, what you are really hearing is the drone of someone trying to drum in the next ENRON or Author Anderson.

I hear everyday from employees about how they need full unlogged access to production to resolve an issue. When I ask if they have tried to reproduce the issue in QA or Dev or UAT environment (yes we have 3 mirrors of production) the answer is always a meek no. Makes you wonder what they really wanted.





The joy of being a contractor

The above is one of the reasons I "pushed" one of my previous companies to go to SQL 2008 (consolidated) environment. I put the auditing without most people knowing about it

I worked for an insurance company for 5 months, they have failed their SOX audit for 3 years running on the same thing. Every person in the company (by default) is a domain admin and therefore automatically a SQL admin (in most systems). I changed a few systems, got moaned at, but refused to put the permissions back. Turns out people were logging into the DB with ACCESS, EXCEL, etc to get the data to manipulate (and whatever else...).

However I do classify myself as quite lucky... as I have NEVER had to deal with anything like these stories in 13 years of being in IT. I have had to deal with people drunk while working remotely, people not quite up to the tasks that they had on their CVs, but nothing like this.
Post #1072007
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