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Letting People Go Securely Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 9:49 AM
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I am in favor of the middle road for this. The employee should be expected to work out their two weeks, but they should have their privileges revoked immediately. Their last two weeks should be spent documenting and making sure that the employees that will be replacing them know how to do the job. Having them around to ask when something doesn't work right is priceless.
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Post #676669
Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 10:23 AM


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Sam Iam (3/16/2009)
59% of people leaving steal data? I find that surprisingly high. How are they defining 'steal data'? On the other hand, what ever happened to ethics in the workplace? (I can already hear people laughing as they read this)


In my experience, the three most common forms of data stolen by people in our field leaving are:

1) Your own code from work
2) Your work phone contacts
3) Your own Email contacts list

What people easily forget is that all of these things are (almost always) your employer's property and NOT yours.


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Post #676695
Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 10:45 AM
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I've seen a bunch of different ways to handle this. Some people are let go immediately and paid. Others (myself included) were asked to stay on and then some. It depends on the people involved and I think a blanket policy is a poor choice. Some should be escorted out right away. Others should stay and help with a transition, though perhaps with reduced rights.

As for stealing data - I'd love to know how they define data. Is it a list of contacts, some general scripts, and a couple of documents/templates? For what purpose was it taken? In some cases, it's part of a set of "tools" that you may use regularly and would have to re-create elsewhere. Sometimes it's just a set of docs that you want to be able to look at because you invested yourself heavily. If there's no malicious intent, I don't see too much of an issue and (as noted elsewhere in this conversation) it's probably already been copied beforehand in any case. Now if you're taking a contact list because you intend to use that to take business from your former employer or you take something that is actually a piece of code that gives them a decided advantage - that's a different story and I can see that being prosecuted if used.

I'll admit to keeping a copy of some of the scripts I worked on and I'll also admit that it was pretty pointless for me to do so. The only thing they did was take up space on my machine (excepting the couple of times that my prior workplace called and asked for assistance that I was willing to provide :) ). Outside of that, I really don't want to reference old code, documents, procedures, etc from a prior job.

I agree that an immediate escort off of the premises is generally more of a punishment to existing workers than the one leaving, but not all see it that way. I think in once case, someone gave notice before getting the quarterly bonus check and was escorted out immediately. He eventually got the bonus check that he actually deserved, but I don't think he was expecting to leave so soon. We definitely learned from that - wait until _after_ getting your bonus check to turn in your resignation. :D



Post #676715
Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 11:14 AM


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I've had valuable employees in previous lives who were upset that they didn't get asked to leave immediately when they turned in their two weeks' notice. In a couple cases, worthless employees had been "encouraged" to move on and were immediately exited upon giving notice... but the valuable employees who are moving on felt abused because they didn't get a two week vacation like the slackers. Whether I should've or not, I felt bad about not treating them the same.
Post #676742
Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 11:27 AM


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David Reed (3/16/2009)
I've had valuable employees in previous lives who were upset that they didn't get asked to leave immediately when they turned in their two weeks' notice. In a couple cases, worthless employees had been "encouraged" to move on and were immediately exited upon giving notice... but the valuable employees who are moving on felt abused because they didn't get a two week vacation like the slackers. Whether I should've or not, I felt bad about not treating them the same.

This is one of the costs of being a valuable employee.

The compensation for being a valuable employee is supposed to be, well, that they are better compensated for it. If you've done that, then you have nothing to feel bad about. If you haven't done that, then that's something much worse to feel bad about.


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Post #676762
Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 11:32 AM


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wow, I've never expected a vacation for turning in notice. I'm surprised that valued employees would feel that way. Changes my definition of "valued"






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Post #676772
Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 11:52 AM


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My last two jobs:

First one: One Friday afternoon, everyone in the building was told to pack up their desks and go home, and was told we'd be called if we should come in Monday. Of course, nobody was called. No two-week notice there, of course.

Second one: I gave my two-week notice, worked both weeks, turned over the job, and am still on good terms with the company. Went over there the other day (my wife still works there) to visit with some folks, and everyone was glad to see me, and I to see them. (The owner walked right past me in the hall, nodded hello, did a double-take and got all excited about seeing me. He was so used to seeing me every day that, when he saw me again, he momentarily forgot that he hadn't seen me in two months! Was pretty funny, even to him.)

Prior to collapsing under bad management and worse marketing, the first company didn't really have a consistent policy. Some people were asked to do a full two weeks, some were escorted to their desk to collect up their stuff under supervision, at least one was met at the door by police (that's a different situation), one was asked to stay until they actually started their next job. And then, of course, there were the people who should have been asked to resign but weren't, but that's also another story.


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Post #676794
Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 12:30 PM
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Back in the early 1990s I got made redundant on my birthday. Of course they waited until after lunch when I had bought the cakes that employees are supposed to bring for their colleagues on such a day!

At that time the general policy was to get rid of people on a Monday morning or Friday afternoon as people are not in full work and thought mode.

Those of us who whose contracts said one months notice were paid in lieu of notice and escorted off the premises.

It was quick, decisive and over and done with.

Contrast that with today where in the UK the labour laws require written notification that your job is at risk, a 30 day consultation period and then confirmation of your dismissal.

Because you have to make positions redundant and not people everyone at your grade in your position has to be put at risk.

Its a slow protracted death that is utterly demoralising. I know the process exists to ensure that all employees are treated fairly but it isn't nice for them or there surviving colleagues.

If people know that certain postions are being reduced it can be a bit unhealthy if 5 people are put at risk but 2 positions are definitely going to go.

It's not a nice experience.

The bit about stealing data doesn't surprise me at all, even if it is unintentional. A USB key can hold gigabytes of information. There are a few times when I've used my personal USB key to transport company data legitimately but forgot to clear it off later.

There are also times when I've used my own personal time and equipment to meet a tight deadline so the source code for a project is on my own PC.

I don't have any neffarious reason behind holding onto such data. If Adventureworks was more realistic I would probably just delete it off.


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Post #676838
Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 3:12 PM
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I think someone above nailed it. 'Stolen Data' probably includes emails, contacts, coding, etc.

I always have my email (and therefor my contacts) backup up at home, especially now that I can just connect my Outlook at home to my Exchange here at work.
The only contacts\emails I would use would be the ones for my personal contacts and vendors\contractors I wanted to stay in touch with, etc.

I do also periodically back up all my own coding and ship it home. Since I am often coding from home, it makes business sense while I am at @CurrentJob, and yes, I'd likely carry most of it with me to a new job to use as a reference, if nothing else.
Obviously, I would have to comb through it and recode it to match the new company's needs, and I would certainly make sure no actual data from the previous job got carried over.

If I worked for a company that was reselling my code, that would be a big 'No No', but since the company is just using it for the Reports server, etc, I don't feel as if I am taking anything from them.
(Plus, of course, by having backup copies, I can still answer questions for them down the road, or help whoever replaces me do troubleshooting)

I don't get companies that kick an I.T. type out as soon as they turn in their notice. As plenty of other have said, we know it will happen, and will just take whatever steps we need to take ahead of time. All it does is hurt the company by forcing sudden, unplanned loss of resources for whoever is still around.

At my current job, two weeks wouldn't even be enough notice, really. Likely, I will give them more along the lines of 2 months notice, to give them time to replace me and let me validate\train the new person.
Post #676976
Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 3:37 PM


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doohickeyjones (3/16/2009)
I always have my email (and therefor my contacts) backup up at home, especially now that I can just connect my Outlook at home to my Exchange here at work.
The only contacts\emails I would use would be the ones for my personal contacts and vendors\contractors I wanted to stay in touch with, etc.

Nonetheless, 95% of the people reading this, these are all property of your employer/client.

I do also periodically back up all my own coding and ship it home. Since I am often coding from home, it makes business sense while I am at @CurrentJob, and yes, I'd likely carry most of it with me to a new job to use as a reference, if nothing else.
Obviously, I would have to comb through it and recode it to match the new company's needs, and I would certainly make sure no actual data from the previous job got carried over.

If I worked for a company that was reselling my code, that would be a big 'No No', but since the company is just using it for the Reports server, etc, I don't feel as if I am taking anything from them.

No, this is a big "No, no" already. This is NOT your property, it is their property. They are free to let you take it with you if they want to, but it is THEIR call, not yours. This is legally, ethically and morally no different than secretly photocopying all of the business files in your office and taking them home to help you out with your next job.

(Plus, of course, by having backup copies, I can still answer questions for them down the road, or help whoever replaces me do troubleshooting)

Again, legally their decision, and not yours.


-- RBarryYoung, (302)375-0451 blog: MovingSQL.com, Twitter: @RBarryYoung
Proactive Performance Solutions, Inc.
"Performance is our middle name."
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