We had to let go of someone here at work and it’s pretty amazing how fast one can get fired once they get on someone’s bad side. This, of course, happens all of the time in corporate America. However, in the place where I currently am employed, you have to try real damn hard to get fired. This person rubbed the head hancho the wrong way which started a huge document trail where I pretty much had to seal the coffin with the last nail.
It still amazes me that in this day and age people just do not understand how closely their computer usage is tracked and stored at work. Especially with the subjects of Enron and Worldcom still fairly fresh in our minds, every corporation now has a legal responsibility over the data it keeps. No matter where you work, no matter what you do while you’re at your desk. Every single bit information that passes from your screen to its intended destination is logged and stored for who knows how many years. At this very moment in my network, I have the capability to log on, see where person A is surfing. I can grab a copy of that latest love e-mail message that person B just sent to the guy she is having an affair with. Or I can swipe a copy of that confidential report that person C is about to mail to our competitor. Sick eh? Let me tell you folks, I can probably do the same at your job right now if asked to by higher ups because they need the “proof” to fire someone.
Unfortunately, this person in question had a bad habit of surfing places where they shouldn’t be surfing. Or rather, attempting to surf places they shouldn’t have done on company time (we set up transparent proxies which blocked all of his attempts, yet recorded them). In the past, I discreetly let them know that this was wrong and it was in their best interest to stop, and they did. In the end, though, this is what did them in since they could not stop.
Of course, I could have also gone to the rather salacious 6 month e-mail exchange between them and their significant other’s relative as well, but I didn’t have the heart to make that public. I wound up shredding them after I did the e-mail restores, however they are still archived. This person thought that simply deleting the e-mail would be enough, but no. Most mail servers keep deleted mail for a decent amount of time in case it needs to be recovered. They did not know this fact.
Let me tell you that this is one part of my job that I despise. I don’t like digging for information to be used in this way towards someone I work with. If you happen to do anything that you really do not want others at work finding out about you, trust me, do not do it. If you value your job and you have to pay to put food on the table or place a roof over your head, be very very careful what you do.