(Alternative titles: “How your privacy really isn’t that private online” or “I wonder if this will make you paranoid”)
My mouse hovers over a name on a linkedin account. How on earth did he make it this far? I knew his name, and I knew where he worked, and now I know where he lives. I could do a background check. Some would even do some social engineering to find out what happened in last jobs. I’m not much into cold calling. I could check to see who worked with him and use Facebook to make some contacts.
Mike told me that there was a problem with lack of personal responsibility with his boss. When problems occur, he immediately points fingers at everyone else and tries to scapegoat everyone. Moral was down, efficiency was down, a few supervisors already resigned, and Mike himself was showing signs of stress.
Then two weeks ago, Mike told me that for some reason, his immediate boss at Pepsi started to harass him over petty stuff (which I won’t get into details here). Alarm bells went off and I said that it’s likely that they are going to try to fire him. He should talk to one of the higher-ups about it. He didn’t think his boss was that dumb, and I said (to the extent of) “If he’s harassing you over stuff like that, then it’s likely he’s fishing for a reason to fire you, regardless on how well you work.”
People like that have no real logic – like his previous boss was similar but didn’t harass him as much. I think GE didn’t care about that plant as much as Pepsi cares about this one. If GE had been breathing down the neck of his last boss to try to get his numbers up, It’s likely both him and his competent friend would have been fired sooner.
Pepsi on the other hand, was probably breathing down this guy’s neck and he is desperately trying to find scapegoats. Using every means necessary including coercing workers who have a lot to lose to appear as witnesses. Apparently he thinks that firing the very people who could help solve the problems will make the problems go away, somehow.
Like I said, no real logic.
I highlighted the name on the page to do another search. I could find more information. Usually the wife (I knew he was married) has, statistically speaking, a Facebook page. It’s only a matter of using a “people search engine” to find her. It’s likely she doesn’t use her Facebook much but I could trace their friends. I suspect that it would only take me a few hours to go through them.
I move my cursor over to the tab I was on and center clicked. This closed the tab. As tempting as it was, what would I do with that information? The last boss I dug up a lot of info and decided not use it. Why? Because it’s not like me, I guess. I’m not much in destroying people’s lives, How did he end up as number two over more qualified people in the plant? He was previously an IT manager. I didn’t look into it, but it’s likely that he had all kinds of “interesting” information on the people of importance who would suffer greatly if he wasn’t promoted.
What happened to that last guy? Mike’s friend finally quit and he had an exit interview. Let’s just say that soon after that, everyone involved were suddenly looking for an early retirement.
As for this one, you can’t fire competent people and expect everything to go well. After all, they were the ones who kept the plant running. They’re the ones who can solve the problems to make the plant more efficient. This guy will eventually be fired. Unfortunately, not before more people like Mike lose their jobs. There’s another one, Mike said. It’s likely she was fired or suspended as well.
Mike at the moment is “suspended”. Interestingly, This guy didn’t just fire him. It’s likely that he hasn’t coerced enough people to side with him and by suspending Mike he buys himself time to convince the plant director to fire him. At the same time, Mike won’t be able to defend himself, although he does have all the email addresses and the data necessary to make a decent case for him to stay.
It’s not like Mike wants the job back. I’ve never seen him happier, almost relieved. After all, who would want to work for someone who creates more problems than solves then blames you for them.
Unfortunately, things are already tight. He thinks he might already have a job in line, but we won’t find out for a couple of days. Unlike last time, we had about a years worth of savings. This time, we have about a month. Not sure what will happen if this job doesn’t pan out.