Tech & Work

Blackmailed by the CEO

Are you being asked to do pro bono work for company bosses? Take our poll and see how many IT pros share your pain.

Let me begin by saying that I am not being blackmailed by a CEO. I don't even think I exist on the radar of any CEO, much less be the target of his or her felonious behavior. But you might be.

I'm not talking about blackmail in the traditional sense, which usually involves photographs or fingerprints. I'm talking about the casual requests that come from CEOs or other company executives for you to take a look at their home computer or their kid's laptop. It's the kind of request that is, frankly, very difficult to refuse. In that sense, it is a subtle, unspoken form of blackmail.

I'm curious as to how much this really happens in the real world.

I once dated a lawyer, and I can't tell you how many times at parties, someone would corner the guy to get some free legal advice. And these were just casual acquaintances. It makes you wonder how entitled a company executive would feel getting free help from someone for whom he's already paying a salary.

So let's take a simple poll and see what we come up with.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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