General discussion


Sacking an I.T guy

By gflyhalf ·
What is the best way to lay off an I.T guy? I've heard of a guy who was given a notice and within the same day,he had corrupted the database,deleted crucial files and took off within 30mins. Cases are also told of guys who install viruses that are triggered off when they dont log in within a specific period of time....

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Yeah i have heard of such things

by AJ-Ubuntu-User In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

But at the end of the day it depends on the IT pro. Most wouldn't do that.

Collapse -

Most wouldn't do it

by absolutox1 In reply to Yeah i have heard of such ...

I agree, most people would not risk there careers by doing damage before (or after) they are fired. However, I think every company has to give some consideration of the kind of damage that can be done by the guy that does. The one example I remember from years ago, the system admin set up a logic bomb that crashed the server and he had corrupted the backup tapes before he left. The company was a tool die maker that used programs in automated machines to make thousands different items. The company lost millions of dollars because they had to get engineers rewrite the program for each machine, for each item it made. The FBI was able to prove the former employee sabatoged the companies computers and they got a convition, but the company will never recover the lost earnings and market position.

Collapse -

I've heard management concerns about such things

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

not once in 20+ years of working in IT have I witnessed such a thing, nor have any of the people I've worked with ever mentioned it.

If you have upset someone enough for them to want to do you and to accept the consequences (you would have potential legal redress).

Then you revoke their access, give them a chance to pick up their personal effects and escort them straight off the premises and pay their notice period.

Course that means you have good systems in place, and no handover is required.

If they guy got run over by a bus (this is not a solution to your problem ), what knowledge is only in their head?

If you'd be knackered, then you don't have good systems and you might want try for a less acrimonious departure. You've got to weigh the cost of the disruption from losing this knowledge versus the risk of said employee purposely disrupting the systems.

What responsibilities do they have. A system admin with 'secret' knowledge is far more of a potential risk than say a coder. There again I've seen projects overrun by months due to removing a key developer(s).

Always bear in mind we aren't called IT professionals for nothing.

Collapse -

That's my experience as well.

by stress junkie In reply to I've heard management con ...

I spent 15 of my 22 years as a contract (temp) system administrator. I usually started jobs after the regular system administrator had left the job. Some of those departures had been on bad terms. I have never ever seen a situation where the previous system administrator had set up any kind of time bomb or had done anything malicious.

I did have done situation where I installed a software package that enhanced data access security in a Windows for Workgroups environment. That involved setting up a VAX with DEC Pathworks as a file server. The client had experienced data loss when a malicious secretary deleted important files. That is the only case I've ever seen of a malicious employee causing damage.

It is still a good idea to inform the employee then walk him/her to their office to collect their things and then walk them off of the premises. I think this is done more because managers don't want the terminated employee to hang around saying goodbye to everyone and talking about what a bad place it is to work. I saw one case where a manager was dismissed. He spent the rest of the day going around the building talking to everyone. That shouldn't be allowed to happen.

Collapse -


by Tony Hopkinson In reply to That's my experience as w ...

file versioning built into the operating system.

What a silly idea, no practical use whatsoever

Agreed you can't have people walking around saying the firm is crap, especially when it is.

Collapse -

I know.

by stress junkie In reply to VMS

After I had been using VMS for a while I got scared moving to Unix because you don't have file versions. You make a change and that's it baby. You have to make your own backups or you're out of luck.

Too bad DEC made so many huge mistakes. Their marketing was limited to the annual DECUS convention. They gave up on VMS several years before Compaq bought them. They didn't understand the value of being a turnkey provider. Their PC division was horrible. They never courted third party software providers. They grossly overpaid their managers while equally badly underpaid their regular employees. They never made any good GUI products for the desktop. They still managed to have some really great products, VMS being the greatest of them all. Tru64 Unix was really good. RDB was very good. The VAX and Alpha processors were good.

I really miss the diverse user account privileges that were available in VMS. You could really tailor a user account for specific capabilities. I know Unix has user account capabilities but I haven't tried to use them yet.

Collapse -

I love VMS

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to I know.

Back on winders now, but I did another two years on it after a six year break.
Trying to go PC, particularly that horrible pathworks crap was the big mistake.

When you look as the hardware and OS feature set they had decades ago, you really have to scratch your head wondering how they could have f'ed it up so badly on the business front.

Collapse -

I don't know....

by Zen37 In reply to That's my experience as w ...

When i was laid off a couple of years ago, they let me walk around and say goodbye to everyone. I assume that my account rights were revoked the second i got up to go to the conference room where they made the annoncement. I really appreciated the fact that they let me shake the hands of my fellow workers and i was able to let them know that i was ok with the decision and i was going to be alright. But one thing is for sure, I wasn't going to stay there during the notice period and that's ok too. I know i wouldn't of done anything wrong, but my heart would not of been in it anyways, so i guess its was for the best.

Collapse -

a comparison

by rbosgood In reply to I don't know....

I was laid of 2 years ago by a larger company. My boss just showed up at my desk and told me I needed to be in a conference room meeting right away (I did not see it coming) when I walked in and there were 15 of us from different depts with the HR head, I figured it out pretty quick. when I got back to my cube, I was told my account was turned off but I was allowed to walk around and say good bye. After being there for 6 years this was a painful but an apreciated walk. I left there knowing I was ok with them, and they were ok with me.
I was just laid off (or fired, not sure) a month ago. I was hired on to do tech support (PC's and printers). It was just myself and the IT manager and 200 users. About 3 months after I got there they fired my manager, then it was just me and the 200 users. I was the whole IT dept. They hired a new manger after 4 months of that, kept him for 2 months and fired him. Then they waited another month and hired a network engineer, No IT manager.
3 months later I come in on a Monday and this kid (18 years old) from the dept next to mine comes in and tells me he is starting tody in IT. I never heard a word about any new people starting. The network admin told me to check with the operations manager. I had to wait till 10 am for her to show up, but when she did, yes... my job was over. No explanations, no performance complaints, just "A bussniess decision has been made". I was walked to my desk, they made everyone else leave the room, gave me a few min to pack my stuff and then walked me to my car and made sure I drove out of there. I never did get an answer of what the reason was. The network eng says he thinks its because he was willing to do my job for 4 dollars an hour less. I did get a severance pay, after less then a year I guess that is more then I expected. Now at 53, I am trying to find a job in tech support. Its not an easy road.

I never would have done any damage to either of them, that would make me unprofessional. I felt they should have given me an explanation of some sort.

any way, the main point, the first company handled it well and let me keep some dignity. The second company was totaly unprofessional. I am glad to be done with them, but it sure could have been done better.

Collapse -

Same here

by onbliss In reply to I've heard management con ...

I just have 15+ years of experience, and not 20+ :-), but I have never once heard and nor my co-workers have ever mentioned it to me.

But based on some of the posts, looks like such things do happen.

Related Discussions

Related Forums