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  • #2249634

    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….

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    • #3219333

      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.

      • #3289861

        Most wouldn’t do it

        by absolutox1 ·

        In reply to Yeah i have heard of such things

        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.

    • #3219332

      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.

      • #3219310

        That’s my experience as well.

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to I’ve heard management concerns about such things

        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.

        • #3219257


          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to That’s my experience as well.

          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.

        • #3219214

          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.

        • #3216400

          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.

        • #3289950

          I don’t know….

          by zen37 ·

          In reply to That’s my experience as well.

          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.

        • #3225384

          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.

      • #3289829

        Same here

        by onbliss ·

        In reply to I’ve heard management concerns about such things

        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.

        • #3224288

          While I’ve never heard of an IT person doing that..

          by heml0ck ·

          In reply to Same here

          I have seen developers and engineers destroy their own files.
          This only ever happened when the writing was on the wall, or they were informed by a little birdie.
          It is common practice in my neck of the woods for IT people to be immediately escorted out of the building and off the premises upon termination.

      • #3225054


        by asgr86 ·

        In reply to I’ve heard management concerns about such things

        Remove that guys access to all the server, database and other imp location as soon as he get to know that he is going to get sacked… and then let him collect all of his other personal items.

      • #3225005

        If i was fired….

        by rayanami ·

        In reply to I’ve heard management concerns about such things

        i wont be doing anything to harm the company. though i could also say that i wont be doing anything good for the company after they fire me. i’ll leave the premises immediately so as not to be accused of sabotaging the system. of course, its up to them to find someone who can manage the system that I left.

    • #3216368


      by jmgarvin ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      You hired this person and now you have to fire them. As a manager you’ve probably fired a number of people, how is firing the IT guy any different?

      I’ve NEVER seen an IT professoinal ever do any of the acts you’ve described. Why? A couple of reasons. Typically IT professoinals aren’t going to ruin THEIR reputation on something as trival as moving on. Also the IT pro would never put themselves in an area where possible litigation would destroy their careers and family.

      Think about it this way:
      If you were fired tomorrow would you take a match to the building or put strychnine in the guacamole? Probably not…Same goes for the IT pros…

      • #3289900

        It DOES happen.

        by darinhamer ·

        In reply to Trust

        I am aware of a situation at a local branch of a national company. The local IT guy was caught having an affair with another employee in his office. He would hang a sign on the door not to bother him. One day, the site manager bothered him. It was quite a surprise for everyone, I hear. Anyway, the IT guy got fired.

        About a week or so later, something interesting happened. A corporate VP had been down to do an assessment of the site and to determine the fates of some people now that their government contract had been renewed. He sent the site manager an e-mail that stated who would be promoted and who would be let go and who were irreplaceable and could basically write their own paychecks. I know this because I and everyone else who worked at that site, including the people mentioned in the e-mail, were able to read that e-mail. “Someone” apparently got access to the site manager’s e-mail and forwarded the note to EVERYONE in his contacts. This was quite embarrassing and potentially caused some legal issues for the company. It could never be proven, but it is a widely held belief that the IT guy created a backdoor and logged in from a remote location and did this. The authorities were contacted, but to my knowledge nothing ever happened to him. And what I find interesting is that he was in the wrong. He should have been fired for doing the nasty on company property and company time.

        Anyway, it is not a problem unique to IT either. My uncle owns a business selling semi trailers. He decided to close his service shop because it was losing him money. He tried to be nice to the shop employees and gave them two weeks notice. They stole every tool in the shop on their way out. Thousands of dollars worth of tools vanished.

        Unfortunately, as cruel as it seems, you have to remove any opportunity people have to torpedo the company. A layoff may be different than firing, but chances are that even a good employee may have hard feelings about it and do something stupid before leaving. You’ve got to give them the news, soften the blow as much as possible, but then accompany them to the door. Give ’em a good severance. That might help.

      • #3289851

        Just have to say….

        by safesax2002 ·

        In reply to Trust

        Just had to say I like your reference to Office Space 🙂

    • #3216323

      timing is important

      by bigbigboss ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      If you feel the guy is suspecting that you are going to fire him, do it quick, do it now, do it immediately, and walk him back to his desk, watch him clear it out, and walk him out of the office. I usually ask the security people to do that. You should get somebody to disable all his userids, and collect all his security cards, keys, ID’s, etc.

      If you don’t think he is suspecting, then you can take your time. Don’t do it on a Friday. Try Monday morning. You don’t want a newly unemployed person mopping at home alone all weekend. Do it in the morning, so that he won’t be alone at night at home. If there are people in your company handling problem employees, like employee assistance, counsellors, etc., get them involved.

      • #3279702

        The right way .to lay someone off..

        by rfink ·

        In reply to timing is important

        My company is beign gobbled up by another. My last day is Dec. 15th. 🙁

        They gave me five week’s notice and a decent severance package after that.

        Of course, I’m bummed about being laid off, but becasue of the way it was handled I don’t have any hard feelings towards the company.

    • #3279446

      The process

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      In other positions I’ve looked at and tweaked the process. The best practise I saw was to have a sys admin notified the day of (you have to trust your sys admin not to tell on pain of firing), and the Sys Admin should know when the “discussion” is going to take place. During the discussion, the logons are disabled. After the discussion, the person is escorted back to their work area and allowed to pack up.

      It wouldn’t protect you in the last sentance’s case, but thats not a very often seen scenario.

      This may sound cruel and inhuman, but at the place where I tweaked it, I was laid off, and it happened exactly how it had been planned. My boss escorted me back to my office, and offered to retreive any files I might need. I already had my contact list on my palm pilot. He even carried a box of my stuff to my car.


      • #3290002

        Nay work if Sysadmin is on your side

        by rebeccaaward-cox ·

        In reply to The process

        This doesn’t cover the case where it is the Sysadmin who is being laid off. Who changes the passwords then?

        When I quit my last sysadmin job, I stopped by 2 months later to visit some friends. They were having some computer issues and needed to let the Developer of our intranet log on. No one knew how to do so (he was from out of the state and had been sitting in his RV for two days.)

        I offered to help, walked in to the server, logged in AS ME, and created him a user name and password. They had never deleted my account or passwords.

        A year and a half later, they called me looking for files that had been under my control (they couldn’t log into the web server). I told them where the files had been WHILE I WORKED THERE, but since I had left, they had rearranged that office and disposed of my furniture (it was pretty crappy furniture), so that was the best I could do.

        They eventually gave up and called the hosting company to ask the passwords be reset. They probably had thrown my files away too.

        • #3289891

          Never be in that position

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Nay work if Sysadmin is on your side

          I know its an ideal but you should never be in the position where one person is the only person who could do things. Does the business shutdown when the sysadmin goes on vacation? God forbid has a heart attack (its happened to me).

          I make sure that none of my employees are that indespensible. Yes sometimes we have to revert to looking stuff up in some pretty sketchy docs but we have something.


        • #3289239

          Company size is a factor

          by jgruber ·

          In reply to Never be in that position

          I have found myself in this situation once or twice before. I document the heck out of things, but have worked for a few companies where I was the only IT professional and there was no one else to share any of the information with. Not an ideal situation but it does happen.

        • #3224458

          I’ve been in similar positions as well

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Company size is a factor

          Granted I’ve always resigned and then been fired because I could do too much damage to the company. 😀

          And they walk in and destroy all my records of the system and then expect me to know what has happened anything up to 18 months latter when they manage to totally destroy the system.

          To date I’ve been lucky as the head of the company has been brought up to supervise what I do when I go back to fix their problems and they can see what has happened when I ask what happened to the Paperwork that was stored in this filling cabinet. Only to be told that it was thrown out/shredded after I left. Apparently anything that I put to paper isn’t worth keeping when I leave according to the non technical people running the show and they reap the rewards of their folly. :^0

          But at least the people in charge know where to place the blame for the problems and I’ve never ever been accused of trashing anything well at least not by the real people who are involved. The Brown Noses want to blame me for their stupidity but every time it’s comes back to bit them on the backside and they have to admit responsibility for the problems that they have made. They destroy the paperwork and then expect not to have problems down the path. The fact that I’m willing to go back there and help them sort out their problems also never goes astray either. This generally comes about after several phone calls where I tell the person responsible where things where placed when I was there and how to go about doing something and when they can not get the desired results anything up to 2 years latter I’ll walk back in and fix the mess up and document the entire system again. Even then there are copies made and one copy is taken to head office while one remains in the local office and it gets destroyed again as useless junk that is only needed when they manage to break something next time. Fortunately there is always a copy available at head office so I don’t need to walk back in and try to sort out the mess that they have managed to make.


        • #3224360

          Then it should be the responsibility

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Company size is a factor

          of whoever the IT person reports to, to understand where the information is and what to do about it.

          If you are going to manage the only IT guy, you need to make an effort to know something about the job and the responsibilities.

          I would lay this down as a failure to manage.


        • #3224216

          James I would say most things are down to a Failure to Manage

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Then it should be the responsibility

          Every time that I’ve left a job I’ve been the one asking for the necessary changes to be made just so that some Idiot can not latter say that I’ve done anything to adversely impact upon the system.

          In my experience most of the smaller companies treat IT as some form of Magic that they are unable to comprehend and somehow it just happens without any effort.

          Of course most of these places are run by accountants so you can not expect too much sense to be involved but I do try to have by back covered when I quit then get fired because I can not be trusted to stay and work out my time without attempting to destroy the company. One of the best ones was when I was speaking on a phone to the CEO of the place that I had just resigned from they had to have one of the sales people standing around me to make sure that I didn’t say anything bad about the place. 😀

          3 Weeks latter when I tried to ring him to tell that I had heard that he had resigned and was being allowed to work out his 3 months he wouldn’t take my phone calls. Then just before he left I got hit by him for trying to speak to him after leaving and it was then that I told him that the competition had told me that he had resigned and it was his fault that he wouldn’t speak to me as he had a hole in his company that I couldn’t be part of. What he wanted to turn into a Col Bashing session backfired on him and I was the Good Guy who was still standing up for the company.

          What got even better was that I was told not to speak to their customers and I said I would gladly stop speaking to them if they would stop ringing me up and that as I had a silent Phone number someone within his organisation had handed out my phone number to the dealers so again it wasn’t my responsibility but I would at least help them with Technical Problems but if they started to complain about the company all I would say was that I no longer work there and I suggest that you ring so & so to make a complaint. :^0

          Latter that night the AU Service Manager was plying me with drinks and paid for the cab home. Seems that I was such a bad egg that he still wanted me on side for help when he needed it. 😀


      • #3289974

        What A Guy

        by johnnysacks ·

        In reply to The process

        I guess carrying your box to your car was the least he could do. Was he teary eyed about potentially ruining your life? Glad you saw it coming and could take what you needed (anything that wasn’t chained down?)

        I know it’s mostly an urban myth, but there’s a vicarious thrill to be had about ruining a company on the way out the door. There truly are companies out there which deserve to have every form on vengeance taken out on them.

        • #3289948

          Not the company, usually

          by dr_zinj ·

          In reply to What A Guy

          Organizations may be a pita to work for, but in reality, it’s usually the manager(s) that make or break the relationship you have with the company. A good boss can make even a rotten company be a nice(r) place to work, while a piss-poor, or malicious manager can turn a heavenly place to work into Hell on Earth.

          Only fools use their professional knowledge to screw over a company – unless they’re never going to work in that field again, and even if they aren’t, they now have a track record of unreliability in ANY field.

          If you’re really dead-set on taking revenge on a real stinker, nothing beats sticking a dead skunk under the passenger side tires of his or her car. Of course, GETTING the dead skunk is a means of checking your own commitment to the revenge project in the first place. 😉

        • #3289915

          I personally like the handicapped sign

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Not the company, usually

          You can pick them up at any gag gift store. Just plant a pole and the sign in your old managers parking space…and BAM…instant ticket!


        • #3289477

          Don’t do the skunk

          by gsg ·

          In reply to Not the company, usually

          Best is a chicken from the grocery store. It’ll take longer to smell and it’d be harder to connect it to you. It gets pretty raunchy in the summer. I know, I had one fall out of my grocery sack into the trunk and it fermented in the hot sun for a few days until I tracked down where the reek was coming from.

        • #3289888

          He was upset, and he is still a friend

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to What A Guy

          He didn’t have a choice. He had to make cuts. It happens. I’ve laid people off too.

          I would never burn a bridge unless I was unjustly fired. I’ve seen people come back after layoffs, or even come back after leaving to work somewhere else. I depend on those old employers for good references(and got them). My employer paid for outplacement services.

          I didn’t take anything that wasn’t mine. My company provided a pretty generous severence package. I was laid off during a downturn in the market, but it didnt ruin my life.


        • #3289828

          Burning bridges

          by womble ·

          In reply to He was upset, and he is still a friend

          I agree with the sentiment about burning bridges – I lost a job at the beginning of the IT crash, after 10 years with the company. 2 years after that I was offered a different job back with the same company, more interesting more control more pay, and now have been made permanent.
          others made redundant at the same time are still struggling hand to mouth, and they took a burn it outlook.
          The manager who sacked me was also later turfed. He is now working as a manager of a contractor company that I can choose or not choose to use.

          Power is a sweet thing

      • #3289274

        Yeah! I creates backdoors…

        by skqmad ·

        In reply to The process


        I am a coder by profession with 4+ years of experience. Created numerous intranet, extranet, websites and web applications of simple and complex nature. I have also never heard of such things in my career. But I tell you wisely, a coder can do such things VERY EASILY…

        I works in office as well as a freelancer too. I admits that I have either the copy of those applications I have created or have created backdoors sometimes. Yeah I do! But why??? Want to harm anyone???

        Well, its not to harm anyone. It depends on the situation. Sometimes I want to deal with clients who are vulnerable to deliver payments even upon complete deliver of projects. Sometimes its because of some stupid clients who do corrupt the things and tell me that its me who is responsible and don’t want to understand anything and I have to take care of their problem to sake my reputation. But most of the time its actually because I sometimes need to access some code or part of code that I already have done for someone but would take days or weeks if have to start from scratch. Just 2 days before, I accessed a site for the first time that I did 2 years before just to download a couple of coding files and re-use them solving an issue which was bothering me for a week, and it took just 2 min.

        Regarding creating problems for the company – It all depends on the employer’s own will, nature and circumstances. Last year, I was told to be fired only because the new MD wants his team to work with him, regardless of 3 big projects I was doing simultenously and remained uncompleted. The MD told me that they have outsourced!!! I was told in the afternoon that I don’t have to come tomorrow. I was so shocked that a thought to do huge destruction came to my mind. But I am an IT Professional and these things are not the properties of a Professional. So, did copy all the code that had gone in vain and left as soon as it was 5 o’clock.

        End result — I do it just for positive purposes, to help stupid clients and to save time not trying to re-invent the wheel. Neither did nor will do any such negative practice.

        • #3289264

          Well you might have some IP problems there :D

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Yeah! I creates backdoors…

          However as human memory wipes haven’t been invented yet, aide memoires I don’t gave a problem with. I remember enough of the sense of things I’ve done, not to go mad on this sort of thing.

          It’s one of the key points about leaving somewhere, if something goes wrong after you leave and you still have access, you become prime suspect….

          Happened to me once when I swapped departments in the same firm.

    • #3279444

      The process

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      In other positions I’ve looked at and tweaked the process. The best practise I saw was to have a sys admin notified the day of (you have to trust your sys admin not to tell on pain of firing), and the Sys Admin should know when the “discussion” is going to take place. During the discussion, the logons are disabled. After the discussion, the person is escorted back to their work area and allowed to pack up.

      It wouldn’t protect you in the last sentance’s case, but thats not a very often seen scenario.

      This may sound cruel and inhuman, but at the place where I tweaked it, I was laid off, and it happened exactly how it had been planned. My boss escorted me back to my office, and offered to retreive any files I might need. I already had my contact list on my palm pilot. He even carried a box of my stuff to my car. I was laid off in October, and he asked me to come to their departmental Christmas lunch.


    • #3279416

      The answer, DON’T

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      IT guys are much too nice to be let go, short of the entire company going under, and in that case any damage done is unimportant.

      If you MUST do this, make sure that someone else has the admin passwords. When he is taken into your office to be notified, THAT is when you change all the passwords, and disable his accounts.

      If you suspect triggered viruses, then you are directly to blame for hiring someone that could not be trusted in the first place.

      Then again, depending on WHY they are let go, how much can YOU be trusted either?

      Trust is a two way street, and you have not given us enough information to tell if there is a betrayal or not for you to can someone right before the holidays. A pretty disgusting practice some companies have these days it seems.

      • #3289307

        My Answer, Big Yes or NO

        by rnlmush ·

        In reply to The answer, DON’T

        It happens to me during my 31st bday. We are 20 IT personnel fired, my dept.head. All us developers,,admins, pc support, im one of them, It’s a disaster things happen to us, The only reason is a poison or malicious letter spread in the whole company and some outside the premises, about a new hire (2 months) Senior Manager of IT, but first he change some policy in our IT Group, that trigger the anger of some senior IT Manager/Supervisor. He also hires new 3 IT consultant from his previous company; it happens only in 1 month, then during my bday 1:00pm, they call us all in one room ground floor of the building, they call us one by one, they force us to sign the quitclaim, the paycheque, reason “REDUNDANCY” we are all clear in all accountabilities; after three hours, 4:00PM we all accompanied with guards to pick-up all our personal things in the 5/F Floor, it Hurts, It SAD, some cried, if i have grenade on my pocket at that time, “maybe it explodes” including me,
        It shocks us all, some of us are married, kids to feed,for school tuition, some supports their family, Why is this happen? After a week we meet all, we consult lawyer for our case but nothing happens, they traitor us. But the another things happen, their system down for 3 days, their mail-server is down for unknown reason, the remote sites cannot retrieve password, even the headquarters, after 2 weeks, the new manager fired by managements. After 1 year they hired them again..

      • #3224443

        But JD it saves the company involved

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to The answer, DON’T

        The expense of paying someone not to work over the Holiday Period. But I’ll bet you [b]$ to Donuts[/b] that the Upper Management is walking away with massive Xmas Bonuses and the other fringe benefit’s that go along with their positions.


    • #3288660

      Blow his brains out without warning

      by nz_justice ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      but has dire consequences for you?

      unless of course you have no conscious.

      and can get away with murder.

      but then you could always write a book called:

      If I did it. how it happened.

      A hypothetical look at blowing the brains out of an IT person without warning.

      • #3224442

        That’s a really good point

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Blow his brains out without warning

        As quite often it’s not what the IT person can do but what they hold in their head that can do the damage to a company. As yet there is no way known of disposing of this information without breaking the LAW!

        It makes things even worse if the fired person them starts working for a competitor as they then have inside information on how the company that they just left works and most likely have a lot of knowledge that they where unaware of that can be used against the company who terminated them. As they are now working for a different company it’s perfectly Professional to give the new company every advantage possible.


      • #3007134

        If you like your company…

        by onkel gunnar ·

        In reply to Blow his brains out without warning

        If you like your company and your workmates and you love your computersystem and network, you will not want to hurt them., or tell secrets.


    • #3290021

      its a ‘real’ management task

      by pmjm9 ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      I came in a week after the previous sole IT programmer & Admin guy walked out due to a contract payments dispute. he refused to give up any passwords or any source code for the web data base he had promised that week so the company had already terminated the leased system it was to replace. Took me a week of 20 hour days to crack most passwords, a year to re-write the system from just about scratch. company paid a lawyer 12 grand to write threatning letters to no avail, which was what they owed him anyway. Moral – treat other people as you would expect to be treated, avoid lawyers, take backups offsite, don’t bet the company on a new system working……still I did alright.

    • #3290018

      IT guy response

      by info ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      Hi … I think that this is one of the biggest concers you can have. Most internal security breaches are due to disgruntled employees. There are far more serious things that can happen, if the guy is a little creative. He could very easily make sure that once you reboot a server after a while, the disks partition table is deleted.

      My advice is, if you want to get rid of him, make sure he cannot touch a pc anymore before you tell him.

      An IT guy

      • #3290013

        Its All about Documentation

        by thelastsaint ·

        In reply to IT guy response

        Management depending on teh size of the organisation must have a process of documenting all backup, password and other IT related issue and stored off site.

        Secondly a handover documentation should be produce by the IT guy before his severance pay is paid to him/her.


        • #3290007


          by info ·

          In reply to Its All about Documentation

          I certainly agree (I’m a security guy ;-). I just want to say that few companies I’ve worked for have these things in place.

          It certainly depends on the areas (Europe, US …), but my advise will be, do it quick and don’t give him a chance.

          (I’m from a small country in Europe 😉

        • #3290001


          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Its All about Documentation

          but that documentation should be in place all the time, it should also be reviewed and proven.
          Putting it in after you’ve made the decision to release an employee, would give even us thickie IT types who can’t make management a bit of a clue.

          Handover is for current state of a project.

          Specific tasks and routines should already be documented, keeping your operational systems up with undocumented routines is damn stupid, what if the guy got hit by a bus?

          If I found I was running my business with my booty that exposed, I’d be sacking the guy who was responsible for covering my ass.

        • #3289443

          NO – Too easy to abuse this “documentation”

          by chas_2 ·

          In reply to Its All about Documentation

          I don’t think I can agree with this. Management could, theoretically, drag out the process of “approving” the documentation, hoping the freshly terminated employee just gives up – thus allowing the company to keep its severance.

          I think this would also be a function of how long the employee was working for the company. An individual of 15+ years of experience expected to document everything he/she knew could, conceivably, spend another week writing it all down. For a relative newbie to the company (less than 24 months) would something like this really be beneficial?

          When management decides to lay off a worker, they should already have analyzed the consequences before the fact. Asking someone to write down everything to make it easy for the management relieves the management of taking responsibility for what’s supposed to be happening – it’s laziness.

          If management wants to request such a transition document, it should not be longer than two pages and should be represented as an outline with the most critical activities mentioned – not an exhaustive list of bean-counting activities. An individual who’s in shock and traumatized by the sudden loss of his/her income is going to have a hard time focusing on writing such a document – meaning there may be inadvertent omissions, inconsistencies, or outright errors.

          Management are, ultimately, responsible for knowing what their people know. Having someone else write a how-to guide after the fact is lazy and unethical. Let management get their hands dirty, I say.

        • #3289363

          ITs aftermath

          by agaetos ·

          In reply to NO – Too easy to abuse this “documentation”

          IT employee who absorbed the work function(s) can easily go with the dirty tricks by stating that needed information was not part of the it handover document. This was evident to employees who has no right it skills, teamwork attitude and harmonious working environment especially with the layoff employee(s).

          Things worsen, now an exodus layoff in process in the organization.

      • #3289922

        Be fair with your IT personnell. And the other personnel too.

        by ccerratom ·

        In reply to IT guy response

        There is nothing you can do, as an employer, to prevent a situation like that, except … be fair.

        If it is absolutely necesary, fired him/her. OK.

        But, … please, be fair, pay all the benefits his/her has a right to.

        You can take it to the door with a pair of security men, change all the passwords, etc. but … what about a time bomb that activates a few days later, when the employee is not here anymore, because the trigger is inverse, and the employee deactivated it all days.

        No easy solutions.

        Only prevention, maybe hire a consultant months before the firing, to analyze the programas …(!!!), surely a titanic task, an internal policy to share all the critic passwords … but, I think nothing would be enough, if the company is playing maliciously, the employee will note the situation.

        If your employee is satisfied with the relationship, surely he will not be tempted to provoke a disaster.

        Prevention. Be fair.

      • #3289289

        Unless, of course…

        by chaz chance# ·

        In reply to IT guy response

        Unless, of course, there is a program running somewhere that waits until he hasn’t logged in for a while, and then…

        Oh, the joys of working in a profession where NOTHING is impossible.

        PS Disaster recovery people are paid to be paranoid.

      • #3224439

        That’s not even the slightest bit creative

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to IT guy response

        If I really wanted to get back at some company who had really [b]Pissed Me Off[/b] I would be looking at stealing a copy of all their data and passing it on to all the competition so they lost sales.

        Taking out a server is child’s play and not even worth the effort involved. If you are really paranoid you need to worry about your company Data which is the valuable thing that needs protecting. It’s also the IT people who get the blame when it goes astray even though everyone else in the office has access to it and can move it out of the company when they like. But it’s always the IT Staff fault when this happens.

        Personally I see things like this as a sign of a bad company to work for if one or more staff members are involved in stealing data there is a serious problem inside that company. Your average Professional IT Person would generally prefer to say [b]F### YOU! and walk away[/b] than to be involved in anything like this as it’s petty and ultimately a waste of time and effort that could better be used elsewhere.

        It never fails to amaze me just how the people in Middle to Upper Management think what the IT staff could do. I personally see this more as a reflection on the way that they behave rather than the way that IT Staff behave.


    • #3290011

      Do it quick otherwise it will cause distruption to your deptartment

      by rob ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      If your seriously considering laying off someone, the relationship with this employee is likely to already be low. If they know they’re not performing to your expectations they can either get dispondant and lazy or do expactly what you ask to the letter. In the IT department this can cause major impact to project timelines being missed, or risks and issues being ignored or just the management system not being told. All this adds to the stress of the team. As already said you should do it quick and controlled. I’ve only seen 1 malious attempt of sabotage by on disguntaled employee in the 20 years I’ve working in IT. This did however end up with the CEO of a bank getting removed, but the CEO had done something silly and all what happened was infomation from IT systems got published in the press.

      As for the risk of stuff in someone’s head, this is alway a problem and you will have to just work through the holes that this can create. My experience is the holes in the knowledge pool are always filled quicker than you expect, someone who was in the background steps forward and you find out that they was doing most of the difficult stuff with out you knowing.

      • #3289381

        Distruption Issue?

        by methos7997 ·

        In reply to Do it quick otherwise it will cause distruption to your deptartment

        The knowledge pool works in both ways. Sometimes the person who leaves has alot of information about a project than the rest of company knows about. It all depends the structure of the company.

        • #3289295

          Structure of Company and Project Type

          by rob ·

          In reply to Distruption Issue?

          I agree, each situation should be analysed. Application development project will be higher risk than infrastructure ones.

          I do however think weak management hides behind this and fails to act. Also working for 2 of the big 5 I’ve see that the HR system can also be an inhibitor. HR insists that everything is done to manage the employee up, this is important, but sometime HR stops at the last point of removing the employee. This causes more friction in the system.

    • #3289975

      walk him/her out the door

      by shereena ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      there should be a computer policy and procedure manual that is signed by all new employees @ time of hire. When you sack an IT employee or any other employee, they should be assisted in removing their stuff from their office, retrieving all keys and escorted out of the building. If after the fact, you find they have done anything the policy that was signed by employee will allow you to go after them legally

      • #3289971

        And Get A Jury Of Laid Off IT Workers

        by johnnysacks ·

        In reply to walk him/her out the door

        Happy thoughts, BWAHAHA. Who the heck else has the time to sit on a jury panel but 12 well used ex-employees.

        • #3289963

          Not guilty :D

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to And Get A Jury Of Laid Off IT Workers


        • #3224435

          Guilty as Hell

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Not guilty :D

          Hang the CEO head of HR and any other management that is silly enough to come near the court. 😀

          OH the IT person didn’t do anything wrong it’s all Managements fault. :p


        • #3224269

          HAL 9000 presides over a

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Guilty as Hell

          kangaroo court.

          I like it 😀

        • #3224214

          No Tony I’m a Realist

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to HAL 9000 presides over a

          BTW Kangaroo is really tasty so why would you have them running a court when you can eat them? :^0

          Col ]:)

      • #3289957

        Malicious damage is the least of the problems

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to walk him/her out the door

        you can get.

        How much knowledge is in the guy’s head and how much on paper ?

        Even if you have documentation policy, in many places they aren’t reviewed due to lack of resource.

        The killer is when companies go for the cost saving of a ‘one man shop’, you can waffle about policies until you are blue in the face, they must be resourced. If you have someone who is a key man dependency, it might have been created by the incumbent, but management allowed it to happen, allowed it to continue and then blamed the incumbent for it.

        I’ve had professional and ‘amicable’ splits up to press, the amount of damage I could have done just by allowing myself to be escorted off the premises without raising the difficulty again would have been huge.

        I’m sure they’d have managed, but it would have cost them.

        Mind you, maybe they would have learnt something, my replacement is an undocumented one man shop as well.

        • #3289954

          Tacky manager

          by ed woychowsky ·

          In reply to Malicious damage is the least of the problems

          I was once laid-off as a cost cutting measure after completing the code, but not the documentation, on a web project. Since I was the only developer, the manager thought that she could save a few bucks by letting me go, after all it was working in production.

          Unfortunately, for her, some change requests were made and the remaining people had no idea how the code worked. In her desperation she even went so far as to set up conference call first asking and then demanding that I explain how the code worked. I laughed and hung up after she refused my offer of $100.00 per answer to yes/no questions. Costs were cut further when she was laid off about a week later.

        • #3289935

          There wasn’t a specification

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Tacky manager

          detailed design and configuration control document in place when you started ? :p

          I’ve answered questions after I’ve left a place, but only for fellow developers, management want my time they get to pay for it. If they’d have resourced the thing properly, it wouldn’t have been an issue.

          I like documentation, the process of doing it can teach you all sorts of things even if you wrote what you are documenting.

        • #3289890

          Paper forms

          by ed woychowsky ·

          In reply to There wasn’t a specification

          All that I was told was that the web forms had to look like the paper forms. Everything else was up to me, database design and the rest. I should have known when I had to provide my own development hardware and software.

    • #3289972

      It all depends on the situation

      by josb ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      If the lay off is unexpeced for the employee, i’d say revoke his network rights before you actually tell him.
      Also, after the actual talk, bring him to the door and close it behind him. Be sure to get his access card or keys.

      If you suspect that the employee created some backdoors or virus like stuff, you could let someone do a full systems scan, but this can be expensive to do.

      When you really worry about this kind of stuff, your IT guy probably has too much access to the system and is not monitored.
      We have a system that logs all things administrators do on our main systems.
      And administrators have somewhat limited access to the system.
      One of my former employers had their NDS split and administrators had only access to specific parts. The main administrator account had a split password, so noone could access the root container alone (except when he could get the password document from a vault, wich also requires 2 persons).

      Preventing events is always easier than guessing something could perhaps happen.

    • #3289970

      Meet him (?) at the door

      by mollenhourb9 ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      Many companies meet the employee at the front door with a manager or security (depending on the nature of the company and their work) and escort them to their desk to clean it out. It’s cruel. It doesn’t foster warm fuzzy feelings. You’ll hate yourself for a week or so; but if you are truly worried about the person causing mayhem it is what you have to do.

      There is no “good” way to lay somebody off. I’ve had to fire people (it sucks), and I’ve been laid off (that sucks too). Life isn’t always fun though.

    • #3289956

      This proves the value of so many other threads

      by rknrlkid ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      I heard a story during the dot-com bust that had an absolute ring of truth to it, and seems to be corraborated by other sources (see Geourge Ou’s blog about Linux desktop, and the reply about Ernie Ball).

      The story is this: after the dot-com bubble burst, and the massive layoffs that followed, LOTS of calls went to BSA about software violations. The callers were ex-employees out for revenge.

      The solution to this and other ex-employee problems?

      1. Like stated in so many other threads, ONE PERSON CANNOT HAVE THE POWER OF YOUR NETWORK. Two- or three-person control should be the rule. Only one person having a particular control is foolishness.

      2. DOCUMENT! DOCUMENT! DOCUMENT! Everything about your network must be documented. This dovetails with #1 above. Nothing should be in memory alone. Everything must be able to be duplicated by someone else.

      3. The person being fired should have all access removed BEFORE the firing is announced. This prevents anyone from even having a chance to access anything to sabotage. I got a good laugh out of a scene in the movie “Minority Report” that wasn’t supposed to be funny. Tom Cruise gets access to the police department and other sensitive areas AFTER he was fired and sent to jail. My off the cuff comment was “They must be using Microsoft products!” But actually, it is an example of terrible network administration.

      If access cannot be removed before firing, then it should be happening simultaneously. Meeting the employee at the door and escorting to their desk to get their stuff actually is a good idea. I have heard of worse…employees found a box at the door with their name on it. They were never allowed in the building.

      4. Make sure your ducks are always in order. The situation I stated about BSA complaints would not have happened if companies didn’t stretch ethics in the first place. I know that lots of organizations “take their chances” in order to increase profits. Ultimately, it can come back and bite.

      • #3289932

        Well we keep saying the same things

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to This proves the value of so many other threads

        thread after thread on this topic, obviously no bugger is listening.

        I went to see some ex colleagues six years after I left.

        Security code on the door the same, local admin passwords on the servers the same. They were going to get round to it!

        They weren’t in danger from me, but it’s a massive failure from a management and administration point of view.

      • #3289910

        Mutual respect when laying off, terminating

        by mhalseystny ·

        In reply to This proves the value of so many other threads

        I recently worked a contract where managemnt notified us that our contracts were ending as soon as possible.

        To my knowledge, no one sabotaged anything. We were able to be ready to turn over our equipment and be escorted out, and we completed or turned over our work with enthusiasm.

        The respect that management gave us was returned.

      • #3289832

        Right on the mark, plus…

        by arjee63 ·

        In reply to This proves the value of so many other threads

        Don’t forget a) wireless devices – retrieve before the termination process begins!


        b) back doors. If this is a hostile enough dismissal to warrant it, then someone with a brain needs to review the user profiles for every database, server, and client-server software for hidden logins.

        This can be reviewed even if access can’t be removed prior to the person’s arrival.

    • #3289892

      How to terminate

      by marc v. ridenour ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy


      Immediately scan your entire system with anti-keylogger programs and antivirus/antispyware programs as well. And make sure the former employee has not installed back doors, trap doors, or whatever to get into the system outside of established protocols and procedures.

      • #3289846

        You must have worked with some

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to How to terminate

        or for some real nice people.
        I’d keep quiet about the way you thing departing staff must be treated, someone might start wondering why you feel that way.

        Just a hint.

      • #3289454

        Treating somone like a crminal

        by matthewhastings ·

        In reply to How to terminate

        Treating somone like a crminal
        Everyone seems to be saying similar things about this like the coment below. I.T people are not criminals!!!


        If you treat someone like a criminal when they have done nothing wrong they will proberbly get pretty pissed off. I would look at getting them back in some way. wouldn’t you?

        The best place for Mp4

      • #3289377

        an advise how to terminate

        by agaetos ·

        In reply to How to terminate

        Tell an IT employee/Team that the organization has a 2 Billion Dollar’s operation loss and lossed market share substantially. Senior managements appreciated the valuable
        service contributions to the organization and plans to relocate the IT employee(s)/team into a remote location. A remote location that is too far from an active collaborative lifestyle…. otherwise, disclose that the management also considering to offer an early retirement package….

        • #3224430

          Only a total moron would believe that

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to an advise how to terminate

          It’s far more believable that Upper Management is taking a Pay Cut and trading in their Company Cars for a drive your own second hand pile of junk.

          Sorry but when I see Upper Management tasking huge Pay Increases and Bonuses I have a bit of trouble expecting that layoff’s are required to keep the profitability up.


      • #3224431

        And at the same time

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to How to terminate

        Lock down all the undocumented access that the CEO has.

        I’ve yet to see a Professional do any harm but I’ve seen a lot of so called Management destroy companies through sheer stupidity.


    • #3289889

      Depends on the situation

      by w2ktechman ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      I have been at places where I was told and then immediately walked to the door, and I have been at places that informed me and let kept me around for a week or 2 to handoff assignments and train someine to take my place.
      Yes, it does suck, but I have never done anything malicious. The worst that I did was ‘borrow’ a few cd’s to gather my information from the computer. This was work related problems that I spent time to resolve, and thought to add them to my library (which is all but lost now, since it is NT4).

      If you trust this tech, then it should not be a problem. However, if he/she is being terminated because of a wrongdoing, or if he/she has commented in the past about doing harm to the systems/net/etc. then walk him/her to the door or have security walk him/her to the door.

      I once went to a meeting and in the meeting one guy stood up and yelled at the manager, security walked him out promptly. His manager and a witness spent 30 min. gathering his stuff from his office and sent it to the lobby for him to pick up.

      But unless it is an extreme case, my suggestion is to let them work out the day. They may opt to leave early (most will), but it should not be an issue. I wouldnt lock out their account as they may want to send out an email stating that they are leaving, and possibly send out alternate contact information. However, the email should be looked at before it is sent out, or it can be written up and sent out by the manager instead (allow the manager to see mailbox, and change the users account PW).

      • #3289843

        ROFL Yelled at him

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Depends on the situation

        If I got the push for that my career would have been over before it started, if someone isn’t listening, SHOUT 😀

    • #3289882

      Well i never…

      by dukhalion ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      I’ve been layed off a couple of times because of work shortages, but I still have both keys and approved access to the companies in question. And they still contact me from time to time to do small favors, which they happily pay for.

      It seems that this discussion is assuming that IT-pros are unreliable. In my opinion IT-pros are more reliable than other people because of their logical approach to life.

      If someone is fired in a way that would make them “retaliate” in some way then the bosses should take a long hard thinking if they are doing the right thing. (Sacking actual crooks excluded of course, but You don’t get to be an IT-pro if You’re a crook).

      • #3289187


        by darinhamer ·

        In reply to Well i never…

        I’m sorry, but your logic does not make much sense. First of all, I don’t believe IT people are more or less reliable than anyone else. This discussion does not point out that IT people are unreliable, but that PEOPLE can be unreliable in general. You never know who is going to retaliate and who isn’t. This has been proven over and over again. Anyone in the company can do some damage, but IT people happen to have control over some of the most valuable resources. It makes sense for a business to protect those resources.

        Also, you don’t get to be an IT pro if you’re a crook? Are you serious? Would we need all the layers upon layers of security if there weren’t some IT geniuses out there who were also lacking integrity? Your average breaking-and-entering crook is not hacking into the corporate network. The people who are near the top of the tech class are. And hopefully the other top students are defending against them.

      • #3223097

        I agree

        by v-abdulhaq.khan ·

        In reply to Well i never…

        I resigned from my previous job, and the company actually asked me to stay on for longer than the notice period(30 days). From time to time I still get calls for assistance.

    • #3289854

      Like any other employee

      by thx_1138a ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      Assuming he’s not your only IT guy, it should be handled like any other employee. As suggested by several others, IT Manager/SysAdmin should disable or limit the access of ANY employee getting the pink slip.

      IT staffer aren’t the only ones capable of this kind of stuff. I’ve heard of autoworkers intentionly dropping tools into car engines; bank tellers and grocery stockboys wrecking havoc. Most people will go without incident if they’re treated fairly and honestly. Someone who is kept in the dark, lied to or treated without dignity or respect would IMHO be the ones most likely to be destructive.

      I would also punish, to the fullest extent of the law, A-N-Y-O-N-E who actually causes harm to another employee or to the company and/or it’s property. Doesn’t matter if it were an administrative assistant shredding documents or someone kicking holes in an office wall. This sort of behavior does not require a signed document to prosecute. The need to put ‘expected behavior’ rules into an employee handbook is a sad comment on how impolite and self-centered both employers and employees have become.

      For the record, I’ve been on both sides of the desk (being let go & doing the letting).


    • #3289853

      Remove him, don’t sack him.

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      one thing people don’t learn when letting employees go, you don’t give them two weeks notice. You remove them, wqatch while they pack up and walk them out the door.

      In may cases you have to still pay them two weeks, in lieu of notice, but it’s better than losing data or other precious office hardware.

      Wait until the end of the day, tell him it’s over and wait until he’s packed then escort him out the door. It doesn’t have to be done rudely or too regimental, just be polite and he will completely understand your need for security.

      • #3289464

        Remove him, don’t sack him bad idea

        by matthewhastings ·

        In reply to Remove him, don’t sack him.

        If someone did that to me. I would be in through a remote connection and screw there hole system for treating me so badly. Companies should not treat people like that. I would give the person a good punch in the head for being such an assH@&le.You said “It doesn’t have to be done rudely or too regimental” but what the hell do you call that.There has to be a better way.

        The best place for Mp4

        • #3289433

          it sounds like you are the kind of dumba$$

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to Remove him, don’t sack him bad idea

          that leads to this kind of discussion in the first place.
          If you hate your employer so much, find a new job!
          if you need to ‘get revenge’ for receiving a good paycheck, then you are the kind of A$$hole that any company can do without, and I hope that you spend many years in the unemployment and foodstamp lines

        • #3289410

          You are the kind of dumb w2ktechman

          by matthewhastings ·

          In reply to it sounds like you are the kind of dumba$$

          I love my job and my Boss is Great. I’ve never been to a foodstamp lines sound like you have though A$$hole do you have a job?

          E.G so if someone worked for you for 10 years supporting your system and you would like to get rid of them you would do this Wait until the end of the day, tell him it’s over and wait until he’s packed then escort him out the door? That very nice I would be very happy “Not”. Say you need there assistance for some reson (DB,Password,Settings,Others) Do you think they would help you “Your Dreaming”

          this is Much better
          If you trust this tech, then it should not be a problem. However, if he/she is being terminated because of a wrongdoing, or if he/she has commented in the past about doing harm to the systems/net/etc. then walk him/her to the door or have security walk him/her to the door

          P.S your an A$$hole.

          P.S.S Solution any employer sould have a contract to prevent this. Your Still an A$$hole

 The best place for Mp4

        • #3289405

          I am not the one

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to You are the kind of dumb w2ktechman

          who posted that they would hack in the back door for malicious doings.
          So how am I the A$$hole when I do not condone that kind of behaviour? Only an A$$hole would not only condone this behaviour, but would actually do it themselves.

          If you are getting paid for a service, then yes, you may be upset that management downsized you, or terminated you, but, that does not give you an inherent right to mess with the network/systems/etc..
          and just because they locked out your account and escorted you out the door is no reason to hack in and do damage. You got a paycheck for your services, and most likely a 2+week severence.
          I have been in the situation of purchasing a vehicle on a 5 yr. loan, being told that my job was stable. 2 weeks later I was unemployed through no wrongdoing of my own. Yes, I was pissed off, but I never thought of trying to hack the companies network or do damage.
          I did the adult thing and Looked for a job!

        • #3289379

          PS grow up

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to You are the kind of dumb w2ktechman

          PS grow up and stop advertoising your little kiddie sites for i-Pod vids; do you really think that no brainer trendy garbage is even remotely cool on TR?

          If you had a rasonable alternative, other than spewing your flames, you would at least be able to get your point across.

          Since you have chosen to reduce yourself to the wit and mentality of a small schoolgirl, then the only point you are proving is the one you need a hat for.

          Grow up

        • #3289400

          No I wouldn’t

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Remove him, don’t sack him bad idea

          In fact I’d want all my accesses explicitly revoked before I left. I’d want to show I was a professional even if they weren’t.

          I agreed with you when you said if you treat people badly they are apt to treat you badly, however if people mouth off about the damage they are going to do should they get the push, that justifies the take no risks, slam door in persons face manoeuvre doesn’t it?

          A great boss eh, don;’t let him see the post you just did, stuff will change.

          Even if he takes it in his stride, his boss might not.

        • #3289385

          Grow up

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Remove him, don’t sack him bad idea

          An employer walks in and explains you are bing let go. You won’t be needed for the two weeks, however you will still be paid in lieu of notice. Pack up and you’re gone. Done deal.

          I’ve done it and met th guy for a beer at the end of th day. Allowing a trminated IT employee to stay or even work the two weeks is just stupid.

        • #3289286

          I can’t remember any time where I wanted to

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Grow up

          work my notice period, I’d rather be concentrating on getting my next job. Course

          I want my pay, and more often than not they suddenly realise I was doing something valuable, I they want me to pass it on before I exit stage left.

          One job I got about a 100 hours overtime in my last month, professional split and an extra month’s salary as a cushion. One of the advantages of being seen as a professional.

          Had a job two days later as well, good reference.

        • #3289237

          I disagree, it depends on the employee

          by rfink ·

          In reply to Grow up

          I’ve been laid off twice. The first time the company gave me access to the network for two months after I was “relieved” of my duties. This was to look for internal transfers and use the high speed internet. They disabled my badge but I still had remote access to things. Of course I did no damage.

          The second time is now. On Nov. 9th I was told my last day is Dec. 15th. Bummer 🙁
          My duties have been scaled back. I have ample time to search job sites, work on resume, study for certs, etc. My primary role is to brain dump my job to my replacement. This layoff is the result of a merger. The company laid off 50+ people and gave 40+ of them the same treatment. This is a company that trusts its employees.

          I feel flattered that two companies trusted me enough to have admin access to their systems for weeks after they told me I’m history.

          Just my two cents.

        • #3289193

          That is the sign of a proffessional

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to I disagree, it depends on the employee

          When your peers and managers can agree that you are still valuable regardless of being notified of impending unemployment.

          I think that I still have a lot of holdover thinking from my contracting days. If I am getting paid to do a job, I will do it. If I dont like the pay vs. job, I will look elsewhere. There is no reason that I would need to spend my valuable time plotting a way to be malicious. My time would be better served looking for a new job rather than in self pity that I was let go.
          Companies will hire/fire/layoff etc. at will and according to business plans/models. I cannot change that, but I can move along.

        • #3224501

          I still get called

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to I disagree, it depends on the employee

          I left acontract position and still get called (even by the new IT guy) for info. I STILL have full server and file access, they trust me.

          But in the case cited, the idiot I am replying to says that he would come back and maliciously hack the server.

          He is obviously completely unaware of just how easy it would be to catch and prosecute him for theft, B&E etc.; just a snot-nosed little puke who pops in shouts and runs away as usual.

          How do MOST companies fire IT staff? 4:30PM, “Sorry it’s not working out, you can pack up and we’ll give you the extra two weeks in lieu of notice.” This he feels is wrong and uncalled for? Bad enough to warrant maicious behaviour? His reply indicates EXACTLY why such procedures are often carrie dout this way. Who wants some inexperienced and ridiculously stupid snot working for two weeks with THAT kind of attitude? He’d be escorted by force out of my door. Just try and hack me later you dummy, talk about an easy hack to trace! That’s no worse than killin gyour girfriend after she dumps you, do you REALLY think you won’t be caught? 🙂 What a fool…a very young fool.

          But as you have stated, and as I have found also, a good relationship with TRUST, and you are often allowed to come back for little things you need to do (such as when leaving an industry but still needing some of the tools from that industry) or they ask you back to do little things for them.

          That’s how adults behave, getting PO’d and hacking them is exactly why guys like him need to be removed with force and never let back in, burnign bridges is a kids game; adults know better.

      • #3289386

        A bit cold

        by methos7997 ·

        In reply to Remove him, don’t sack him.

        That’s a bit cold. I haven’t work that long in the IT field. But my experience as an electrical engineer, you should show them some respect when they leave. If you ever need help in referencing an old project that they led, your out of luck.

      • #3224472

        No way

        by jdbwar07 ·

        In reply to Remove him, don’t sack him.

        Here’s what was posted earlier, a sad state if this is how companies act these days.

        “I have heard of worse…employees found a box at the door with their name on it. They were never allowed in the building.”

        The best way to let someone go is the opposite, with advance notice and respect (with maybe the exception of true malicious or criminal behavior. It’s not just out of altruism, but who do you think is most likely to retaliate, someone who’s treated with dignity and given notice so they can look for another job, or one who’s deceived or terminated rudely?

        And people always resent being treated like criminals if they’ve done nothing wrong. No, they aren’t going to “understand your need for security” if they’re treated like that.

    • #3289833

      How not to do it

      by ed woychowsky ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      Don?t do it the way one company did it, with an offsite meeting. During the meeting they told the gathered employees not to bother going back to the building, security wouldn?t let them in and the police would be called. In addition, they were told that their personal items would be shipped to them.

      According to everyone that I knew at that company they never saw their personal items.

      • #3289215

        The Last Breakfast

        by rageneau ·

        In reply to How not to do it

        That’s almost how they did it at Javelin Technology (now NYFIX). They sent out email notices employees to attend a breakfast at the restaurant across the street.

        Some noticed that they didn’t get the invite and inquired about it. The company explained that there was not enough room for everyone and they would have their breakfast the next day.

        When we arrived for the breakfast we were told by the CEO that those not attending were being fired as he spoke. Most thought, “What jerks!? But we were sadly happy that it wasn’t us. We took our time and ate in silence before returning, not wanting to run into the newly fired.

        The marketing manager was assigned to help with the mass firings. Imagine his surprise when they immediately fired him when he was done.

        During the sale, they lied often about the great opportunity tryin to keep employees from leaving before projects were completed.

        I knew it just a matter of time before most of us were fired. During the weeks that followed, people just seem to disappear.

        After I put the finishing touches on a project, my time came.

        In time, even the Javelin executives left. Most of them with real stock worth real dollars, not the recalculated, worthless stock options that most of us received as incentives when hired.

        Upon being fired, we were forced to sign a contract that stated taht before we could get our two-week severance pay, we had to agree not to sue.

        Of course, they repeated the worn out mantra as you signed, “You know, it’s not personal, it’s just business.”

        I’m sure they believed what they said.

        • #3289206


          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to The Last Breakfast

          Doesn’t sound like you were fired, sounds like you were laid off. And thats entirely different.

          Being fired is a red stain on your career, if your firing was for cause – performance issues, malfeasance(theft etc).

          I had no compunction at all about firing someone for clearly violating corporate policy that the person had been made aware of, on an ongoing and consistent basis.

          On the other hand, when I had to lay off an employee because we had to shrink the organization, I felt bad, because though it had nothing to do with performance (and I made it clear during the interview) its hard not to think that way – when I was laid off I had those thoughts myself.

          The Javelin approach sucked.

          The best practise that I’ve seen is an announcement to all employees that reductions will take place over the next X months, and that there is an option for a voluntary leave with a package – give them three months to take the package. Then assess how many are left and how much more reductions you need to do – if any.

          The agreement not to sue by the way, in most jurisdictions is worthless as it would be consdiered to be signed under durress. When we fired people, there was always a meeting with HR a few days later to go over the options of what they wanted to do with their severence, and thats entirely appropriate – if they didn’t make up their mind during that meeting, they still had two weeks to talk to a financial advisor and work out the best plan for them.

          It isn’t personal to lay someone off. In most cases, its a lot of hard choices. No one enjoys laying people off. Some people and organizations do it better than others.


    • #3289482

      Disable the accounts…

      by gsg ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      While they are in the meeting learning they are to be laid off. That’s what we do when there’s a rare termination. The supervisors know what’s coming, and when the person is called in, they go and disable the accounts then email or page the director with a code to let her know they are done. Then they are escorted to their office and never left alone until they leave the premises.

    • #3289450

      Respect, respect, respect

      by chas_2 ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      I have not been in a management position in 21 years of working with I-T. But having been a “worker bee”, I can tell you what would help.

      Respect – never p*ss off your talent – never. If you are a manager and you need to let someone go because work is slim or the budget isn’t there, you absolutely MUST do it with respect for your I-T person.

      1) Be sure you offer something to the person you’re letting go. If this is someone that’s been in your service for a period of years, your company should be able to provide a reasonable severance package. If you don’t have the budget for it, GET IT. It can be much more costly if your soon-to-be former employee decides to get even, and you have to clean up your internal systems.

      2) Be sure to thank the invidividual for his/her service. A lot of managers think that I-T people are themselves machines, and have no feelings. Not so. Reassure them that they’re being laid off because of problems with the company rather than with them. If you’re able to go a step further, you can also mention some of the employee’s good points – things you personally appreciated.

      3) Be prepared to give a good reference. This person has served you and trusted your company. He/she should be able to trust that you’re not going to backstab him/her when he inquires about other positions with other companies (maybe even one of your competitors). You may be tempted to sabotage such an opportunity – DON’T. What goes around comes around, and in many cases it is illegal to badmouth someone (at least here in Texas it is; you can only say that you would not necessarily re-hire such a person).

      4) If your company is able to provide other resources to assist the employee about to leave, be sure to tell him/her about them. One place I worked set up outplacement assistance which provided me with workshops including videotaped interview rehearsals. Very helpful.

      Naturally, how all this is received is going to depend on your track record with the employee you’re laying off. If you were a cad or a jacka** with the employee, any of the above may come off sounding insincere. In such cases, it would probably be best to just try to be businesslike – and, if you can manage it in a heartfelt way, to apologize.

      Whatever you do, though, don’t be cruel, manipulative, or dishonest. If the employee you’re letting go decides to go over your head – whether it’s to a higher-up manager he/she may happen to know, or to a regulatory agency or legal advisor, the whole thing could backfire on you.

      And who knows when you may be joining the person you’re terminating on the unemployment line?

    • #3289427

      Escort them out!

      by michael.wolfstone ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      In my 20 or so years of IT management, the safest bet, whether someone quits, is laid off or is terminated, and regardless of notice given, have a trusted employee supervise the person leaving while clearing out their desk and escort them to the door immediately. Be sure to disable their login and remote access.

      • #3289267

        A trusted employee

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Escort them out!

        The guy you are getting rid of might have thought he was trusted. The guy you trusted to get rid him might be saying hey !!!!

        You should at least have the bottle to do it yourself, otherwise you aren’t worth much, no matter how valid your reasons.

        In my far from humble opinion anyway.

    • #3289337

      Laying off IT Pro

      by noly_big_boy ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      If I myself would be terminated with or without due process, personally I would not put my carrer at risk. I had earned the trust of the company for 6 six years and I have a complete control of their data. But what is data compared to what is there ahead of me.

      Although it depends on the IT guy but I think the company should prepare before laying off somebody in IT. They should realize the risk involve before closing doors to somebody exposed to corporate data. One good step is to never entrust everything to one guy. Another guy or the IT manager should also know the work that he has delegated to his team. Make sure that everything has been documented and always keep a backup of sensitive data in a vault.

    • #3289291

      Take no risks

      by chaz chance# ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      A company I once contracted for disposed of staff quite brutally.

      The first one senior manager new of his “decision to spend more time with his family” was when he thought he saw someone breaking into his company car. When he attempted to ring work to tell them he was going to be late because the car had been stolen, his mobile didn’t work. After making the call fronm a land-line, he got a taxi.

      Arriving at work he found that his RFID card wouldn’t get him through the doors. Going to the front desk, security were called and he was marched into an office, searched and all company property removed from his person whilst he waited for a HR person to come.

      The HR person gave him a letter with his termination information, plus a written reminder of the “corporate confidentiality” agreement he had signed. He was told not to contact any of his former colleagues.

      Then he was escorted from the building.

      He had committed no crime, the company was just downsizing.

      • #3289261

        brutal or expected.,,

        by pongo06 ·

        In reply to Take no risks

        A lot of people are touching on the idea of firings being brutal and I think we all understand that it affects us emotionally. IT pros, and really any employees, need to keep their goals in their front pocket and their hearts in their shoes.

        As an employee, I don’t mind the firm I work for considering me as a liability. I expect to be escorted out. I expect to be treated like someone who has breached corporate security. Heck, I expect to arrive at work with the technological portions of my workspace removed(if possible).

        Know your employer, understand your goals and be proactive.

    • #3289266

      Take two for safety . . .

      by claudiocurcio ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      How to hire/fire people are processes that must be carefully designed, especially for IT and critical mission Departments. If this processes are in place, the lay off should happend smoothly.

      Adopt strong IT organization standards and procedure to define who should do what when.

      Double control is a must.

      Have a backup & recovery plan up to date, externally audited by prestigious IT Consultants firm.

      Know what happens looking yourself.

      And at last…take two people for each critical area for safety.

    • #3289255

      Short and Sweet

      by jcritch ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      If indeed this is a layoff, most IT people have a good idea something may happen sometime soon. I work with Human Resources to approve a severance package if available, if so I will lay off the individual on a Monday and at least try to pay him/her through the week. I have also informed a individual that starting today, their access has been restricted and will serve as a consultant until day of termination. Basically the only system he can use is placed on a VLAN with no communication to live systems. Allows them to pound career builder, monster and other employment sites. Shows compassion to those left behind and eliminates the emotional impact a lay off could have on everyone involved. I also tell them we will monitor all activity.

      I was ?eliminated? once, and given the option to leave now or stay. I decided to stay and make the most of my time there. I was able to use the nice the high speed internet ( No such thing as Cable or DSL back then), obtain some coaching from peers and supervisors, and most of all obtain letters of recommendation from executives. If I was asked to leave immediately, and the lay off was due to financial reasons, I would ask for letters of recommendation before I left. Heck I even had a few composed and asked the executives signed them. No one can extol your abilities better then yourself.

    • #3289228

      Had it happen to a customer of ours

      by dons_ca ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      A customer of ours needed our help to clean things up after an employee who was fired kept getting into the system and screwing with it. Now, this company was stupid to begin with: all they had was a cell phone number and SS number for this guy, no actual address.

      We had to change the root password of their Unix box several times before we cleaned up and reset passwords for all accounts on it. We suggested the reset the first time, but they did not want to. They lost sales history data and some other info.

      • #3289181


        by ed woychowsky ·

        In reply to Had it happen to a customer of ours

        I worked at a company that was in the process of mass layoffs, their approach was to notify the people six or eight weeks beforehand dropping a little hint that that the decision wasn?t final. Basically this was a thinly veiled attempt to get as much work as possible out of the condemned before execution. What they didn?t count on was human nature, that people have a tendency to be somewhat distracted on death row.

        Sure enough the inevitable happened, an operator loaded a test tape on the production billing system. Now this was a company with at least 26 billing systems and wouldn?t you know it, it was the billing system for the Federal government. This was kind of a hard thing to hide once the bills arrived at their destinations.

        The suits that had orchestrated this entire fiasco decided that the proper course of action was to sue the operator for damages. The operator?s lawyer countersued on the basis that the operator was under undo stress do to the layoff and that the suits were persecuting the operator. The trial took a few weeks and left the operator twenty million or so better off and the suits without a job.

    • #3289176

      IT all depends on the person and the situation

      by blueknight ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      There is no “one way fits all” when it comes to sacking an IT person.

      A truly good manager will know what makes his people tick, or not, and will handle each accordingly.

      Certain IT workers will need to be escorted immediately to the door while someone else is revoking all system access they had been granted in order to be certain everything they worked on keeps running.

      Of course this doesn’t work when you have a developer type such as one in the Silicon Valley I heard about years ago… seems he put some checks into the payroll system that checked for a change in his employment status — if he was terminated, all the files would be erased. After he was sacked, the story has it that they had to bring him back in to recover what was lost because he had all the knowledge. This also reflects poorly on the management allowing a single point of failure.

      Back in ’96 my position was eliminated as part of a cost cutting attempt – even though I had showed them how to save even more without layoffs. They figured that since I was the mainframe systems programmer etc., when the machine was unplugged, they didn’t need me. They didn’t realize that I also managed the LAN, WAN and a bunch of other stuff in addition. My boss was great and allowed me whatever time I needed for job fairs, interviews etc. Sure I was disappointed in the loss of my job of 16 years, but like Tony Hopkinson said, we’re called IT professionals for a reason.

      Those in management just need to be fully aware of each situation and how the affected employee could react, and plan the termination accordingly.

    • #3289170

      Lay off or Fire???

      by trenton.wilkins ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      I noticed that your question is Lay Off, not fire an IT Guy. If its a lay off, and you have trusted the guy to to now, then I would continue to do so. Being downsized, etc. is part of this business. Treat the guy professionally and he should act that way.
      If you are needing to fire the guy then all of the other advice about not letting him near any systems first thing in the morning is best.

    • #3224465

      This depends on the reason

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      Mostly I’ve heard this type of mentality from Upper Management and what I draw from that is that is what they would do and expect others to be as [b]Unprofessional[/b] as they are.

      In 34 + years of working with computers in now what is called IT I’ve never seen a professional do something like this as it would adversely impact on their reputation which is far more important than anything else to them. If they have Integrity they maintain it at all costs. If they are not IT professionals and are there because some senior person at the company recommended them for the position and they are as useful as [b]Teats on a Bull[/b] that’s a different story and the person needs to be treated differently.

      But over the years I’ve seen departing office workers literally disable entire networks before they left. Of course they deleted things that required a reboot and didn’t reboot so when next morning someone came in and turned things on nothing worked.

      I’ve seen the mess that a departing Management has made of a system that has taken days to clean out, generally they infect them with Virus and the like and delete the Data Base but because of their total lack of knowledge they do little else and still walk away with a [b]Golden Handshake.[/b]

      But I’ve yet to see a true professional damage a system that they have been responsible for. Things like Logic Bombs are not common from the IT fraternity and unless something really nasty has been done to the person in question I don’t think that it’s likely to really happen. Most Professionals would prefer to say [b]F### You and walk away[/b] rather than be tied up with doing something as petty as what you are suggesting.

      Of course if they are someones child who knows everything that there is to know all bets are off as these are not Professionals but want to Be’s with nothing to loose as they have no Professional Standards to live by to begin with and didn’t get the job by their merits but where handed it on a silver plate to mess up as they please.

      If it is one of these types I would walk them out the door without allowing them access to anything related to the computer network and at the same time remove the LAN from any outside Access till any back door’s that had been inserted have been locked down and blocked.

      With Professionals if you treat them right they will always understand why such & such is happening that doesn’t mean that they’ll like it but they’ll understand it and accept it. If you run around like a child and insist on treating people as untrustworthy they act accordingly.

      But as you have employed someone who isn’t a true professional you basically get what you pay for and if you pay peanuts and treat them like SHAT you have to expect disgruntled monkeys.


      • #3224350

        I think you hit the nail on the head

        by rknrlkid ·

        In reply to This depends on the reason

        I’ve been laid off three times in my life, and I never would have considered retaliation. Except for one time, I didnt have any heartburn about the fact it happened. However, the key to it all was the attitudes and actions of the management. In most cases, a senior manager took me aside and explained the situtation to me, told me my options, and told me how he wasn’t necessarily pleased that he had to do it, etc etc. The one time that I did have heartburn, my manager had a completely different manager tell me I had been let go. The second manager also told me how he thought that my manager was so poor in that he couldn’t face his employees after he made his decision to let them go. The other manager acted professionally; my own manager didn’t.

        There is no accounting for personality, of either the manager or employee. But that is why there are professional standards, so the flaws of human nature are overcome, at least for brief periods. Unfortunately, management in many cases has become a playground for the egotistical, their private domain where they can humiliate and exercise “power.”

        This relates to the threads about the network “belonging” to the individual systems administrator. Usually that type of person is not professional, and has a personality flaw that will reveal itself over time. (In my experience, these flaws are usually something serious and self destructive, like drug or alcohol abuse.) When dismissed, this is the type of person who will get angry and will “show them” before going home.

        We live, unfortunately, in a world where perpetual adolescence is encouraged, and maturity is neglected. What else, I suppose, can we expect?

        I started rambling there; sorry about the rant!

    • #3224302

      Best way?

      by angry_white_male ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      Don’t let the employee out of your sight until he’s out the door. If you have a trusted network admin – have him disable the employee’s network account, kill the VPN account, unplug the employee’s PC from the network, etc… – while the employee is learning his fate. NEVER EVER give someone with administrative rights to your network advance notice that he’s about to be let go. When the time comes – do it, take immediate steps to mitigate any damage and don’t let the employee out of your sight!

      As for “proactive” measures that a disgruntled IT employee may take ahead of time – make sure the employee is aware of the legal/criminal ramifications for doing so – make the exit interview his last chance to fess up (not to accuse him but to be sure that he did or he didn’t). If he did – you have a chance to stop it.

      Hopefully the domain admin password isn’t given out to IT staff (they should have their own domain admin logon you can kill without causing problems downstream).

    • #3224206

      Arrest him

      by daverot20 ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      I was working at an aeronautical plant and the IT manager was faking emergency callouts as he was travelling 60 miles on an emergency callout at $500 a time , he planted a time bomb. Lastime I heard of him the serious fraud squad locked him away.

      • #3224883

        Unless that was a tongue in cheek comment

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Arrest him

        you might want to read the post again.

    • #3224201

      What was this thread about, anyway?

      by kiltie ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      So many people being rude to each other, I kinda got lost


      (guess I’ll get fired now, for posting that :S )

    • #3224836

      garden leave

      by greenmole ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      I have worked on telecom networks for the last 6 years and just give him garden leave, i.e pay them there notice and don’t risk your security.

      • #3225290

        high road

        by jaysona ·

        In reply to garden leave

        just follow that path and you’ll be shown the promised land 🙂

    • #3225285

      Have respect for former company, and self

      by derek schauland ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      I have to think that the individual being let go would have the respect for his peers in the IT industry and for himself to avoid causing damage to a company that let them go.

      Someone is going to be charged with cleaning up the mess, not to mention the potential legal ramifications of causing damage…

      Take it with a grain of salt, as it is a business decision. And move on

    • #2497109

      Harsh, but catch him unprepared

      by akumudzi2 ·

      In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

      Some would do that yes, people have different ways of handling bad news. Some completely forget there’s a tomorrow and do stupid things like that.

      My strategy would be to catch him unprepared. Crocodile smiles etc… Then just don’t let him in the next day (after changing all security info of-course)

      As for the ones that would install a virus, such characters should be filtered out during hiring…

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