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Life, Yeah Write

Too Stupid For His Own Good – How I Accidentally Got Someone Fired

It started at as it normally did; an email from him saying he had a computer that wouldn’t boot and he was going to send it to me to fix.

This Desktop is beeping and the red light on the front is blinking. It sound like the Bios or the motherboard maybe bad. I’m sending it to you could you please check it out and send it back.

He is one of the most incompetent IT guys I’ve ever had the “pleasure” of working with. Thankfully, he worked in another office so I never had to deal with him face to face. I just had to endure his incessant and idiotic questions over the phone and via email.

I received the desktop last Thursday. I took it from the box and placed it on my desk. I connected a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the machine. I then plugged it in and flicked the power button. Sure enough, instead of the green indicator light illuminating it began blinking red and cacophonously beeped 5 times in succession. Generally, when an HP computer beeps five times it means there’s something wrong with the memory.

I unplugged the machine and popped the cover off. I immediately knew what was wrong with the memory upon gazing into the machine’s innards. There was no memory at all. I repeat: this machine had no memory. Four empty memory slots were staring right back at me.

This is something even the most novice IT person should know to check. A computer, of any sort, will not run without memory. Not your desktop. Not your laptop. Not your smart phone. Not your tablet. Absolutely no computational device can run without memory. The very fact that this tool couldn’t figure this out without my help irritated me greatly. I was fed up with his ineptitude.

I responded to his original email with the “reply all” button, which meant that my boss and my boss’ boss would see my reply.

There is no memory in this machine, Dilweed (<—not actually his name). That’s why it won’t start.

Not long afterward, I received an email from the project manager inquiring why I would deploy a machine with no memory in it. The answer is quite simple; I didn’t.

I checked the machine’s history in our asset management software and found it had been in that office for almost 2 years, and had been in use up until a couple of months ago, which meant that someone in that office had taken the memory out of it.

What began with anger at my coworker’s incompetence had led to the discovery that someone had been stealing company property. It never occurred to me that the memory had been stolen, though in hindsight it makes perfect sense. Of course, who would be stupid enough to steal memory out of a computer and then send that computer to another IT guy for repairs because it wouldn’t boot? Well, that guy.

Later that day, my inept coworker turned into my former coworker.

It surely wasn’t my intent to get this guy fired, but it was long overdue. This guy couldn’t do anything right and we repeatedly had to explain the same things to him. I’m sorry he lost his job, but he had no business working in IT. Hopefully, he’ll land on his feet quickly.


Audience Participation Time!

Have you ever caught someone stealing or gotten someone fired? Confess below. You will not be judged…publicly.

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Discussion

82 thoughts on “Too Stupid For His Own Good – How I Accidentally Got Someone Fired

  1. ugh, office drama is something I don’t miss. tough day.

    Like

    Posted by icescreammama | March 11, 2014, 9:22 am
  2. I think I’ve worked with that guy.
    I wonder if the memory from that machine went to upgrade another…

    Like

    Posted by El Guapo | March 11, 2014, 9:24 am
  3. Not caught someone stealing…worse than that, though I can’t share details. Let’s just say there was abuse involved both times. And the second time, I got to do the firing. Didn’t mind doing it a bit!

    Like

    Posted by praw27 | March 11, 2014, 9:28 am
  4. Man, I only wish that I had been able to get a coworker (or two) fired. Not to mention my former boss.

    Like

    Posted by cynkingfeeling | March 11, 2014, 9:35 am
  5. Wow, how did this guy get hired in the first place? Hopefully he takes this as a sign that he’s not made for the IT industry…or theft.

    I worked as a project manager and regularly had to fire casual ‘writers’. I felt so incredibly bad afterwards, even though they had the linguistic ability of a Lego toy.

    Like

    Posted by Nadia | March 11, 2014, 9:40 am
  6. Eh, it happens.

    Like

    Posted by merbear74 | March 11, 2014, 10:35 am
  7. I caught my boss streaming loads of money from the company (a non profit at that) he demoted me, made sure I was sufficiently pissed off and quit (would you believe his wife was on the board of directors?)

    Like

    Posted by Marie | March 11, 2014, 10:53 am
  8. He’s lucky that he was “only” fired. He could have been prosecuted, as well. What a moron.

    Like

    Posted by 1jaded1 | March 11, 2014, 11:01 am
  9. That’s hilarious Twindaddy – that someone would be so inept he would steal and then ask for help – Ha! I’m in transportation/distribution and over the years have flip-flopped back and forth between driving and management. As a manager I’ve had to fire more people than I can remember, but, in my defense, I’ve hired far, far more. It’s useful to see the whole process from hiring to firing – helps in choosing the right people from the start. Over the years, I’ve come to realize a few solid “rules” to go by. First and foremost virtually everyone wants to contribute and add value – it is an ingrained part of being human. Second, everyone needs to be shown how they can add value by you, the manager. Third, every time you have to fire someone, you have failed as a manager to leverage the desire of that employee to add value. That being said, there are a few who cannot be reached or do not care. I’ve only had to fire about 2% for stealing – it is rare (believe it or not). And I do not tolerate that – no second chances.

    Every organization has a structure and a set of rules in order to add value to the customer. Sometimes, an employee has personal quirks that do not allow them to add value in that framework, but they could flourish in another job. I’ve always tried to match the employee to the right job before taking the final step and even then, if I think they can add value someplace else, I’ll often try to help them. Truly, it is amazing how big a difference it makes to a person when they realize they are important, are contributing and adding value to an organization where they help to accomplish that which no one person could on their own. It makes them glow.

    I think the most memorable example I’ve seen of that came some years ago when I was the manager responsible for distribution for a large retail company. We had over 100 stores with 5,000 employees that required about 50 tractor-trailers and 70 drivers doing 16,000 deliveries per year. They, and the shippers, were my responsibility. The stores were a form of franchise, so the store owners held a lot of power in the system (in fact they drove it). I had one driver, who I had hired, whose interpersonal skills were seriously lacking. He was always on time, was excellent with the equipment, did the deliveries perfectly, took direction well, learned constantly, was painfully honest – and could and would get into an argument with any human being he encountered. It became painfully obvious, after multiple trips to my office that he had to go. Any driving job (which he wanted to continue doing) in our organization was going to involve interacting with store owners and he was an abysmal failure at that. So, I fired him. He was sad to lose his job but understood why. I called the owner of a local company that hauled trailers overnight from Ottawa to Montreal, and explained my problem and asked if they were interested (it is very difficult to get drivers to work all overnight shifts and my ex-employee was fine with that). They asked me to send him over for an interview. So, I gave him the contact info and sent him on his way with his termination papers.

    About 4 months later, I was working away at my desk when there was a knock at my door and when I looked up – there was the driver. I waved him in and he walked up to my desk, stuck out his hand (I confess, I was a bit nervous) and said; “I want to thank you so much for firing me. I had no idea how much it bothered me to deal with people. I got that job you sent me to and I love it. I make two round trips a night and I see no one. I am happier than I’ve ever been.” And with a hand shake, he turned and left.

    Like

    Posted by Paul | March 11, 2014, 11:14 am
    • That’s an awesome story, Paul. Most people in managerial positions don’t care enough to do anything like that, sadly. I’ve ran across some good managers over the years who genuinely care about their employees and doing what is right, but most of them could give a shit less. They are there for the paycheck and that’s it.

      Like

      Posted by Twindaddy | March 11, 2014, 12:30 pm
      • Yeah, that’s true, but, you know, the poor managers are generally that way because their bosses are poor. A bad boss does not stop you, as a manager, from treating your direct reports with respect. You can stop enough of the shit from flowing downhill that you can grow an organization despite your immediate superiors. And, I’ll tell you a little secret. When you treat your bad boss with the same respect you treat your employees – always looking for and expecting the best – you effect them too in positive ways. In a nut shell, it is not only possible, but often necessary, to lead upwards.

        Like

        Posted by Paul | March 11, 2014, 2:24 pm
    • Paul, you are my favorite person today.

      Like

      Posted by 1jaded1 | March 11, 2014, 1:20 pm
  10. I’ve only directly gotten one douchebag fired and I must say it was incredibly satisfying. Drew (his actual name) made my life miserable but I kept my mouth shut because I’m not a douche. He told lies, took credit for my work, told more lies and then the day came when one employee got a new company computer. Because he was such a lying sack of shit, Drew convinced The Boss that HE needed the new computer. I got his old one.

    Being the nosy sort, I did a thorough search of his hard drive (hoping for porn – and offense that called for immediate dismissal) before putting any of my files on it and lo and behold he had underbid The Company for a job in an effort to take said job (90% of our work) away from The Company he and I both worked for.

    Yeah. That didn’t go over well and headquarters fired his ass. Some months later he was out on his own, doing consulting work. He needed an engineer to sign off on his drawings. He made the mistake of coming to the company where I worked (different company, but it’s a small world in this industry) and asking to make a deal. I informed The Boss of his lying, cheating ways and soon there wasn’t a legitimate engineer within 20 miles who would partner with him.

    Revenge is sweet, but I wish I could have seen his face.

    Like

    Posted by Sofia Leo | March 11, 2014, 11:28 am
  11. I got a former asshat coworker in trouble once on accident. She stole all these books from the library under another account – her married name. None of us knew she was actually married. So I kept sending these overdue bills to this address and they bounced back. Then another coworker recognized the name – apparently she had told her about being married for some reason. So I asked one of my bosses about it and she got this “FINALLY” look on her face cause the little twit was the pet of my other boss and got away with murder. So she sent a nasty letter to her telling her to get all that stuff back pronto. Dumb thing is the girl could have just checked the stuff back in by typing in the barcode. No one could have traced it to her. She was just that full of herself and thought she was invincible because she was the pet. Turned out, when she went to her other job, she got fired in like 2 days. No one else was impressed with her B.S.

    It was an accident, but I was realllly happy I got to give her hell. Twit.

    Like

    Posted by aliceatwonderland | March 11, 2014, 11:44 am
  12. Without stupid people life would be so boring…

    Like

    Posted by pouringmyartout | March 11, 2014, 12:02 pm
  13. What a dumbass. Did he really think you wouldn’t notice the missing memory? Or did he think you would forget to mention it?

    Like

    Posted by Rhonda | March 11, 2014, 12:17 pm
  14. I can’t imagine anything more scary than an incompetent IT person. I am lucky to work around crazily competent people. They inspire me. YOu did what you had to do.

    Like

    Posted by outlawmama | March 11, 2014, 12:17 pm
  15. Maybe he was trying to cover up his theivery with the guise of incompetence? Or is that giving him way too much credit?

    Like

    Posted by The Cutter | March 11, 2014, 12:38 pm
  16. Wow there. My husband works in IT, and some of the people he tells me about astound me with their incompetence/laziness. It really makes the great workers stand out, though.

    Like

    Posted by Natalie DeYoung | March 11, 2014, 1:09 pm
  17. I haven’t gotten anyone fired like that, no. But, as a young kid, right out of college, I went to work in a department of 8 people (1 manager and 7 employees), and over the course of the next year, our department shrunk to 2 people (1 manager, and me)… based on the numbers I could get through every day, and a slight down turn in the work we needed to do), the powers that make those kind of decisions determined that if they kept me (someone with a year of experience) they could get rid of everyone else (including people that had 15+ years of experience). Part of me has always felt a bit guilty about that…

    Like

    Posted by djmatticus | March 11, 2014, 1:30 pm
  18. I have managed to get three people fired.

    The first time, it was not my fault. I worked in a boutique. One of my co-workers, Rose, liked to smoke weed in the back room. She got caught by the owners, who wanted to fire her. The manager stuck up for her and put her own job on the line if it ever happened again. The next time she decided to get high, she fell asleep in the back room. The owners also had a tuxedo shop in the same mall. On the day Rose was snoozing in the back, the manager of the tuxedo shop came in. When he asked where Rose was, I ratted her out. They both got fired, and I became the new manager. Don’t judge me. Rose was a lazy bitch! And, Pam, the manager, spent more time roaming the mall with her boyfriend than she spent in the store. They both deserved what they got.

    The second time I got someone fired, I was working at a new job. It was a job in an executive office – where the President and Vice-President people work. There was a woman who was employed there because she knew someone. She literally did nothing, but sit on the sofa in my office – taking up space. Okay, she did use the President’s bathroom before he came into work to do her hair – then she sat on the sofa. When the question was put straight to me whether I thought we should keep “what’s her name?” or fire her; I said, “Fire her.” Who needs someone hanging out in their office all day doing nothing? I don’t know if she was lazy. She just served no obvious purpose.

    I’m really a nice person. However, I am also an honest person.

    Reply all: That was very evil genius of you :) And he had it coming. I hate incompetence.

    Like

    Posted by Robin | March 11, 2014, 2:25 pm
  19. Oh wow, glad he’s gone! Did he steal my memory too?! I’m missing it! I don’t think that I’ve gotten anyone fired or caught anyone stealing.

    Like

    Posted by behindthemask | March 11, 2014, 3:11 pm
  20. Incompetence and theft is a nasty combo, TD. You did the right thing.

    Me, I’ve never gotten anyone fired. I am, however incredibly good at making incompetent people realize that they hate their job so much that they quit. Not by making their lives miserable, but I can plant seeds that grow quickly in their own minds. It’s a useful skill.

    Like

    Posted by Elyse | March 11, 2014, 6:57 pm
  21. yes I have – for downloading porn on a work computer and thereby infecting it with a virus. He brought it on himself. But I had to trawl the websites and get info for the report to HR. I will never see Justin Timberlake (or Justin Trousersnake as we renamed him) in the same light.
    Eugh, now I have to go and scrub out my brain!

    Like

    Posted by electronicbaglady | March 12, 2014, 4:22 am
  22. Ugh I would say I can’t believe it, but I totally can. My husband is an IT guy too, and the stories he tells always fall somewhere between ridiculous and absolutely infuriating.

    Like

    Posted by Sam Merel | March 12, 2014, 11:21 am
  23. Reply-all may not always be the best choice to make when you’re angry, but I wouldn’t feel guilty if they guy was stealing from the company.

    Like

    Posted by Vanessa D. | March 13, 2014, 7:05 pm
  24. Oh dear not good. In my job I come accross loads of incidents. Some I believe? Some I dont!! One this is for sure I have learned that not everyone tells the truth or behaves as I would!! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    Posted by buttercups1971 | March 15, 2014, 5:17 am
  25. Ye gods the stupidity of people. I shouldn’t be surprised, though. But it is scary just how many people come from the shallow end of the gene pool.

    Like

    Posted by faithhopechocolate | March 25, 2014, 8:17 am

We don't tolerate scum.

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