Danny Gelb
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Porno Tom

 

I received a call from Tom who worked for one of New Zealand's larger employers.  During a random (yeah right) IT audit, objectionable material was found on his company lap top.  Tom maintained that he never looked at it at work and that the last time he looked at it was ages ago.   Everyone deserves a defense, especially when there is the possibility of entertainment value.  The theory being that even if you are guilty of the crime with the right attitude and approach to the situation sometimes you can either effectively get off or have the punishment reduced from what it could be.

 

Side note here.

If you are in a disciplinary meeting and you don't want to be fired then tell the truth at all costs.   If your employer thinks you are lying during the disciplinary meeting then I can assure you that you are a gone burger.

 

In my pre-brief meeting I went through my standard drill of how to best portray yourself so that you have a better chance of not being fired.   Part of which was the truth speech.  Over time I have developed ways to read people.   I cant tell if someone is telling the truth, but I can usually spot lie.  If I can do it then it is highly plausible that others can do it better than me.   Therefore "No Truth" = "No Job".

 

We arrive at the office for the meeting.   They had one of those auto sign in health and safety registers.  Personally, I hate them.  I cant really see the point in them, other than it is there to personally frustrate me and it provides more jobs for people that develop, install and service them, which in turn is more opportunities for me to help people out.  Some of them even have little cameras hidden in the top of the screen that takes a snap of you when you click the accept button.  I have become an expert at typing some variant of my name in from left of field and the snap then shows a picture of the opposite blank wall or even better a mug shot of my client.   I must now also apologise to all those people whose first or last name starts with the letter "A" that have got an email from reception saying that I am there to see them.   Yes, you may have always been first in line at school due to the spelling of your name, but you have to take the good with the bad.  Likewise if your name is Zucker then the chances of you getting such an email from my actions are pretty remote.  The receptionist caught me trying to leave the printed sticker on the reception desk and reminded me in her authoritative voice that it must be warn at all times within the building.  She was having a PPA moment, (Petty Position of Authority).  Whilst giving her a pleasant smile I peeled the backing of the sticker and placed it vertically on my shirt and off we walked.

 

Cold welcome's are an occupational hazard in this business, but i was not expecting the icy reception we got that day.  There was no reply from them upon my hello greeting.  It was as though I was not there.  Well that's not entirely true.  Some assistant was present who did say hello to me and I even got a smile.   She must have been new to the job as she did not fit in with the sour culture of the others being the not so small lady from HR and my client's manager who looked down his nose at me.   "Do you have a business card?" was the first words spoken to me.  

 

The second being, "We want to hear from Tom, not you!" This is not an uncommon approach from employers.  In my younger years I would have fought back.   However, I have learnt over time, mostly from trial and error with the emphasis on the error, that you catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.  Once the employer realises that I am a somewhat balanced person who has a focus on resolution as opposed to a fight the guard drops and everyone tends to become civil.

 

Princess Charming then reads out the detailed list of allegations as written in the letter calling Tom to the disciplinary meeting.   She then added her personal views as to how disgraceful the material was that she had to view to determine the seriousness of this matter (just doing her job I guess) and that she should not have to be subjected to completing such disturbing tasks in her role of HR Manager.   It was a real dressing down.  I could see it in Tom's facial expression, he was truly embarrassed and ashamed.  Princess Charming went over the top, as in reality she could have reduced it down to seven words, "Why is there porn on your laptop?"

 

Tom had explained to me how it got there as we had rehearsed his answer to this obvious question so I sort of knew what was coming but I was not prepared for the words he actually used.

 

Tom told them how work had bought him a new laptop and that he wanted to get it sorted over the weekend so that he could hit the ground running with his new machine on Monday.   He tried to put both devices on his new home wifi to transfer from one to the other but it would not work.   He found this very frustrating as he spent many hours trying to make them connect without success.  Finally giving up on the wifi option Tom reaches to his desk, sift round in the draw and finds a USB stick.   He downloads the entire contents of his old laptop to the USB stick and then plugs it into his new computer to upload the contents.  What Pete did not realise at the time was that the USB stick he used, now wait for it as this part cracks me up.  "You see," says Tom, "The USB stick I randomly found in my desk draw I had forgotten that it contained my best porn and it all got uploaded to my new work laptop."

 

Here I am thinking your best porn?  You have got to be kidding me.   We never discussed this at our meeting prior.   Just as well it was not his worst porn.   Thinking about it how does one determine best porn as opposed to worst porn?  Is it similar to how art and movie critics work?  The mind boggles.

 

So his best porn was on the USB stick, and it got up loaded to his new laptop when he placed it in the USB port to upload the contents from his other computer.   So was his version of events of how the porn got there truthful?  At the end of the day it was irrelevant as it was company policy for a zero tolerance of such material on employer systems and devices.  Tom was fired, but all was not lost as he still had his USB stick with his best porn on it at home.

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