.beware solitaire.

13 02 2006

I stumbled upon this article at yahoo news a few days ago, and I just had to share it. But first I’ll give you a synopsis of what its about. Basically the current mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, stopped by the city’s legislative office in Albany, NY and was making his rounds around the office shaking hands, posing for pictures taken by his photographer, and “meet the workers” type stuff. When he got to Office assistant Edward Greenwood IX who was going over some papers while Bloomberg was making his way through the office, Greenwood stood, shook Bloomberg’s hand and the photographer snapped a photo. What Greenwood didn’t know was that Bloomberg had spotted a game of solitaire running on Greenwood’s computer. Bloomberg said nothing about it to Greenwood but later on Bloomberg told an aide to fire Greenwood because of the game. Bloomberg defended his no tolerance decision.

“The workplace is not an appropriate place for games,” Bloomberg said. “It’s a place where you’ve got to do the job that you’re getting paid for.”

This guy Greenwood never had any prior offences, had been working at the office for about six years and has a toddler child at home. He mentioned that he does play solitaire which he limits to one-hour lunch or during quick breaks in order to give his mind a break from the stress of work.

Here is a link to the original article.

Now I am a business student, who will be obtaining a degree in a few months (hopefully) and I can see that improper use of computers can lead to lower output, but give me a break. If it wasn’t solitaire, time could be wasted in many other ways. This guy could of just stared at the ceiling for 20 minutes, would that be more acceptable to Bloomberg? We all know that there are plenty of people at our jobs who spend way more time than a lunch break or a quick mind refresher break to waste some time. Making your employees fear you is not the greatest way to increase output and it sure beats down employee morale. If Bloomberg really didn’t want anyone playing games at work then he should of made sure that no computer in the office even contained a game. My old job’s computers had every game that comes installed on a Windows PC removed, (not that finding an internet game was all that hard). But if you attempt to make your employees understand that a little break here and there is alright as long as you don’t go overboard, then your employees may actually enjoy their work environment. A happy employee is a productive employee. Bad employee morale can really kill your output. Just think, if you were in a position where you knew a bunch of layoffs were about to happen and your department might be the one that gets hit, would you work at your full potential? Or would you feel like there is no point, that you will get fired no matter how hard you work. I’d probably feel the latter. Well I guess that’s enough ranting and raving from me.

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One response

13 02 2006

You’re right, if employees had a way to de-stress then they would be more productive. Bloomberg should follow the example of Google.

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