Sunday, May 07, 2006

Just What Is A "Firing Offense"?

By my previous two posts I do not want you readers to interpret my comments as condoning blog commenting on "company time". But also do not interpret the previous sentence as condemning it.

It is my understanding that Mr. Vehrs' job at Virginia Department of Business Assistance consists mainly of personally answering questions and otherwise being helpful to those who contact the department via phone and E-mail. Except on Fridays, when some of the comments in question were posted. On Fridays Mr. Vehrs is chained to his desk (no, not literally) answering E-mails and live Chat requests that come in via the department's website. Those duties can be handled very efficiently while carrying on a conversation with someone else in the office, or while doing the crossword in the Richmond Times Dispatch, or while reading the Wall Street Journal Online, or even while commenting on a blog.

Were we to find that a Commonwealth employee was doing any of those other activities while engaged in an equally demanding official duty I doubt that anyone of us would consider it to be a firing offense. Reprimanded, maybe. Punishable by a few days off without pay, possibly. But not in anyone's imagination would those other activities be considered grounds for firing.

No, only those with a political agenda, or those eager to pander to the unfortunate people of Henry County, or those who are afraid that their own lack of success in economic development in this area might become noticed would ever claim such action to be required.

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