We learned today of a man who left college with a computer science degree, got a job in his chosen field and promptly programmed a computer to do his new job at a company testing software.
He spent six years there playing League of Legends and browsing the internet. He said “From around six years ago up until now, I have done nothing at work. I am not joking. In the past six years I have maybe done 50 hours of real work. So basically nothing. And nobody really cared.”
But when IT found out about his ruse, he was dismissed (on notice).
It was only then that he realised that he had forgotten all that he had learned at university about programming computers.
Our take on this
Well, we laughed. But employees who swing the lead are common, though not usually with this level of mastery. We have heard of a secretary facing redundancy after a savvy intern realised that advanced features in excel could handle the cutting and pasting into spreadsheets she was doing. And we have heard of someone who was meant to be working from home but was in fact working from the other side of the world and was only found out when called to work for an emergency.
Was it gross misconduct? It’s hard to say. He did the job he was paid to do – testing software – and by all accounts the results pleased the company. It wasn’t pleased to find that it could have saved itself the money but frankly, an employee’s “duty of fidelity” to the company does not go as far as obliging you to report that your employer could save money by making you redundant.
We all try to find efficiencies, short-cuts in our work, and usually the employer benefits because it frees up our time to do other work.
It is by no means clear that failing to do this other work was gross misconduct. Hence why he was paid to leave. We would probably have paid him extra to keep quiet about this, because now the employer is outed as not knowing its ears from its elbow.