Monday, February 19, 2007

Hi, My Name Is James And I am Screwed

Oh, baby
Originally uploaded by Andrea See.
A man who was fired by IBM for visiting an adult chat room at work is suing the company for $5 million, claiming he is an Internet addict who deserves treatment and sympathy rather than dismissal.

James Pacenza, 58, of Montgomery, says he visits chat rooms to treat traumatic stress incurred in 1969 when he saw his best friend killed during an Army patrol in Vietnam.

In papers filed in federal court in White Plains, Pacenza said the stress caused him to become "a sex addict, and with the development of the Internet, an Internet addict." He claimed protection under the American with Disabilities Act.

His lawyer, Michael Diederich, says Pacenza never visited pornographic sites at work, violated no written IBM rule and did not surf the Internet any more or any differently than other employees. He also says age discrimination contributed to IBM's actions. Pacenza, 55 at the time, had been with the company for 19 years and says he could have retired in a year.
If it goes to trial, the case could affect how employers regulate Internet use that is not work-related, or how Internet overuse is categorized medically. Stanford University issued a nationwide study last year that found that up to 14 percent of computer users reported neglecting work, school, families, food and sleep to use the Internet.

The study's director, Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, said then that he was most concerned about the numbers of people who hid their nonessential Internet use or used the Internet to escape a negative mood, much in the same way that alcoholics might.

I am board so I now surf.

Until he was fired, Pacenza was making $65,000 a year operating a machine at a plant in East Fishkill that makes computer chips.

Several times during the day, machine operators are idle for five to 10 minutes as the tool measures the thickness of silicon wafers.

So thats why the cell processors was so bad eh.

Diederich says Pacenza had returned that day from visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington and logged onto a site called ChatAvenue and then to an adult chat room.

Pacenza, who has a wife and two children, said using the Internet at work was encouraged by IBM and served as "a form of self-medication" for post-traumatic stress disorder. He said he tried to stay away from chat rooms at work, but that day, "I felt I needed the interactive engagement of chat talk to divert my attention from my thoughts of Vietnam and death."

"I was tempting myself to perhaps become involved in some titillating conversation," he said in court papers.

Pacenza said he was called away before he got involved in any online conversation. But he apparently did not log off, and when another worker went to Pacenza's station, he saw some chat entries, including a vulgar reference to a sexual act.

He reported his discovery to his boss, who fired Pacenza the next day.

What a rat fink! Oooo read this part;

Pacenza says he would have understood if IBM had disciplined him for taking an unauthorized break, but firing him was too extreme.

He argues that other workers with worse offenses were disciplined less severely — including a couple who had sex on a desk and were transferred.

Fred McNeese, a spokesman for Armonk-based IBM, would not comment.

They just wanted him gone. Thats just bullshit thought police shit right there if you are going to let people keep their jobs after screwing on company time and desks. And I now change it to, so thats the reason the cell processors were so screwed eh.

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