Saturday, February 11, 2006

Office Ineptitude

Having worked in office environments in the past, and now working in one again on a daily basis, you quickly learn the line between what is appropriate in an office situation and what isn't. Supervisors can and do monitor e-mails, phone calls, faxes, and other communications coming from outlets that were set up for conducting business on a daily basis. Some are more lenient than others, and very few mind if you send a personal e-mail from your work address while taking a five-minute breather. I've done this, and I know few people who work in offices every day who never send a personal e-mail from their company account or never use a company line for a personal call. Business communication tools are not for personal use, however, and any reputable company cautions its employees to avoid turning the tools of business into a personal toy.

Now-former lottery official Steve Adams would have us believe that while professional standards of communication apply to the private business world, the same standards do not apply to the officials of the Tennessee Lottery. Its okay, according to Adams, for him to send crude, suggestive, and even pornographic jokes from his state e-mail because people in the office "need something to laugh about."

Shame on the State for not monitoring this kind of activity more closely up to now. Why did it take so long to fire Adams? Surely someone knew what he was doing. Are the present gang of people who administer the Executive offices of Tennessee so inept that they don't know when someone like Adams engages in inappropriate workplace behavior?

Most reputable companies wouldn't tolerate that behavior for five minutes. Now, even the Davidson County Chancellor thinks that the State should put up with that kind of filth from employees on the job.

Adams deserved to be fired, it is good that he was removed. A fair question to be asked, however, is why it took so long for that to happen.


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