Scandal!

by Evil HR Lady on September 22, 2006

I’ve been avoiding blogging about the HP scandal. Why? Because I’m guilty of pretexting myself.

Now get off your high horse because I bet you are as well. Or your spouse is. Here’s my most recent pretexting sin: Ordering a free credit report for my husband. It was easy. I know his social security number. I know his mother’s maiden name. I know how much each of our financial obligations are and I download all credit card activity into Quicken regularly (he would say, obsessively), so any question Experian can come up with, I can answer it.

Of course, after ordering the report, I printed it out and showed it to him at dinner. Nothing sinister going on here. Honest. (Although we do joke that since I pay all the bills I could easily have 37 maxed out credit cards and he would never know.)(I don’t, by the way.)

But, I’m done confessing my sins, let’s talk about HPs.

Private phone records were obtained through deception, among other things. Why? Because chairwoman Patricia Dunn wanted to know who was guilty of leaking information.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on such things. But here is Evil HR Lady’s advice for HP. If you will be embarrassed when what you are doing is made public, do not do it.

There. Isn’t that easy? I don’t care how much you want to know something. Use above board methods to find out.

The difference in my pretexting adventures and HPs? I don’t care if mine get splashed on the front page of the New York Times.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

she said: September 25, 2006 at 2:35 am

I mostly agree. I worked in high-tech for a long time. Apple computer had to be the most paranoid, but many companies were/are. I am still tied to a big fortune 500 company, so I monitor myself greatly to avoid conflict of interest issues.

So I understand the depth of leaks. Intended or otherwise. The problem I have with HP is not the pretexting.

It is trying to get hired as a janitor for CNET so they could snoop around. Having non employees and their family members surveiled.
And generally doing double secret spy stuff. There is no reason for this.

I won’t say how many companies I have worked for, but they all seemed to effectively keep leaks to a minimum without having their employees and their families followed. It just does create great moral.

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Evil HR Lady September 25, 2006 at 3:13 am

Yeah, the whole thing was over-the-top. Paranoid people are people you don’t want to be working for.

The legality of the whole thing is iffy–but the morality of it is pretty straight forward. It was not a good thing to do.

Having great morale does lead to fewer leaks, which leads to great morale. I wish companies would understand that if they trust their employees, their employees will be trustworthy.

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