Saturday, September 03, 2005

Man fired for pizza-eating wins cruise with fired Apprentice contestants


Sometimes, it's a good thing to get fired. It all depends on why you got the boot in the first place.

Getting fired isn't difficult in these "at-will employment" times, but some folks get downright creative about it. You could find some perverse thing to do with the prosthetics made by your employer, like one factory worker. Or you could use the security x-ray machine to give an impromptu MRI—the courtroom guard in Springfield, MO who did that was unaware that it was all caught on video.

You could utilize "found objects" as makeshift swords, like the furniture mover who was fired after indulging in a "dildo duel" with a co-worker, jousting with the adult sex toys found in the client's bedroom. If your found object was a dead buzzard, putting the carcas on the automated chicken-packaging line, as two young men did, would certainly get you fired.

Perhaps a disability brought you down, like the shipping clerk who misheard instructions to send some sensitive data to microfilm, eMailing it to "Michael Finn" instead. You could misdirect a "NetSend" message, shooting the word about an itch on a rather unmentionable part of your anatomy to the boss instead of the co-worker you intended.

Or you could write down your prize-winning tale of firing and wind up on a free Caribbean cruise with the fired contestants of The Apprentice instead.

That's what happened to Jim Garrison, a computer engineer from Colorado, who was fired because he ate some pepperoni pizza left over from a company meeting. Garrison, who declined to identify the company that fired him, described the incident as a simple mistake. He saw the six slices of pizza, left after a meeting in another department, and ate two of them, thinking they would go to waste otherwise. Other employees had planned to take home the leftovers, and they reported Garrison. Ultimately—one month after the incident—he was let go. "I know I made an impression," Garrison said, "to this day my former coworkers refer to unattended pizza as 'programmer bait'."

The contest generated a lot of traffic for the Silicon Valley company who conceived it, Simply Hired, Inc. So enticing was the contest site, in fact, that one woman's entry said she got fired for spending too much company time scrolling through all the postings to the Simply Fired contest site.

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