Sunday, June 11, 2006

Proof That Boeing Learned Something From McDonnell Douglas

It appears that a 19 year Boeing employee, Gerald Eastman, was fired recently for downloading proprietary information he was not authorized to view off of company servers. Eastman was allegedly feeding information to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, and he was also involved in several complaints to the Friendly Aviation Administration about his employer and then ended up filing a complaint against the FAA. Of course, now he's a whistleblower and it's all retaliation-just like the Pruitt lawsuit that's corrupting the atmosphere in Wichita these days.

What makes this story interesting is that it has direct parallels to events I saw take place at Douglas. When an employee became a large enough pain in the ass to the company (and don't ask me what possesses these folks, because I do not understand it at all), the company, once the decision was made that the particular person was an asp in their bosom, would make sure that the employee got gone, with extreme prejudice.

To Boeing's and Douglas' credit, it usually took a lot of pushing to get them to the point they said "This guy's got to go." But when the decision was made, it was final and unappealable.

I saw this happen on half a dozen separate occasions to half a dozen different people, three of whom worked in my work group. They all shared one common characteristic: by their conduct they didn't want to be at Douglas and they deserved to be fired.

One thing that I've never understood is why people fail to get this concept-if you work for someone, take the paychecks and so on, you owe them a duty of loyalty and fidelity, to keep their secrets, to work diligently to advance their interests, avoid saying bad things about them in public, and to refrain from taking property that they own but you do not. That applies until you're off the payroll and off the property.

Once you're outside the plant gate and off the payroll, why, you can stand there all day long with a sign and hand out petitions if you like. But they never do, do they?


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