@Douglas - great (but sad) story. I've had exactly the same sort of #$@%-head boss too. One time he and some other managers decided our stores needed "Tidying up". They chucked out current radio equipment, power supplies, spares.....(no finger cots though :-) so I disobeyed the express instruction not to remove anything and quietly rescued all the useful stuff and put it back in our store. No one ever noticed. And people wonder why I equate managers to #$@%-heads unless they prove themselves otherwise.
The #$@%-head in question has since left. And I discovered that most of the rest of the department had much the same opinion as I had. You can't fool all of the people all of the time....
David Ashton said: @Douglas - it's very sad that so many commenters can relate this cartoon to true life situations!
"based upon a true-to-life"
In my case, I had almost always been an enthusiastic dumpster-diver, when it came to retrieving potentially useful components. Simply throwing this stuff away, to be thoughtlessly destroyed and pulverized beyond recognition, just seems to me to be a sort of sacrilege. And I can't resist... it's like rescuing a lost puppy...
... besides which, I've also always had plenty of projects, from festering ideas to WIPs, to feed them to. ( Just kidding! No puppies have ever been harmed in the course of working on my projects... at least none that I'm aware of. )
Anyway... this is a long story that I now feel compelled to explain ( apologies... I'll try to be as brief as possible ).
So my problem, I think, is that I was constantly in the naive habit of trying to make sure to be totally honest about it. If ever I found something unique or potentially valuable, I would always let my immediate supervisors, as well as the guy who managed the stockroom, know that I had found it. And I had always made it clear to them that if they wanted it back ( just in case the discard had been an error ) then they only had to ask.
None of them ever seemed to mind. Even though they always seemed to be throwing away a lot of stuff! Some of which I was even allowed, by one supervisor, to take home before it ended up in the trash-can.
I had even attempted to be fair, by not raiding the dumpsters every time I knew that they were clearing off some shelves, giving others a chance to "share-the-wealth". Of course, I would always still have to take a peek... and, oddly, no one else seldom ever touched the stuff. Not surprising, really... as most of the other technicians, there, seemed to get their kicks by destroying as much as they could get away with.
Then, one day... I found the dumpsters to be absolutely crammed with materials. A lot of it perfectly good stuff. Components, PCBs, fully populated modules, spools of wire, metal cases, front-panels and boxes of hardware, system-racks... a true treasure trove of electronic gold and jewels!
This was late in the day, after almost everyone else had gone home. So I dove in, and happily ( in a way that I imagine that only a few others, such as perhaps some folks here on these pages, can understand ) began sorting through it all. Finally, I ended up tossing anything and everything that looked remotely useful into the trunk of my car. Including... a few bags of what seemed to be, through the dark plastic packaging, some oddly skin-colored O-rings ( these things were apparently once used by the folks in assembly, in place of full latex gloves... I, myself, worked in a different department ).
It took a return trip to retrieve this haul. Luckily, at that time, I owned an actual home to take it back to. And, as usual, I let my immediate supervisor know ( this was at a time after that one other supervisor had left the company, for unknown reasons ).
Then, awhile later, I was called into the office of one of the general managers... a typical business-head sort of a guy.
He knew ( as did most everyone else ) that I had "dumpster-dived" that lot of materials. Except that, rather than being really concerned about any of the electronic materials that I had recovered, he seemed particularly... perhaps somewhat obsessively... concerned about the "finger-cots".
And he wanted to know exactly why I had taken them.
When I explained that I didn't actually know what they were, that apparently didn't satisfy him. He didn't want them back... but still, his displeasure at my having taken them was nonetheless obvious.
That meeting then ended with his directive that I was expressly forbidden from ever going near the dumpsters again. His reasons were "safety-concerns"... after all, the dumpsters tended to be somewhat unsafe and unsanitary ( which, for me, as a lab-technician who used to work with agricultural wastes and cattle-ranch by-products, was a non-issue ). And, for some while thereafter, they would often go to great lengths to make a show of having some of the technicians ( the guys who liked destroying things ) render discarded materials totally unusable.
Because of "finger-cots"?
Why... I don't know. Removed from the bags, the things look simply like uninflated skin-colored party-balloons, or perhaps they looked like some really tiny sort of......
My response to this cartoon is a caption which involves a tech-company general manager saying something like:
"Who cares about the discarded microprocessors, PCB boards, and system-racks. I want to know who took the finger-cots!"
True, this line would probably seem unfunny, and perhaps a bit perplexing, to most. But, it's actually based upon a long ( ... very long... ),compelling, and true-to-life story... of corporate mismanagement, which was tainted with just a bit of malicious perversity, at a company... where I used to work.
To protect the innocent ( ... and, to paraphrase a line from an old Peter Sellers movie, I'd like both of them to stand up and take a bow... ) I will not mention the name of that company. But I will say that working there was a bit like working in a hell. A true "Inferno".
And, for me, this caption is absolutely hilarious!
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.