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Google engineer: Raise leaker exposed us to mugging


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Google engineer: Raise leaker exposed us to mugging

by Chris Matyszczyk | November 13, 2010 6:26 PM PST

There are some things about which Google doesn't comment. However, it is entirely true that many Google employees are human beings with feelings, sometimes even strong ones.

So, though the company itself refused to go into detail after an employee was reportedly fired for leaking news of a $1,000 cash bonus and 10 percent raise for every one of Google's more than 23,000 employees, there are Googlies who are whispering that they'd like to say something publicly. They'd like some of the internal feelings to be made known.

What else is Technically Incorrect for if not to offer a public service?

While some Google employees offered that they were saddened at the circumstances surrounding what was another, slightly more lucrative, day at the office, others would like certain things to be fully expressed. And I do mean "fully." And "expressed."

One Google employee, in particular, has strong feelings. And they involve violence.

This, according to him, is the insider's view: "The leaker was promptly fired because he or she selfishly and thoughtlessly put 20,000 co-workers in immediate danger of being mugged while carrying holiday bonus cash on their way home in the dark that very evening. And because the leaker directly disobeyed repeated and very explicit instructions from the top, not to leak this bonus news prematurely before evening when all workers were home safe."


(Credit: CC Carlos Luna/Flickr)

Google gave employees the option of taking their $1,000 bonus home in cash on the day of the announcement. Which would undoubtedly have constituted a pleasant surprise for the families of many.

The engineer continued by explaining the implications of the leak to those inside the company who rely on confidentiality every day.

He told me (not via Gmail): "I would not trust that co-worker with anything important. This company's engineering practices rely heavily on being very open (among ourselves only) about most company plans, but that no-walls approach requires that we all be trustworthy and circumspect in what we say or write to those outside."

If you wondered what might have been the leaker's motivations (other than, perhaps, a job offer from Facebook or excitement about paying off his or her bookie), this Google engineer would like to shed some light.

He told me: "I think this person lacked the judgment to tell the difference between sharing really great news with friends, versus violating trust and putting others in direct danger. There was no reason for he or she to push the news out quickly via bloggers and reporters, other than vanity and misplaced loyalties."

Vanity and misplaced loyalties. Such human frailties.



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