Be Nicer to Your IT Guy

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Man, whose immature heart doesn’t go out to the fired IT guy at Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems, Inc, who hacked into his former boss’ Powerpoint board meeting presentation and inserted pornography? The CEO was giving a presentation on his latest accomplishments, at the time (cue a naked woman randomly appearing on a 64-inch TV screen!)–according to crime reporter Peter Hermann at The Sun, board is made up of fancy city officials and foundation heads and is chaired by Baltimore’s health commissioner, all of whom got a gander at said porn pop-up. Walter Powell, 52, pleaded guilty Tuesday and will now perform 100 hours of community service and serve three years of probation; additionally he must vow not to mess with remote-access software again.

This story makes us think of every brilliant but brutally overextended IT guy who ever helped us out of a tech jam. Those guys (and occasionally gals) are invariably overworked and under-slept, haven’t you noticed the syndrome? They deal with our computer-related emergencies every single day of the week, facing, too, the psychological fallout from our panic and prissy frustration. Their skin tends to be eighth-grade pimply for a reason–no time to eat right, and not enough hours in the day for exercise and deep sleep. Their grumpy “attitude” might seem arrogant, but you’d be moody, too, if you possessed a rare, essential skill prized by the rest of us only when our laptop’s acting “really weird.”

In closing, it’s hard to fault the guy. One thing, though: Next time our ingenious and industrious Mr. Powell decides to surprise an enemy with presentation sabotage–and if Walter continues to work in IT, we assume there may well be a next time–we do encourage him to get more creative with his imaging. Sure, porn’s got to embarrass a Powerpointing power player, but mightn’t a really bad middle-school-circa puberty portrait of the offender hurt even worse?



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