SimplyFired Loser Wins A Cruise

    September 6, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

The conspiratorially-named Jim Garrison won SimplyHired’s best firing story contest, losing his job over cold pizza.

Computer engineering and pizza go together. It’s unnatural to suggest a hungry programmer ignore some unloved and unwanted leftover pizza. But in the case of Jim Garrison, a 39-year-old Colorado resident, his appetite proved to be his undoing. He claims he was fired for eating pizza that other employees planned to take home with them.

The winning entry at Simply Fired describes the aftermath of a potluck lunch that led to Mr. Garrison winning a place on The Appentice cruise:

Fired for eating pizza?

Seriously, let me explain.

I had been working for a mortgage company as a developer for 18 months and things were going well. Then, one day I saw that a different group in my company had just finished up a pot-luck and had some pizza left over. I thought they would probably end up throwing it away and I was kind of hungry so I went for it … I took a slice of pizza.

Apparently the employees who threw this pot luck were planning to take it home and were offended by my action. Now I thought we were all basically on the same team and if someone didn’t like what I did they would tell me so and I would apologize and maybe offer to pay for the pizza. These employees ended up telling their manager, who told her vice president about what I did.

The worst part about this is that I wasn’t told about any of this until a month after the incident. No warning, no second chance.

I know that I left an impression because to this day my former coworkers refer to unattended pizza as “programmer bait”.

The Simply Fired site got its start based on the travails of Mark Jen, who ran afoul of Google’s policies on blogging internal company information and got fired for it after two weeks of employment.

Now, Messrs. Jen and Garrison get the last laugh on their employers, as both have moved on and now profit from their stories.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.