Bloomberg's Double Standard On Mixing Games With Work

from the solitaire-or-golf? dept

theodp writes "As reported earlier on Techdirt, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg considers mixing Solitaire and business a fireable offense for government workers. But mixing golf and government business is apparently A-OK, at least if the Mayor jets you down to his Bermuda hideaway for some R&R. Ironically, the Solitaire-playing worker's duties at the time of his firing included picking up tickets for Bloomberg to attend Bermuda golfing buddy Gov. George Pataki's State-of-the-State message."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 5:20am

    No Subject Given

    Why would you expect any politician to understand irony or even care?

     

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  2.  
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    Nadia, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 5:26am

    No Subject Given

    it would have been nice if job performance was measured by say, something like, job performance, and not by what else you are doing like playing games or watching porn.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 5:29am

    The Real Test

    will be to see what happens to City or State employees caught playing a computer golf game, like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06!

     

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  4.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Feb 16th, 2006 @ 5:57am

    wait wait wait...

    Let me get this straight. You mean there's double-standards and hypocrisy in politicians? Really?!?

    Aw crap... dripped sarcasm all over my keyboard. Damn.

     

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  5.  
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    ZOMG CENSORED, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 6:17am

    Re: wait wait wait...

    You sure that's sarcasm buddy?

    Anyway, I just think that it'd be amusing if the rest of the world caught wind of this and condemned them for it... At least if it got the guy's job back.

     

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  6.  
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    giafly, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 6:44am

    Isn't the Mayor allowed weekends off?

    FTA: "Mayor Bloomberg spent time playing a round of golf at the Mid-Ocean Club on Saturday after flying in on his private jet on Friday night and headed back to New York on Sunday, a golf club spokesperson said."

     

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  7.  
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    Chris, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 6:59am

    Solitaire vs Golf`

    That is not a fair comparison. Many business deals are done on the golf course. People network, discuss challenges they are currently having...etc. What business gets accomplished by playing solitiare?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 7:24am

    obviously

    Obviously Bloomberg was just trying to "flex" his muscles for the press, showing how he runs a tight ship by firing someone for not working, while he himself was doing a PHOTO OP which I hardly consider work.

    But it's New York City for godsakes; work in that corrupt environment, what the hell does one expect?

     

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  9.  
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    Tyshaun, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 7:35am

    Re: Solitaire vs Golf`

    That is not a fair comparison. Many business deals are done on the golf course. People network, discuss challenges they are currently having...etc. What business gets accomplished by playing solitiare?

    I have to agree. Seems like a lot of commentors are being fairly naive about this. Heads of companies and politicians don't sit in front of a computer and tap out memos and e-mails all day, everyday, that's not the nature of their job. A lot of their job IS going to what we peons would call social functions, and doing business. It's a tradeoff, in return for being able to take 2 hour lunches for clients and stuff like that, CEO's and politicians get the wonderful burden of being on call 24 hours a day.

    Like I said, I think some of the commentors are being a bit naive to the way the real world works. We'd like to think everything was egalitarian, but it's not. The truth is, with greater rank/position comes less constraint to regulations that bound others, but also greater responsibility.

     

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  10.  
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    Tyshaun, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 7:37am

    Re: obviously

    Obviously Bloomberg was just trying to "flex" his muscles for the press, showing how he runs a tight ship by firing someone for not working, while he himself was doing a PHOTO OP which I hardly consider work.

    Isn't a large part of the mayors job perception? He's got like 10 deputy mayors to do the day-to-day management of the city, his job is to make people "feel" like the city is working.

    Again, I think people are trying to turn the mayor of New Yorks job into your every Dilberts job, and it's just not a fair comparison.

     

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  11.  
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    White, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 8:13am

    Re: Solitaire vs Golf`

    Yes, and the same can be said of bars and strip clubs. It's not a matter of where you do your business (or network), it's how much you get accomplished. Management likes to point at computer usage and say it's bad for business, yet it's no different than doing something mundane like doodling, humming or whistling while you work. Check around most companies and you'll find that while management sets the rules, they rarely follow the rules themselves - it's just a way for them to assert their power. The bottomline for any business should be a matter of economics, not petty rule making.

     

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  12.  
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    Horza, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 8:35am

    Re: Solitaire vs Golf`

    I recon half the people at Google HQ get 2 hour lunch just to play Solitaire!!

    Joking and dream jobs aside, the less restraint you enforce the more work you will see done, because without restraint there is a clearer perception of whats infront of you.

    I work for a corperation and there are rules, like no porn, nothing illegal and such but in the grand scheme of things I clear just as much "REAL" work as well as alot of personal design and coding work from the same PC within work hours.

    Now for some more dreams..

    I think every office should look like googles ^_^ *drool*

     

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  13.  
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    Michael, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 8:35am

    Re: Solitaire vs Golf`

    On the very specific issue of golf vs. solitaire, the former is a specific job function of the Mayor, while the latter is not a specific job function of anyone. The Mayor is actually doing his job when he's schmoozing on the golf course. Someone playing computer games is not (except for a very lucky few).

    Now, having said that, I completely agree that as long as one is doing what is assigned to them, they should be left alone to manage their time as they please.

    It's a bit like "innocent until proven guilty". Ideally, employees should be "innocent" at first, or allowed to self-manage. If they're found "guilty", or unable to manage their work time and accomplish their goals, they should be micro-managed or fired. However, for many, it's simply easier to assume guilt from the get go and lay down a ton of ground rules across the board. This takes MUCH less effort, as now you don't actually have to adjust to each individual's habits, as the responsiblity is on them to adjust to you instead. Much simpler, but a horrible work environment.

    And finally, a nod to everyone's points on it also being based on PR value.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 9:14am

    No Subject Given

    That's no more hypocritical than the Senate lecturing Yahoo, Google, et al about their support of "human rights violations" of Chinese censorship when our OWN government has violated our CIVIL RIGHTS with illegal wire taps and surveillance.

    And anybody that claims that golf is not a recreational activity is lying thru their fucking teeth. Show me ONE deal ever that couldn't have happened if golf didn't exist. It's a perk for executives. Just like playing solitaire is a perk for a lowly peon that gets his job done and has some time to kill between running personal errands for his boss.

    Makes me want to bitch slap somebody.

     

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  15.  
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    Not a CEO, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 9:25am

    Re: Solitaire vs Golf`

    Obviously, you're one of the people in the "greater rank/position". Thanks for your useless comment. You know, the "tradeoff" is that they get paid about 5-10 times more than any other "average" person, at least.

    Like you said, some of the commentators are a bit naive to the way the real world works. You being one of those commentators.

     

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  16.  
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    Mike, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 10:17am

    Re: Solitaire vs Golf`

    ---here's a thought---if you don't like the job you are doing that get another one.

    If you don't like the fact that someone else can come along and rain on your solataire-playing parade then STOP playing solataire, START working harder, and get a promotion.


     

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  17.  
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    Crack Head, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 11:04am

    Its a social thing

    When playing solitary, you usually play alone and try to hide it, when golfing, you play with friends outside in a social enviroment and maybe conducting business, its just how it is. I mean if my worker played solitary in my business, they would be cut off so quick they wouldnt even know when .. But as a boss, bussiness is condusted on the greens.

     

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  18.  
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    Seth Brundle, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 2:20pm

    Its not a double-standard

    This isnt a double-standard, as Bloomberg and the employee have different jobs and different bosses.

    Some jobs it is ok to play videogames, some jobs it is OK to play golf, some jobs neither is OK.

    But there is not a fixed set of rules across positions, even in the same office - it is defined by your job description and agreements between employees and supervisors.

    I expect a mayor to play golf with important people as part of his role - he is a *politician*, and maintaining important personal relationships is essential, especially for a New York mayor. Therefore, his boss, the electorate, allow him to play golf on the job.

    However, if you have hired a less experienced person to do a specific task and have them on the clock, to require them not to play computer games at work is completely acceptable.

     

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  19.  
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    Tyshaun, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 5:28pm

    Re: Solitaire vs Golf`

    Obviously, you're one of the people in the "greater rank/position". Thanks for your useless comment. You know, the "tradeoff" is that they get paid about 5-10 times more than any other "average" person, at least. Like you said, some of the commentators are a bit naive to the way the real world works. You being one of those commentators.

    "Not a CEO", what in the heck was ws your point again?

    BTW, no I'm not a CEO or a high-level manager, but I've worked in the corporate world for a good part of my career and my statements were based on the way things are, not the way I'd like them to be.

    If you take a look at most of the comments here you'll see that most people have made the same observations so there must be a lot of naive people on this board.

    BTW, yes, I would love to have a position one day where I could take clients out to lunch and make deals over golf, it's called aspirations, that's why some of us work so hard, to not be "lower rank/position", forced to abide by rules made by others. As my father always said theirs a reason why privates mop the floors that generals walk on.

     

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