Bits and Pieces

Thursday, December 16, 2004

It's Blackmail, Stupid

OK, its time to play hardball. I have my second appeal hearing for unfair dismissal in the morning, and have no doubt that I'll be laughed out of the office. My appeal is based on the fact that I was fired for doing something I had been trained to do (hanging up on unsuitable calls such as schools - I was in telemarketing by the way), and had been doing for over a year without complaint. My new manager didn't agree, and I got fired for system abuse.

I expect the meeting will go like this: they'll keep me waiting for half an hour, and then present me with my computer records for the past year, highlighting every single call that wasn't perfect. They'll then try to convince me that I'm stupid, was bad at my job and would have been fired for being crap anyway. I was damn good at my job, so it's time to bring out the big guns: blackmail.

See, since I started the job I've been aware that the employees and managers regularly use data from the Yellow Pages database. Hell, I did it myself on a number of occasions. We'd log on to, search for specific businesses we thought would be good prospects, steal the data and give them a call. Unfortunately for my erstwhile employee, the data is protected by the Data Protection Act of 1998. It's the intellectual property of Yell Ltd. Oops.

I was speaking to a friend who still works with the company this evening, and he told me that hem along with every other employee, was recently ordered to sign a contract promising not to use Yell data anymore. The fact is that we were doing it for over a year with the full knowledge of management. The fact that they've decided to address it now only proves their guilt.

So, there's my angle. They brush me off and I threaten to contact Yell. If Yell decided to sue (which their data protection policy suggests would be extremely likely), they'd try to get a warrant for the company computer records, which would no doubt disrupt the business. In addition, my old bosses would take a hit in the PR stakes. As the holder of the largest business to business database in the UK they're fairly high profile. They sponsor sporting events and such.

All I want in return for my silence is the two weeks pay in lieu of notice I feel is mine by right. I'm not trying to extort anybody. I don't want the company to suffer. I don't want anyone to get in trouble. I just want enough money to make it through Christmas.

I'm the last angry man, dude.
powered by web hosting provider