Something about this story just grabs me.
I want to hear him saying “I am the dread pirate Roberts! I am here, but soon you will not be here!”
Also, I’m sad that he wasn’t in Galve-ston.
Photo by GreyChr
Stamford Police said Jevene Wright, 29, created a fictitious company called “Choice Point Screening” and submitted false invoices for background checks that were submitted to Noble Americas Corporation, an energy retailer firm located in Stamford. (Patrick Barnard, “The Stamford (CT) Patch“)
I don’t want to minimize the issue here. Assuming the allegations are correct, the company’s assurance in their trust of their employees is diminished, they may face compliance or contractual issues, and they’re out at least 1.4 million dollars, most of which has likely been spent. A good number of folks are having bad days, and I don’t want to add to that.
At the same time, I do have a number of comments.
First, Those background check services sure are expensive! I wonder how many people that was.
Hmmm, according to their website, “In the past six years Noble has grown from 1,500 employees to over 14,000.” I do wonder how many of the “background checks” came back with false allegations of past misconduct. If there were 14,000 people with no red flags, isn’t that something of a red flag in and of itself? I also wonder (in a law school hypothetical sort of way, and assuming with no evidence that Wright or an accomplice fabricated false reports on some people so that his fraud went undetected) what sorts of claims might be available to those denied employment based on those untrue statements?
Second, there’s something of a natural experiment here that lets us assess the value of background checking. Assuming Noble Americas Corporation runs a second set of background checks, I’m very curious to know how well spent that $2m* will have been: how many employees do they fire, having learned of something so heinous that the employee can’t be kept, and how many do they fire, having been handed a reason to get rid of a poor performer? (Naturally, those 2 numbers will be rolled into one.)
Lastly, there’s an interesting social engineering angle here. There’s a real company “ChoicePoint” now part of LexisNexis. (ChoicePoint was made famous for their awesome handling of a 2003 data breach, which this blog diligently covered.) So when naming a false background check company, Choice Point Screening seems like it might be a new brand for the company. An auditor, seeing all those background checks, is unlikely to focus in on the extra space. It’s a nice touch.
I am the very model of an amateur grammarian
I have a little knowledge and I am authoritarian
But I make no apology for being doctrinarian
We must not plummet to the verbal depths of the barbarian
I’d sooner break my heart in two than sunder an infinitive
And I’d disown my closest family within a minute if
They dared to place a preposition at a sentence terminus
Or sully the Queen’s English with neologisms verminous
For the full sing-along, please see Tom Freeman’s
The very model of an amateur grammarian.
National Geographic reports “Caffeinated Seas Found off U.S. Pacific Northwest.”
The problem, of course, is salinity. They should totally be pumping that caffine into somewhere we can make good use of it.
Maybe we could just edit attorneys’ memories of copyright laws?
On the off chance that you’ve been hiding under a rock, there’s been a stack of news stories about organizations (both private and governmental) demanding people’s Facebook passwords as part of the process of applying for jobs, with much associated hand-wringing.
In “I hereby Resign“, Raganwald discusses the downside to employers of demanding to look through people’s Facebook profiles:
I got her out of the room as quickly as possible. The next few interviews were a blur, I was shaken. And then it happened again. This time, I found myself talking to a young man fresh out of University about a development position. After allowing me to surf his Facebook, he asked me how I felt about parenting. As a parent, it was easy to say I liked the idea. Then he dropped the bombshell.
His partner was expecting, and shortly after being hired he would be taking six months of parental leave as required by Ontario law. I told him that he should not have discussed this matter with me. “Oh normally I wouldn’t, but since you’re looking through my Facebook, you know that already. Now of course, you would never refuse to hire someone because they plan to exercise their legal right to parental leave, would you?”
I think it’s a fascinating bit of chaotic blowback, and one that employers and applicants will be exposed to more and more as “social network background check” services help focus what search engines or marketers can already tell us.
In other words, be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.
For the first time in a long time, I’m tempted to set up a Facebook account.
Apparently, the project manager who found a vendor for the Vermont State Police car decals failed to consider a few things. Such as the risk that prisoners might want to have a little fun at the expense of the police.
You can see the fun if you study the image carefully here, or in a larger version at MSN Photoblog.
Found on that other bastion of privacy .
@RobArnold tweeted: “Someone thinks targeted Facebook ads are an effective way to ask for Firefox features. Any other Mozillians see this?”
The irony of using a targeted ad, on Facebook, to ask for more privacy protection…
For your holiday amusement:
It’s a bit of a Christmas tradition here at Emergent Chaos to keep you informed about the Gävle Goat. Ok, technically, our traditions seem hit and miss, but whaddaya want from a site with Chaos in the name? You want precision, read a project management blog. Project management blogs probably set calendar reminders to kick off a plan with defined stakeholders, success metrics and milestones to ensure high quality blog posts. Us, we sometimes randomly remember.
But, but! This year, we actually have a plan with 8×10 color gannt charts with circles and arrows explaining how to set up a market to predict when the goat would burn.
We even have prizes.
Unfortunately, chaos (and flames) emerged, and the goat was burned before we set up the market.
You can read the full story of “Sweden’s Christmas goat succumbs to flames.”
From the app store:
I hope this doesn’t cause Apple to ban snarky update messages.
In honor of rapture day, the Flying Spaghetti Monster has chosen to manifest his tentacly goodness in Stanley Park in Vancouver:
Here’s your Friday dose of Star Wars. Leave the volume on, even if you don’t speak French. That way your over-achieving cube neighbors will be distracted, too.