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When Politics and Technology Mix, You Could Lose Your Job

Not that long ago, I sat in on an HP press conference about managed print.  The host at the time was Ben Stein  and he was playing interviewer to a bunch of HP-heads.

You may remember him from Ferris Bueller's Day Off and his now very classic line, "Bueller...Bueller...?"

Or you may know of him from those eye-drop commercials, or conservative commentary on the news networks.  He is funny, works as an actor and has conservative views.

He has not been convinced that global warming exists which in itself is not so offensive.  His mistake, if losing a job over a personal belief can be considered a mistake, is that he expressed his non-believing stance out loud.

My question is simple, if I am unconvinced that global warming exists, should I lose my job?

If I do not believe the world is round, should I lose my job?

If the company I work for believes Red is the greatest color in the world, but I think Blue is, should I lose my job?

Ben Stein was fired as a commercial spokesperson because it was revealed to his employer, Kyocera, that “he was by no means certain that global warming was man-made” and “As a matter of religious belief, he believed that God, and not man, controlled the weather.”

He just had to throw in the 'religious belief' thing didn't he?  No matter.

This is America and Ben Stein is suing Kyocera for $300,000.00.

I love this industry.

As the recipient of the 2011 Minister of the Environment Award, Kyocera Mita appears sensitive to the way their green policy is perceived. They found Mr. Stein's "lack of faith...disturbing..." (cue the darkside)


I'm not defending his opinion, he doesn't need me for that.  I am pointing out the rather hypocritical,  politically correct, gutless wonders over at Kyocera.

Are you kidding me?

Firing somebody for a political, religious, scientific or even non-scientific understanding of their world is cheap, shameful and historically inept.  But again, I am sure Ben can take care of himself and find another 300k floating around.

I am not making a mountain out of a mole hill - the scale may be different but the scenario is applicable to everybody.

How about your world?

Do you share your employer's belief system?  Does he share yours? Better yet, does it even matter?

For example, if you believe that automobiles are the number one destroyer of the planet, but you are the best B2C sales person in the world - do you go sell cars or solar?

If you prefer to drive a LandRover, but work for a US Forest Service, can they fire you because you utilize a 'gas guzzler'?

If you believe MpS should NOT leverage hardware placements, but your OEM/Employer/Executive promotes 'solutions on the first of the month, boxes on the 15th" - should you leave your employ?

I don't have the answers for everyone, this is about personal decisions and consequences.

Kyocera made a decision, there will be consequences.

I will say this, Kyocera  may have the lowest TCO but if anyone asks me about the Kyocera MpS program, I will be certain to mention their religious green movement and how MpS Purity has nothing to do with hardware.

I believe in a print TCO of zero.

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