Zero Tolerance Policy Theatens Security of Power Grid

May 29, 2007 · Posted in innovation · 28 Comments 

Zero Tolerance Policy This Company is a Thought Free ZoneI feel, stunned, confused, sad and disappointed. Today I became another victim of Zero Tolerance Policies. I was fired from one of the power companies in Michigan today because of a Zero Tolerance Policy. What horrible evil did I do?

For the past year I’ve been contracting to the power company supporting the systems that keep all the power on across the state. I had to pass a background check, get drug tested, plus have a wide range of skills. Only five people in the whole company of 15,000 have the experience to do the job.

The company is really messed up but the people I work with are great. We complain a lot because many of the procedures in place actually have the opposite effect of what is intended. Paper work is insane and there are many things that just can’t get done because of the red tape. Three of the critical systems are constantly failing and we can’t do much to solve the problem because of procedures and policies.

A couple departments are particularly bad, Network Security being one of the worst. When I started working there my accounts and PC were messed up for over a week even though they had 3 weeks notice I was starting work.

The others in my department are actual employees and are very busy on this big conversion project. I’m building a new house and have not been able to sell the one I’m in and really need extra money so I’ve been taking 24 hour on call duty for the last 3 weeks.

Tuesday morning May 29, 2007 at 6 am the pager went off. The system that dispatchers use to send repair crews to fix downed power lines and leaking gas lines was not working. They could not send crews to emergencies like fires.

I jumped out of bed turned on the special laptop and tried to login to the secure network to fix the problem. I tried to login but kept getting an access denied message. As the time ticked by the pager went off again and again.

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