City Employee Fired After Bloomberg Catches Him Playing Computer Solitaire At Work
Many do it at work, although they know they shouldn't - playing solitaire on the computer on company time. But one city employee found out the hard way that he played a game against the wrong boss. NY1’s Josh Robin filed this report.
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Working for the city's Legislative Affairs Office in Albany has its share of busy days, and also some slower moments. During one of those calmer times, Edward Greenwood IX says he did what many do behind their boss' back - he played solitaire on his computer.
But Greenwood says he had the bad luck of leaving the game on his screen when his boss, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, stopped by for a rare office visit. Now Greenwood is out of a job.
“[I asked my boss if they wanted me to give] two weeks notice. Nothing. He said, ÎNo, they want you out as soon as possible,’" says Greenwood.
It happened when the mayor was in Albany last month, meeting staffers, taking pictures with them. Greenwood says Bloomberg must have noticed the game while they posed for a photo. He claims he had been playing solitaire early that morning, when the office was quiet.
"The solitaire game must have been up on the monitor and he saw it,” he says. “And then a few minutes later I heard the director say that someone had been playing solitaire and that he was upset."
Greenwood was told he was let go because of agency restructuring. But on Thursday Bloomberg did not deny it was solitaire that prompted the pink slip.
"We pay city employees to do the work that the public expects done, and the workplace is not an appropriate place to play game,” said the mayor. “It’s a place where you've got to do the work you're getting paid for. And no, I don't think it was an overreaction at all."
Bloomberg is known for having high expectations of his employees. It dates from his time as the head of the mega-media company that bears his name, and has continued at the helm of city government.
With his $30,000 salary gone, this father of a 3-year-old faces having no health insurance, no severance pay, and no other job offers.
"I'm not the only one at that office or any office that has played solitaire,” says Greenwood. “I just think I got a bad break."
- Josh Robin