What the hell is wrong with people?

I ran across the post A Culture of (Potential) Assholes: Sexual Harassment in IT on twitter today, and all I could think was “What the hell is wrong with people?”

Before I go on, I’d like to go on the record with a few things.  I’m a guy, and have on occasion been called a pig (I try and keep these occasions as few and far between as I can).  So I’m not above treating people like crap, but this is just so far beyond acceptable.

They story which is given on the thread is that a drunk “douche bag” (my words not his) walked up to a woman (which I assume he didn’t know) and gave her his room key telling her that she better he up to his room later.

I just can’t imagine doing this to someone.  Now maybe I’m a more evolved form of caveman, I don’t know.  Now, the original poster didn’t say which conference this was in his post, but I will because I think that it makes it even more pathetic that the creep said what he said to this woman.  This was the MVP Summit in Seattle.  For those that don’t know what the MVP Summit is, this is when Microsoft invites all the members of the MVP program for that year up to Seattle and show them all the shinny new things that they are working on.

Now I know that this is the first year that I’ve been an MVP, so some may think that I’m talking out of turn here, but too bad. I’m pretty sure that someone being an ass at the hotel isn’t covered by the NDA.

Why do I mention that this is the MVP Summit?  Because we were all invited by Microsoft to come meet our peers in the program, and the product groups.  One of the many things that you have to agree to when you become an MVP is a code of conduct.  While this code of conduct is pretty basic, and hard to enforce in the real world, when you are at the Microsoft Summit, its pretty easy for Microsoft to enforce it.  Rule #1 on the code of conduct is “No disrespectful behavior”.  There’s a breakdown which I won’t bother to go into, since that is pretty self explanatory.  (Don’t get me wrong I don’t think this sort of poor behavior would fly at any other event or time either.)

Everyone at the Summit is an MVP or a Microsoft Employee, so one would assume that the level of peer respect would be high.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a health banter between MVPs of different products.  The members of my product group (SQL Server) like to pick on the FoxPro and Access but we certainly have a respect for the MVPs of those products.

Becoming an MVP is hard work, no matter the product you represent.  Some of the MVPs catch a lot of crap for the products that the represent (XBox, Zune and Office probably catch the most crap from people).  Everyone who is an MVP got there for the same reason, they support their respective community and user base.  Without knowing any of the Zune MVPs (as an example) I know that they got to be a Zune MVP by providing steller support to the Zune user base.

I think that its just horrible to speak like this to anyone, especially someone you should be considering a peer.

I think, I’ve gotten off point, and I’m starting to ramble so I’ll wrap up with this.  The person who gave her his room key should be ashamed of himself.  And the guy who was sitting next to her who tried to make a funny comment and ended up WAY over the line should also be ashamed of himself.

I’ll leave you with this though.  If you can’t be bothered to respect people in public, then don’t show up.  If you insist on showing up, then consider this before you make an ass out of your self; someone who saw you may be a customer of yours, or a future customer of yous, or a future boss of yours.  Wouldn’t that suck to loose a big sale, or your that promotion because of some dumb ass thing you did when you were drunk on a company trip.  And no being drunk isn’t an excuse.  If you act like that when you are drunk, then you shouldn’t be drunk in public.



One Response

  1. well said. I dont know if sexual harassment is bigger in IT than other professions. I think some people just are aholes no matter what they do for a living.

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