The Blanket

Reaction to GEM article

Pascal Stil • 31 December 2005

Dear sir/madam,

After reading the article GEM, A Story of Global Exploitation and Misery, I felt the urge to react to this.

Part of it is true, but the author, who was indeed fired from GEM changed some facts.

I myself am one of the people working for GEM in the Dutch team which is the largest team and the only team that stood up as a team when they thought GEM was treating their employers in the wrong way. With the author of the article I had a pretty good contact in and outside of work. We talked quite a lot and had some shared opinions about several things.

Unfortunately after [an altercation involving drink], the contact I had with him got less active, but after he apologized I was able to forgive him and hoped that things would go better again.

When he got fired from GEM it was clear that it didn't. He writes three reasons for this in his article, none of them is the reason why he was fired. He was fired for something that every company would fire people for. A few days before he was actually fired he arrived at work [in the view of management, allegedly under the influence of alcohol]; he answered a few e-mails from clients and left again without informing anyone. I don't think there is a single company in the world that would allow behaviour like that.

Another thing in the article that is not correct is what he writes about the Finnish girl he writes about. First of all, she was not fired, at first she said she was, but that was more the shock of what had happened to her than a fact, a few days later she talked to another person from the Finnish team and told she was actually not fired but just warned and told to go home because it was her last day anyway.

Of course this is a sad thing too, if you receive a link from a colleague and by clicking on it your last day at the job gets ended without a proper chance to say goodbye to the people you have been working with.

When I first heared the girl was fired I was shocked, because it was me who sent the link to someone else from the Finnish team and he forwarded it to her. The person who saw her open the link thought the Gem website was hacked, that person did not realize it was an image from another site that was going over the Gem website as a joke. The procedure would probably have been different if that person knew something more about internet. When I heared a few days later that she was not actually fired it felt a bit as a relief, but I also felt a bit of anger against her for telling that she was fired. Now I can live with it because I can also understand that after what did happen it feels almost the same as being fired, and at that moment you are not able to think about what a big difference there still is.

Because these two incorrect things in the story this story are quite important ones in the point that Morten wants to make the story is more fiction than fact and is misplaced in The Blanket.

Kind regards,

Pascal Stil





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