Fired for being ‘unGoogley’ after asking about holiday pay?

South Carolina data center worker says she got sacked for questioning Thanksgiving reimbursement

Fired for being “unGoogley” because she asked about holiday pay?

My personal take on the week in tech begins with a worker in a Google data center in South Carolina who filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board this week, saying she got fired for being “unGoogley” by asking about being required to work on Thanksgiving without holiday pay.

The worker, Tuesday Carne, worked for a Google subcontractor called Modis in South Carolina. At a meeting Nov. 17, managers told her and others they had to work the holiday without any extra pay, Carne says. I spoke with Carne, and she said, “The only thing in my mind that I thought could be against the rules is that I said, ‘That’s bull****’.” Google employees’ Alphabet Workers Union is helping Carne file paperwork with the feds.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have three reactions to this:

  • I would love to have a coworker who calls out management for requiring employees to work on Thanksgiving with no extra pay.
  • I don’t know what “unGoogley” means, but it seems weird that another company gets to define that and allegedly fire people who don’t adhere to their interpretation of that.
  • Kudos to Google’s unionized workers for having someone’s back when she needed it.

“I spent Thanksgiving by myself,” Carne said, because she moved to South Carolina for the job. Support from the union is amazing, she said. “I had no idea what my rights were.”

This isn’t the first time this happened. In April another worker at the data center was fired, in this case for a pro-union Facebook post, the BBC reported. The suspension of the worker, Shannon Waite, was later overturned.

My understanding is that Google is in many ways a great place to work. But maybe the mother ship needs to take a good, long look at subcontracting companies firing people for being “unGoogley.”…

Some interesting texts between D.A. Chesa Boudin and Police Chief William Scott have emerged after a Sunshine Law request by freedom-of-information gadfly @journo_anon (on Twitter, because they prefer to remain anonymous), who is pushing for Boudin and other city officials to be more responsive to open-records requests.

The texts point out something interesting: The D.A.’s sensitivity about tweets he believes reflect badly on him.

“Why do you allow your department to actively undermine collaboration and shared responsibility amongst law enforcement agencies?” Boudin texted Scott later in January of this year. “Here is an example from today, but, as you know, there are no shortage of examples,” Boudin texted, then left a link to a tweet that appears to have been deleted. Boudin called it “lies and fear-mongering and undermining law enforcement partners.”

Several months later the D.A. texted a link to another tweet to the police chief. That tweet linked to a news story about a woman frustrated because a man who allegedly attacked her was arrested again in a similar incident. The tweet was from an S.F. police commander. The commander’s Twitter profile says it is a personal account.

“You don’t see how having your command staff – or anyone in your department – push that article and that comment out over social media is destructive?” the D.A. asked the chief in a text.

Wow, it must take a lot of time to closely watch what SF cops tweet…

Images of Nilla the Dog are part of a non-fungible token being auctioned off by author Mary Ladd. (Mary Ladd)

Images of Nilla the Dog are part of a non-fungible token being auctioned off by author Mary Ladd. (Mary Ladd)

Lastly, a shaggy dog story, digitized. A few years ago, writer Mary Ladd was walking her rescue dog in The Mission when something strange happened. A stranger called out to her, “Is that Nilla?” Ladd replied that, yes, her dog’s name was, in fact, Nilla. How did the stranger know? The woman who called out was Nilla’s previous owner. She was homeless, and Nilla was her companion on the street. She left Nilla with others, the dog ran away, and was picked up by an animal-control crew. Ladd adopted Nilla from the SPCA.

Nilla and her previous owner had an affectionate and poignant reunion, and Ladd took her home understanding more about her rescue dog’s life. “Having Nilla was important when I was navigating loss and grief from breast cancer, my mom’s death, and the pandemic,” Ladd says.

Here’s where the tech comes in. Ladd has written Nilla’s story and is selling it with unique pieces of art as a nonfungible token, or NFT. NFTs are unique digital representations of things that you can buy or invest in, like works of art. The digital versions are made unique via cryptography and blockchain, so you can own an original GIF, or a collage. A group of NFTs by digital artist Beeple was auctioned by Christie’s for more than $69 million last March.

Nilla’s story doesn’t cost that much – it just went up for auction on the NFT marketplace opensea.io.

Send items to jelder@examiner.com

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