The union-oriented Twitter account Daily Union Elections asked the world in a recent tweet, “Union folks, what is the best grievance/[Unfair Labor Practice] that you’ve ever won?” And the world responded in kind. As a proud union girl myself, I thought a few stories stood out, but one came up above the rest—a worker accused of gaming on the job, saved because his work computer’s graphics card was too weak.
“A member was accused of playing video games on his work computer,” union organizing director Erik Strobl said. “I got him cleared by proving conclusively that the employer-provided graphics card couldn’t handle the resource-hungry game his supervisor claimed to have seen.”
“If you’re being accused of being a gamer, solve the problem like a gamer,” one commenter said. Other people tried guessing the game.
“Dwarf Fortress??” said one reply. “It was The Sims,” said another, “no computers are built for that game.”
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“‘He was playing that new Call of Duty shit!’” a commenter imagined. “‘Gerald, the new Call of Duty requires at minimum a GTX 960. This government PC has the performance of an overworked artist on his seventh cup of coffee.’”
But, no, imaginary Gerald was even more off base than you could have guessed. The worker wasn’t even playing a game, but watching “a game review on his break (which is fine),” Strobl clarified, “but he was accused of installing unauthorized third-party software on a government computer (which he 100% didn’t do and, as I showed, couldn’t have done). Zero abuse of time or state property.”
Apparently, this wasn’t the only time someone’s supervisor was unsure of what exactly a video game was—“I once had a supervisor ding me for playing a game,” another Twitter user said. “It was a YouTube video running while data was crunching on the other screen.”
Yes, that’s my favorite game. YouTube.
Do you have any great union stories?