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Accountant’s ‘Ridiculous Amount of Time’ Surfing the Web Not Ridiculous Enough to Warrant Firing

We realize that hardly any of you will be able to relate to this story but we’ll present it as a point of reference in case you know of anyone that gets jammed up in the future.

David Innes, 42, was fired from his job at Scottish and Southern Energy after TPTB decided that he was spending a little too much time surfing the web. In their words, a ‘ridiculous amount of time.’ And to get an idea of ridiculous, 27,500 website hits was the magic number.

This is quite a jump over the 16,000 hits that an SEC accountant spent looking at porn. This randy ne’er do well managed to keep his/her job as well as the other porn junkies. If you make the assumption that Innes had a SEC-esque porn habit, that still leaves a lot of surfing to be done.

Regardless, it’s safe to assume that somewhere in between 16,000 and 27,500 hits (presumably in a month) lies the threshold of you being thrown out on your ass.

However, a Glasgow tribunal found that Scottish and Southern didn’t really have a frame of reference for “a ridiculous amount of time” since David Pratt, the man who fired Innes, “made no attempt to obtain advice from the respondent’s IT department. His view was essentially that he was faced with this enormous report and this therefore showed an extraordinary amount of internet usage.”

In other words, a “ridiculous amount of time” is subjective, as is “a lot of time,” “quite a bit of time,” or “a metric ass-ton of time.” And even if you do reach your own perceived level of unacceptable web surfing volume, you still better check with the IT boys to see what their opinion on hella-web surfing is before you go firing people like Steinbrenner.

Meanwhile, for you do-nothings out there, it appears that your time wasted at work surfing the web can easily be defended, although you can safely assume that if you wade into the NSFW waters, your chances of survival are slim.