Anyone who has spent more than their allotted work break per day surfing the internet has certainly wondered what would happen if the boss walked up and caught em in the act. James Pacenza, 58, of Montogomery, NY was a little more brazen about it than most of us … he was caught visiting an adult chat room at work, and summarily dismissed.
However, was he shirking his duties, or was he an addict? He claims the latter. Pacenza believes that “he is an Internet addict who deserves treatment and sympathy rather than dismissal.” He also claims that “stress caused him to become a sex addict, and with the development of the Internet, an Internet addict.”
But it wasn’t just his job at IBM that caused his descent into pornographic bliss — he also blamed his time in ‘Nam! “he visits [pornographic!] chat rooms to treat traumatic stress incurred in 1969 when he saw his best friend killed during an Army patrol in Vietnam.” While it’s natural to wonder why this didn’t affect him prior to 2007, the simple facts are that he IBM is to blame for firing him, and if Pecenza is correct, they will owe him a tidy $5 mil for his troubles.
“I felt I needed the interactive engagement of chat talk to divert my attention from my thoughts of Vietnam and death … I was tempting myself to perhaps become involved in some titillating conversation.”
I mean, this could happen to any of us! Here’s another choice passage from this delightful Associated Press story:
Until he was fired, Pacenza was making $65,000 a year operating a machine at a plant in East Fishkill that makes computer chips.
Several times during the day, machine operators are idle for five to 10 minutes as the tool measures the thickness of silicon wafers.
It was during such down time on May 28, 2003, that Pacenza logged onto a chat room from a computer at his work station.
[His lawyer] Diederich says Pacenza had returned that day from visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington and logged onto a site called ChatAvenue and then to an adult chat room.
James, if there was a Medal of Honor for looking at porn at work, you would be my nominee. Godspeed, and I hope you get every penny you’re asking for!