That parking spot would sure come in handy, huh?

This IT pilot fish has just been notified that he's about to be laid off, and he's scrambling to find a new job while the clock ticks down on the notice period.

"The United Way campaign had already begun -- a big deal at this company," says fish. "They had all kinds of posters, announcements in the daily newsletter, PA announcements, broadcast voice messages and various levels of management coming around.

"There were even sweepstakes for wonderful prizes like a parking spot by the door, free cafeteria lunches, and even TVs. The closer to the end of the campaign we got, the higher the levels of management that would come to talk to people who had not pledged, trying to convince -- "pressure" is such an ugly word -- them to do so.

"I finally got tired of it and told the VP's secretary that, since I was being laid off, they wouldn't actually get anything from my paychecks so it would be immoral for me to pledge.

"She had an answer for that too: that I could write a lump-sum check! I let her know how I felt about that request -- that it really was immoral of her to ask that, since without a job I'll need that money to pay my mortgage.

"She reminded me one more time of all the nice prizes I could win with just the pledge -- and then moved on to the next unpledged person on her list."

Don't write Sharky a check -- just write your story. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a much-prized Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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