Take your pick.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is either:
a.) really interested in motivating city workers to be productive
b.) a hard-hearted, rich guy SOB
Either way, it's a good bet that Bloomberg doesn't have much time for video games. GP readers may recall the mayor's failed campaign against Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. Now comes word from the Associated Press that Bloomberg unceremoniously axed a low-level city office worker after he noticed Solitaire running on the man's computer screen.
The Republican mayor was visiting the Big Apple's legislative office in Albany recently, schmoozing with the worker bees and posing for pictures. While working the room, Bloomberg saw the ubiquitous card game on office assistant Edward Greenwood IX's PC.
Bloomberg said nothing, and posed for a picture with Greenwood. Later, hizzoner had an aide terminate the unfortunate bureaucrat from his $27,000 job.
"The workplace is not an appropriate place for games, he told the New York Post. "It's a place where you've got to do the job that you're getting paid for."
Greenwood, who worked in the office for six years, told the AP he limited his Solitaire play to his lunch times or during quick breaks.
"It wasn't like I spent hours and hours a day playing, because I had plenty to do," he said. "If I had been working at something exhaustively for two hours, I might get a cup of coffee and play for a minute but then go right back to my work... It's not like I'm the only one that ever did this," Greenwood said.
The 39-year-old father of a toddler said he wasn't angry with Bloomberg, but wished he'd simply been given a reprimand for a first offense.
"I admire the guy - he's a great financial success, and he has a definite management style," Greenwood said. "I just think he could have seen my situation and weighed the harshness of his final decision."
GP: Greenwood the Ninth is a much kinder person than GP would be in a similar circumstance. Not angry with the Mayor? Hell, I'm angry with him from a distance. With this heartless treatment of a minor disciplinary issue, Bloomberg joins the ranks of such game-phobic political luminaries as North Carolina State Senator Austin Allran, who wanted Solitaire removed from every single NC government-owned PC. BTW, a GP shout-out to reader Paul for alerting us to this abuse of power, er, I mean story.