Fired for Watering Virtual Beets
PLOVDIV, BULGARIA – A Bulgarian political official reaped the consequences last week when his desire for online virtual farming overwhelmed his civic duty.
Plovdiv City Council member Dimitar Kerin was fired after he was caught during budgetary debates cultivating his virtual crops and livestock on the hit Facebook game Farmville.
His addiction riled fellow council members so much last week that Kerin was voted off a council committee assignment for his Farmville obsession, reports Novinite.com, a news agency based in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
Kerin, along with other members of the 51-member council in Bulgaria’s second-largest city, was warned to not misuse the wireless network and laptop computers. Council Chairman llko lliev warned several council members to refrain from playing games on social media websites during budget meetings, according to the report.
Despite the chairman’s warnings, Kerin couldn’t resist the temptation to till his virtual crop and milk his virtual cows.
Angered by Kerin’s reluctance to separate work from play during council meetings, Council Member Todor Hristov proposed firing the virtual agriculturalist, saying that Kerin “needs more time for his virtual farm,” Novinite.com reports
In a close 20-19 vote, the council ousted Kerin, according to AOL Games.
Farmville is an online game where players grow and raise a variety of virtual crops and animals. The game encourages social interaction with other players by allowing a player to send gifts that other players can plant on their, respective, virtual farms. A player can spend hours tending their crops and livestock.
The recent firing of the Bulgarian politician is evidence of the growing social networking trend and the inability of many online users to separate work from their online lives. In workplaces throughout the world, workers are logging onto social networking sites, such as Facebook and Myspace, to play games online or interact with their friends.