HR Strange But True!
April 29, 2010

At some point, your mother (or another sage) gave you advice of this order: “It's easier to look for a job while you have one.” Obviously, some high-profile people have taken this to heart, with some not-so-great results.

David Shuster, an anchor infamous for being suspended from MSNBC during the 2008 presidential campaign for a questionable comment about Chelsea Clinton, is back on suspension, this time for working on Career Plan B while still at competitor network A.

Shuster filmed a pilot for a new CNN show, and the brass at NBC Universal, owner of MSNBC, were none too pleased about him playing nice with an arch rival, according to numerous media sources. Reports are that Shuster's contract with MSNBC is up in a few months.

Calling the incident “unacceptable” under its policies, especially with the networks locked in a ratings battle for #2 news network, the company said that Shuster was disciplined appropriately. Vanity Fair reports that the discipline included barring Shuster from Tweeting about the incident.

Earlier this month in the same vein, rumors were swirling that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was also looking for a new job while at the old one. According to the Washington Post, but he's not fishing to go to a competitor. He wants to keep working for his current boss, but in a different capacity, perhaps as senior strategist, making decisions instead of announcing them.

The White House workplace rumor mill got started when reporters noticed that Gibbs had not decorated his office—a telltale sign of career maneuvering!

Do you have any stories of current employees blatantly courting new employers on your time?  Send the stories to us. We get enough of them, we'll include them in a future column.

Sources: Vanity Fair, New York Times, and Washington Post

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