"Your" Views From 30,000 Feet


The emails flew over my post yesterdayabout the big pharma slides I saw on a flight last week.

The PowerPoint presentation a fellow passenger was working on had to do with a drug that isn't even on the market yet. In the "Pharma's Market" poll about it, two-thirds said the guy should've been more careful and that I wasn't out of line. A quarter of the respondents thought I should have told the guy that people could see his work.

And a little more than 10 percent told me to mind my own business.

Tom Boland emailed with a hardline stance. "If I heard about something like this going on, there would be hell to pay for the person who exposed the data. I would rather have five or six hours of 'lack of productivity' than have the data floating around. Laptops should remain closed on airplanes, or at least they should not be used for ANY (his emphasis) important company use."

A couple of readers said having a laptop open on a flight would be okay, as long as you've got a privacy screen. "This is bad corporate IT (information technology) at its finest," Brian Seelinger with Erie Computer wrote. And Fred Peyerl, a Ph.D. at Boston Strategic Partners asked, "Has no one heard of a privacy filter?" Both of them provided links to privacy screen websites.

Frieda said she once ratted out a guy who was loudly talking business on his cellphone in a hotel lobby. He'd apparently given his company name and his phone number to the people on the other end of the line. Frieda played sleuth and called the COO of the loudmouth's employer, although she stopped short of identifying the guy. "My reasoning was that he (the COO) needed to be aware of 'training' his people on where to talk, volume of their voice, appropriate and inappropriate 'in public' comments, etc.," she wrote. "Kudos! I just hope Mike that many, many people see your article."

In my blogpost, I stopped short of naming the drug company and the drug. But one reader thought I still went too far. "In a recession as bad as this one, I think it would be beneficial to edit the article to not include the cities that you flew to. While there are plenty of pharmaceutical representatives who flew the Newark-LAX route recently, the more anonymity you can include in the article, the better that person's chances are of the company not mistakingly tracing this to the wrong person or actually identifying the person."

Don Santiago said he found the whole thing kind of funny. "I work for a major hotel chain and when pharmaceuticals come for a meeting they don't mention the company, but call it by their meeting name (e.g. Boston would be known as '2009 Get Together')," Santiago wrote. "We are also told not to give out the name openly unless they use the meeting name. Private security is also called in to help protect sensitive information. Maybe the companies need to start retraining programs."

And Michael Pate asked, "Were you in coach or first class? He should have been more cautious given that the drug is up for FDA approval. If you wanted to you could have gotten this gentleman fired."

I was in "faux first" aka exit row aisle. And, no, I don't want to get him fired.

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