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The Evil of Madness

March Madness officially commenced Sunday, with the selection of this year’s 65-team draw for the college basketball championship. Let the insanity begin!

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This is, of course, not all fun and games. Oh, wait—it is all fun and games! It’s no work at all. In fact, eTelemetry, which makes equipment to help IT folks snoop on employees’ web activity, notes that the NCAA tourney will cost employers up to $3.8 billion in the equivalent of lost wages—since, thanks to streaming video on CBS.com, so many fans will be watching the games on company time.

(It notes that the American Association of Airport Executives will begin “raising its game” this week with eTelemetry’s technology, “tracking bandwidth usage back to every staff member on the network by their name, department and exact location—in real time.” Boston College vs. Texas Tech, Thursday at 12:25 p.m.? I don’t think so!)

It gets worse.

Bensinger DuPont & Associates, a professional services company “dedicated to promoting healthy outcomes for employees,” etc., via counseling and training, notes that many employees will be . . . gambling! Yes. And these ” ‘harmless’ March Madness pools that will be popping up over the next couple of weeks can have a significant impact on office productivity.”

Seriously (more or less): BDA found that of the employees who, in calls to its support lines, admitted they gamble, the number expressing the need to bet an increasing amount was twice as high in March than in February. And BDA’s dedicated gambling hotlines get 30% to 35% more calls in March and April than during the rest of the year.

March Madness. Don’t even go there.

But I do kinda like Georgetown.

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