Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Thursday, May 02, 2002 I’m a little freaked out right now. One of my coworkers got fired today. He’s on a different floor, so I don’t see him as much as I used to. But we used to work in the same department. We used to carpool. He bought my first car from me years ago, a gesture which plainly demonstrated just how desperately he needed a car at the time, because that car was a piece of crap. He’s been an employee of this company for almost as long as I have, but now he’s not because he violated the company’s “electronic media policy.”
Our electronic media policy is, on the face of it, quite simple: all non-business-related use of company e-mail and Internet connection is forbidden. Violation of the policy is grounds for immediate termination. Full stop.
Obviously nobody adheres to this policy one hundred per cent. You can’t plunk people down in front of a high-speed connection for eight hours a day and expect them to never click on that little blue “e.” You can’t cut people off from the outside world in the age of e-mail. It’s not realistic. If the company fired everyone who indulges in a little non-business-related surfing and e-mailing, nobody would be left.
The problem with the policy is that it leaves no room to exercise judgment in following it, but obviously somebody is using their judgment in enforcing it. For every employee, there’s a continuum between a) pulling out his or her modem cable entirely and b) using his or her work computer to loudly play video files of barnyard pr0n on a continuous loop. Somewhere along that continuum is a pink slip. And what freaks me out is that the powers that be aren’t being honest about where that pink slip sits waiting to jump out at us. I don’t know exactly what my ex-coworker did to get himself fired. Which means that I don’t know if I’m doing it too. And that gives me the heebs.
It also pisses me off, because when I look at a favorite site to keep myself more alert, more awake, and yes, better at my job, I’m made to feel like some kind of sneaky criminal for it. I can’t see how this is good for business.
The upshot for you, the readers, is that I’m going to be updating in the evenings for the foreseeable future. I’d tell you who to write to in order to complain about this, but we sneaky criminal types can’t be drawing that kind of attention to ourselves.
posted by M. Giant 3:46 PM 0 comments