RE: How many have this problem at work?

Subject: RE: How many have this problem at work?
From: "Jane Sorensen" <judydh -at- total -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 13:46:46 -0400

Probably the best case I've experienced for keeping personal surfing down
without being authoritarian had these elements:

1) pornography = fired
2) unauthorized software = low priority for help desk when you have a s/w or
h/w problem
3) register for firewall password to use the Internet (intranet was very
extensive, and even had a mirror of a stock quote site because 90% of the
white collar workforce were stock exchange junkies)
4) surcharge for download based on kilobytes. Your department had to pay big
time for music downloads and games, just as they would for downloading a
postscript driver

I was hauled in once for overuse of the internet. My manager said he didn't
want to know what I was doing, just keep it down--it turned out that
kilobytes of downloads were very expensive, and even though I wasn't doing
THAT much surfing, the surcharges (which go to the IS department) added up
to $50. Wow.

I welcome a caution to not get sucked in--because you can easily lose track
of time while writing an e-mail or checking something on the Internet.
Anything more than a caution, however, is butt-out territory. I'm there to
get a job done, I will do it under terms I agree to, and I want to do it
well; but I will not sacrifice the day-to-day things that keep me contented.
Beyond Internet usage, one poster thought it was inappropriate to better
themselves at the expense of their employer. Excuse me, but that's just
ridiculous. Ultimately, my happiness at work and the knowledge and skills I
pick up, any way I pick them up, benefits my employer, and if they don't
think so or if they sulk about it, too bad. This is capitalism.

People who have the attitude that you are there to sit your ass in a chair
and write for 7 -8 hours a day, and any activity other than writing is
unfair to your employer, are definitely in need of a year off of world
travel. It's a mystery to me why Americans hate communism and
authoritarianism... so many of them put up with it every day at work. And
then they 'go to war' against it; they go to war for the Good Life, but it
seems their definition of the good life is a Gap clothing store that's open
24 hours, because they can't get away from work before J Crew closes at 9.

And, like another poster said if they make rules, they should apply them
fairly and across the board rather than capriciously, but I've never seen a
firing that wasn't capricious. It really comes down to how far the
individuals involved have developed their social skills, and, sometimes,
political skills. Our workplaces are fraught with people who just can't deal
with people. I think that that's probably the most important part of work,
and gettin' technical is just the fun part.

If your employer has any respect for what you do--and remember, sometimes
it's not how much they RESPECT you, it's how much they NEED you--then they
will provide you with tools that are up to the job and the environment in
which you can work both productively and happily. To me, that means everyone
should bug off on Tuesday mornings until I'm done with Mr. Blue on

Please post responses to me as well as the list, as I'm on Index mode (one
tool in the battle against wasting online/work time!)


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