RE: An invitation to Andrew and others (long)

Subject: RE: An invitation to Andrew and others (long)
From: Sandra Law <sandra -dot- law -at- quest -dot- com>
To: 'TECHWR-L' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 09:12:04 -0700

-----Original Message-----
From: Gwen Thomas [mailto:GThomas -at- PaySys -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2000 8:31 AM
Subject: An invitation to Andrew and others (long)

So how is it that I find myself both still wanting to "fire" Andrew for his
actions and also agreeing with most of the well-thought-out concepts in his
"Control" post?

Because the issue of freedom vs. control in enterprises is and always has
been one of fuzzy boundaries, at-odds goals, and impossible balancing acts.

My response:

I think of 'Comus' (a theatrical work by John Milton) when discussions of
right to exercise personal freedoms arise. The piece examines the
difference between 'taking license' and 'exercising personal liberties'. I
have no desire to determine for anyone else where they draw the line. I
know where I draw the line.

As to the discussion of whether user access privileges should have been
fiddled with, some employers would consider that a significant breach
(whether it was functional breach (i.e. getting things done) or not) and
fire the person who committed the breach. If you can do as you please,
they, in a 'laissez faire' world, can do as they please, and fire you. You
could try to sue for wrongful dismissal, but in a tough ass world, shouldn't
you be willing to take it one the chin, and walk away. No, I am not an
advocate of the tough ass approach but if those are the principles by which
you operate ... then you should be willing to abide by the 'rules of the

This thread also seems to be advocating an approach that I find a bit
disturbing, getting the job done, no matter what the job (could be writing
up specifications for prison camps) or its outcome. The attitude being, if
that's what you were paid to do, then just do it.

Some jobs should simply not be done, and yes, it's best if you high tail it
out of a situation if you can't reconcile the environment or the content of
the work with your own internal warning systems, but I like the approach of
a character in a book called "Hypnotism made easy" (Marie Nimier). The
character, through a series of circumstances, ends up as a phone sex
'personality'. She decides one day, that her job is pointless, silly and
unreal, and she starts to obstruct, by giving the customers what she thinks
they need, a good night's (or half hour's) sleep. That is, she hypnotises
them over the phone. Should she have left before her descent into
obstruction? Probably. But it makes for good fiction, which often has more
verisimilitude than fact (including some or perhaps most, documentation).

Let the frothing begin.

Sandra Law

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