Why I need the Internet at Work?

Subject: Why I need the Internet at Work?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 10:50:32 -0500

Maggie Secara hits a brick (fire)wall: <<It's a short contract, underpaid,
sitting at an ergonomically-unsound table in the *machine room* fer
godssake, but it has promise...>>

I think the first thing you need to straighten away is why they're giving
you unsuitable tools and working conditions. Make a case strongly for being
treated like a human being, and if they're not willing to make changes--even
slow, cumulative ones that will eventually get you where you want to
be--reconsider just how promising the work really is. Yes, it's fair to put
up with some inconveniences at first until they've had time to set you up
properly, but as a long-term proposition, this is a sign of trouble. The
whole shtick with Ainsely Hayes on "The West Wing" is amusing for a TV show,
but unacceptable in real life.

<<Why DO I need net access? This morning I asked my manager about this... My
manager said he thought that was by design... I need a non-confrontational
argument that will get me simple ordinary access in such a way that it
sounds like it's in THEIR interest, not just mine. Any ideas?>>

Two things you should do--and it'll work best if you do both, not just one.
First, find out why they might be scared to give you unlimited access; maybe
the last contractor spent their days surfing porn sites and e-mailing
confidential company documents to competitors. Maybe you just got set up
with a default configuration and the network manager will shake his head,
apologize profusely for blowing it, and set you up properly in 5 minutes
with no muss or fuss. Whatever the reason, they likely do have a logical
reason (maybe even a good one), and you can't overcome their objections
until you understand what those objections are. Second, itemize the things
you will be doing for this company that _require_ Web access--not things
that might be nice to have, since those are weak ways to make your point.
(Maybe you don't really _need_ the net at this job after all. Tell them what
work-related things you'll be doing tomorrow that you can't do at all
without access. If you can't list any, you've got a weak case.) If you can
both resolve their objections and show how providing access makes you more
useful to them, then they'll have a much harder time saying no.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"I vowed [that] if I complained about things more than three times, I had to
do something about it."--Jon Shear


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