I don’t really write about work, not due to lack of material. What, with office antics that mirror the smiling schemers of “All About Eve” or executives practicing the murderous rage worthy of Tony Soprano on underlings, there’s plenty in my petri dish. No, I avoid writing about work more…out of fear of being sued. Don’t people sue you when they find out you complain about the job on the Web? I can write about my parents b/c 1) they won’t sue b/c I’m family and 2) they don’t know about this blog. Probably it’s quiet on my end b/c I mostly don’t tell people about this blog.
But back to my risque subject matter. So the things I briefly summarized above are demanding work conditions, but to make matters worse, they cut off our access to our personal email accounts! People, I feel like one of my toys got taken away, and for what reason? We all work there more than 9 to 5 hours and certainly, they don’t block us from accessing our office email from home, nor hesitate to blackberry or cell phone us for the slightest need. I mean, whatever, I work very hard, and I know it’s pretty typically corporate to block personal email. They say it’s to prevent viruses, but you know it’s more b/c they don’t want you to have fun at all during the day.
All that kvetching aside, what really ticked me off was the way the news was delivered. I got a call, and the Voice on the Phone asked “When did you last access your personal email?” And me, feeling guilty for my compulsive emailing, said “not in a while” (translation: an hour.) Then the Voice on the Phone started ticking off each time I had logged on — “Actually, you were on 11:52, 12:11, 1:28, etc.” — and it got creepy. Like the Voice on the Phone was all A-HA! I CAUGHT YOU IN THE ACT! Of what exactly? Did I steal something? Do I not do a good job? I had always heard that offices monitor your Internet usage, and ours has a reputation of reading all our office email, but I just presumed that there are other good reasons why we’re never able to get printer toner. I assumed they were busy with worthy causes, like putting out server fires, not trying to have face-offs with employees about Internet usage.
I felt all violated, man, like I was attacked by a warped version of Dilbert, a small-minded, mean-spirited nerd, for lack of a better word, obsessed with a petty agenda of vengeance. We all said Big Brother is watching in response. So consider this a Public Service Announcement: they read your email and they are timing you!!! And also, friends, while y’all are circulating funny chain emails, think of me…suffering. Ha ha ha ha.