Monday, April 6, 2009

Big Brother Is Watching

Recently there was a sting, or so the rumor goes, at my office job. The powers that be decided to monitor the computer usage of all. Internet usage, e-mails between co-workers, chain letters, or anything that ends with the phrase forward this e-mail, and the like. Several people were put on a level three. In layman terms this is when someone is escorted out of the building, told to take the next day off work, and think about whether they want to keep their job. In other words, a time out.

The last time I remember being put in time out was while visiting my sister. She has two young children and uses this tactic as a tool for learning proper behavior. I used the F-word at dinner. The girls heard me, and looked at their mother disconcertingly. If they were not allowed to use this wondrous word, then why was I? My sister then told me that type of behavior warrants a time out. I obliged, trying to redeem myself among the young ones. In their house, one is to sit in time out for as many minutes as they are old. Luckily, I only had to do 5 minutes in the time out chair. I think my sister was being fair. I would have otherwise missed dessert, bath time, story time, and breakfast the next day.

Apparently at the office, the majority of wrongdoers were put in time out due to excessive internet usage. People were shopping, surfing non-work related sites, and not doing their work. This makes me wonder about the people I work among. Have they never read 1984? We work for a government agency. Not only one, but two.

Yet, the most intriguing part of this whole situation is the perceived inappropriateness of an e-mail. There is no definitive definition of an inappropriate e-mail. Thank goodness management found a way for their staff to snitch on their co-workers without consequence to themselves. The memo below was sent out as a reminder item.

When one of your employees self reports they received an inappropriate email, the supervisor should go to their office and view the email on their computer. If a copy of the email is needed, print it off of their computer and then have the employee, delete/delete. Let me know if you have questions.

So let the games begin and dystopia win!

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