Sunday, August 29, 2010

Work Internet Use (or, Deja Vu, because I know I've mentioned this before, but now with new developments)

Whereas I don’t think I really, absolutely, totally abused the internet at work (no online gambling, porn, celebrity gossip, shoe shopping, blogging, gaming, plotting against world organizations, etc), I certainly used it more than our policy allows (30 minutes a week, only work appropriate).

I check several email accounts, the news, my bank accounts and some of my favorite blogs from work daily. If things are really slow, or if I’m particularly fed up and really hating on my job I’ll visit cracked or xkcd or just surf around looking for stuff to read. I do all this in a very transparent manner; I don’t try to sneak past the tracking or the work proxy. I enter my credentials, my user name and password, into the proxy prompt every time I go to the web and I know damn well that HR has a list with every site I’ve visited, which is probably fairly ugly and perhaps even a bit embarrassing (and this without me reading up on trashy celeb gossip!).

Over a year ago, I may have even blogged about it here; it came to my attention that my non-work related internet usage was the highest in my division. I was amazed. Other people spend HOURS on the internet. There is printing of LOLcatz galore and shoe shopping abounds and all-around shenanigans of the web variety taking place. That is when I learned about secret DSL and wireless lines and people coming up with creative ways to bypass the tracking proxy. Which REALLY PISSED ME OFF.

In the overall scheme of things my job is fairly lenient and relaxed. At least, in comparison to other jobs I have had. The rules are very realistic and simple and easy to abide by if you aren’t, oh, say, a giant freaking jerk face. Which many of the people I work with, nay, many of the people on this planet are. The obvious and insane abuse of work amenities and time just added to the continually growing list of super messed up crap people pull around here, so I was angry as hell, and even angrier because I knew NOTHING WOULD BE DONE. NOTHING. We have a person who shows up an hour and a half late to work every day, takes two hour lunches, disappears for hours at a time and is a nightmare to work with. Their attitude was so bad that they finally quit last year, which was great, but then, being the failure that they are, they came crawling back. AND WE HIRED THEM BACK. They made it to work on time for about two months and are now back to being a ridiculously F’d up employee, but nothing will be done. Nothing was ever done, (which is why documentation is important oh managers out there!) and they will continue to do 15% of the job I do, in half the hours, for more than I make. My job is really getting me down. But it is worse elsewhere and there are no jobs to be had in this economy and oh lord, did I steal money from blind children in a previous life?

ANYHOO the reason I tell you this is because today, amazingly, my division head said in a big cross division meeting that management is aware that there is rampant abuse of the internet and that it needs to stop. They know about the secret wireless and DSL and better yet some jackasses are using generic login/password combos (the ones we use for testing) to access the internet. They understand that we are stressed (read: lazy entitled bastards) but it needs to stop and they will document it and pull us aside if they have to.

Now, I do abuse the internet at work according to our rules. Ya, I’m not awful, but I’m still not following policy. But I’m also not lying about it or doing anything sneaky, I’m honest about my abuse. That makes me a good person (heh). Of the few constants in my life I can tell you this: I’m honest. I always have been. I always will be. It is important to me that even when abusing work policy I’m still honest about it, and other people should be too. Is that too much to ask? I think not. I’m not saying I’m perfect or wonderful or better than everybody (I’m better than the liars) but I am honest, and non honesty really, really, really bugs me.

Knowing how my employer works nothing will come of the internet abuse warning. If management even tries to talk to someone, which they won’t, then that employee will threaten to grievance and not a damn thing will be done. I don’t care. I’m just super super happy that something was said, that management saw or listened to someone pointing the internet malarkey out (even though I pointed it out 18 goddamn months ago and jackshit was done). It was nice to hear. My standards, indeed, are quite different from what they were three years ago.

Of course, I’m going to have to hold onto this happiness as a distraction because good grief, 6 hours in and I MISS the internet. I’m having withdrawals. I don’t know what my bank balance is or what the local news is (hint: stabbing/shooting/assault in my neighborhood, but where?) or if I got any blog comments. I’m both thrilled at this morning’s announcement and ashamed that I’m this addicted to work internet. A half hour a day is two hours more than we’re allowed a week, which means I’m into semantics. I never lied or finagled my internet, but I abused the policy. I argue that the people up to no good are far more evil and rotten then I am but a broken rule is also a broken rule.

What do you think?

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