Tuesday, 25 February 2014

You’re Comparing Apples And Orangutans, Misa

Misa Han wails about the unfairness of it all:
A couple of years ago, I found myself doing unpaid work, giving up my Saturday night with television and pad thai to stuff envelopes and check in guests instead. I wasn’t doing volunteer work, or one of those bizarre internships where you run free errands for a billion-dollar shoe company in the hopes of climbing the corporate ladder.
I was asked to work for free because I got caught accessing Facebook on the company computer during work hours.
Fair enough! Most companies make sure that staff are warned up front about this, and you don’t say it came as a shock, so suck it up!
On my day off, my boss had accessed my internet browser history and printed out the evidence of my cardinal sin. She threatened to sue me for “stealing” company time unless I worked the following week, unpaid.
A little unorthodox. Most companies would have simply issued a written warning.
I obliged reluctantly and did so because I prided myself in having good work ethics
Ummm…
Many employers now have IT policies that allow them to monitor your online activities out of work hours, and employer-issued smart phones and laptops make this exercise easier.
So…don’t use them! Use your own. Honestly, you really must expect that if your employer provides you with something (laptop, company credit card, company car) they will monitor your use of it, surely?
Just last month, minister Eric Abetz issued guidelines to public servants about their online activities. In a professor Umbridge-style, public servants were told not to make a comment that is “so harsh or extreme in its criticism of the government, a member of parliament from another political party, or their respective policies”, that “it raises questions about the APS employee’s capacity to work professionally, efficiently or impartially”.
What’s more, such comment “does not have to relate to the employee’s area of work” so it can extend to any comment on the infinite number of issues that the federal government looks after.
Which is an infringement of your right to free expression, agreed. But what does that have to do with you breaking your employer's rules on surfing the Internet in work time?
Our laws aren’t particularly helpful when it comes to employer surveillance. In New South Wales, employers have to give prior notice of surveillance but they don’t need employees’ consent. In Victoria, employers can’t use CCTV cameras in toilets or change rooms, so at least employees know where to go if they want to gossip.
Employers should stop treating their employees like children loose on the playground, and our laws shouldn’t stop at banning CCTV cameras in toilet cubicles.
Until then, we may have to go back to writing in journals and hiding them under our mattresses.
I repeat - what does that have to do with you getting caught surfing the Internet in work time?

Nothing. Nothing at all. So don’t try to conflate the two.

8 comments:

Bucko The Moose said...

Has she really just written an article that says employees should be treated like adults in order to allow them to act like children and use Faceache in works time?

Lynne at Counting Cats said...

I obliged reluctantly and did so because I prided myself in having good work ethics

I obliged reluctantly and did so because I was informed that if I didn't oblige I would be sacked for misconduct.

There, fixed it.

Longrider said...

I read this a few days ago. A couple of points though.

Firstly don't use the employer's IT to do personal stuff - even if the employer is relaxed about it. Wait until you get home. Keep work and personal matters separate. I have always operated a moat, stone wall, barbed wire and machine-gun turret approach with my work and personal lives. Work will never, ever, get a peek into the personal - even though they have tried on occasion.

Secondly, any manager that threatens to sue over ten minutes and then blackmails the employee to work a full week in recompense has lost all sense of proportion and the correct response to such behaviour is to tell them to stick it. If they want to, they can go through the disciplinary process, which in this case would have amounted to a warning as it deserved no more.

There are no good guys in this scenario.

John M said...

You know when I read cretinous stuff like this I realise that the youth of today arem probably not going to replace me before I retire because so many of them have absolutely no clue whatsoever what working for an employer actually means.

I would have issued this idiot a final warning.

When I read that NHS patients aren't being cleaned in thier beds, I hope it is not because the Misa Hans of this world aren't sitting in the office on f**king Facebook...

Ancient + Tattered Airman said...

And in the Grauniad too! Whoever could have expected that?

Rightwinggit said...

When the Thought Police come for you, concentrate on the phrase;

"I'm out!"

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX John M said...

so many of them have absolutely no clue whatsoever what working for an employer actually means.XX

I found similar when I was doing a bit of work on the side, helping in one of these integration courses.

They were ALL shocked and stunned that they would be expected to work 8 hour days during their work placements, and, that unlike the "school", they would only be getting a twenty minute midday pause instead of the hour that the course allowed them. So much so, that a quarter of them gave up the course rather than do the placement!

I had to bring in my "time sheets" to prove to them that my normal shift was 12 hours on twelve off. (The same for all emergency services,Hospitals, among others, here.)

They just would not believe it.

I do not know where they had worked before, but they all puported to have had proper jobs in Russia, Poland, China, and many other places.

Turning the books on them, I told them that if they had never experienced an 8+ hours work day, I believed they were lying, and that to produce a false C.V is an offence.

BUT, that is the attitude they have when going for interview, then complain "how hard it is to get work in Germany!"

JuliaM said...

"Has she really just written an article that says employees should be treated like adults in order to allow them to act like children and use Faceache in works time?"

It's CiF... *shrugs*

"Keep work and personal matters separate."

Words to live by!

"...so many of them have absolutely no clue whatsoever what working for an employer actually means."

Ugh, tell me about it! My company took on local kids for 'work experience' last summer. With similar results to FT.