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Jordan Heron - The Vanity Card Series

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So, I'm not the MOST ethical guy in the world. But I believe (and hope very much) that I am far from the least ethical guy. (If I am the least ethical guy in the world, I'm very disappointed with the results.)

Anyway, the point is this: I occassionally to personal things at work. I mean, most people do. Anything from chatting about personal things with coworkers and not being productive (after all, you shouldn't work all day without a break - and it's a moral booster), to the odd photocopy of a personal document (after all, I don't have a photocopier at home), to nipping out to the bank machine when it's not actually your coffee break, to large scale embezzlement. Ok, that last one I've never done. Mostly because I don't have anything like that kind of authority.

I do personal email at work. Well, I used to do personal email at work.

My rationalization for this was that I don't have high speed internet at home. Doing my email at work was more productive for me. And, I figure, anything that makes me more productive, is good for my company as well. At least, that's how I looked at it. And then we did get a form of high speed at home. I mean, nothing you want to stream video on, but at least it wasn't dial up anymore. But by that time, it was a habit. I checked my home email at work regularly through the day. That way it didn't gang up on my all at once.

I tried not to abuse the internet "privilege". I have never surfed for porn at work. Really. I rarely did eBay, although I must admit, I did the occasional Facebook update. But last Friday, when getting into work and firing up the computer, I went to look for my webmail site and got the dreaded "RESTRICTED SITE - YOU CAN'T GO HERE - YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING" screen.

Now I know that all internet traffic is logged. It's even possible that someone looks at it. But I've never really been worried that my workplace will be examining my internet usage. I mean, everyone I know at work is far too busy for that sort of stuff. Besides, a manager I know and trust (from another company) said he did actually receive an autogenerated report of all his employees internet usage, and he only used it to get good ideas of where HE could surf next. Huh.

But the dreaded "RESTRICTED" web page is scary. It may be completely irrational, but I imagine that when I surf to a restricted site, actual physical bells go off at the data centre, and a call is immediately placed to my manager asking for me to be fired for inappropriate internet use. It frightens me, beyond all rational thought. Hell, being fired because I'm incompetent doesn't frighten me. But fired for inappropriate internet use? I would never be able to hold my head high again.

I've had to start checking my email at home. How dull is that. Home is not for computer usage. Home is for barn renovations and riding.

A new age has dawned.


10 March 2010

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