Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Big Brother (er, Sister?), Lost-n-Found, and Moving Day

At the office, we (which really means our Systems Coordinator) have installed some free software that tracks everywhere we go on the Internet. Well, specifically, where we go when we BROWSE the Internet. Now, I am not out surfing to places I don't need to go or anything, but I am just as guilty of the next person of popping into Yahoo mail or checking my "Buying/Selling Status" on eBay, popping in for a quick round of lunchfight, quick blogging, etc. I never saw this as a detriment to my being able to fulfill my duties at work because, for the most part, I am too busy running around to sit and surf the web. However, because there are 2 or 3 employees that DO spend a lot of time surfing during work hours, we are all being put under the microscope.

I know the computers and the network are 'owned' by the taxpayers, so technically, I shouldn't be using them for anything that is not work-related ever. So, even after hours, before hours, or during my lunch, I should refrain from virtual food throwing, virtual shopping, etc. I will say that since the system has been put into place, I have been better about it. Am I "more productive?" Who knows. My job requires a lot of Internet access and use anyway, so I don't know. Of course, at some point, we will also be asked to log our activities (phone calls, emails, etc) in order to basically 'justify' our position/salary. I should already do that, then take my findings in to the boss and say, "See, you should be paying me $100,000 a year..." Well, I saw an article somewhere (I'll have to find it) that shows employees who are allowed to free-surf 'within moderation' are actually happier, more productive employees... I better find that quick! :-)

I lost my cell phone... Well, misplaced it, really. I do that a lot... A whole lot. This time, I had left it in the conference room after a videoconference. I thought it was on my desk, but after moving my office around (more about that in a sec), I realized I had not seen the little bugger. So, we called it... No ringtones in the office, no ringtones in the computer lab... I had no idea where it might be. Then, as I returned to the office from my scavenger hunt, John tells me that the front office has it. Turns out, it kept ringing in there and someone finally took it to the front desk, saying, "This keeps ringing, but no one in here knows whose it is!" That would be mine... :-)

The kicker is that it's not a small phone, not a cool high-tech phone, etc. It's a basic Nokia - no flip, no downloads, nothin... I just can't seem to keep tabs on it, though. I often leave it at home on the charger... Or more often, at home NOT on the charger so the thing dies on me... I figure if someone calls and they don’t get me on the cell, they'll call the office. Seems logical to me, maybe not to anyone else though... My boss is never happy when she calls and later finds out the phone was dead, or at home, or both....

I've moved again. My office area is now located where our student software support person was. She has been moved to the 'main building.' I have yet to figure out if that is an upgrade or if being that close to everyone else in the company leads to less work/more sidebars... Anyway, I digress... Because of the partitions and shelving, it feels like an office - er, cubicle-like-office-space. It is bigger than a cubicle, but there are only two 'real' walls. The other 'walls' consist of various partitions and some wood shelving. This a description, not a complaint! I kinda like my new space, though I am finally coming around to the idea of 'decorating' it... I am NOT a decorate-your-office kind of person. Generally, my feeling is that my office is my office and I don't care what's on the walls, and I am certainly not into making it anything remotely "homey." If I wanted "homey," I'd quit my job and work AT HOME (which I would do if it actually paid enough for me to do, but it doesn't - well, I don't even HAVE a work-at-home job, so there ya go...). I have never grabbed on to the whole "plants, pictures, frou-frou" thing for the office. the closest I have come so far are a few posters attached to the front of my desk that you see when you walk in, a picture of each of the kids, and a picture of me and Shan in Chicago at the White Sox game.

Now, in contrast, Marilyn and John have various pictures, certificates, and other decorative items. I suppose I'll at least put some things on the walls...eventually... :-)

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