Any use of Company-provided electronic communications
tools, especially the Internet, must be business related, even if
such use occurs after normal business hours.
"The Company does not permit personal use by authorized users who are
not our employees."
The Company does reserve the right to access the contents of all
authorized users' electronic communications as outlined in Section 5 of
this Policy. Also, usage by Company employees as well as individuals who
are not Company employees is monitored. Section 9 states, "With respect
to the violation of this Policy by an individual who is not a Company
employee, the Company reserves the right to terminate the access to the
Company's communications tools and/or pursue whatever other recourse
to which the Company may be entitled."
They are all ass-and-buckets about this. All usage of the extranet is
actually charged based on number of bytes transferred plus the number of
"objects", and the rate is insane. Thing is, it's not charged to an ISP,
but to another business unit within the same company. And it includes
I can see the reason for limiting the use of the internet. Most places
of employment have some sort of limiting policy in place. But the
zero-use policy is harmful, particularly to morale. Employees are
people, and management of people requires some understanding of
how people react and what their needs are. To make them out as thieves
for "stealing company resources" when they get an e-mail from a friend
or when they want to check the daily Dilbert strip on their lunch break
is draconian. When you add that on top of other draconian practices,
you will start finding yourself losing the employees who are exceptional
(because they will find other less harsh places to work) and only
retaining those employees who are easily intimidated, and are not
willing to risk anything for innovation.
Oh, and I'm not a contract employee, I'm a contingent
resource. Evidently the use of the word "employee" might be
There are worse things. My friend Tony is working (or at least was when
I last checked) for a company that has pulled some completely insane
bullshit on him. They are actively screwing with him, where here
it's nothing personal, it's just mismanagement. Or perhaps I should say
it's an alternative style of management.
For instance: there is a policy in place where we cannot bring cameras
or cell phones with cameras into the building to protect the company's
intellectual property. Yet every computer has a CD-ROM burner. And it's
a software company.