Imagine you are a decent sort, doing your best to do the right thing. It’s hard, huh?
Now, imagine you are decidedly not the decent sort. In fact, just for fun, imagine you are the frothy layer on the top of the scum of humanity. Or, as I like to put it, a boss.
Meanwhile, nefarious aspects of the world are always out there, shooting little tendrils of temptation in your direction. They might be hard to resist by even the most well-intentioned human. But to you, a person with absolutely no morals or scruples of any kind, these enticements are like a jizz party in your pants. They’re like candy-coated sugar dipped in chocolate made from cocoa beans harvested by children overseen by sweaty dudes with machine guns.
In other words, good stuff!
Life is out there and it is relentless. It probes for weakness and it never stops. It’s a 24/7 onslaught testing your resolve and your ethics. What are you willing to do to your fellow man to gain some micron of personal advantage? Life wants to know.
Monitor your employees
Do you know why your employee productivity dropped? Are your employees working or playing during the working time? Are they planning to quit the job and go to your rivals? Are they stealing the company secrets and selling to your competitors? Do you want to effectively monitor how your office Mac computers are being used? Now with Assme Corp. Keylogger, you can know the truth and avoid business secrets leaking.
Seriously? Was it really necessary for something like this to exist? I know my boss (thanks Sun Tzu!) and this is just the kind of thing that would give him a heart attack of pleasure. Although, knowing him, he’d probably be likely to “delegate” even that.
Actually, if you do an internet search for this sort of thing, you quickly learn there are a myriad of plethora of options out there for spying on your employees. (Spouses, too, but that’s another post.) This niche industry is booming and only helps to make the world a better place.
Long story short, last week one of the boss’ daily shipments of shallow consumeristic toys arrived. It was a four-channel surveillance system from Woot.com. The delivery guy dropped it off and the boss grunted and said, “Ooh, a box!” He then ripped into it like a three-year-old on Christmas morning.
The next day was a typical day of whoring (my job description) in the shithole. At some point the boss stepped out of the office. I may have made a few snide remarks about him to my coworker. I limited my remarks to the realm of the boss being an axehole for his constant whining about behaviors in other people that are his specialty. That sort of hypocrisy really gets me going. For his part, my coworker speculated about the boss’ zone of toxic smell and the lack of deodorant thereof.
When the boss came back in the office we seamlessly shifted the conversation to Diablo III and he was none the wiser, although he did bulldoze us out of that conversation in order to demonstrate his extreme knowledge of the subject and prove that we are idiots in comparison. (That’s another story.)
Side note: The way we switch conversations when the boss walks in the room reminds me of an old episode of MASH. Hawkeye and Trapper John are talking about something that busybody Frank Burns is on about when Frank walks in on them. They instantly switch gears:
Hawkeye/Trapper John: Hitler wouldn’t ride in elevators. Constantly washed his hands. Whenever he went to the bathroom or conquered a country. They also say…
Frank Burns: I know that old trick. When you talk about Hitler, you’re really talking about me.
Hawkeye: Au contraire. When we talk about you, we’re really talking about Hitler.
Yep. Perfectly analogous to our situation at work! I think we’ll start using that code immediately. “This is Checkpoint Alpha. Ferret-Face is on the move.”
Except there’s no need. After the boss had been back in the office for a while, I happened to notice the video surveillance system unpacked and sitting on the counter. And the thing was turned on. And there was a red light. I leaned in for a closer look.
… RECORDING …
Holy mother of boss biscuits!!! WHAT THE FUCK???
The boss had enabled a recording device in the room and never told anyone about it. I suspect that was illegal. My understanding is such a thing is allowable in the workplace but only if communicated to employees beforehand in the employee manual. (Our boss doesn’t have one.) Even if not technically illegal, it’s still a motherfucking douchebag thing to do.
This move was quintessential boss. He is the daddy. He knows best. He’s smarter than you and the only one allowed the American right of freedom of speech. He treats spouse, family, friends, employees, customers and strangers he meets like they are all idiot children. Like they are incapable of wiping their own asses without his help. And a daddy certainly doesn’t have to explain himself to his kids. Children do as they’re told. Children are to be seen and not heard. As a daddy he’s totally old school.
He even bragged to me once about how he had installed location tracking on his wife’s cell phone. Without her knowledge or consent. (Yes, a daddy move.) His wife had just landed in Hawaii and he seemed unconcerned. I was surprised they didn’t talk on the phone. If it was me, I’d want to know that my wife was okay. I do this even when she drives one mile across town. “Call me when you get there. Let me know that you’re okay. I love you!”
We have to say “I love you” every time we part. My philosophy on this is simple. What if one of us dies in a big ball of fire and it turned out to be the last time we ever saw each other? So we have to do it every time. I, for one, am not showing up in heaven with the last words, “And get me a bean burrito from Taco Bell!” fresh on my lips.
The boss, however, was totally unconcerned. “I know exactly where she is,” he said. He proceeded to open a website in his browser. Instantly a map of Hawaii was shown with a blinking red dot. The wife. He zoomed in on the map and it was revealed that his consumeristic spouse was already inside a Target. Ten minutes in Hawaii and she was already in a goddamned big box store of all motherfucking places. To thine own self be true, I guess.
Which was more doucheholio? Tracking your own damn spouse or pathetically bragging about to the people you have to pay to hang around with you?
The bottom line is that I have absolutely no trust in this boss. After the recording incident I immediately instituted a scorched earth policy at work. I now assume my voice is recorded every minute I’m in that shithole. I assume the phones are recorded. I assume my computer has a keystroke logger. I disconnected all of my personal files (there were very few) from my work computer. I uninstalled Pandora. I removed my iChat identity. I don’t want that fucker to know jack shit about me. Bottom line: I wouldn’t put it past him to install a keylogger without telling us.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that the stuff in the office is “equipment” and that employees have no expectation of privacy in the workplace. Those are shitty concepts but I do understand they exist. But employees still have the right to know the policies and what monitoring is deployed. If they fuck up after that, well, at least you can make an argument that they deserve what they got. But to deploy monitoring in secret? Only an asshole would do that.
The most important thing for a boss to remember is that employees are always the enemy. This has untold benefits, like increases in employee morale and productivity. For treating employees like shit is always the best way to achieving the things a boss wants.
See? This is one of those posts that should have went in the kill file under “Bitter.”
I went and made everything awkward.
If you think he’s doing that, look in services or startup apps for the program.
Or find a less annoying boss…