Wednesday, October 24, 2007

You Know You Need a New Job When...

...when at any time of day you can spot about 10 people outside the company buildings talking quietly on their cellphones. It's either their headhunter, a potential employer, or a family member calling to console them during their break. You can't make any sort of private call in this cube farm. I can hear the lady in the cube next door to mine eating a tuna sandwich. And tuna sandwiches don't make much noise. It's a very quiet and oppressed place. Managers have doors and windows on their cubes. But no roofs. Their cubes are still connected to the rest of the maze, they're just bigger and have the illusion of privacy.

My current gig is with an in-house creative department for a large corporation. To make sure the employees aren't wasting time on non-company things, this corporation has contracted with a firm known as Websense. "Websense is a global leader in internet filtering and web security solutions to help companies productively use the internet."

Websense sucks.

Most blogs I can't see from work, especially Wordpress blogs, where I am met with:
Category "Social Networking and Personal Sites" is filtered.

Some blogs I can get to, but following a link about a "ghostly cup of coffee," I am met with this message:
Category "Non-Traditional Religions and Occult and Folklore" is filtered.

The Best Page in The Universe is blocked with this message:
Category "Tasteless" is filtered.

Anything on YouTube gets you this:
Category "Illegal or Questionable" is filtered.

The website Something Awful, where the Your Band Sucks feature is pretty fun, is a serious non-no:
Category "Adult Content" is filtered.

I understand corporate America's desire to squeeze the last ounce of productivity out of their employees, but when you prevent them from having any fun whatsoever, particularly when their department is called "Creative Services," you're kind of screwing yourself.

I can understand blocking porn, maybe hate groups and sites that teach you how to make bombs, but when you call Maddox "tasteless," that's clearly just a matter of opinion.

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  • “Non-Traditional Religions and Occult and Folklore”

    Don’t be so quick to judge. These groups will bring America down. Just watch.

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at October 24, 2007 at 6:33 PM  

  • Dude, the walls have ears. Mmmmm, smell the tuna!

    By Anonymous dirtsister, at October 24, 2007 at 7:03 PM  

  • I have problems with Websense and similar programs for so many reasons, inadvertent censorship being among the least of them.

    Treat your employees with no respect and they will return the favor in spades. It's another version of my "Your Customer Is Not Your Enemy" tirade: neither is your f-ing employee. But treat them as such, and you'll get even more unproductive employees.

    Hope this gig isn't a long one, JP

    By Blogger Toad, at October 24, 2007 at 10:40 PM  

  • I'm really enjoying your "cubicle world" posts. Just be thankful for those employees sensible enough to leave the building for their calls. I've worked at some offices where people -- who must know they can be heard -- go ahead and take the personal call in the cubicle. I now know more about disease, home re-modeling and life partner issues than I'd ever care to.

    By Blogger Irene Done, at October 25, 2007 at 8:56 AM  

  • Non-Traditional Religions and Occult and Folklore

    Ha ha.

    Geez, usually the "Creative Dept." gets around that sort of stuff because of "research." We used to use that at the law firm.

    I empathize with your pain...

    By Blogger Thinking In Vain, at October 25, 2007 at 11:24 AM  

  • You could do a great testimonial for the iPhone/AT&T.
    "Now I can read blogs and surf porn from the cube farm!"

    By Anonymous AskACopywriter, at October 25, 2007 at 6:13 PM  

  • That is an excellent idea, Brian.

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at October 25, 2007 at 6:39 PM  

  • askacopywriter beat me to the punch, though I'd like to add that the blackberry pearl has worked for me, in case you don't want to appear too trendy with the iphone.

    By Anonymous Mahmoudly, at October 26, 2007 at 10:12 AM  

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