Net Working life

Careful now

A lot of Melbourne’s bloggers are taking things a little more cautiously at the moment, following Jenjen’s sacking (just after she gave notice anyway) due to the alleged content and work time involved in her blog. For my own part, I’ve scrupulously avoided naming where I work or going into too much detail about my colleagues. And I think posting only from home is the order of the day.

Obviously it’s a difficult issue. I’d like to think that most companies take a realistic view of their employees using Internet access for non-work purposes, as long as it doesn’t interfere with work. Indeed, the same applies to any resources at work – phone calls, Post-It notes, e-mail. As long as you’re getting your work done, what does it matter?

Yeah, I sometimes send personal e-mails from work. And use the phone. And run out on errands (ho boy, did I ever today!). But then again, I make work calls on my personal mobile, interrupt home activities for work, connect to the work computers from my own PC at home (using MY electricity, dammit), and even use sometimes use my own pen and ink when writing work-related notes. Gasp!

I don’t know if it all balances out or not, but so far my bosses seem to be satisfied with me getting my work done when it’s needed. I do the work. They pay me the money (except what the taxman takes). Everyone’s happy (especially the taxman). Well, I hope so, anyway — it’s worked for three years in this job so far.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

10 replies on “Careful now”

I agree with you Daniel. A lot of us would be the same as you – do work at home and at work, do a little extracurricular fun in between work while there.
I just wish the employers would see it in the same light and it’s a shame that MissJenJen seemed to have one of the most non-understanding bosses in the world. They must have been in order to do that to her.

Ah, so that’s what happened to Paperback Writer … I hadn’t heard and was confused to not be able to access it anymore. It does seem unduly harsh (not to mention unnecessary) to have sacked MissJenJen while she was actually in her notice period, but they were probably trying to make some kind of employerly point. Still, it’s a difficult one, the old work-life balance, and some employers handle it with considerably more grace and reason than others.

I had my internet access “priveleges” revoked for an entire year and was still expected to carry out my work as a webmaster. When I told someone else they said my employer was “king of all science and logic.”


A webmaster without access to the internet? Very rich indeed.

As for MJJ, employers are well within their rights to get narky for abusing work time and resources but come on, do they expect us to work solid for eight hours with a half hour break? Impossible

I was semi-dooced at work.

I was underhandedly kept out of a project at work, a project that formed an integral part of my job description. Without even notifying my boss a department decided to take over that job, arranged a contractor to do it and then presented it to management as a finalised deal.

Of course I was upset and aired my views on my blog, not naming names or company, but the department was anonymously informed of my, I still claim valid, concerns.

They couldn’t fire me, they had nothing to go on there and their way of going about things left them wide open to attack but I was reprimanded, advised to discontinue my writings on work and encouraged to keep my head down.

The department demanded all my responsibilities be taken away from me and when it came to their newly adopted area, they were. Thankfully my manager was sympathetic to how I had been treated and I still have my job, although not doing the bit of it I loved most.

My advice to any blogger from this is to start anonymous and keep it so.

I’ve taken down my stuff as anyone reading my blog who knew me from work would recognise their a)initials and b) the various scenarios I’d written. Poor JenJen.

I’d been caught browsing something at work and made the mistake of leaving the browser window open on screen when I went off to buy some lunch – I would have been away from the PC a whole ten minutes but in that time the office manager took it upon herself to tell everyone that I was chatting and had my internet taken away. Not good for a person on a helpdesk role who is constantly stepping people through and ordering things for clients, ya know? As it turned out, they’d just removed the shortcut from my desktop, but when I brought it up with the manager and my supervisor, they agreed that I would probably need IE to do my job effectively.

Ah hah. Ya THINK?

We are not allowed to go on the net for anything personal. It has to do with security and viruses. AND THOSE DAMN POP-UPS!!!!! We DO have to use the internet for postal code look-ups, etc. Our systems people keeps track of what and where we go on the net. (Yes, we were told this right from the start!) We can even see other peoples email, if you know how! (I accidently got into my manager’s email, so I know you can do it!!!) ;)

I (very occasionally) check out web sites. Very secure ones! NASA (picture of the day), university and college web sites. After work.

The computer is owned by your employer, so they make the rules! (I don’t have to work at home.)

If you get bored, I have some work for you to do!! We are so short staffed, we have other units helping us with the work. That is the daily work, never mind the stuff we do in the “slow” season (October to March).

Sorry I’m carrying on. (I work for the provincial government.)

I don’t think it’s worth the risk, talking about co-workers (unless it’s good things, of course) Make sure you hide the idendity of the person, really good!!!

J :) :)

We are allowed ‘reasonable’ personal use of the internet. I interpret ‘reasonable’ fairly broadly, and probably wouldn’t appreciate my employers taking issue with where I surf to: I can work and surf at the same time, and I’m not paid enough to not be able to surf while I’m working.

paperback writer broke the rules at her workplace but. personal use or something?

I worked at a place that allowed NO personal use of the cmputers or facilities. People were getting sacked all the time for checking there bank balance online and stuff.

Dont work someplace that is so drackoninan

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