In the team managers’ meeting this week, the hottest topic on the agenda was the recent web patrol implementation – where managers were provided with a report detailing the websites staff visited and the time they clocked up surfing.
A male colleague nearing retirement wasted no time cutting to the chase and sharing with us his thoughts on the web usage report for his team.
“Hilarious! I’ve looked at some of the websites they’ve been wasting their time on.
I can’t wait to question them,” Retirement Man said. I sat there marvelling at how he found the time to waste on such pursuits.
Another colleague, a twentysomething female with a personal PR campaign on constant overdrive, started twittering on about how shocked she was at being forced to see such filth. One of her team had looked at a rap site. After viewing it herself, she was so shaken that she’s now considering therapy. I enquired as to why she looked at it, given her weak constitution. But she pretended to ignore me, preferring to lean across the table and squeeze her ample chest at the finance manager instead.
He was looking uncomfortable – thanks to the IT manager winding him up about his site of choice, the Hooters calendar.
My boss had a spiteful take on proceedings. “Talk about deluded,” she commented after telling us that her PA had viewed Millionairematch.com. An odd comment, I thought, given my boss’s penchant for online dating sites.
When it got to question time, I delighted in shattering their delusions by asking whether anybody knew about the legal aspect, ruling that monitoring internet use is a breach of human rights.
The room fell silent. I was swiftly dealt with by being asked to investigate the matter further and report back at the next team managers’ meeting. Later that day, an email was circulated to all of the team managers explaining that after careful consideration, it was now deemed unnecessary to talk to our staff about internet usage after all.
No, apparently there’s a far more dangerous, time-consuming beast lurking in our midst. Staff are spending up to seven minutes an hour downloading files while sitting around the office doing nothing. Still reeling from this revelation, I decided to visit the IT manager’s desk where I found him in an excited frenzy over the recent study by a data services company called Riverbed.
IT manager, it seems, very kindly explained the findings of the study to my boss who has now instructed me to make sure that my staff busy themselves during the few seconds it might take for a file to open on their desktop.
I asked what tasks she had in mind, only to be told that she hoped I’d come up with something constructive.