Monday, February 21, 2005

Company Policy

So yesterday I was at work, it's a large mutinational based in the UK with layers and layers of heirachy. I dwell near the bottom which is actually quite good by me. Thanks to to the elegatarian nature of the Australian wage system, I'm doing OK. Blue collar jobs such as refinery workers, the food industry and car manufacture still seem to pay OK, although the tide is changing under the guise of "rationalism".

It's one of those shrinking blue collar jobs that actually pay well. However the job pool is decreasing as skills become more highly technical. For example the increase in robotics and automation means that the production line I take care of only requires 8 people. In the 70's it would have required double that and the 50's probably 40.

The nature of the "new workplace" reuires a few of us who share a computer and logging in and the end of a shift. I was checking my e-mail which seems to be a few job opportunities and some miscellaneous guff about national holidays in the Asia-Pacific region. Occasionally the big cheeses give a "state of nation" schpiel which can be entertaining. I fired off a reply seeking to clarify what the various acronyms and jargon actually meant, and received an apologetic letter from the CEO's secretary.

On Friday my e-mail wouldn't work. I was able to log onto the workstation and the company platform but was unable to retrieve my mail. So I rang technical services.

It was answered by a British woman. "Whats your IDR"(or something like that), she asked. "My what?", I replied. She told me to click on an ICON in my sys tray and tell her the number.

In a few moments I was spinning out as she took control of my computer remotely. She fixed the problem and then changed my background back to the XYZ Pty Ltd sanctioned wallpaper. Previously it was a photo of a lovely castle in France. Nothing offensive or out of the ordinary. The XYZ company is doing a promotinoal thing with the Disney/Pixar "The Incredibles" and had "Incredibles" wallpaper.

"I'll have to change this back to the original background." She said.

"Why is that?" I asked.

"Because it is company policy", was the answer.

"Why is it company policy?"

"IT'S COMPANY POLICY." came back an icy British reply again.

So I had come across a Sysadmin drone. Doing things by the book and not questioning why. I remember when computer types at a company were mavericks in a way, subverting "the man" in little ways wherever possible. Sadly it was not to be the case today.
Another dumb rule in action.

Now when I log on, the wallpaper is "The Incredibles" but I can still change it to what I want during the session. However it defaults back to the "company policy" sanctioned wallpaper. This is only on this PC, on others, my usual wallpaper shows up.

A search on the internet will try to remedy this today!

Again I'll quote Manly Palmer Hall

"The Greek law giver, Solon, declared that in the ideal State, laws are few and simple, because they have been derived from certainties. In the corrupt state, laws are many and confused, because they have been derived from uncertainties. These corrupt laws are like the web of a spider which catches small insects but permits the stronger creatures to break through and escape."

"Where there are many laws there is much lawlessness, and men come to despise and ridicule the restraints that are imposed upon freedom of action. Corrupt laws, resulting from the efforts to amend inadequate legislation by further inadequate legislation, reveal a general ignorance of right and wrong. Where such ignorance exists, the ideal function of democracy is impossible, and liberty denigrates into license."

In this instance I'm the fly who has been caught in the web.


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