I am stealing from MHM.

Recently Sir Thomas Mohr (from our Media dept) and I were discussing if the use of company computers for personal use was considered “stealing”. Here is a brilliant email that Thomas sent me concerning this topic which applies to all companies and the use of the computers:

Hey Kate,

You may not remember asking this question but while I was over there one day I think you were setting up an IM account or something and asked out loud if it was considered stealing to use the computer on company time. Now I know you probably weren’t expecting an actual response but I have been putting some thought into it and here is what I came up with.

USE OF MINISTRY OFFICE EQUIPMENT (PHONE, COMPUTER, PHOTOCOPY, MAIL SYSTEMS, ETC.)

Team members of MHM/ORCC are required to reimburse the Ministry for any charges resulting from their personal use of the telephone or fax for long distance, for any postage used for personal correspondence, and for personal photocopies beyond an occasional few copies. Team members are not permitted to utilize their own personal software on Ministry computers without advance supervisory approval.

Internet Usage

The Ministry’s Internet connection is intended primarily for business use. Users must adhere to our Internet Usage Policy. If accidental/unintended violation occurs, it should be reported to Network Administration immediately. Gross violation of the Internet Usage Policy will result in loss of internet privileges, reprimand, or termination of employment. Confidentiality of your computer passwords should be maintained. Personal Computers, computer hardware equipment, and software purchased or created by the Ministry are the property of MHM. Software from external sources must not be downloaded without executive management authorization. (see pgs 45 & 46)

Brilliant isn’t it? It’s almost as if I copied the Member Handbook. You probably know these have been distributed recently and I have been reading through it to decide if I actually want to agree to sign it; cuz who knows they may have added that cannibalism or being a Raiders’ fan is now acceptable in the Christian tradition.

Note the words “Gross Violation” that now stand out in the bold letter of italicizmentation. That’s really open for interpretation and everyone will have their opinions of what “Gross Violation” constitutes. In your case, some IMing and setting up the account probably do not qualify especially if you are getting your work done. If you take it down to the legalistic level you would have to pay to replace every piece of paper you’ve used for personal reasons, every half drop of toner or pen ink would need to be tracked and atoned for (get it; a-“toned” for) you would only be allowed to correspond with Dustin on your breaks (so when he called you would have to tell him to wait until the scheduled 2 o’clock appointment that every other husband and wife team has relegated themselves to.) I mean let’s keep this strictly professional, no more talking about your weekend with the other ladies in the department (no maam, not on company time, you’re wasting valuable resources, and don’t you dare used the restroom if you have enough time to get home before there’s a problem!!! Again, don’t you dare.

I realize you’re probably not bothered by it but, in my opinion it would be a “Gross Violation” if we worked in the kind of environment that would not allow me to jot down rambling thoughts such as these. Anyway that’s it, God bless ya.

Thomas,

How I appreciate your thoroughness and devotion to search out truth. In some ways I pondered that question aloud all ready knowing what the troubling answer (from the team member handbook) might be. I figured that myspace, facebook, blogging, Rotten Tomatoes, Itunes Movie Previews, Youtube and MSNBC (just for example) may not be the best use of the company computer or my work time. In fact, I felt so guilty about the time I spent on Youtube that I had Mike from Netadmin come and block it on my computer. Yes, that is correct, I can not access Youtube now even if my life depended on it. I also had a secret fear that they are tracking every click, every site, every address in my toolbar and I was going to be called into H.R. where they would sit me down at a long table, tell me that they have been watching my internet usage and dramatically unroll 50 pages worth of listed internet sites and google searches for things like “man in giant pancake costume” or “bug-eyed duck” (again, just for example). Don’t think that I am kidding, I really think they could do this at any moment. Don’t fool yourself into thinking they are not keeping track of YOUR Youtube searches for “8 year old playing Beatles songs” or “Tom Cruise talking about Scientology”. Big brother is always watching, Thomas. Always watching.

Your so right Kate, how could I not see it before? There it is in tiny print at the end of the paragraph.

Internet Usage

The Ministry’s Internet connection is intended primarily for business use. Users must adhere to our Internet Usage Policy. If accidental/unintended violation occurs, it should be reported to Network Administration immediately. Gross violation of the Internet Usage Policy will result in loss of internet privileges, reprimand, or termination of employment. Confidentiality of your computer passwords should be maintained. Personal Computers, computer hardware equipment, and software purchased or created by the Ministry are the property of MHM. Software from external sources must not be downloaded without executive management authorization. (see pgs 45 & 46) p.s. we are always watching…ALWAYS WATCHING!!!

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4 Comments

Filed under funny ha ha, in my opionation

4 responses to “I am stealing from MHM.

  1. kate,

    Your humor and writing is second to none. I wish I had the imagination that you do. Great blog I really enjoy it and have even added it to my blog roll. Keep up the great work.

  2. I work at a liquor store with antiquated windows 95 computers that act as registers. Thing is, they are all still wired to the internet. Internet Explorer is disabled, but nerdy me knows that any window in windows can be used as a browser; just type an address in the address bar.

    Fellow employees and I have used this workaround to check baseball scores, email, definitions of words (‘salutations’ is a greeting only, not multipurpose like ‘aloha’), and the like.

    I should also mention that there are 10 “security” cameras that monitor the premises, ostensibly to prevent theft but which are actually used to spy, Foucault-Panopticon-Style, on employees by the owner who tele-owns his business from Seattle.

    So it occurred to me one day that he might be checking IE caches, logging keystrokes, initiating employee infringement suits, and I had a profound panic attack.

    I guess what I really wanted to say is, I deeply sympathize.

    P.S. The epilogue to the story is that I realized the man is a ponce, and I continue to play freerice.org at my boring stopgap job. Also, I am still not on your blogroll. Shame.

  3. Thomas is a dork, ignore him 🙂

  4. obedientson

    I read all of this. Thanks for entertaining.

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