Type or die

A lot of jibberjabber today about a memo the CMG sent to its members, claiming some managers are measuring the number of keystrokes their employees are making, as a way of telling if they are working.

(Note to slackers: we’re talking the pure volume of keystrokes here, so if you are goofing off be sure to have one hand hammer the keyboard regardless. You might even get a raise if you go fast enough.)

Is it even true? If it is, the CMG sees it as an invasion of privacy, pointing out that the collective agreement states: “Employees have the right to work in an environment that respects their personal privacy and is free from surveillance, either overt or covert, subject to legitimate security needs.”

Yet the CBC’s IT policy clearly states: “Employees do not have any personal privacy rights when using CBC/Radio-Canada IT Assets.”

Sounds like the Clash of the Corporate Documents to me.

Speculation is rife: who has a job that requires them to type non-stop all day?

If you have never read the IT policy, I suggest you do. There are all kinds of things in there, and it keeps getting stronger and stronger every year.

Myself, I’ve never forgiven the CBC for filtering the web sites we can view. They gave a lot of reasons for it, and for the rank and file, I generally agree with it. But in a media organization, its crucial for ideas and inspiration to flow, and these can come from anywhere. Even disreputable, or “illegal” sources. Sometimes especially from them.

Why we would purposefully hobble our journalists, writers, and producers was never fully explained.


  1. Anonymous
    Posted March 9, 2006 at 4:17 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    websense infuriates me… the cbc is going to let a 3rd party decide what its employees can view? One of the filters in websense is “tastless”. Who cares if something is tasteless?

    If the problem is that people are surfing porn and creating a bad work environment (and messing up machines with porn-spyware) we already had the means to deal with that without websense… web traffic is monitored as a matter of course… there’s no way *not* to monitor it, short of choosing not to read the files where this information is stored. I’ve seen studio computers totally crippled by this sort of thing, and IT and management never did a thing about it. So websense seems like a real overreaction to me.

    you can in fact get extended “journalist access”, but you have to have the right job title and a sympathetic manager.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted March 8, 2006 at 6:29 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I guess if management is taking the measure of counting ones keystrokes, there already must be reason for them to be suspicious. It’s when the privacy of those of us who are doing our jobs and not goofing off all day is invaded that bothers me.

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