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Using Employee-Owned Technology in the Workplace?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the bucking-the-not-so-well-thought-out-policies dept.

Businesses 1080

digitalvengeance asks: "As of Monday, my company is initiating a 'no cell phone' policy at all of our offices, including the IT department, where I work. I consider my cellular phone a necessity both in my personal and work lives. I have a number of servers and custom applications configured to notify me by text message, in the event of a problem. I am considering refusing to take work calls or text messages on my personal cell phone, and even quitting in protest of the new policy. How have other Slashdot readers dealt with policies regarding use of employee-owned technology at work? Any suggestions as to how I can get this policy overturned without looking like someone who wants to spend my working time on my cell rather than coding?"

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Don't forget... (-1)

SCO$699FeeTroll (695565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592214)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

First step (5, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592216)

Any suggestions as to how I can get this policy overturned without looking like someone who wants to spend my working time on my cell rather than coding?

...have you explained the importance of your cell phone to your boss or HR person? Have you asked for an exception, as yours is pretty clearly an exceptional case?

If they stonewall and ignore your concerns, then by all means, raise a stink. In the interests of civility, job security, and conservation of energy, though, you may want to try the easy way first. Don't break out the elephant gun before you've tried the flyswatter...

Re:First step (5, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592277)

Throw it back at 'em. Server's down? Who knew!

Re:First step (2, Insightful)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592420)

Throw it back at 'em. Server's down? Who knew!

It's your job to know, and a billion other ITheads out there survive without cell phone alerts. One of them will be taking your job.

Re:First step (5, Insightful)

Frailty (676368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592364)

I have to back Amaerican AC in Paris on this one. I use my own PDA at work, and the onsite techs were matter of fact in that they would install the software, but the company was not responsible for supporting the hardware, etc. No Problem. Example 2: Had a personal Cell phone and a company pager (pagers are lame outdated, and totally cost inefficient. Got rid of the Cellphone (very liberating really) everyone should try it for a short time. Probelm: No one liked paging me, and used my cell phone all the time. So I told the boss hey, you pay for the cell phone, and then you, the team, business partners, etc. can contact me whenever you want. He thought about 2 seconds and said; make it happen. Sometimes if you have a good business justification, it is smooth sailing, if you are just whining because you think they are interfering with your "personal freedom" you might want to look at your definition of "viable employment".

Re:First step (0, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592381)

...have you explained the importance of your cell phone to your boss or HR person? Have you asked for an exception, as yours is pretty clearly an exceptional case?

He is somehow special because his cell phone notifies him of COMPUTER problems at home? I could see an exception for a pregnant wife, a hospiced family member, etc, but personal server issues?

If anything that would just cause workplace tension and drama (as if there isn't enough of that as it is).

Re:First step (5, Insightful)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592382)

...have you explained the importance of your cell phone to your boss or HR person? Have you asked for an exception, as yours is pretty clearly an exceptional case?...

With all due respect to the original poster, I am not sure this is clearly an exceptional case. The servers, presumably, e-mail their notifications to a personal cell phone number @ some cellular company. Correct?

Well, whereas if he requests a cell phone or pager or something else he can receive messages on from his boss, if he is ever run over by a bus or fired they can just pass the pager / phone / whatever onto another employee to take his place. If, on the other hand, they don't use a company owned device, someone who should not be getting access to information could presumably be getting access to information. (And assuming he's angry about being outsourced, he might do something the employer regrets).

Now this does not mean the OP is a bad person who would do said things, it's that the bosses want to keep a tight hold of their stuff for various reasons. My advice for the OP is to explain politely to your boss why you need something to replace your cell phone, and how it benefits the company if you're ever run over by a bus. And, if they say no, and you really don't like it, quietly polish your resume and look for work elsewhere. If you don't find it, you won't have quit in the heat of the moment, and if you find a better position, no harm in covering your bases.

Obey the establishment, you insensitive clod! (5, Insightful)

Schwartzboy (653985) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592410)

No joke. I could post for pages and pages with antecdotal evidence, from my own experience and that of fellow geeks, that the quickest way to eliminate a policy or new set of particularly stupid regulations is to follow them to the letter. For instance:

POINTY-HAIRED BOSS: Why didn't you know that Server X, Application Y, and Cubicle Drone Z were all hosed and not responding to requests?
YOU: Well, sir, I get these notifications, see, and when I'm working in another part of the office or not sitting right at my desk, I know instantly if something goes wrong with anything that I'm responsible for and then I can fix it.
PHB: But...that doesn't explain why you didn't know about XYZ!!
YOU: Well, these alerts all come on my cell phone, you see, and since it's company policy that Cells Are Not Allowed...

The dumber it is, the more religiously you should follow it, and make darned sure that all of your buddies fall in line with the company's new direction as well. I'm assuming, of course, that you've already presented your case to a supervisor or HR person or something, and that you're not a Super Executive VP of Something. If you're at that level in the organization, just say "no" and have your department behave differently from everyone else...apparently this works in the real world if you're high enough on the food chain.

Re:First step (3, Insightful)

katorga (623930) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592415)

Hurrah. Be happy. Be firm. Do not take calls or make work-related calls on your personal phone. Let your employer worry about how to contact you in the event of a system emergency.

Once your employer feels the pain, they will pony up for an alpha pager or cell phone.

A little touchy, aren't we? (5, Insightful)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592219)

Have them pay for an alpha pager and move your alerts there. Really, quitting over the use of a device you've become addicted [wikipedia.org] to is not the smartest reason to terminate employment.

Re:A little touchy, aren't we? (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592395)

Have them pay for an alpha pager and move your alerts there.

That would be my suggestion as well. Why should you pay for SMS on your personal cell phone (oh I know, you probably have a package plan, but technically you are still paying for it) for work? Do you own any stock in this company? If not, then why use your personal funds to help them?

Everytime I ever mixed personal stuff (be it e-mail addresses, cell phone addresses, etc etc) with work it blew up in my face. You might think it's a good idea to bring your personal laptop in or use your cell phone but I'd ask for them to buy you one instead. It's just common sense -- as well as not paying for/putting wear and tear on your own gear for a company that you don't own and only work for.

As far as the banning cell phones in the workplace that is a little fascist. I would personally have a problem with that. My company allows cell phones on vibrate (office environment) as long as they aren't abused for an excessive amount of personal calls. I guess I'm spoiled working for a smaller company without any PHB lording over me. Personally I don't answer mine in the office -- but I will check my voice mail and return important and/or emergency calls.

Unfortunately as everybody else pointed out unless you can get the policy changed your only real option is to quit and find another job. Personally I'd swallow it and wait until you have another one lined up before quitting in this day and age.

Re:A little touchy, aren't we? (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592419)

Have them pay for an alpha pager and move your alerts there. Really, quitting over the use of a device you've become addicted to is not the smartest reason to terminate employment.

Consider for a moment working for someone who's either too poor or too PHB stupid to foot the bill for the technology to do a job effectively. You bring in your own toys (or buy them out of your own pocket, as I have on occasion) to make your job easier.

When I leave for a new job, I take it all with me. It's their problem getting along without the proper tools.

If the poster can't do his/her job effectively under the new company policy, sometimes it's a good practice to go along with the policy to show the folly of it.

I can understand some of these policies, as I've been super irritated in the past by people who answer cell phones in meetings (unless it's a relevent call to what the meeting is about.)

First Post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592221)

First Post!

Way to get em (2, Funny)

l810c (551591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592223)

my company is initiating a 'no cell phone' policy
I am considering refusing to take work calls or text messages on my personal cell phone

Reminds me of the old cartoons where they talked the other guy into saying what they want.
'no your not'
'yes I am'
'no your not'
'yes I am'
'yes your are'
'no I'm not'

and even quitting in protest of the new policy

Now That's a bit drastic. Surely if there is a business need, they would allow exceptions.
On second thought, just go ahead and quit. Stick your tongue out and say 'na-na-na-na-na-na' when you do.

Re:Way to get em (1)

SoSueMe (263478) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592421)

Stick your tongue out and say 'na-na-na-na-na-na' when you do.
..and lick the flagpole in sub-zero temp while you're at it.

Is it "we don't provide a cell phone"... (3, Insightful)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592227)

...or is it "you can't bring a cell phone to work"?

You might be able to get a waiver for the former... the latter seems like a misguided attempt at a security policy, perhaps?

either put up with it or find a new job... (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592228)

First of all, when in Rome...

Second, while I don't technically agree w/the policy I don't really see why you are complaining. You do as they say w/o too many questions. If you don't like the working conditions you find another place that is more towards your liking.

I would normally go on to rant about how I personally dislike cell phones in public (nevermind the workplace) but it's irrelevant for this discussion. You do what the employer wants or you start sending out the resumes. A cell phone isn't exactly something required to sustain life.

Just my .02,

Re:either put up with it or find a new job... (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592369)

So Bill.... Supose (Jesus, God help me... I used to be a SQL-Server DBA...) you have various processes that are mission critical. Supose you have the system designd to e-mai/page/call you when it farts? But also, what is the purpose of the rule? And can it realistically be enforced?

Re:either put up with it or find a new job... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592412)

But also, what is the purpose of the rule? And can it realistically be enforced?

What's the purpose? Who the fuck cares? Any number of things, probably productivity... Can it be enforced? Sure, plenty of workplace snitches and assholes. If you are caught you are fired... Honestly that would deter me from carrying one.

So? That's their problem now, not yours... If you are at work I really don't see why it matters if you are notified via your cell phone. You're at work after all.

Government and Hospitals (4, Interesting)

rwiedower (572254) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592231)

Actually, both my friends who work in the government and my father who works in a hospital have this requirement. One has to do with security, the other with interference of pacemakers and electronic equipment. Sometimes a cell-phone ban (though I'm not in favor of it) actually is the responsible thing to do.

Re:Government and Hospitals (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592365)

the other with interference of pacemakers

It's a good thing those pacemakers are only used inside hospitals. Just imagine what would happen if they let those people walk around outside where the cell towers broadcast.

Re:Government and Hospitals (3, Informative)

UconnGuy (562899) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592388)

To follow up on the gov't and the responsible thing to do, you see bans happening more and more now because of the new picture phones - they don't want confidential information leaving, which certainly makes sense. No longer do people have 'just cell-phones', they have more and more gadgets with it now, which may jeopardize businesses.

Show them the money... (2, Informative)

some2 (563218) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592235)

It seems cell phones cause people to become sort of useless on the job, as they will tend to do anything but pay attention when they have easy access to unlogged phones. Our system in Arlington actually watches all calls, so our employee personal calls are logged.

That being said, the company just initated a policy to give everyone in IT blackberries (the nice color ones) and phones. Show them a business benefit (read: $$$ increase), and you'll get your cell phone back.

Re:Show them the money... (3, Funny)

pertinax18 (569045) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592319)

It seems cell phones cause people to become sort of useless on the job

Sounds kind of like reading /.

Re:Show them the money... (1)

Valiss (463641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592347)

so our employee personal calls are logged.


But appearantly not URLs. Do they know you idle /. all day at work? =]

Get them to buy you one (4, Insightful)

ebsf1 (689864) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592239)

If they won't let you use your own phone get them to provide you with a company phone. After all if you are using it for business then they should be paying for it.

Well there's an opposite... (1)

jameslore (219771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592240)

At Unisys I had the opposite problem - we were expected to have personal cellphones and use them for work purposes!

Are they supplying you with a work cellphone? I can't comment on your location, but certainly in NZ it's taken as a given that everyone is contactable by cellphone during work hours.

Who do you work for? (4, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592241)

So I can send an application. Cell phone free work place, bliss.

I'd just reconfigure your alerts to be transmitted by email and kick back and let the good times roll.

Re:Who do you work for? (1)

chmod000 (123913) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592360)

What if the alert is about the mail server itself?

But, to your point. If you want a workplace free of cell phones, try a moviehouse. If what you really want is a workplace free of idiots, can't help ya there....

Best you can do: Follow the rules (3, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592244)

If you use your cell for work as much as you say you do, and you are not alone, then the impact of this new policy will be felt.

Do what they tell you to do, don't use your cell at work.

On the flip side of it: If you truly do use your cell for work, then get them to spring for it ( monthly costs and all ). It's only fair.

Quit over CELL PHONE POLICY? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592245)

Just tell me where I should send my resume so I can replace you.

see if the company will spring for a blackberry.. (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592246)

you can get text's and e-mails... that aside, you really should explain what you use the cell phone for now, and ask how they'd like you to handle it.

This policy is not unreasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592249)

I wouldn't want to work there, but this policy isn't unreasonable. When did we as culture adopt the RIGHT to take and make personal phone calls at work. Many many workers don't have this capability (casier, construction worker, etc.)

You should spend more time talking about WHY they have this policy than reacting negatively to something you might not understand.

Re:This policy is not unreasonable (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592370)

You are guaranteed to have some breaks on the job - sometimes even unpaid. What you do on those is your own damn business. If its your own resources on that time (your phone) then they are violating your personal freedom by preventing you from spending yoru time with your money as you see fit.

If you yammer on the phone during work time, then they should get you in shit for wasting work time - not for using your own property in a non-destructive way.

answering service (1)

swamp_water (208334) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592250)

I have a client that watches me when I take another clients phone calls while at their location. to solve this I subscribed to a answering service so that my clients calling at least talk to a real person.

My suggestion: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592254)

Quit, you ingrate.

Word(s) for the day... (1)

mellonhead (137423) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592256)

Vibrate mode

Sounds like a plan... (5, Funny)

Bald Wookie (18771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592257)

and even quitting in protest of the new policy

I hate the damn things, you go ahead and quit. On your way out could you put in a good word for me?

How about a PDA? (3, Interesting)

FubarPA (670436) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592258)

Are those banned? If not, and you're lucky enough to have wireless access via your PDA, redirect all of your text alerts to an email address accessable via your PDA.

This assumes you're in an environment with wireless, and you have a wireless-enabled PDA. Or, like another poster mentioned, see if they'll allow an alpha pager and go from there.

What's the reason? (1)

bigcreek (685681) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592260)

Is there a legitimate reason why they have enforced this? Security? or is this an attempt to increase productivity?

easy answer (5, Funny)

glen604 (750214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592261)

Connect the servers to the company's paging system. A few weeks of hearing "THE SERVER IS DOWN!!" at 120 decibels ought to make them reconsider.

Oh yeah. (4, Funny)

Perianwyr Stormcrow (157913) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592389)

Then you can set up some techno music too, and it'll be like homestar runner.

If work wants to use your personal cell phone, (5, Insightful)

Mike the Mac Geek (182790) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592262)

then they should pay for it. Plain and simple. My office has no idea I have a cell phone number. They know I have a phone, but they are not gonna get the number unless I see part of the bill being paid by them.

Re:If work wants to use your personal cell phone, (1)

kvandivo (207171) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592320)

I'd mod this up if I could

Ehh???? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592263)

...hey it's St Patricks Day, I'm Irish 'n' p!ssed - you insensitive clod !!.

Best Policy: Ignore the Man's Silly Rules (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592272)

Seems pretty obvious to me: ignore their silly rules, set your phone on vibrate and go about your business.

Quit over this? What, are they going to fire you if you check an occasional text message on your (silent) cell phone?

Some rules are made to be broken, not fought.

deal with it. (1)

danpritts (54685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592275)

it's not clear whether the problem is that they won't pay for your cell phone, or that they also won't let you use your cell phone while at work.

If the former, easy enough, don't page to your personal phone and let your boss know you are not pageable and wash your hands of the matter. I suppose at worst you might get a pager to carry.

If the latter, well, also easy enough although i agree their policy is somewhat draconian. It sucks to have to work instead of reading /. and talking on the phone but they are paying you to do a job.

if you feel strongly enough to quit, and can do better elsewhere, then great, do so. if not, then deal with it.

PHP IS THE GAY BOMB (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592279)


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have them pay your phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592282)

If they won't accept you with a phone of your own, just let them provide you with one of their's?

The only thing you will have to do is prove them you need one for your work. (Read: if you don't have a phone, they won't have working servers).

Quitcherbitchin (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592285)

Shut up and do what you're told. You have no say in The Company. Just do what they say if you want to keep your job. Remember, they can do your job in India for half the price, so if you want to continue eating I suggest you stop whining.

Had to do this (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592290)

When doing field support I've always had to have two cell phones. One is the companies and the other is the personal. Between service level variations, dead batteries, and the need to be really available, it just has to happen. Now I can understand they dont want camera phones, and I'm looking right now for a replacement cell without the camera due to the sensitive nature of the IT world.

How long ago was it that a lot of companies were death on anyone ever using a company phone for personal calls? Now that people can do that, and are doing it, you'd think they'd be happy. The only reasons I can think of are camera phones and the inability to legally monitor your personal phone. Cameras are reasonable enough, but that only leaves a desire to monitor all your communications. Unless your a stock broker type where law (I think) dictates it, there is no valid reason for this.

If It's Broke... (2, Interesting)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592291)

I think you need to spell out to your employers the importance of your cell phone particularly as it relates to your work. Make it clear to them that their new policy will substantially diminish your ability (and that of anyone else you can reasonably claim) to work efficiently, and that if it's implemented as planned, your company's productivity will diminish. Those are the terms that any executive or middle manager will understand.

And if that doesn't work, it might be worth it to try to get the company to issue work-only cell phones. It would be kind of a hassle to keep switching between two, but it might be the kind of alternative they'd be willing to agree to.

Simple (1)

sserendipity (696118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592292)

Turn off caller id on your phone. If you don't know who's calling, you can't answer - no personal cell phone calls, remember?And don't look at text messages either. To me, this sounds like one of those 'edicts' that quickly gets ignored and forgotten in a work place in any case.

Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call... (2, Insightful)

the MaD HuNGaRIaN (311517) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592294)

I am going through a similar thing where I am. For 5 years, I have used my personal laptop for over 12 hours a day for coding, etc.

Now, all of a sudden, it's not ok anymore. It's not like I use some infected Windows-ass piece of Dell shit either. (Ironically, that's what they are trying to force me to use!)

No cell phones is a retarded rule. I have 3 kids all under age 5. Plenty of emergencies arise--as you can imagine. Without cell phones, how would we be able to deal with them?

Work to rule (3, Insightful)

Dasein (6110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592299)

It's unclear whether you are saying that the company won't allow cell phones to be used or won't be supplying them. An outright banning cell phone from the workplace is extreme and should be met with a quick move to another company. To be potentially unreachable by family in the case of emergency is not a condition I would tolerate.

Let's assume that's not the case and they just won't be providing you a cell phone. Your job is to keep systems running. If you fail to keep them running you will be seen as not doing your job. Any excuses about the company not providing a cell phone will be seen as petty.

So, I would ask if the company is going to reimburse business calls on your cell phones. If they aren't, you should ask them where notification should be sent and that your cell phone is unacceptable. They may tell you to have notifications sent to your supervisor. If so, do it and get on with life. Don't feel obligated to leave your cell phone on all the time - besides I think it sucks the life force out of you to be reachable all the time. This makes your supervisor responsible for responding to notifications. A few weeks of your supervisor getting the notifications and not being able to reach you during movies, etc. and the policy will probably change.

If they are going to reimburse expenses, leave it as is and make sure you get the expense reports in every month. Do the expense reports on company time and make sure that the time spent that way is clearly noted on any status reports. Once they realize that they're spending $10/month on cell service for you and $50/month for you to itemize the statement and another 10/month to process the expense reports, the may get smart and change the policy.

In short, follow the rules but make them follow the rules as well (i.e. That you won't accept un-reimbursed business expenses.) See this. [bartleby.com]

Just deal with it (1)

autophile (640621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592303)

There's a saying that goes, "You will get exactly what you want."

In this case, I think you should implement the policy to the letter, and let the company get exactly what it wants. Namely, untimely notification of problems.

--Rob

Simple... (1)

deadgoon42 (309575) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592305)

If it is that important to you, get a text pager. I use one at work and prefer it to using the Nextel radios they give us.

I was FIRED when I stopped using my own tech. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592306)

I used to run my own webserver at home on a mac. I did Mac phone tech support, and over time quite a few of the sites & hints I did for customers ended up on my server.

When I needed to sell the mac to cover school fees and told my work they should really host the stuff themselves, I was told under no circumstances should I remove work material from where it was used. Hell I was happy to give them the domain too, it was just a small vanity one that had no other use to me.

So in the end I had to sell the Mac, the site went down, and I lost my job. Sucks

I am reminded of when I wanted a HEX calculator (1)

cdn-programmer (468978) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592309)

Purchasing felt they knew more about what a programmer needs than the programmer. Have you EVER sat there doing hex by longhand with a pencil?

IMHO when you run into really idiotic issues then you have to quit (preferable) or fight fire with fire.

So configure all your servers in the company to ring your phone and then forward same to the company switchboard - after sending out CYA memos of course explained that you are doing this.

Next when the switchboard puts the messages on hold and you don't get them... and the server dies and 50 people are pissed off as hell - you shrug your shoulders and blame the switchboard.

Meanwhile, get that CV dusted off because really it is not worth fighting the idiot factor.

In that case... (1)

Valiss (463641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592312)

...can I have your job? I won't even wear a wrist-watch if it means finding a job!

Simple answer.. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592314)


Let their silly policy bite them in the ass hard. and whenever you are asked about anything be sure to say, "it would have been handled faster/beter if I had a cellphone."

what they CAN do is try and make you carry a pager... make this bite them also, "I had to find a payphone to call..." oh and call COLLECT every time you have to call from a payphone.

Many PHB's and HR people are making really stupid decisions right now, taking cellphones away from critical operations staff is one of them... and it is a sign that things are not too good there stability wise.... so your idea to jump ship might be the best decision of all.

Bringing in my own Laptop (1)

Bilbo (7015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592318)

Frankly, I've never had any problem with "employee owned" devices at work, other than digital cameras (for obvious reasons). What I've seen more often is policies pushing (if not outright requiring) that the employee supply their own devices (computers, phones, pagers, software, etc.). Of course, since I work as a consultant, that's less surprising.

start looking for a new job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592321)

why are you using your cell phone for job realted stuff to begin with? also, start looking for a job elsewhere where they will treat you as an adult, not a child in school.

Employer / Employee Focus Group (2, Interesting)

tobechar (678914) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592322)

Why don't you suggest an employee/employer focus group? You could suggest that employees requiring notification via text and voice is a neccessary for you to perform your job.

You really should side with them employer on banning employees from cell phones unless they really do need it for their position. This position should leave you neutral to both techies and employers.

Perhaps your company is willing to purchase a few dedicated email capable cell phones for technical employees? Many possible solutions are out there if you can sit down as a group and properly discuss the matter.

Email during business hours, text msg after hours. (2, Informative)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592327)

Set up your monitoring system to only send email during the day. Have it send text messages to your cell phone after hours. Pretty simple and non-intrusive.

Remember... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592328)

This summer, when it gets hot outside, and your
hemmoroids are even hotter, just look to the cool
relief of Preparation-H to get you on your way.

Simply remind them... (2, Insightful)

httpdotcom (749192) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592329)

that after-hours service calls, should be placed to an employer-owned device (ie. pager/phone) so that it is unnecessary for you to use your personal electronics for work related practices.

if they are unwilling to supply such a device, tell them they can call your desk phone and leave a message and you will attend to their call first thing the next business day.

many employers are technologically "retarded", and do not understand the signifigance between their admins using PDA's and cellphones for work related monitoring, and their receptionist gabbing to their S.O. about why they hate their job.

attempt to educate...failing that, update your resume.

Make them pay your cell bill! (0)

Chernevog (682048) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592330)

If they want to +se your cell or home phone number for work purposes then get them to pay your cell bill. Just a suggestion. Personally, if you are not responsible for the policy perhaps advocating the offending persons getting new jobs would suffice.

It may be the law, not the company? (1)

Isochrome (16108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592333)

Do you work for a financial company? It may be a law instead of a pointy-haired-boss policy.

My company recently banned web mail because the SEC worries that we will use anonymous mail accounts or discussion boards to run stock scams.

We immediately laughed at the stupidity of it, since things like palms and cell phones can access the Internet. But it is possible they are trying to close that loophole as well.

Clearly in this case somebody is stupid and paranoid. But make sure it is your boss and not your congressman before you quit.

No cell phones.... what about an rs/6000? (1)

bungo (50628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592334)

Man, that's one tough workplace.

I, on the other had, had an 8-processor rs/6000, a sun sparc laptop, a dell laptop running linux, and when I bring them in tomorrow, 4 additional linux servers. These are all my own personal equipment, but I do let other people in my department use them.

So, please tell me where you work - I'll make sure that I never apply for a job there!

Camera policy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592336)

Is it possible that the "no cell phones" policy is just an extension of an existing "no cameras" policy? If that's the case, you don't have a chance in hell. Cellphone cameras have spoiled the whole lot.

Get back to work (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592339)

The powers that be don't want you wasting company time on personal business, and I don't blame them.

The policy no doubt didn't come from nowhere. There are obviously people in your organization that took advantage of the fact that they had cellphones.

I've seen those people, chattering away all day. It's ok to talk as long as they want, right, because it's not like they're using the company phones.

The waddling ass in the office next to me spends AT LEAST 4 hours a day playing tetris on his cell phone. When you walk past his office he gives it a really serious look like he's contemplating his hectic schedule and contact list. I'm not fucking stupid, I know what tetris sounds like. Of course, I say nothing of it because the guy is dangerous when he's working, he's completely fucked up every project he's touched. Worst coder, ever.

Anyways..

There's no constitutional right to having a cellphone at work.

Be a man about it. Suck it up, and get back to work. You expect these nerds to throw you a pity parade because you can't play text messaging all day.

It Happens Every Time (2, Insightful)

LittleGuy (267282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592345)

Know when the policy will be reversed?

When your boss' boss needs someone ASAP from the IT department and can't reach them via the corporate phone system.

And your boss will be flippin' burgers.

Reasons? (4, Insightful)

Macfox (50100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592348)

Have they detailed why?

Often it helps to know the exact reason before blowing up and making a stink over it. It also means you can approach them for a exemption and know what not to say when trying to justify it.

hello, Brian Cancio. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592355)

Maybe your boss would like to know about your little question. Shouldn't be hard to find where you work now.

Domain ID:D23566639-LROR
Domain Name:DIGITALVENGEANCE.ORG
Created On:28-Mar-2000 18:53:14 UTC
Last Updated On:19-Oct-2003 18:17:33 UTC
Expiration Date:28-Mar-2005 18:53:13 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:R71-LROR
Status:OK
Registrant ID:C6657726-RCOM
Registrant Name:Brian Cancio
Registrant Organization:Brian Cancio
Registrant Street1:269 Bobwhite ln.
Registrant City:Bloomingdale
Registrant State/Province:IL
Registrant Postal Code:60108
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.6303425276

Get a Nextel handset. (3, Interesting)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592356)


And then argue that it's not a cellular phone, but a two-way radio. You'd be tecnically correct.*

*And that's the best kind of correct.

Typical American Culture (1)

cyberguyd (50420) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592357)

I have found that most of my fellow countrymen think they are doing their employers a favor by working for them when it in reality they are doing you a favor by employing you. Everybody wants a great place to work but when employers let the rules slide, the majority of people take advantage of the employer and when the employer cracks down he's an asshole. When I am at work I try to limit the amount of BS time I have. Every hour not billed to the client costs the company money or the client which is worse than jipping the company. I don't smoke and I don't chit chat on the phone or with other co-workers all day long. I am here to do a job and I want to get it done and go home.

Re:Typical American Culture (1)

hbean (144582) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592378)

and yet...here you are posting on /.

odd. isnt it?

Don't fall for this! (1)

Jonny Ringo (444580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592361)

This submission was strategically planted by Verizon Wireless!

Turn off the phone... (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592366)

... just like they are asking. And if the servers/etc. are really paging/calling/messaging you wiht problems on a regular basis, ignore them. When the PHB can't get his email, explain to him that you woulda known the server was down or there was some other problem, but since you can't use your phone to monitor (which BTW you've been happily paying for out of your own pocket), you had no idea there was a problem.

Present it like this, especially while various things are not working due to the fact you can't get the notices, and most likely they will either provide an alternate means of monitoring (alpha pager like someone else mentioned above) or allow you to continue to use your phone just for that purpose.

And if they do allow you to use your phone, perhaps mention again that you've been paying for it out of your own pocket...

Suck it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592368)

Suck it up bitch. The days when IT people could be prissy little cunts are long gone.

Busness cases make the world go around... (3, Insightful)

blurred.vision (757493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592371)

I have found that in this situation, outlining a business case with real world cost benefit analysis of several options helps the management types with an agenda see the light of day without losing face.

Outline in a business case that you are keen to meet company pollicies, but as you are no longer able to utilise your mobile phone for the work purposes you outlined, you require :

a) a pager and company cell phone or equavalent to maintain the current levels of service;
b) a company provided other doo-hickey remote support solution (fill in the blanks here);or

c) special expemption to utilise your personal cell phone, with an allowance to reimburse you for the relevant quiantity of your monthly bill.

For each of the options, outline the costs versus the benefits to the company, and make a reccomendation on the preferred options for the company, and outline why.

I have found this approach works wonders with managers.

Here's how (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592373)

Make all your personal calls on the company phones! *snicker*

Talk to your boss (2, Interesting)

N4m0r (592310) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592374)

I have a number of servers and custom applications configured to notify me by text message, in the event of a problem. I am considering refusing to take work calls or text messages on my personal cell phone, and even quitting in protest of the new policy.

Well, make the the servers and applications send their messages elsewhere and by all means refuse to take work calls and text messages on your cell. If it is really important to your employers that they be able to contact you on your mobile they will either make an exception for you or find another solution.
If you are really concerned about this policy for work reasons speak to your manager, I'm sure he would rather you be the one getting text messages from servers and apps than him.

This means, most likely.... (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592376)

...they have monitoring devices on the Company phone lines and they want to make sure that no phone conversations take place they can't listen too...sucks to be you...seriously, you probably will not win this battle.

In that case... (0, Redundant)

Valiss (463641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592379)

...can I have your job? I won't even wear a wrist-watch if it'll get me a job in this market.

You don't need it (4, Insightful)

jyoull (512280) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592380)

You don't need a personal cell phone at work. IF these server notices are important to work, then the employer can provide you with either a telephone or text pager or blackberry... and if they don't want to do that, then you are no longer on the hook for notices you couldn't receive

if you family needs to reach you at work, they can call in through the usual office lines, like everyone always did in the time before we all had cell phones in our pockets.

i really don't see the problem here.

Dude, get a sidekick! (1)

nxs212 (303580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592386)

You can look as cool as Batman.. wearing T-Mobile Sidekick(tm) on your "utility belt".

It's not really a cell phone, more of a PDA that's always connected to the Internet.
You can IM, telnet, read mail, and browse. If anyone asks, tell them it's a palmtop computer.
Sure, you can use it to make phone calls but NO ONE else needs to know that.
Make sure T-mobile is service is available in your BUILDING. Even though my Sidekick works outside, it doesn't work at my desk. (thick walls and no cell tower nearby)
www.danger.com - maker's of.
www.amazon.com - good place to get it.

Don't quit yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8592393)

Don't quit now. Line up another job, then quit. When you announce your resignation, simply tell the bosses that the cell phone policy is stupid. Also, tell them that it will be a very effective way of getting rid of people, because everyone else is looking for other work too. This will feed into their paranoia and cause them to lose sleep or maybe rekindle their crack habit.

Using Employee-Owned Technology in the Workplace? (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592394)

That title is wrong. It should read: "Talking on your cell phone when you should be working" I mean, seriously. I have no problem with a company banning cell phone use. That said, you OBVIOUSLY have a case for needing your cell phone, and just as obviously, you haven't talked to your boss about it. Instead, you threw a fit.

Pager (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592396)

Many years ago there was an ancient technology for the sending of messages. It was a small thing, clipped on a belt, and at times when it demanded attention, it would beep and vibrate, as was the style of that time.
This simple device, long forgotten by Important Professionals, remains in use in the wilds of inner city urban America.
Were it not for the economically disadvantaged, we might've forgotten all about the amazing power of this simple tool, and without it, the world would indeed be a poorer place, even for those Important Professionals whose lives have been forver altered by Stupid Management Decisions against the March of New Technology.

Why not get them to sport a pager? (4, Interesting)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592399)

I have a number of servers and custom applications configured to notify me by text message, in the event of a problem.

If I were you... I woudl think it would be in your best interest to get them to sport for either an alphanumeric pager, or a two way pager.

Just a oneway alpha/numeric pager should work as well as your current mobile setup, may not even require changes to your script.

Two way pager may be able to be attached to a serial port... provided you use TTL levels, and just accept error messages regardless of whether you have a network connection or not.

It seems to me that you are doing your job and using your equipment to do it. If they won't allow you to bring in your own equipment it's only common sence for them to buy it.

Otherwise, you can invest in a handheld internet terminal, which while can be used as a mobile phone, are more likely to inspire sympathy as being a IT required device. Unless they plan to ban handheld palm like devices.

What about emergency contact? (1)

flashbang (124262) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592404)

I work in a facility where they really don't want you to have cell phones. The only problem is that the office phones have restricted local long distance (I can't call my house). I filled out paperwork to be able to bring my cell phone with me. If I didn't do this I would have to walk outside to the pay phone or use a calling card - how silly.

Security is the reason, but it doesn't make that much sense when I have a regular phone on my desk. I don't understand how talking in to one is ok and not the other. Go figure.

Get a grip (-1, Flamebait)

ballsmccoy (304705) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592405)

Come-on, really. You are a retard. You need that slip cover for the phones with a dildo end for vibration transference so you can actually fuck your phone.

Why the ban? (2, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592407)

What you didn't say is what their reason for the ban is. Many an executive decree turns out to be the wrong (or overly broad) solution to a genuine problem, and it's possible that your intended use of your phone falls outside of that problem area and can be exempted (e.g. they're freaking about camera phones and your phone is demonstrably camera-free). Or perhaps that information will suggest solutions to your own problem that get around this decree (e.g. they don't want people yakking with their friends, so you could use a pager instead of a phone). Heck, if you know what they're trying to accomplish, maybe you could even suggest a different solution that makes more sense.

The Flip Side (1)

MyGirlFriendsBroken (599031) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592408)

... of this, which the submitter seems accepting of, is the company which relies on its employes have thier own personal mobile phone, PDA, laptop and using it wor the benifit of their employer, i.e. to do their job. Which really is just as bad but in the opposite direction.

The second issue here is that it would seem the firm in question has deemed it's employes untrustworthy which is a major issue in its self. I can use my mobile and work phone for personal calls and it is not a problem. The thing is myself and all of my colleages only use them in this matter when it makes sense. Importantly not just essential, but its okay to make a call to your partner to organise meeting up after work just not to call your Aunt half way round the world for a chat!

Quit. (1)

skinny.net (20754) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592409)

...and even quitting in protest of the new policy.

Ask to be an exception to this rule. If they don't make the exception, quit or deal with it. If you quit, post the name of your employer; i'm sure more than one local slashdotter would ~love~ your job, even with this *ahem* horrible new policy in place.

Easy Fix (2, Insightful)

sPaKr (116314) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592411)

The easy fix here is if they want it bad, they get it bad. Remove all the monitoring, turn off off or leave you cell phone in the car. Then you might try a 'delicate' server reconfiguration. Now return to your cube and allow the mayhem to unfold. Soon someone will come running 'Email is DOWN' your response 'I didnt know, new policy foribbids me from monitoring the servers' their response 'What new Policy?' now you point to HR. Then 'fix' the problem get email flowing again, of course without monitering, allow it to crash.. by the end of the day they will be begging you to reinstall the monitoring.

Good question (5, Informative)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592413)

Here is my delima. I pay my phone bill, it is my cell phone. Yet 98% of the calls I recieve are work related. We have a zero tolerance policy also for cell phones. Which I adhere to as does everyone else. When I forget to turn MY phone back on after leaving work, I get my ass chewed. Yet my company pays for none of the minutes they use. I recently had my cell phone disconnected for currency issues ( lack thereof ). I was told that I had one week in which to have it turned back on or lose my job.

I had no clue what to do in this situation either. It has gotten to the point where I could no longer afford the bill I was getting every month for a service that turned out to be work related. I have tried showing and even turning in a copy of my cell bill showing the company use, and requesting reimbursement. You know what, it never happened. Yet make one long distance call at work, and you get blasted.

Use other remote technologies (1)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8592414)

If you need to stay in touch with your servers at home, all you need is a Web browser, and tools such as VNC to get at your remote desktop, to monitor, get notified, and so forth.

And with tools such as SSH Tunnelling, you can access pretty much any service tunnelled over SSH. Most corporations tend not to block HTTP and SSH ports, so you can still stay in touch with your servers as required.

If you truly need to be notified of things while you're wandering around the office, they make some incredibly small pagers these days; I believe you can even get a pager in a watch form factor; it's unlikely they'd stop you from wearing your watch.

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