My company is on a mission. It has decided that since it has been bought over by a MNC, it needs to ensure that all its employees use the latest technology. They have been consistently working towards achieving this task, but instead of making our lives easier, they have only made life tougher. This insanity has been happening in a phased manner. Let me explain.
Phase I: We are five of us in the CSR Deptt., excluding the boss. Since we often need to exchange information between us, we use Network Neighbourhood and manage just fine. But about two months back, the IT Deptt. disabled Network Neighbourhood and told us to find “alternatives” to work around the problem of sharing information. We decided to use the email. That worked for a little while but then began giving trouble. The company server doesn’t allow sending or receiving emails bigger than 1 MB(its ridiculous we know but try telling that to the IT chaps!), so loads of emails began bouncing back. We moved to using pen drives, but that was too much of effort. The only one in the Deptt. with a pen drive was the boss. She’s sweet and everything but how many times in a day can you ask her for her pen drive? Plus she travels extensively so 75% of the time she isn’t even in office. So then CDs that were floating around the Deptt. were brought into use. But there weren’t too many re-writable ones and the non-rewritable ones couldn’t be used endlessly. We made a hue and cry. The boss called up the IT guys and said “I don’t care what the rules are. Set up Network Neighbourhood for my deptt.”. and so one of the IT guys came in the next day, spent over 4 hours fiddling around with our comps and at 3.00 pm announced that he had formed an alternate type of Network Neighbourhood – functions differently from the old NN but allows free transfer and access of information.( As you are aware, I am not even remotely associated with the IT Field so don’t ask me what this alternate system was. It worked and that’s all I know.)
Phase II:A month later, the IT guys were back. They wanted to re-configure the hard drives( they said they had got the guidelines from the top, but who knows!?). In addition to reconfiguring, they also permanently changed the picture on the desktop(it now has the company logo and a supremely boring blue-green background), prevented us from saving anything on the desktop(for security they said) , blocked access to the C drive and blocked all free music sites. The only good thing they did was increase the capacity of the email to 3MB. With no option, we learnt to live with the restrictions.
Phase III:Today was the high point. We were called in for a training on Lotus Suites in the afternoon. The theory part was alright. It was the practical use of the software that we were not prepared for. According to Co. rules we now have a common directory of addresses for South Asia. So with a click of a button we can send an email to anybody. Only problem, is there are three Anil Jains and four Tejas Patels, so you can’t tell which Anil or Tejus your mail will reach!! Since the IT Head has n’t ordered an inclusion of location along with the name any Anil can get your mail! To solve this problem, the IT boss has suggested the addition of the middle name. But what if the person doesn’t have a middle name!?(I don’t!)They are still looking for answers to that question. The maximum space give on Lotus is 150 MB per employee. We all know that this is miniscule. We were told once we begin reaching max.capacity we can archive emails and save them on the comps. As if we can eternally keep doing that! Comps have a capacity too!!The next “rule” that is going to be implemented shortly is the sealing of all USB ports on the comps. The Co. fears that confidential data can be transferred onto a CD or pen drive and taken out of the company premises. Ya sure, but if someone wanted to do that , he could do it anyway using his personal email!!!! Also, each time we want to use a USB port, we have to inform the IT Deptt. and take permission. Great! I have no work in office anyway. I will spend time taking unnecessary permissions. Sure, why not? Sounds like a good idea.
In some locations mail.com has been changed to cement.com. This isn’t uniform as yet so there is utter confusion. Some outsiders write mail while others cement. Needless to say mails are bouncing like its no one’s business.
I am just dying to see what happens in the coming month. These absurd changes will be brought in by August end, as per the deadline. Would love to see how the office will function then. Either we will somehow develop fabulous, new coping mechanisms or we will collapse( I feel this time its going to be the latter.).
The boss it out of town. When she returns and gets to know of the new IT developments in office, she will hit the roof. Waiting to see that too!