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This is a question Corporate Idiocy

Comedian Al Murray recounts a run-in with industrial-scale stupidity: "Car insurance company rang, without having sent me a renewal letter, asking for money. Made them answer security questions." In the same vein, tell us your stories about pointless paperwork and corporate quarter-wits

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 12:13)
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IT policy.
My employer's policies and procedures manual is generally full of dry and to-the-point documents of do's and do nots. One exception however is the recently-added IT, internet and email policy, an epic, vibrant and often misguided work of genius by some anonymous drone at Head Office.

Considering its message boils down to little more than "Don't do personal stuff at work; don't get viruses", this eight-page treatise begins with an ostentatious "initial statement", featuring amongst its four paragraphs such nuggets as:

"In these days when we are relying more and more on Information Technology (IT), the internet and email systems..."

and

"Email has revolutionised the way we communicate in the same way that the car changed the way we travel"

Yes, thanks for that. I now feel like we're in 1996.

The opus continues divided into sections and subsections, like it was the declaration of human rights or something. Occasionally there's relevant stuff like not installing unauthorised software, but most of it is just IT-context version stuff that is covered more succinctly in other policies, like "Don't bully colleagues via email".

I'm genuinely not sure whether the following passage is trying to patronise us by advising on out-of-work matters, or is simply trying to scare us off using online chat at work:

"3.7 Staff should have no requirements to access online chat during work hours. However, be aware when chatting online with strangers you can never be sure who you are talking to. Never give any personal details out or arrange to meet someone you meet online."

Oh well, guess I won't be coming to the bash then.

Then there's this confusing little section on the company's official confidentiality signature for emails:

"8.7.1 [If you are sending confidential informaion attach the folowing as a signature]: 'The informaiton contained in this message and any attachments is confidential [...] If you are not the named recipient please notify the sender and delete the message from your computer, destroying any paper copy.'

"The recipient is then put in the position of being subject to the second area of confidentiality, that of liability for breaching another's confidential information."


What?! Are they suggesting that if someone else buggers up and sends me a confidential email, I'm held responsible? And what is this "second area of confidentiality"? The mysterious policy-writer does not elucidate further.

The absolute jewel in the crown of this tome however has to be the section on Publication of obscene material:

"There is a great deal of material on the internet which comes within the legal definition of obscene - namely material which is likely to deprave or corrupt."

- Hmmm. They're presumably referring to the Obscene Publications Act 1959, which is notorious for its wooly definitions and is becoming virtually obsolete these days. But fear not, our humble author is here to clarify:

"The test of 'obscene' is an objective one - it is what the right thinking reasonable person thinks, not what individual staff think."

So there you have, in black and white. My colleagues and I are neither right thinking nor reasonable. Unfortunately, the document gives no guidelines on how to track down a right thinking reasonable person to tell us whether or not any material we publish is obscene. And so the moral degradation continues...
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 15:18, closed)
I'm the right thinking reasonable person
and so was Margaret Thatcher ;-)
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 16:05, closed)
This is apparently a REAL web usage policy:
I'm paraphrasing, because the original was shown me about 10 years ago, and I can't find it anywhere on the Interwebs. Why will become very quickly obvious.
"Hi guys. Now that we've got the wonder of the world wide web, there's a few dos and don'ts.

Web:
No cocks, tits, arse or fanny. No swearing, including cocks, tits, arse or fanny. You're selling our products, not the contents of your garden shed.

Emails: Love in the subject line means DANGER. Nigerians have no money.

FTP: I have no idea what this is. IT says it's a bad thing. So don't."

Apparently written by a bearded media entrepreneur, noted for starting the career of a man who played a lot of instruments at once.
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 18:52, closed)
I'm no fan of the bearded one
but the possibility of this being true makes me want to like him, a little bit.
(, Mon 27 Feb 2012, 13:26, closed)
Made me think of this...
GC: I think all righthtinking people in this country are sick
and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up
in this country with being sick and tired.

All: Yes, yes...

GC: I'm certainly not! And I'm sick and tired of being told
that I am.

?: Mrs. Havoc-Jones.

Mrs. Havoc-Jones: Well, I meet a lot of people and I'm
convinced that the vast majority of wrongthinking people are
right.
(, Mon 27 Feb 2012, 10:21, closed)
"8.7.1 [If you are sending confidential informaion attach the folowing as a signature]: 'The informaiton contained in this message and any attachments is confidential [...] If you are not the named recipient please notify the sender and delete the message
If it was sent to me then surely I am a named recipient?

Legally it should say something along the lines "if you have received this message in error."

I don't think there's been a legal case where the validity of these terms has been questioned but they're most likely bollocks (but I am not a lawyer and taking legal advice from B3ta would not be a good idea).
(, Sun 26 Feb 2012, 21:17, closed)
Point of these things isn't really to enforce
their long winded and often irrelevant contents.

The point is to give them a fighting chance of making a disciplinary procedure, or a sacking stick.

The more 'policy' they have, the more chance you will break it while making a fuck-up. They just have to find the right bit, and bingo . . .

Work in reverse of course. My company has no IT policy whatsoever, either verbal or written. Totally stupid, becuase I could sit here all day goofing off on the net, and they couldn't do anything about it.

Well, actually that's pretty much what I do. Ho hum.
(, Mon 27 Feb 2012, 9:25, closed)

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