"As computers and the Internet grow more prevalent, employers increasingly are using software to monitor workers' computer use. Employers say such surveillance is needed to cut down on-line loafing, to protect companies from potentially illegal or improper computer activities by workers, and even just to determine whether there is any problem of computer misuse." -- The Boston Globe
As many of you are aware, we have recently installed a new Net Snoop computer monitoring system to help us track employee Internet use. I want to assure you that we are using Net Snoop only to increase our productivity. While the system does allow me to view what is on your computer screen at all times, this in no way should be viewed as an invasion of privacy. It is merely an attempt to make our family here at Warburton's more successful than ever.
To: Melissa March
From: Charles EndicottCongratulations on your recent Minesweeper score of 163. That is very impressive indeed. However, while conducting a test of our new Net Snoop system, I did notice that you might be playing too much Minesweeper at work. In fact, yesterday you played all day, with only a break for lunch and another break in which to write a short e-mail to Raoul in Accounting entitled "Thanks for last night, STUD!!!" An occasional game of Minesweeper is fine, but it would be best to play only during your break time. Thank you.
To: Max Travis
From: Charles EndicottIt was a delight meeting your son yesterday. However, I did notice that while you were at a meeting, he surfed to some very frightening web sites. One was for a singer called Marilyn Manson and was, I must say, deeply unsettling. I don't mean to accuse you of bad parenting; I just thought I should inform you so that you may take the appropriate disciplinary action.
To: George Pedersen
From: Charles EndicottWhile it is impressive that you have been able to download almost the entire Pamela Anderson video collection, I feel that this action is not at all appropriate in the workplace. From now on, Pedersen, please refrain from using company computers to view pornographic materials. Thank you.
To: Raoul Westerburg
From: Charles EndicottIt seems that your excessive online chatting may be a problem. Many of your messages seem quite racy for the office setting, and I think it is important that everyone remains fully clothed at all times during the workday. Also, from a review of your e-mail, it is apparent that you are involved romantically with at least three women and possibly one man in our office. There is no policy against this, but I do think it is important that something like this does not get out of hand. We certainly do not want this office to turn into a soap opera, and I hope that this can all be resolved without a scene.
To: George Pedersen
From: Charles EndicottPedersen, I believe I have already warned you against viewing offensive materials. This extends to the use of e-mail as well. I must say that your latest e-mail joke about the cow was not at all amusing and in fact deeply disturbing. As you should know, such an activity can be quite painful for a cow, and I do not believe it is right for us to laugh at its misfortune. Furthermore, sending this out to a large number of people from a Warburton's e-mail address is completely unacceptable. I hope this will not happen again.
To: Melissa March
From: Charles EndicottThrough Net Snoop, I was able to read several chapter of the new novel you are writing at work. I was very impressed, but I also feel that it would be best if you could refrain from writing this during work hours. Chapter Three, "Why Raoul is a two timing creep who deserves to die" was especially well written, though I am a little hurt by Chapter Six, "My boss is a big fat nosy bastard." If you are at all unhappy, I hope you will stop by my office so that we can discuss it. My door is always open.
To: All Staff
From: Samuel WarburtonIt is with great regret that I have asked for the resignation of Charles Endicott. He was in the past a very effective manager, but, since the introduction of our Net Snoop system, Charles has been greatly neglecting his work. During the last several weeks, he has not been performing his normal tasks at all; instead, he has merely been sitting in his office all day spying on other employees. I have decided it would be best to look for a replacement. I appreciate all your hard work and I know that we will be able to continue at our normal level of success throughout the coming transition. Thank you.
Copyright 1999 by Joe Lavin (who would make a horrible President)
Joe Lavin's Humor Column is published every Tuesday at: http://joelavin.com
As long as you include my name and web site address, feel free to forward this column all over the place. And if you enjoy my column, why not let your local newspaper or magazine know about it?
Submitted By: Joe Lavin
Apr 22, 1999 09:03