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24.10.14 0754
The W - Internet & Computers - Employee internet tracking
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Sec19Row53
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Oconomowoc, WI

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 8 hours
Y!:
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.20
My boss wants to track the internet usage of an employee, and wants to do it without involving our IT Department. That means I have to do it.

I'm looking for any recommendations of a program that can track/log internet time and destinations without the user knowing it's there. I don't care about issues of privacy, so if that's what you want to bring up, please move along. If any of you have experience with such a program, good or bad, please let me know.

Thanks.
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Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 6 hours
Last activity: 6 hours
AIM:  
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I can't think of any way that this works out well for you.

If you don't want to go to your I.T. department:

a) You don't trust your I.T. department to keep this a secret - you think they might tell the person they are being watched.

What this says to me: You are more interested in catching the person and terminating them than correcting the behaviour.

This sounds like a lawsuit to me.

b) You think your I.T. group is incompetant and you want to go around them.

What this says to me: I've been second guessed by people in management a lot in my career, and as a professional courtesy to a fellow I.T. guy who I don't know and will never meet - I'm not gonna assist with you going behind their back.

c) Your boss really shouldn't be doing this, but he's going to anyway.

What this says to me: Again, prepare to be sued. I think it's a bad idea to have someone "go into business for themselves" and I would advise you not to assist

---

Is it one of the above? If so, I'd stay away from this. You should be able to talk with your HR and I.T. folks about this, and unless your boss is the CEO checking up on the guy in charge of I.T., there is no reason to leave everyone out of it.

How would you feel if you found out that the I.T. guys were out selling your product or representing your company to the brokers? You'd be pissed. Don't screw them over and disrespect them.

I'm definitely projecting here and none of this personal - we've met and I think you are a nice guy. I just hate when people pull this stuff in general.

Go Pack, etc.




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Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

Since last post: 50 days
Last activity: 18 hours
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
Yeah I gotta agree. There's no good reason I can think of why the IT department shouldn't be handling this type of job. To go behind their back says to me you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. Tell the boss you're not comfortable or don't know enough to do it.
Sec19Row53
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Oconomowoc, WI

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 8 hours
Y!:
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.20
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    I can't think of any way that this works out well for you.

    If you don't want to go to your I.T. department:

    a) You don't trust your I.T. department to keep this a secret - you think they might tell the person they are being watched.

    What this says to me: You are more interested in catching the person and terminating them than correcting the behaviour.

    This sounds like a lawsuit to me.



Substitute "my boss" for "me", and you have it pegged. She wants to can an employee who has been allowed to get away with being a slacker for too long, and she thinks this might be the way to do it. Meanwhile, I know enough about computers to be dangerous, but not enough to pull off what she wants. I'm leaning toward "don't know enough to do it", but am still open to other suggestions. The official request only came to me today, so I have time.
TheOldMan
Landjager








Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

Since last post: 115 days
Last activity: 1 day
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.37
Sounds to me like your boss just doesn't want to do the job she should have been doing for the last year or so, presuming the worker in question (a) is a long-time slacker and (b) reports to your boss. Although WI labor law may vary, in general states adhere to "At-will employment", where the employer is free to discharge individuals "for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all," and the employee is equally free to quit, strike, or otherwise cease work.

I'm presuming that your boss wants to fire this worker for cause, so he/she isn't eligible for unemployment benefits. There is generally a cost the company runs into for having too many unemployment claims against it. And your boss is the likely choice for person who should have been documenting the lack of work getting done by this alleged 'slacker' all along. I think there's a fair chance your boss got something like this argument if they went to I.T. to get this information in the first place, which could explain why you've been commissioned for this covert mission. I would also question why HR isn't involved here.

I don't know if you're in a large corporation, small company - your working relationship with this boss, or what your own situation is politically there. Generally speaking, I wouldn't touch something like this with a thirty-foot pole if I were in your shoes, but then I have really big feet, so they probably wouldn't fit in any case




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Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 6 hours
Last activity: 6 hours
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Well, you start doing non-standard things to catch someone so you can term them and you start looking like someone who is singling out an employee. This kind of "singling out" makes it much easier to complain about unjust termination.

I would really claim that you can't do it and suggest that you bring I.T. into it -- even if you can do it.

"They just fired me because I'm ________" where _______ = the money adjective. Singling out = more likely to be found guilty of discrimination, so if this person is a part of any minority group, you had better be extraordinarily careful how you handle this.

Honestly, this is what H.R. and I.T. are for. I know this seems cut and dry, but you have to go to your team, even if they "suck". You might be surprised to find out the details they are responsible for that you don't even think about.

I'm not a lawyer, etc. I have had to go as a witness for finding porn on a computer before, though. The question was why did I check this on employees computer for porn when this wasn't a standard check. I won't go into details but he had a ________ and he played it, and it was an uncomfortable line of questioning. I wasn't even in court! I think it was arbitration, I'm not sure. I just had to show up in a tie and answer questions.

In the end, H.R. let me know that it was not really a good idea to take it upon yourself to check the browser history for porn without asking your manager for permission first. I thought our adult content policy was extremely clear but even that had to be handled carefully.

Anyway, the more you know. You'd be better off assigning a status report weekly to this employee and having them make significant progress each week. Either they turn it around or they don't - but you are doing it the right way by managing instead of trying to catch them. Trying to catch someone always seemed like a cop-out for poor management in my opinion.

(edited by Guru Zim on 22.10.07 2105)



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JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

Since last post: 51 days
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Y!:
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.40
If this is really an issue of an employee surfing the web for whatever in lieu of doing actual work, couldn't you just install some restrictive device that blocks access to certain sites? I know I've spoken to several people who can't go to "outside" websites on their work computers. (They tell me this while I'm half-listening, of course, because I'm looking at boobies.)

Can you just mess with that one computers browser settings so it can't get web access? There has to be something that can be done without potentially invading the guy's privacy (for a legal standpoint).



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Eddie Famous
Andouille








Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

Since last post: 335 days
Last activity: 329 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.37

This smells of looking for a reason to fire, though. They want to give this person the bait and see if he takes it, instead of eliminating the bait.

I would also suggest keeping any hard copy of the order from your superior to do this dirty work. For is your superior is willing to do this to get rid of someone, they won't hesitate to throw you under the bus to take the blame.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

Since last post: 51 days
Last activity: 22 hours
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Y!:
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.40
    Originally posted by Eddie Famous
    This smells of looking for a reason to fire, though. They want to give this person the bait and see if he takes it, instead of eliminating the bait.


I don't disagree, but since the original comment included this


    She wants to can an employee who has been allowed to get away with being a slacker for too long


then it really shouldn't be an issue of WHAT the guy is looking at, right? If you disabled the outside internet access for three days in the false name of "we are upgrading something" or "something is broken" and this guy's productivity (however you would measure it) goes way up, then it goes back down when you regrant internet access, you've somewhat isolated the problem and you can deal with it.



Holy fuck shit motherfucker shit. Read comics. Fuck shit shit fuck shit I sold out when I did my job. Fuck fuck fuck shit fuck. Sorry had to do it....

*snip*

Revenge of the Sith = one thumb up from me. Fuck shit. I want to tittie fuck your ass.
-- The Guinness. to Cerebus
tarnish
Frankfurter








Since: 13.2.02
From: Back in the Heart of Hali

Since last post: 502 days
Last activity: 1 day
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Y!:
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.49

I don't know where you work, so this might be a perfectly normal thing. I also don't know how chummy you are with your boss, which, again, might make this all seem normal. But if she talks smack about other people to you, you have to wonder whether she's talking smack about you to other people.

As other have pointed out, her behavior is unprofessional at the very least. A manager should have plenty of above-board ways of proving insufficient performance. If the person is "slacking off" then the performance metrics set for his or her position and reviewed in his or her regular performance review should quite handily show that performance is not quite up to snuff and it should be easy to justify letting the person go. If there's no such evidence, or the person is meeting work demands and still has time to surf the web, that's not the person's problem, it's your manager's.

Do not get involved with this. It's bad juju on several levels and I don't see any way it could lead to any kind of win for you (except for kissing your boss' ass, which I suspect will be noticed as such by everyone you work with).

Captaincuba
Italian








Since: 25.10.05

Since last post: 233 days
Last activity: 108 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.61
As stated above if the state is an "at will" state then your boss is just trying to duck unemployment as she could fire the employee for no good reason.

Having been the victim of an unjust termination, I can assure you that many lawyers won't even attempt to go to court to try and prove this. I had DOCUMENTED PROOF that my performance (which ws the reason I was released) was better than 40% of the other District Managers in my company over the same evaluation period (and another 25% of that 40% had been performing worse for a longer period) and multiple attorneys told me that unless I could prove some sort of discrimination I would never win a lawsuit.

Sorry you're in such a tough spot.

CC
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Kevin Trudeau, mentionined in the Coral article, is all over my TV all the time nowadays. He settled with the FTC, I believe, and can no longer sell anything but books, so, of course, he's selling books.
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