What to do about my anti-gun boss?


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12 Volt Man
July 16, 2003, 08:36 PM
I work at a job where it is sort of a call center environment. Much of my time is spent waiting for someone to call. I sit in a cubicle around 8 other individuals on my "team". We have internet access and pretty much everyone surfs the web in between calls. Some look at news, some look at sports sites, and me I look at gun sites. I spend a lot of time on this forum as well as a couple of others. My supervisor is a woman from the Czek Rebublik who doesn't speak english very well (whole other rant). I have tried to talk to her about CZ guns before because they are a favorite of mine. I could tell that she was put off by me asking her about it. It was something along the lines of me asking how to pronounce Ceska Zbrojovka, and I told her that these were my favorite guns and that I owned a few. I have never made it a secret around my work that my hobby is guns and shooting. I have had several discussions about gun issues with some close friends at work.

So today, my supervisor approaches me and says that I need to stop looking at gun related sites on the internet because "some people around me have complained". I really don't think that anyone has actually complained. I think this was her way of making it sound worse. I think that she said this solely because of her own views. Then she went on to say that she just didn't want me to get in trouble. Yeah right! I explained to her that I do not use the internet more than anyone else. She said that I did........back and forth etc........ I left work really pissed about this. Especially since I have seen her use the internet to search for other jobs. Which I have never done.

I guess for right now, my plan is to stay low key and not use the internet for anything at all. I'll just put in my time and leave. Any suggestions on what I should do about this? Technically the rule at my work is no personal internet use, but everybody does it including my supervisor. It does not help either that I work for a major Anti Gun Bank (Wells Fargo). They do not let CCW permit holders like myself carry on the property (again, a whole other rant)

I won't be around much in the next while, I'll check out a few things on the boards in the evenings as I have time. Major Bummer :fire: What would you guys do?

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Pendragon
July 16, 2003, 08:42 PM
Depends...

How bad do you need the job? How bad do you want to surf, what kind of consequences are you willing to accept?

Play accordingly.

Majic
July 16, 2003, 08:50 PM
This may seem petty, but I would spend my time making a spread sheet on the amount of time spent and the various sites that your supervisor visits. You could name it "Lack of Productivity" or some sort. That would qualify as work related to cover you, and when shown to her it proves she isn't following company policy. Sort of like CYA if she gets vindictive. Now this may bring the rath of your other fellow work partners if the rules are enforced to the letter, but it is a suggestion. I'm sure others here will come up with various other solutions.

(a good motto)
Don't get mad.........Get even

Mark Tyson
July 16, 2003, 08:53 PM
You're not a telemarketer, are you? If you are, get a new job (just kidding!).
Just drop it and let her win. Getting in trouble with the boss isn't worth it - you can surf the gun sites elsewhere.

Zeke Menuar
July 16, 2003, 08:56 PM
Leave work at work. Leave home at home.

Let it lie and look for another job.

ZM

12 Volt Man
July 16, 2003, 09:01 PM
You're not a telemarketer, are you?

Actually a Stock Broker, but I feel like a telemarketer sometimes.

AZTOY
July 16, 2003, 09:03 PM
I'm surfing right now from work, on the Boss's computer. :D

I would say make your self small and deal with it . Good jobs are hard to find right now. You can't buy guns or ammo with out money.

MeekandMild
July 16, 2003, 09:24 PM
Ditto what AZTOY and Majic said. I'd also wonder about shredding my temporary files and dead space then defragging my disk drive to "increase efficiency". You might read up on what constitutes sexual harrassment and "hostile workplace environment" and add any percieved harrassing or hostile acts to your spreadsheet. Remember sexual harrassment is all in the mind of the "victim".

fmjcafe
July 16, 2003, 10:02 PM
Spend the next few surfing sessions checking out sites related to labor law, harrasment in the workplace, etc. in full view of everyone. Especially the boss. If you find something interesting, you might point it out, saying, "Hey, look at this. The NLRB say`s yadda, yadda, yadda."
Post a copy of the company rules at your work station. I`ll bet she backs off.

gun-fucious
July 16, 2003, 10:09 PM
i would ask yer workmates if your surfing topics bothers them

Standing Wolf
July 16, 2003, 11:33 PM
You might try hanging out at job hunting sites.

blades67
July 17, 2003, 12:11 AM
A note to your manager's supervisor about the job hunting on company time might keep the heat out of your cubicle for a few days.:evil:




















Or it might not.:banghead:

Stormbringer
July 17, 2003, 12:39 AM
I feel for you. I work in a very small company that myself and two associates run. I count my blessings that my primary business partner and myself both share interests in firearms and we both are known for bringing handguns or rifles (including my AR-15's) to work - sometimes just to show each other our latest aquisition or more commonly for going to the range right after work. We often check out gun related web pages and feel its no problem for us at our office. I wouldn't trade my job/career for anything. I may not be making the money that some of my family and friends are in the corporate sector but I am not complaining as I do well enough to keep up with my hobbies. But I've learned that certain pluses from small companies are worth much more than gold. I definately don't miss all the baggage that comes with working in larger companies.

Combat-wombat
July 17, 2003, 01:01 AM
Well, it depends.
You could either turn in your two-week notice, or...

you could just defy your boss until you get fired. Your choice:D

synoptic
July 17, 2003, 01:22 AM
Accuse her of discriminating against you based upon your personal beliefs, or disregard her statements and if questioned about it again claim you must have misunderstood her poor english, etc...

In all honesty, if it were me, i'd either start using the net to search for a new job as she does, or hey, try helping [B]her[\B] find a new job. Another suggestion would be to continue to look at your favorite sites, but tone it down a little, i.e sites like THR that aren't in your face obvious that it is gun related. I would think she would have difficulty firing you over this matter because you know she does it and could easily drop the bomb on her upon your termination. Lastly, maybe bring a couple framed pics of your kids/SO/yourself with evil black rifles and pistols to put around your desk. I'll tell you what though, just sitting at your desk all day with no internet is going to get old fast.

Jeff OTMG
July 17, 2003, 02:05 AM
I am sure that your company is like many others and has a written acceptable internet use policy posted somewhere. I have worked for companies that have it and all prohibit surfing sexually explicit content, hate speech, sites advocating the violent overthrow of the govt, gamling, soliciting, personal money making ventures, and so on. These companies also have written policy regarding sexual harrassment, promoting a political agenda, hate speech, and so on in the work place. I found one companies internet use policy to prohibit 'derogatory and defaming statements' yet the babysitter software considered gun sites violent therefore me a violent person. This was derogatory and defaming to me so the gun cites were removed from the violence category. Remember also that promoting a political belief in many offices is in violation of corporate policy as well and if she is promoting the Democrat anti-gun agenda she could be in violation of that as well. Use your company policy to your benefit, it is there to protect YOU. Go to the supervisor and explain to her that she is in violation, but be sure to report it to HR. The corporate policy is for EVERYONE to follow.

Gray Peterson
July 17, 2003, 05:20 AM
So today, my supervisor approaches me and says that I need to stop looking at gun related sites on the internet because "some people around me have complained".

This is an obvious lie on her part. I had to the same thing happen to me at Stream, the company I used to work for, and I was canned less than 5 days later after that occured.

Rickstir
July 17, 2003, 10:28 AM
Don't think you can play "she does it too". She is management and that argument won't hold water. If she brings you up on charges, she has already laid the ground work by talking to you about it. Next step would be written reprimand. Then out the door.

Remember, %@#& always rolls downhill.

TallPine
July 17, 2003, 10:43 AM
Try buying her flowers. :D

2nd Amendment
July 17, 2003, 10:54 AM
Go where you want, look at what you want. Unless the company issues a written policy on it, controls what other employees do and/or blocks certain sites there's not a damn thing she's going to do about it besides whine. How much THAT bothers you or affects your work is entirely dependent on you.

Anyway, jobs aren't that tough to get and if you're a broker you can always make your own way. Remember, it's just a job and, as such, one of lifes least important activities. I never accomplished a thing in life until I figured that out. Since then things have improved to an amazing degree.

NapAttack
July 17, 2003, 11:06 AM
Had a friend that was in a similar situation.

Rickstir has it right, your word against hers, you lose.

Some suggestions. She's already made an issue of it. Quit surfing the gun sites, challenge her and you'll lose. Been there done it and seen it happen to others. Just FYI I spent 11 years with IBM and 9 years with Eastman Kodak. I know how the corporate environment works.

Many managers, especially females, are sensitive about their authority. Not being chauvanistic here, just an observation based on 30+ years experience in the corporate environment. She's already made an issue of it, if she perceives that you are challenging her authority she will push it hard and this is not an issue you can win with. She can fall back to the no surfing policy and everybody loses. All your coworkers would be po'ed at you then.

Keep a journal. Don't be obvious about it but do keep a journal of your workday, things like any interactions between you and her, especially any comments she makes regarding your work habits. Keep track of what you do, how many calls you take, how long, etc, you'd be amazed at how often those statistics can be skewed. Dates and times especially. If she does decide to go after you, you go in with that journal and quote dates and times to her boss and you can come out on top. I've seen it done. A friend of mine didn't get along with the manager, manager tried to get him fired, that journal let him keep his job and retire from IBM. If you happen to notice what sites she is surfing, note it down with date and time in your journal. Don't let her know you're keeping a journal.

As several others said, depending on how bad you need the job, you probably want to start looking for another job. Problem is, in today's environment not only is it going to be tough to find another job but finding one that's gun friendly is probably going to be even tougher.

YankeeRebel
July 17, 2003, 02:21 PM
12 Volt Man,

NapAttack's journal idea is a good one. Just be very careful about letting anyone, including your work mates, know about it or find your notes. Some companies are very adament that employees do not keep tabs on others, especially the management types. They can, but you can not. We had one person get fired from here for doing just that in a simular situtation.

willyjixx
July 17, 2003, 03:20 PM
Wells Fargos anti gun?

then there a bunch of hypocrites cuz i got a revolving account with em for a specific gun store!

Mike Irwin
July 17, 2003, 03:29 PM
Take her shooting.

Convert her.

Smurfslayer
July 17, 2003, 03:41 PM
Right now, I don't think this issue is on HR's radar, and if so, all's the better. If you have access to her PC, use it to find some objectionable porn sites while she's not around her desk.

An anonymous tip to HR that the boss is viewing porno sites should be enough to turn the tables...

The Journal is an excellent idea... I used a similar method years ago; setting up several batch processes to track the activities of a supervisor who had pronounced to a coworker her intent to find a reason to fire me. He ratted her out to me, so I started tracking her work ethic. The result wasn't pretty, she'd been cheating the company out of about 10 - 15 hours per week. I tracked her activities for months while being on my best behavior. I logged every meeting, took copious notes, and I didn't screw up. After about 3 1/2 - 4 months, it came to management's attention that she was taking far more time off than could be accounted for by leave - anonymously. OTOH, I had several awards from other managers and directors, and was subsequently promoted twice ( once, the offending Supervisor interviewed me and shot me down. I appealed and her boss sided with me ).

Do not let the situation degrade to "he said / she said". Non management lose every time. Make sure that it's "she said, but the records say this is what really happened"... Don't expect to make any hay out of using company resources to find another job, that happens all the time.

Time to "square away". Curtail your surfing habits publicly - either use anonymous surfing, or light surfing with no controversial sites. Clean you cache and history RELIGIOUSLY. Lock your computer at all times when you aren't around. Remove all personal files from public access, zip, encrypt / password protect anything you need to have there. Keep your work area neat, clean, and unremarkable. Remember the sage adice of Don Corleone: "Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer". Act as if nothing is wrong, be on your toes and watch what you say. This is what I keep most in mind - These are your coworkers, not your friends. I'd venture to say that if you got fired today, everyone else would come in tommorrow like nothing happened. Finally, as others have suggested, it's time to consider moving on.

Thumper
July 17, 2003, 06:11 PM
I worked in almost exactly the same sort of environment doing phone support for Microsoft. I had a call review that commended me on my level of service, but gigged me for reading The Firing Line for my entire shift. (They could remotely view our machines.) :-D

Thumbtack, did I ever email that to you?

NapAttack
July 17, 2003, 11:01 PM
Yankeerebel and smurfslayer both expanded admirably on my original post regarding a journal. Thanks.

One other point, I personally disagree with any type of attempted sabotage of your supervisor. From my experience, that kind of thing will backfire more often than not. Walk the straight and narrow and let her hang herself.

12 Volt Man
July 18, 2003, 01:41 AM
Thanks guys. I started on the journal today and stayed off any websites all day. The day was very long. I will find a way for her to get hers one day. Great suggestions! Thanks for the support :D

twoblink
July 18, 2003, 02:50 AM
I'd ask if this was "the boss's policy" of if this is "company policy".

If it's the boss's company, forget her, keep surfing all you want. If it's company policy, then don't look at gun sights.

For boss's like that, I would take it as a major hint that I should change jobs..

Jeff
July 18, 2003, 03:01 AM
Have you thought about seducing her? Czech women are HOT.

Get a 12-pack of Pilsner Urquell and some borst.

And don't forget to tell her about the contributions of Brno.

Oatka
July 18, 2003, 12:24 PM
If you are keeping a journal on the computer, keep it on a floppy disk and take it home with you every night. Keeping it on the hard drive, even with a password, is asking for trouble.

NapAttack
July 18, 2003, 02:51 PM
Good point Oatka, never keep anything personal on a computer at work. They have programs that will track your keystrokes so even if you password protect it it will still be an open book to them.

Personally, I've always found it to be a good policy to simply avoid any personal work or anything on my computer at work. Even if it's company policy to allow personal surfing on your work computer, it's a dangerous practice.

If it's company policy not to allow personal surfing and the policy is just given a wink and a nod under normal circumstances I would still avoid it. "Well, every body does it", doesn't hold a lot of water as a defense and they can and will use your violation of company policy to dump you.

Smurfslayer
July 18, 2003, 03:12 PM
Never decide what to do when you're angry. Anger clouds your judgment, and impairs your wisdom. That said, I agree in principle that walking the straight and narrow path is most correct. One thing that I would point out though, is that IT as a profession has bullies just like the school playground, just like any other profession. And just like in all other aspects of life, bullies only respect 1 thing - someone tougher. Being a bully is not the exclusive domain of men, either. There are plenty of women out there who like throwing their weight around as well. I've been in IT for 15 years now, and the more I do it, the more I'm reassured that in it's least common denominator, we're just like a pack of wolves; Alpha males, alpha females, beta males, beta females, etc... When one of them starts throwing their weight your way, you have to bite them on the neck... :uhoh: err... I mean you either let them get away with it, or you do something about it. Every time I've let someone get away with it, there's been a follow up...

Ancient Klingon Proverb: Revenge is a dish that is best served cold...

That does not mean you have carte blanche to break the law. Keep the journal, file your emails, don't forget to publicly let slip any of her faux paus's, always look busy. Do your supervisor's work for them - Better. That get's noticed real quick. Just make sure that your work is squared away before you start seeking brownie points ;-)

One thing that used to keep the bosses out of my business was to keep a large IBM Manual open on my desk, and at least one window open to something topical for the manual. That way, I was always busy, whilst my surfing and phone yakking coworkers were the ones selected for "extra credit". Must have been doing something right in between serving cold meals to the supervisor, because before 4 years, I *was* a supervisor...

What I'm trying to get across is don't let your boss push you around unnecessarily, but don't blow this out of proportion either...

mec
July 18, 2003, 07:56 PM
I worked with a State Agency that had pretty much universal web access. Tthere were rules against corrupting system files and downloading pornography but the rules were otherwise-vague. Only one person got into trouble about the net and he was running a very comprehensive prostitution ring on state time.

I wouldn't know your situation with the named Bank but I have seen that bank drop the ball on several occasions allowing people to steal money from the accounts of elderly and disable persons, shady real estated deals and general lack of knowlege of the codes governing their industry. I have been informed that the company is widely disrespected.

The thing about surfing legal recourse sites is appealing. We had a boy-girl news anchor team here that didtn't get along. the man kept looking at his blond co- anchor and writing on a pad. One night on live feee turned on him and said " WHY DO YOU KEEP WRITING "LAWSUIT!" ON THAT PAD??????????

Bostonterrier97
July 18, 2003, 10:37 PM
Bring a copy of Shotgun News, Gun Tests, Guns and Ammo, Shooting Times and Soldier of Fortune and page through those magazines while waiting for a call..

Now..your supervisor can hardly complain..about the internet usuage..also make sure that you print (in very large BOLD Font) the First Amendment and Tack it up on the Entrance to your cubicle.

PenHolder
July 19, 2003, 12:38 AM
I agree with the above suggestions of: leave home at home. Basically, anything you do on or with company property (which includes computers and networks) is subject to monitoring and archival. You have no privacy. Moreover, if you have a laptop running company software, it may be logging traffic on any network it's connected to, so be careful about allowing on onto your home networks.

If it's company policy not to allow personal surfing and the policy is just given a wink and a nod under normal circumstances I would still avoid it.
A wise policy! Acting otherwise is simply giving them rope to hang you with. (Not that they need any, in most places.)

If you are keeping a journal on the computer, keep it on a floppy disk and take it home with you every night. Keeping it on the hard drive, even with a password, is asking for trouble.
It goes much farther than this; as others have mentioned, there is all kinds of snooping software (and hardware) that is specifically designed to log what you do, without your knowing it. In fact, there's whole mini-industry that has sprung up around this, catering to nosy bosses, parents, and spouses everywhere. These systems are made to be installed, montitored, and removed with a minimal signature. For a high-profile example, see the case of the FBI sneaking in a keystroke logger to nab a mobster: http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,40541,00.html

I realize that a policy of "At work, do nothing personal" isn't always practical, but it is a good ideal. As far as the journal goes, keeping a little notebook has advantages (their key loggers and screen capture software can't see it), but it's still vulnerable to interception if you ever leave it unattended. A locked desk drawer is not sufficient protection. Furthermore, if they really have been watching you, they probably know that you visit THR and what your handle is, so it's quite possible that they'll be on the lookout for a journal.

For myself, I keep personal traffic to a minimum when I'm in an environment like that. When I do get the urge to check my e-mail, make a plane reservation, see if a check has cleared, etc., I use my personal laptop, which a) relays all traffic (including DNS lookups!) through an encrypted tunnel to an external host, b) is locked at any time that I'm not actively using it, and c) has no company software on it. They can of course still use some fancy-schmancy pinhole camera to watch my screen, or install a key logger without interrupting the running software (possible if they use high-tech hardware, or with software if the aforementioned pinhole camera catches a copy of my password). That's an acceptable risk for me. I'm not going up against the FBI, and all they'd see is the occasional e-mail from Mom or me checking the evening traffic report.

(It's not that I have anything to hide; I'm just not going to make life any easier than it already is for some information-hungry control freak who wants to know if I favor boxers or briefs, or how much toilet paper I go through in a day.)

This is what I keep most in mind - These are your coworkers, not your friends.

That is my mantra! Be courteous, be professional, but don't expect anything from your coworkers beyond their courtesy and professionalism in return. They may be friendly, but they are not your friends.

-PH

RustyHammer
July 19, 2003, 01:16 PM
Surf employment sites instead. (Then use them!)

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