Monday, 9 February 2009

George Orwell would be proud

Our company computer network is attached to a national VPN network which is incredibly secure. Nothing gets through the firewall. Whenever I have to do maintenance on one of my machines or install software, new drivers, whatever, I have to call out west and have the machine "unlocked". The technician 2,500 kms away will stroke a few keys, and through the IP address on the offending computer will allow me access to do what I need to do. 

It's very Orwellian watching the mouse begin to move on it's own. I know that on the other side of Canada some guy I will never meet is poking around our computers. He can see everything anytime. There is really nothing stopping them from pulling this without our knowledge. One day I received a prompt while trying to shut down; "there are currently 12 people connected through your ethernet network. Are you sure you want to shut down?" Uh, yeah, I thought, why is anyone connected? Such is life in a big company.

Here's the point. Last night I dreamt that my stove broke. I had to call out west and give the technician the IP address of the stove so he could reboot it. It seemed to have worked, I just finished dinner.

Is it obvious that I have spent waaaaaaay too much time with these techs this week? Now they're in my dreams. I'm so lucky that none of our computers have web cams. That's all I need is a phone call saying I don't think you shaved this morning.

We're a year into this network. Prior to this we were a small back country publishing company with computers older than my car, and software that was outdated when I was in college. It's a wonder we ever published anything. Then Big Brother came in and "fixed" things. They hooked us up to the network, upgraded our software and wrote new rules. Some of my co-workers have had a very difficult time adjusting to this. When I hooked up everybody's new email last year the most common question was "can they read my messages?"

Well, yeah, it' s their company, they can do what they want. So back off on the stupid porn jokes. They may not appreciate the humour.

I have to admit the change has been frustrating for me as well. I have been the network tech here for years, and now with every new machine I get a little more control is taken away. The thirty or so computers I maintain have been my responsibility as well as my fault. If anything goes wrong, it was all me. Now, with the secure network, things go wrong more and I have to phone out west for remote repair. Here's the kicker - they're three hours behind us. That means that when our computers fail to connect up at 9am, we have to wait until noon for service. Nice. The mandate now is that nobody can crash until noon. So far, everyone has been pretty good with that. Our staff is cooperating fully with the new rules. Hell, some don't even bother turning their computers on until 11:30, just in case.

Maybe we should just change our hours to mountain time and start sleeping in. 

But I will have to run home before 7 to cook. Just in case.



  1. Um...You will have to get home to cook?
    Surely that is a typo.
    YOU will have to get home to cook?
    The reason why you thought the IT guy had to reboot the stove? Cause you don't know how to turn the stove on.

    And that is OK, I am fine with that. IT has been that way for almost 20 yrs...
    but could you remember to take the Corn Flakes out of the kettle once in a while?

    the wife.

  2. Big Brother (Literally)9 February 2009 at 23:03

    Our system is programmed from Vancouver. Get the same thing with the remote controlled mouse pointer.

    And by the way, I call those workmares.

    As for you Kim, this comment has taken me 10 minutes because I'm still laughing out loud.

    Slange Va.

  3. Big Brother (Literally)

    I aim to please.

  4. Alright guys, that's really not fair. It's been years since I burned corn flakes. Yeah, I can't cook like big brother, nor will I even try to, but I have managed over the years to keep my kids (and occasionally my wife) fed. I haven't poisoned them yet, and the words "we don't have the stuff to make pancakes" has never been spoken in here in earnest. And Kim, I do know how to turn on the stove, how do you think I burn things?


Yell at me...