When a someone told me that I am living in a strange country, I thought she was just mocking me just because she loves to do so, with a scintilla of humor of course. Lately, I am beginning to think that she is right.
Recent events at work can be categorized as strange, peculiar, amusing. Not. It started with glitches with the internet ranging from very slow to completely offline for days. Then the mail server stopped working for more than three weeks straight. What company in the right corporate mind would leave the emails not functioning for more than 24 hours?
Last week, I got a phone call from the accounts department. The manager told me that my salary had been frozen because the company had paid more than 50,000 dirhams (US$14,000) of internet bills and after scrutiny, my name popped up as among those who downloaded at least 10GB of files (video files he said) that resulted in the financial mess.
How do you react to an accusation like that?
First, I do not download files except for WP Themes which all in all is just 30MB. NOTHING else. I asked him to produce his evidence of the 10GB that I supposedly used. Is it the data size of the sites that I browsed over the past months? I have been here for less than a year. (Please note that Japanese sites displaying in Nihongo uses twice the data size than English sites because of the Japanese characters which are two bytes each.) I admit browsing of course (who doesn’t?) and blogging from work but I do it without jeopardizing my job.
It just pisses me to no end that they wanted the employees to believe that it was ok to surf the net (they are not blocking anything) when in truth, it is not and are going to be fined. My colleague told me it is likely that the company will deduct 900 dirhams (approx USD400) from my salary for three months internet use. Three months…looking back, it was the time I started blogging like crazy. I had been surfing, commenting, reading a lot online especially on Saturdays and Sundays at work, a schedule that is peculiar in itself.
The 10GB must be the data packet size of the things I browsed. Well, that might make sense but what happened to unlimited access internet plan? Is it not the right thing to do when the company has more than 5,000 expat employees who would surely be accessing the internet to somehow connect to home? I must add that there was no announcement or warning whatsoever on what and what is not allowed with regards to our internet connection.
The incompetency of the IT personnel to do their part in internet patrol is inexcusable. Their plan to penalize people for browsing the internet is unethical and very very distressing.
Update: My salary was wired to my account intact. There were no deduction but I don’t know if the matter is settled or not. Who knows they might rob me next month.