Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Enter the webcam
And maybe that was the real catalyst . A frequent reader suggested that the new job must be "very interesting," since I hadn't written in awhile. Or... I replied, there is nothing interesting to write about it.
Neither one is true.
It is 8am and I am in my desk -- in the dark, because I haven't learned where the light switches are and because I don't want that to now be my responsibility, turning the lights on, when I am not at all the first person here in the morning. Someone is already making and tagging the coffee. The interesting things I have to do today are accompany a co-worker on a customer call and make it back on time for a run-through of a PowerPoint deck. Until then, I am heightening the intensity by blogging to you about work... at work.
I have narrowed our topic to the Webcam because it is the source of much whispering around the cube-farm, yet no one seems about to confront it --- including me. It's easily a year before I start calling those balls and strikes.
The manager I have nicknamed Sparky has installed a webcam in her cube. Sparky should have an office, but as these things go in corporate politics, she was too late to the dance, and does not rate high enough to have someone bounced on her behalf. If she has been offered an office around the corner, she has turned it down (and I have no evidence that she has). One can extrapolate that she has turned it down in favor of her webcam.
It's aimed behind her, and certainly many people set up rear-view mirrors in their cubes to see who is behind them. I have never caught on to that (like I need more distractions) but I get the appeal for a certain kind of personality.
Originally, it was inside her cube, but it seems she didn't like the mise en scene, because a day or two later she was standing on her desk, mounting the watchful eye on the support pole conveniently located behind her back wall.Weeelll... now... we have depth of field, see.... and we are in business.
Point #3 - Other people who are not going to complain are Sparky's team; her cohort, whose team members have complained to them; her peers in other departments who find it appalling but none of their business. Like the cargo shorts and sneakers. But that's another blog. In fact, it's this blog.
Point #4 - The Tipper - In a recent meeting, to which Sparky now brings her personal iPad rather than the company asset, the webcam view appeared on her screen.
To reiterate: on her iPad screen.
a. this took some effort, more so than standing on her desk
b. is a truly "personal" personal computer the appropriate place for this?
Questions for Discussion:
Discuss the following questions with members of your team. Designate a note-taker and present your findings to the larger group.
1. Does Sparky watch her webcam when she is away from her desk?
2. If yes, what is she watching? What measures would be required to actually steal something off her desk under the weak peripheral vision of the lens?
3. If yes, does she watch from home?Is that a sickness?If yes, which sickness and which pharmaceutical should be applied?
4. Is she, right now, looking up devices that will allow her to aim said camera from her laptop, from home?
5. If yes, will she come across this post?
I thought of taking a picture of the webcam in a kind of meta-spy counter-measure. But you know I don't know how to work those things.