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Odd Codes of Conduct

On my desk is an offer that includes codes of conduct strictly fobidding the use or sale of drugs or alcohol, or "unauthorized" possession of firearms (authorized by whom then?).  That seems peculiar to me--IS it peculiar?  I'm hesitant to ask if having a beer with a client (or moonlighting as a bartender?) is a firing offense.  It's a basic full-time-employee IT consultant arrangement, etc.

Beyond that, there is the dilemma of trying to pick interesting work with an unfavorable overtime structure (the offer) over often dull but higher-paying, straight-hourly stuff.

-FD

F. Drebin
Friday, July 30, 2004

IMHO, if that doesn't say "during working hours" then run - no company should try to regulate your life outside the office (especially if it's something legal, like drinking alcohol)

I suspect that's just one sign of the weirdness you may encounter in the office, like "only one photo per desk, must be a tasteful portrait of a spouse or significant other. If you have no spouse or significant other, then you are not to have any photos on your desk. [Note: Photo must be of a member of the opposite sex]"

Philo

Philo
Friday, July 30, 2004

Have you ever actually encountered such a "photo rule" anywhere? It wouldn't surprise me.

Data Miner
Friday, July 30, 2004

I would ask them what they mean by no alchohol since you are a heavy drinker and the booze is the only thing that keeps you from getitng so pissed off that you bring your guns in and just shoot the place up.

Stan Billingbody
Friday, July 30, 2004

I'm married to my ewe. She is of the opposite gender. Can I keep a photo of her on my desk?

Baaah!
Friday, July 30, 2004

Stan, thank you for the phrasing.  I'll use that.

I did, for a period of two months, previously work for another very small consulting shop, and found other employment when they decided to hassle me about getting in at 9:00 sharp--despite having no meetings or anything else to attend to--in the face of a highly variable commute.  And I was making them quite a bit of money too.  So I can't discount the possibility of personality conflict and unanticipated fiefdom... making myself a strong case here to stay put.

-FD

F. Drebin
Friday, July 30, 2004

I'd expect pretty much everyplace would have a "no drugs/alcohol/weapons at work" policy so they don't get cleaned out by lawyers like John Edwards the first time someone sprains an ankle.

As far as having to choose between interesting work vs better pay, quit whining.

Anony Coward
Friday, July 30, 2004

Baaah! is not a kiwi fruit, then.

Generally you have to pay to have fun,  and I if were in the happy position of having to choose between higher paid, dull, fixed hour work and entertaining, freewheeling openended fun stuff, I'd plump for having both the time and the money to make my choices out of office hours.

And don't take anything with a free pager or cellphone, it gets in the way of drunken gunfights during the commute.

There's plenty of dull work around with openended unpaid overtime. Wanna swap?

trollop
Friday, July 30, 2004

Trollop, have you ever lived in an area with heavy, unpredictable traffic?

In DC, if you live any distance from the office, it can take between 45 minutes and three hours to get to work. Just one fender-bender, late road construction cleanup, or rain shower can triple your drive time.

In the face of that, flex time is a reasonable request.

Philo

Philo
Friday, July 30, 2004

"I would ask them what they mean by no alchohol since you are a heavy drinker and the booze is the only thing that keeps you from getitng so pissed off that you bring your guns in and just shoot the place up."

Funny you mention this -  I was visiting a remote office today and overhead an individual at the elevator voice to his coworker "I am going to go f***ing postal! I mean it, I'm getting a shotgun!" I was the only one around, and obviously I was game to the wink-wink ha ha statement, but I couldn't help but thinking "Man, I could so fuck you over with one phone call. Heavy police involvement, almost certain firing, maybe some media". People are bloody morons. I did nothing, but if I were more fearful that guy would be rethinking his loud mouth.

.
Friday, July 30, 2004

Philo,

er, no. Unless you count Sydney on a motorbike which had its moments but predated both modern Sydney traffic and flexitime.

Who's ever used, or even seen, a timeclock? Or worked in that culture? That's freedom  Formerly used to punish the unpunctual, it enabled working around flexitime "core hours" in a reasonable give-and-take arrangement.

Now the performance measured have the luxury of travelling when they want to so long as they hit their targets and get the opportunity to contribute at any point in the day or night or weekend or holiday ... there is no upper limit on the working week.  That's progress?

I'd suggest buying a motorcycle. Can you buy a gun in DC?

Nowadays resident in a city with convenient and reliable public transport.... 

trollop
Saturday, July 31, 2004

We have a "no excessive personal photos" rule, which is subjectively enforced by two old Cubicle Nazi biddies who come around periodically and tell you what needs changing.

There's also a "no item can penetrate of the horizontal plane formed by the top of the cubical walls" rule, so no books or coffee mugs on the top shelves.

Cube Farmer Ed
Saturday, July 31, 2004

Are you allowed to stand up and scratch?

trollop
Saturday, July 31, 2004

Strange, though the States is strange.
If you're a consultant then any non-workplace rules don't apply.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, July 31, 2004

Rules tell you what people do: I'd put a cool $100 on there being a pistol or hipflask in at least one of your co-workers' desks.

Brent
Saturday, July 31, 2004

"We have a "no excessive personal photos" rule, which is subjectively enforced by two old Cubicle Nazi biddies who come around periodically and tell you what needs changing."

See, now if I were a superstar there, I'd go overboard. I generally only have one photo on my desk, but I'd make a special effort to have a dozen or more. Obey every single rule to the T except that one. When they tell me to take the photos down, I'd just say "no, thank you"

But then, I'm generally difficult that way. :-)

Philo

Philo
Saturday, July 31, 2004

Of course, there are often competing codes & even if you follow one set to the T, they can screw you on another one. I'm sure some people who are "in favor" can get away with breaking the rules, like having a photo of his wife, and one of each of his 3 kids and 1 extra family portrait for a total of 5, but a guy with 1 photo of himself drinking a Budweiser and shooting a gun just outside the office, with the corporate logo visible in the photo would get in trouble.

Go figure.

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, July 31, 2004

Each time our VP comes by with a customer to visit our building, we have a "no paper" rule. He wants to show that all our processes are computerized since we're an IT company or whatnot. So, we have to hide all our pens, design sheets, phone numbers sheets, procedure binders, class diagrams, family photos in our drawers.

Of course, the days where customers visit our place, productivity is probably near zero. But boy, do we look "professional" in our IT work.

Eric V.
Saturday, July 31, 2004

Get one of those digital displays that can change photos, and have a screensaver of something like architectural drawings, complete with T square & protractor.

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, July 31, 2004

"So, we have to hide all our pens, design sheets, phone numbers sheets, procedure binders, class diagrams, family photos in our drawers."

I've always advised anyone who would listen that if they are "inspecting" or "reviewing" a workplace and it looks too clean, call the responsible manager on it: "This place looks too clean; did you really waste dozens of manhours cleaning for my visit? You're an idiot."

Philo

Philo
Saturday, July 31, 2004

At the current role we don't have an office.

We used to have an office we'd turn up to once a week, but the main factory building burned down and the office got claimed by "homeless" staff who needed the space more.

The other site doesn't have enough spare space. So we drift from temp home to temp home.

And the result is that we really do run almost paper free!!

Everything's in LaTeX docs in the subversion repository or in the Wiki or in class diagram files...

It's possible. It's not necessarily easy unless you're willing to make compromises (I had to write a decent class diagramming tool in the end) but it CAN be done...

Katie Lucas
Sunday, August 01, 2004

> "only one photo per desk, must be a tasteful portrait of a spouse or significant other

Take dirty photos of your manager's spouse. Put on desk. Claim it is art. Get fired. Sue. Retire on proceeds.


Monday, August 02, 2004

I have worked for 2 U.S. companies in the U.K. (never again, but that's another story), they both had bizarre 'codes of conduct'.  The first one (a very large U.S. company) one was presented to us in a way that had obviously been carefully designed, probably with the help of lawyers, to intimidate people but to not count as part of the contract, which would have counted as a change of contract.
They wanted people to sign a bit of paper to say they had read it (carefully worded to not say we would follow it). I refused to sign, giving as an excuse that clearly they could afford lawyers to shaft me but not vice-versa. All that happened was that
a) my manager tried to get me to sign
and
b) about a year later when I got a print out of my employee details it had been entered on the system that I had signed it, but obviously I didn't care since if there were some dispute I would have just asked to see my signature!

Anyway, my advice to anyone in the U.K. is never work with children, animals or Americans.

Harvey Pengwyn
Monday, August 02, 2004

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