I generally start the New Year with a chirpy post (not that this one will not be chirpy), but I chose a rather off-beat yet personally (and professionally) relevant topic instead. (Okay, Bull. I just wanted to vent. There. Satisfied you annoying little conscience!!)
My workplace has an IT policy that allows restricted use of the internet, as do most workplaces (my friends at MakeMyTrip.com and some other places are luckier, but let’s not even go there for now). So I can access Google and Yahoo and Rediff, but I can’t access Youtube or Facebook or most “fun” sites. Normally, that’s ok; I mean I am supposed to work, but it would have helped if an organisation doesn’t treat its 20-something employees like they’re teenagers. And our IT department seems to employ a bunch of people who can’t tell you how to get your damn mail account fixed but can somehow come up with more and more sites to block. (Other than responding “Please restart and try, their advice is generally squat; people in the cubicles across me know more than them. And THAT’s saying a lot – I work in an Investment Bank full of CAs and MBAs whose knowledge of the computer is limited to Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V and Alt+Ctrl+Del). Initially, I was a little curious, so I tried some known proxies, and some other known methods, but they all failed. The scoreline thus far read: Aiyer 0 – IT Guys 1.
But I dont give up that easy do I. Once in a while, I indulge, and discover other (read: nefarious) means to access some sites (read: Facebook). It works currently only for some sites (read: Facebook), but that’s more than enough for me. I also figured out a way to actually SEND mail from my Gmail account (normally that isn’t allowed, but from necessity stems pure genius 😉). The scoreline now read Aiyer 1: IT Guys 1. Suck it 😛
And then they play a New Year prank (I’d hope it was just a one day prank… some of the sites they blocked were actually business sites. It wasnt.) on me. They block every single known (and unknown) proxy. They even block most legal sites with a remotely blockable angle (Rediff, Indiatimes, hell, even some corporate websites). At first I thought it was some silly mistake. So I check, and re-check my URLs. The damn screen still reads Blocked. And then my focus shifts to the category… the one that read “Clothing”.
My instant reaction – a burst of laughter that had my whole team run to my cubicle thinking I had actually done something very very wrong (my reaction to a very very wrong action is generally extreme bouts of laughter). And then they saw the frozen screen and burst into laughter themselves.
“Clothing”. Really??! (This btw was the category for a site that was for a company in another space altogether) IT Guys they can play pranks alright. Aiyer 1 – IT Guys 2. Game on!! (Some other “odd” categories included Cooking, Food, Gardening, Jewelry and, can you believe this, Porn!!)
And you know how I beat them? By accessing Facebook, with no proxy server. From my phone. (Nyaa na na naa naah)
Aiyer 2 – IT Guys 2. Catch up suckers 😛
Elsewhere, the cook was busy adding additional value to my food by enhancing its otherwise absent calorific value by adding live insects to it. I complained, like the college kid that I was so used to being, to the head of the canteen. He gave me a non-committal shrug with a “what to do maydam”. At that point the banker in me took over (I’m proudly an investment banker, but our parent organisation is a bank, so the culture rub-off is unavoidable and I shot a rather hilarious yet critiquing mail to the head of the Admin department explaining the situation to him. I thought the scoreline would now read Aiyer 3 – Admin/IT Guys 2 and I would triumph at the end of the week. Sadly, the rather senior official replied with a “Thanks for the feedback. Will ensure pest control” and I had to do everything I could to not keep myself from falling off the chair from laughing too hard. The IT Guys dint win this one, but apparently neither had I. Aiyer 2 – IT Guys 2. In another discussion, this very official had commented “The food here is so much better than at the bank”. Sir, if a bank official found floating insects in his meal, he would’ve ensured heads rolled for it… Thank god we’re Investment bankers who spend time working (and free time blogging abt it ;))
P.S. It’s been 3 days and I can’t get my work done because of these stupid blocks. The scoreline reads Aiyer 2 – IT Guys 3. But I’m pissed now fellas. And you WONT like me when I get mad.
P.P.S. On the 4th day, I sent a mail to the IT head with a cc to every senior official in the organisation asking them if such strict vigilence is required in an Investment Bank whr employees neway have very little time to do even their work, let alone google for obscure websites about Gardening and Clothing. Response is awaited. Aiyer 2.5 – IT Guys 3. I’ll get u geeks.