August 29, 2009

If You Weren't Already Pausing Before Hitting 'Send'...

I meant to link this earlier, but the Star picked it up today and I was reminded.

It's about what your work computer reveals about you. None of it should be news, but most of it will be to many people I know.

A new company, Cataphora, has developed a program to help employers investigate lots of interesting things about their employees. Like how productive they are, who really does the most work, who works the most efficiently, and who spends all day long LOLing Lyle in accounting.

Rather than traditional routes of simply copying and reading through vast amounts of email crap, this program instead tags for certain probabilities, all based on math. Some of them are highly interesting, to the secret spies among us: it can track someone who uses CAPS all the time, denoting high emotion. Or, as I call it, being a stupid arse. It can track when an email ends with 'call me instead'..., or even changes languages.

It has the obvious key points - is someone working on their resume? I know a top recruiter, and she is continually amazed at how many clients figure they can work in their current position while openly trolling for their next one. She has to explicitly tell them to shut down ALL (I am demonstrating importance here, not arseholeness) contact with her or even references until they are at home, and off company networks.

The cool thing? It can also track how often bigwigs pass off working by slapping "what do you think of this?" and shooting work from their inbox back into someone else's lap.

It also does something that would probably save many companies the most money: it can detect the initial employee reviews, before they're all softened up and toned down so that nobody cries. You know, the truth.

So riddle me this: why is it I can never, ever locate something, say a column an hour before deadline, that I may have accidentally deleted? Through a flood of tears, I can sit here shaking my computer upside down, run more searches than the Gestapo and still not find it? Why is my delete button so good, and my autosave function as temperamental as any Chrysler from the 70s in the rain?

I guess I should shut up and be thankful my officemates, the cats, can't fire me for emailing stupid chain letters.


Anonymous buzzwhack said...

People are remarkably careless about text on computers. Thy think it's invisible or something. I watched a rechie retrieve data supposedly "lost" during a hard drive crash and burn. Everything and I mean everything. the owner ever used the 'puter for was recovered including some dubious "art" photos from some werver in Holland.The recovery operation; three hours, bill: $400.00, watching owner squirm and turn red while wifey glares at him when the Holland pics came up...priceless.

August 29, 2009 12:24 PM  

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