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JoWhee

Corporate reasoning? (long)

Question

I work for a large company, which has some large and sensitive clients. As part of our transfer from one big company to another (this happens regularly) we get to go through the whole process of being vetted criminal record check etc... it's a condition of continued employment, even though we're a union shop it's never been challenged, because well, no one has ever refused or failed the checks. 

Our phones are used to track us as well as our vehicles. It's a feature that comes on our fleet vehicles directly from Ford, the salesperson took great pride in explaining to me how it all works, in short it's like the "find my friends" app on a smart smartphone, but on steroids. I'm not cool with any of it but I understand it.  I know they're currently using the Ford system, because I've been called by my manager and asked how could I be at work all day yesterday when my vehicle had  almost 0 kilometers reported, to which I trot out the same thing I do every time he asks: "did you look at WHERE the truck was?" I get a loaner (usually a focus) when I bring the work van in for service, and I put it on my corporate shared calendar that I'll have no vehicle as to not get dispatched to a call where I'll need more than my tool pouch. 

This month we're getting a new telemetry system installed in all vehicles, I'm not sure exactly why but it's probably related to our new dispatching software.

The thing that's bugging me is we received these stickers that we're instructed to install inside the windshield. There's the company logo and "GPS ENABLED & PROTECTED" on said sticker. When I asked about the placement I was pretty much told to shut up and just do it. What's got a bug up my ass is that the printing on the stickers faces INWARDS! It's not like it's one of those sherlock/lojack anti theft deterrent stickers or boomerang (anyone remember those?) it's almost like a "Big brother is watching you" stickers. 

Am I being paranoid? 

 

TL;DR Does a sticker reminding me that the truck has a GPS telemetry seem Orwellian? 

Edited by JoWhee

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It solves everything from ensuring legal disclosure of monitoring, where required, to reminding people not to be fuckups.  There's probably an insurance benefit or requirement too.  If tracking is a condition of employment that people agree to, I see no problem with it.

 

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Yep, paranoid. If you’re not doing anything nefarious you should sleep just fine at night.  

 

Stick it and forget it. 

 

And don’t listen to the board foil. 

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Ironically FedEx doesn't track me on a continuous basis. The trucks don't have GPS. The Powerpad has GPS in it, but only records it when we scan a label. And they can't look at it live, they have to pull up a report later with the coordinates.

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It’s just a system designed to deal with dishonest workers.

 

Still, how many dumbasses got canned KNOWING they were being tracked but still did something stupid.  A reminder to the clueless?

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5 hours ago, JoWhee said:

Does a sticker reminding me that the truck has a GPS telemetry seem Orwellian?

It is but it is also not just your company, many are doing the same and more.  Most of the company owned trucks in the gas fracking industry not only have real time GPS which they monitor speed and position in real time but also have cameras with one pointing at the driver.  Yes, it is big brother but hard to get away from it.

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On 11/23/2017 at 2:31 PM, SwampNut said:

It solves everything from ensuring legal disclosure of monitoring, where required, to reminding people not to be fuckups. 

Thanks, I now understand, I guess I'm just not corporate minded. And well, who doesn't need to be reminded to not be a fuckup now and them

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On 11/22/2017 at 7:36 PM, blackhawkxx said:

Yes, it is big brother

 

No, not at all.  Not even close.

 

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Corporate might not have realized the sticker faces inward.

 

Tracking fun: Way back a place I worked for got Teletrack, this is before tracking systems were fairly common.  Owner calls me one day and asks why my truck disappeared in Van Nuys over night several times that week instead of going to my house about 40 miles away and why my timesheet has over-time hours on it after the truck disappeared.  Oh, the secretary from the place you have me working at lives there and the parking is underground, guess the system can't see the truck there.  Ummm, I'm not paying you to visit people and the truck is only for work purposes….wait, is this Ed's secretary and your spending nights with her?!?!?  Yup, Vicky.  He says she's much happier now that she's getting laid.  -a moment of silence/mumbles..ummm-  Well regardless, you know that truck is only for work, it goes to the job and home only, plus you're cheating me out of money with this over-time.  First off, I'm not cheating you out of anything.  Ed told me to pad my bill because he doesn't think you pay me enough and you bill him for my hours so I'm actually making you more money this way.  As for the truck use, when I leave the job site you want me to drive your truck an extra 40 miles home, then an extra 40 miles to get back to the job site in the morning...ok.  If all of those hours of drive time in L.A. traffic that you're going to be paying me without being able to bill for plus the extra vehicle expenses make you more comfortable I'll let Vicky and Ed know why she no longer gets laid regularly and why I can no longer give him the long work days that you get to bill him heavily for.  Or you can give me permission to use the company truck as I see fit and keep making $ off my work while knowing that Ed isn't going to kill your $1M/year contract with AT&T since we all know that you hired me to keep Ed happy.  It's obvious that I'm using your truck in an unauthorized way to save you money, make you money, and keep everyone happy and it's really insulting that you think I'm taking advantage of you.  Well no…well it's just that you know…some guys are dishonest and well my secretary saw your timesheet and the truck vanishing and it just looked like um..well I guess in this situation  No Tom, it's not this situation.  I'll have your blessing to do whatever I want whenever I want and you're going to know that everything I do is in both our best interests or I'm done.  If you or any of your people question me on anything my notice of resignation will be you finding my work truck in your driveway.  Now everyone else ran out of the office laughing while Ed has managed to hold it together but he's about to blow a gasket so I'm gonna go before he falls out of his chair.  It's gonna be a busy day so if there's anything else to discuss gimme a ring when my truck disappears.  Never heard another peep.

 

About a year later when I handed him my resignation letter he 'begged' me to stay by pointing out how hard the job market was at the time, which was true, and said he'd start making changes towards making me a manager, which he'd been promising for months.  I told him no thanks and left to go pick up parts for a customer that was waiting for me.  At the end of the day he was waiting for me at the shop to show me that he'd moved people and jobs around, present me the secretary options he had available, and discuss my new position as regional manager.  I told you I was done so you shouldn't have done all that, besides I'm not gonna blow off my new employer after shaking hands on the deal.  He bout lost his shit nearly yelling "I asked you this morning and you said you didn't have another job, why did you lie to me"?!?!?  I've never lied to you Tom, I left here and went to the truck dealership to get parts and was offered a great job.  He kept trying, it was hilarious.

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Lol, I bet that’s it, they didn’t realize which way the sticker is facing. 

They installed the new GPS unit on Friday, and I had a chat with the installer, it’s exactly the same thing that came with the truck, but a different brand. It’s about the size of half a Twinkie (sorry no banana for scale) and plugs into the OBD2 port. 

The boss showed us all how it tracks out mileage, acceleration, position and can do it in real time, but they use it for daily mileage reports. The reason they switched is the new system is supposed to integrate with our dispatch to send the closest tech. I can see the benefits there as time and cost savings, but then I mentioned that we’re not in the city and any backup tech is at least an hour or two away, unless he’s planning on hiring some new staff. That got a laugh from everyone. 

 

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So, I'm not rocket scientist - but cant the sticker face out on the glass or something?

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Depends on where the glue is, and whether you put it inside or not.

 

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Remove the sticker. See if he blinks?

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Put aluminum foil over it when you don't want them to know about you addictions (read:starbucks).

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