Near Yellow Mountain

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

IT "cops" - Merry Christmas and welcome home

Feb 1 2011

I have worked for the same American company for 22 years. The first 11 years in the US and the second 11 years in Asia. I am recently back in the USA and trying to adjust to the brave new "politically correct" universe.

Returning near year end made things even tougher as I had to learn many new corporate  "seasonal" realities. Such as...... having a Christmas party and playing Christmas carols, which are perfectly acceptably in Shanghai or Tokyo, can be "grounds for dismissal" in the "land of the 'free' ".  In much of America, saying "Merry Christmas" rather than "happy holidays" will get you an official corporate reprimand. Playing a "real" Christmas carol is potentially "a firing offense".  Translation: "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" is ok at the officially sanctioned "holiday party" but "Silent Night" is a major league problem in the corridors of HR / PC power. 

Ok - I can understand the PC/left leaning corporate types attacking what they perceive as the "religious right" but today I found two less likely American institutions that are also under attack.

Early this afternoon I heard the jack boots of the IT staff clicking outside my door. I welcomed the visitors in and asked if there was a problem. "In a word - 'yes' " was the reply. The corporate snooping software had detected Itunes on my PC. "Eliminate Itunes or perish" was effectively what I was told. My reply was "excuse my confusion but since HQ bought me this IPhone 4 that requires Itunes to activate; I am uncertain as to my egregious trangression". "Don't get smart with us" said the larger of the two. "Itunes can be used to activate your phone but then must be deleted" was the refrain of the shorter one. When I requested a further explanation I was told that "this order is from corporate" which of course meant logic played no part in the decision.

I asked if I would be spared the potential wrath of corporate if I agreed to delete my Itunes immediately - "not so fast", was the reply; "don't you also have Kindle software on your PC?" They had me. In the face of the evidence, I had to admit I actually read non business books.

My punishment is not yet determined.