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Weird office Rules!

Dear collegians, now you are dreaming of getting out of the shackles of black lists, examinations and going to the seemingly liberal world of offices. But wait, we are here to shatter your rosy pictures and give you a taste of how an office really is! Because not everyone is lucky to work at JAM, where employees dance to Bhojpuri music. Surya Ragunaathan investigates the weird rules that some offices impose on their innocent employees.

Weird Rule 1
Floppies, CDs, pen drives, iPods, camera phones not allowed. Not even visitors.

Companies: Adventity, Deutsche Bank
Rule details: According to this rule, employees are not allowed to carry any of the above mentioned things either inside or outside the office premises. The companies obviously impose these rules for to minimise any risks.We don’t want any kind of private data to leak out and that’s why we have these rules. Employees don’t have access to mail also on their PCs,says an employee in the research department of Adventity.

At Adventity, employees can carry camera phones only if they allow the cameras to be permanently sealed. Also, visitors are not allowed which means if you want to visit your father, mother, sister, friend or nephew working in the Adventity office, you cannot. They are not allowed even in the reception area or canteen.

What’s weird about it?
At Deutsche, a spokesperson told us that these rules help prevent leaking out private data but the funny part is that an employee is allowed to access his/her cellphone after market hours.If I want to, I can leak information even after market hours. The very intent of the rule is getting defeated, says an employee.

An employee at Adventity says,This is the dumbest thing to do.I mean, what’s the whole point of not allowing visitors? If we want to meet visitors, we have to go out of the premises. I can even have coffee with the visitor for an hour, but outside the premises. So, what’s with the hyped up security? There is no base for this rule. At least they should be let into the reception area.

Weird Rule 2
No access to email, internet

Companies: Adventity, Crisil, Deutsche, almost all private banks

Rule details: All major email websites like Yahoo!, Gmail, Rediffmail are blocked. Employees cannot access their personal email and cannot surf chatting websites or interactive websites.This isn’t a weird rule! It’s to prevent employees from wasting their time over personal email checks, etc Also, its a security issue. It’s to prevent leakage of any kind of office data, says a spokesperson from Standard Chartered bank.

What’s weird about it?
Its weird because, these same companies also allow access to blogs and websites like Twitter. Whoever said blogs and the likes of Twitter are not interactive? Ya, like if I want to leak information, I can do it through blogs or otherwise also. It’s not fool-proof,says a bank employee.

What’s weirder is that in companies like Adventity, there is a ‘cyber PC’ which an employee can use as and when he wants to check mails.Funny, ‘cos nobody keeps a check on what I do on the cyber PC. I can access mails, blogs, etc from the cyber PC. In fact I used to work with JP Morgan before and though we dealt with a lot of private data there too, there were absolutely no rules. We could even access chat,says an ex-employee of JP Morgan.

Weird Rule 3

Calls from strangers not allowed

Company: Lehman Brothers (now Numara)

Rule details: If you want to apply for a job at Lehman and wish to speak to somebody in the HR, the receptionist will say that she can’t put you on to anybody and that you need to know someone there. If you are a total stranger to the company, you cannot contact anybody in the company; not even in the PR or Corporate communications departments as you don’t know anyone.

What’s weird about it?
Well, why do they have a receptionist and a board after all? If we HAVE to know somebody prior to calling up the company, we might as well call on direct numbers. It’s weird to the core. We don’t know what’s with the whole privacy of employees as the receptionist refused to put us on to anybody to talk even about this. Those who still want to talk to anyone in HR can email on the address given on their website to which nobody will really respond.

Weird Rule 4

Only short hair allowed

Company: Indian (the airline company)

Rule details: Out of all the strict rules and specifications that air hostesses have to follow (covered extensively in JAM’s cover story Main Udna Chahti Thi), with respect to their look, this is the weirdest one. They cannot have long hair, rather not below shoulder level. They are regularly checked and if a lapse is found, they are given warnings and then grounded.

What’s weird about it?
Air hostesses are required to sport a bun. So what’s the big deal if they have long or short hair? That’s exactly the point. We can’t show our hair anyway as we have to tie it up like a bun. So, it shouldn’t matter to them if it’s long or short in length,says an air hostess at Indian.

– Surya Rgunaathan

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