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The Prisoners of Policy

August 23rd, 2010 by the_lifer

At the Department of Stodge, Winona has noticed an odd stream of people going to Jen’s desk. “Jen, can you…” Each time, Jen gives them a knowing smile and bustles off with them.

Winona decides to have a Manager Moment with her about it. “Jen, I was just looking for you. Were you at a meeting?”

Jen blinks. “Oh, I’ve got the only flash drive in the place. Sorry, I should have told you.”

“What? The only one? But I’ve got a flash drive in my purse.”

“This is the only flash drive that’s approved by IT to use on the computers here at work. Other ones might give the computers viruses. And we have that low attachment limit on our email, and there’s all the Sharepoint problems, so…”

Winona’s jaw dropped. “So everyone comes to you when they need to move files?”

Jen nods.

“But that’s insane! That’s stupider than not letting us go on TradeMe from our web browsers!”

“It’s policy. I know someone at another Department who’s not allowed to have a clock on the wall of her work area.”

“It could be worse – there’s a Ministry where only designated computers have Internet access for overall security. People bring in their own laptops, on their own wireless. Say, how did you wind up with the flash drive?”

Jen scrunches her shoulders, wriggles like a naughty puppy. “I kind of… inherited it from the previous marketing manager. Maybe you should have it in your desk?”

Winona contemplates having to be at the beck and call of  the odd stream of people trapped by this Kafkaesque limitation. “No, that’s fine.”  Then she pauses. “Actually…could I borrow the drive? Frankie’s out today and I’ve just finished a file that’s too large for our email system.”

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