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Does Your Company Pay For Broadband? 1125

masq57 writes "My fellow administrators and I used to have company provided ISDN lines in our homes so that we could respond quickly to issues after hours. That was changed in the last few years to letting us expense our broadband service. Now our new CIO has elected to stop that benefit using the argument that we should be dedicated staff who desire to be responsive and should do what it takes to make that happen. The rumor now is that we should also pay for blackberries, cell phones and pagers. What sort of experiences do the rest of slashdotters have along these lines?"
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Does Your Company Pay For Broadband?

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  • Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vegetablespork ( 575101 ) <vegetablespork@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:29PM (#9635278) Homepage
    You don't work from home, you don't carry a pager, and you don't give them your cell phone number. If they don't want to pay for the means of contacting you, they can try your answering machine and hope for the best.

    Next thing's to work on finding an employer that isn't run by such cheap bastards.

    • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:33PM (#9635337) Journal
      I can't add much, but I don't have mod points, but this is such a good FP, I just had to chime in with a "me too" post.

      What the company used to give you was, to some extent, a benefit to partially compensate you for your availability. They have chosen to reduce your benfits. You make the call.

      • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jhon ( 241832 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:55PM (#9635698) Homepage Journal
        Let me 'chime in' myself.

        I work for a mid-sized medical lab that STARTED as a very small niche lab.

        I bent over backwards to make myself valuable to my employer. That includes web accessable alpha paging (straight to my cell phone) and cell access. PLUS support from home/vacations. This was all at my expense.

        The downside: It costs me money every month.

        The upside: Tax write-off, greater asset to my employer, was able to jump on any major problems BEFORE they effected employee productivity.

        Here I am 5 years later earning 4x my starting wage (which wasn't too bad to start with) and I'm the manager of my dept. Further, I may be on a 'leash', but I have incredible amounts of flexability. Twice a week over summer, I leave for a 2.5 hour lunch and spend it with my son (park, catch, arcade, whatever). Whats that worth to some people? For me it's priceless. (Of course that 7 hour drive up the coast from LA to Oakland xmas-eve sucked -- but I made it back before my kids were woke up xmas morning! (I drove to make SURE I didn't get stuck at the airport)).

        It all depends on your 'situation'. Plus, working for a privately owned company vs. a heartless evil corporation is a major asset -- and humans appricate effort more than faceless 'boardrooms'. ymmv.
        • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by websensei ( 84861 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:16PM (#9635942) Journal
          I work from home at will (which amounts to 3 days/week). This clearly blurs the lines between "home" and "work". I'm accessible at all hours (though it's rare people require my time outside of 8-6), I get a lot done, and I'm incredibly happy w my situation. My salary is fine (nearly 3x what I started at 6 years ago), but my satisfaction w my job comes from the quality of life that comes from this degree of flexibility.

          good for you for finding some of this too!

        • BUT..... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by DesScorp ( 410532 ) <DesScorpNO@SPAMGmail.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:24PM (#9636043) Homepage Journal
          That was YOUR choice. You volunteered to do those things, and at a startup, it was recognized and appreciated. This guy's boss is just cheap. It's more of the same old mentality: Let's squeeze as much profit and productivity from these people as we can without spending any money on them. And if they balk, hint at layoffs.

          He may not have any choice, but his piece of mind will be greatly increased if he can find another job with reasonable superiors. The ones he has now are making unreasonable demands at his fiscal expense.
          • Re:BUT..... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Jhon ( 241832 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:36PM (#9636185) Homepage Journal
            That was YOUR choice.
            My choice -- yes. In as much as it's also my choice to either eat right and exercise or not. The latter, while still one of my choices, is obviously less healthy for me.

            As was the situation with my 'choice'. If I didn't 'choose' to apply myself the way I did, someone else would have. The very least would have me making significantly less money and someone else as manager -- and frankly, I like being 'the man'.

            "This guy", as you say, has choices to make too. Just let him make sure that choice is informed with full understanding of the concequences of either.
            • Re:BUT..... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by antarctican ( 301636 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @06:34PM (#9636804) Homepage
              As was the situation with my 'choice'. If I didn't 'choose' to apply myself the way I did, someone else would have.

              But why is it a one or the other situation? I was in a position a few years ago where I bent over backwards to make myself available as well. I was known to respond to emails within minutes usually (yes, yes, no life..), and the reputation it gained me help me survive two layoff rounds. (finally got canned when I had personality conflicts with the new CEO, but that's a different story...)

              However, I insisted if they wanted me to do this they had to pay for my broadband and part of my cell bill. They saw it as a fair trade for the amount of productivity they received and the increased response time. We also had an agreement that if I had to come in at 3am, I got half a day off.

              This didn't stop my advancement, I received a promotion during my time there while others stayed in the same position, and received a raise during a year money was tight and most others received none. You can have your cake and eat it too, you just need enlightened management. I'd say this fellow's bosses are jerks, seeing employees as liabilities rather then assets/team members.

              Be firm, make sure they understand what you're contributing to the company. Keep fighting, go higher up the food chain if you have to to avoid brain dead managers. Hopefully someone with half a clue is running the company. Otherwise... get that old CV out, because no one deserves to be treated like that. You deserve to be compensated for your dedication, no be taken for granted.
          • Re:BUT..... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by fetta ( 141344 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @06:14PM (#9636617)
            Yes, some companies want you to treat it like a family business when they want you to do something but then treat you like an employee when they want something.
        • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Stephen Samuel ( 106962 ) <samuel@b c g r e e n . com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @06:10PM (#9636571) Homepage Journal
          Note the caveat: Jhon did the extra work for a startup. His (I presume) work was appreciated. he recieved freedom, promotions and benefits from his work. ..
          The poster, on the other hand, seems to have done such extra work, but has been 'rewarded' by being asked to pay for the equipment he uses to provide that extra service to the company. This doesn't look like it's going to go as well.....

          I'm all for the 'give a bit more' camp, but when the employer responds by sucking you dry on the backside, I'd say you should at least keep your ear to the ground for better opportunities. Either that, or have a quick talk with the CIO and make sure that (s)he understands the implications of such stupidity.

          On the more practical end: If you use broadband at home anyways, then don't sweat it. On the other hand, if the primary use of broadband at home is to service work, I'd cut it and let the employer deal with it. Similarly with cell phones and pagers. If they aren't paying for it, I'd say they have no right to demand it.

          They're the ones getting the benefits of you having those 'toys' If it's not worth it to the company, then why should you be footing the bill for something that doesn't pay it's way??

          Oh, and by the way: Does the CIO still get his car expensed?

      • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Asprin ( 545477 ) <gsarnold.yahoo@com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:19PM (#9635982) Homepage Journal

        Me, too!

        What I find offensive is the way the CIO tried to pass it off as though paying for company materials out of your own pocket somehow exemplifies your character and work attitude. That's what makes him a screwheaded dork.

        The only good news is that some of these expenses might (repeat, **MIGHT**) be tax deductable, but it's going to depend on *A* *LOT* of factors, including your financial position, other tax deductions, etc. It might not work out, but it may be worth looking into. Maybe someone else here is already doing that or tried and failed?
    • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rindeee ( 530084 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:33PM (#9635346)
      I agree. You'll find out how important it is when you don't have any of them...for work purposes anyway. Sounds like management is a little out of touch with reality.
      • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:55PM (#9635687) Homepage Journal
        I agree. You'll find out how important it is when you don't have any of them...for work purposes anyway. Sounds like management is a little out of touch with reality.

        Sounds like an exec is getting a bonus for reducing expenses. Do you want to pay for his/her bonus?

        It's understandable if you're in a trade that requires you to bring your own tools to work, but IT work doesn't sound like it, particularly if you read EULAs and take them literally for something you personally bought but use to advance the goals of commercial concern. If it's not in the terms of your employment to provide your own tools, do what I do and say (truthfully in some cases) I don't have it and I'm not buying it with my own money.

        Best of luck, hopefully your boss isn't a dickhead and tries to sack you for insubordination.

      • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bigman2003 ( 671309 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:05PM (#9635820) Homepage
        My job doesn't provide any sort of compensation for any of my own resources I use on the job, and that's all right.

        I have broadband at home that I routinely use to check/maintain/update my servers at work. My boss knows my cell phone number, and uses it whenever she needs to get in touch with me. I make work-related long-distance phone calls from home.

        I don't get directly compensated for any of that, but at the same time I am treated as a professional, and I'm given the lee-way to schedule my work, and conduct myself the way I see fit.

        I am expected to keep some semblance of a 8-5 workday, 5 days a week. But in reality I have an extremely flexible schedule that works to my benefit 99% of the time. Nobody checks to see when I get in the office, or when I leave. When I need to leave, I leave. And if I am completely bored, stressed, or whatever, I can just go for a walk, or whatever I want to do.

        If I've got a reason to stay home (let's say waiting for a delivery, or a repairman or something) I can just sit back at home, and check on things while I'm waiting...without taking any 'time off'.

        That's why I had no problem going in to work on the 4th of July to work on the database server (not my server, but I rely on it anyway) when it went down. No need to even tell the boss to try to get some Kudos. She knows that I'll do what I need to in order to keep things going the best I can, but at the same time I have a real life, that is my real priority.

        She gets 24x7 support, and I get my freedom.

        Now don't get me wrong- I bust my butt during the week to make sure that any evening/weekend calls are kept to a bare minimum. I've probably only had to come in 6 times over the last 3 years. So it's not like I'm tethered to my job, but I've got a great trade-off that works for me and my boss.

        Remember- money isn't everything...your sanity and peace of mind are worth far more.

        Good sex, comfortable shoes, and a warm place to go to the bathroom...that's all I need.
        • by Saeed al-Sahaf ( 665390 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:34PM (#9636156) Homepage
          She gets 24x7 support, and I get my freedom.

          Yup, you sure do.

          You get the "freedom" to come in on the 4th of July to work on someone else's server.

          You get the "freedom" to spend your money on work related Internet.

          You get the "freedom" to spend your money on work related cell phone minutes.

          And for what? To be treated like a professional? Wouldn't you rather be compensated like a professional?

          Where I work, we have what's called "leave days", and when we need to take leave, we do, it's why they give them to us. When we are sick, we take "sick days", we don't have to ask, that's what they give them to us for. If work requires us to be on a pager, they supply it, common sense says it's their responsibility.

          I'm very sure your boss "loves" you. But as for me, I don't own the company, I require compensation for my work. And, because I work for professionals, they treat me as a professional, without asking me to shell out a lot of cash for the privilege.

          • by Nogami_Saeko ( 466595 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @06:33PM (#9636794)
            Sorry, but I agree with the original poster. The ability to work the schedule you want, and be relatively independant is far more valuable to me than the money & time lost using my own resources for work-related projects.

            I (to some extent) can do the same thing. If I've got everything accomplished that I need to do by 3pm, then I'll head off. No early meetings? I'll come in around 10:30 or 11am. To be sure, if there's an emergency, I'll stay late or come in on weekends to make sure the fire is out. The boss is happy that all of his special projects (as well as my regular work) are done on-time, or even ahead of schedule, and I'm happy that I can split early in the afternoon, beat the rush home and have a relaxing afternoon/evening.

            The compensation of not being a 9-5'er from monday through friday is exactly what I like. And that's easily worth the $80 or so a month I pay for cell phone and internet that I use for work as well as my own purposes.

        • by Idarubicin ( 579475 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:48PM (#9636318) Journal
          Good sex, comfortable shoes, and a warm place to go to the bathroom...that's all I need.

          If my job had that as a fringe benefit, I'd be willing to pay for my own broadband, too.

    • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by keybsnbits ( 711259 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:34PM (#9635351)
      I totally agree, but your solution isn't a realistic one. That's only a great way to LOSE your job. The best thing for companies to do is to pay for any cell phone charges that were caused by after hours work. If they are really generous, they could also pay for a percentage of your internet cost if you use it from home. Either that, or just write it off as "needed for work" for tax purposes ;)
      • Re:Easy one. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kevlar ( 13509 )
        My understanding is that you can only write off businesses expenses if you are self employed. So writing off your cablemodem would raise a flag and thats the type of thing they audit people for (not necessarily for that little amount of money though).

        On top of that, writing off $400 off your taxable income is silly and saves you approximately $0 for 99.99% of America.
        • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Informative)

          by Insightfill ( 554828 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:53PM (#9635661) Homepage
          Non-self-employed people in the US can only write off non-reimbursed business expenses to the extent that they exceed 2% of their Adjusted Gross Income.

          You'd need to be paid very little (or pay a lot for broadband) to cross that line.

          On the flip-side, you can also start a small business on the side (sell Beanie Babies on Ebay, for all it matters) and you can write off the broadband bill and computer stuff, too.*

          *(To the extent that your profit from the side job exceeds your costs. You must make a net profit for two out of three years, or the IRS just calls it a "hobby", which has a different classification.)

    • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Informative)

      by koa ( 95614 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:34PM (#9635362)
      I agree with the parent here. If the company you work for doesnt pay for the means for you to be contacted or work outside the confines of the business hours (or business facility) they should not expect you to be on call or do any work under those curcumstances.


      I know from experience that if a company starts looking for ways to shave that extra inch off their expenses in that way; that the company is in deeper trouble than they let on. You'll be looking for work elswhere shortly wether you like it or not. heh.
      • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by unclejeb ( 669260 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:44PM (#9635542)
        Greed has something to do with it not just being in trouble. I work for a financial firm that has done better than its peers during the downturn for the last few years. The board got a 21% raise, we all took cuts and on-call pay went away. This was done largely because the market was in their favor as jobs were tight.
      • Re:Easy one. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by rjamestaylor ( 117847 ) <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @06:19PM (#9636658) Journal
        that the company is in deeper trouble than they let on.

        Excellent point. Don't ignore the signs! Other signs:

        • High or increasing volume of Accounts Payable calls
        • High or increasing volume of Accounts Payable callers
        • Notices that your health coverage has been suspended/reinstated (because a premium or several were missed then quickly paid)
        • LATE CHECKS (run!)
        • Reduced janitorial services
        • More trash in the parking lot or trash bins are emptied fewer times a week
        • Managment approval required on office supplies
        • Personal assistants or secretaries being let go
        • F'ed Company being added to the 'net filter (old - but a good sign regardless)
        • No more free coffee/sodas/toliet paper
        • Being able to find choice parking spaces when there weren't many before (kidding; by this time it should be obvious there are problems
    • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:35PM (#9635377) Homepage
      Ahh the words of an hourly worker.

      How I miss those days... walking towards the time clock, thinking of what I'd do the next day, punching out and moving onto personal things for the evening and not having work come to mind until the next morning just after I punched in.

      When one is a salary man, a bit more is expected, within reason (which is the key).

      • Re:Easy one. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ChristTrekker ( 91442 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:40PM (#9635479)

        I agree...to an extent. When you're salaried, more is expected - but how much more is still open for debate. In this case, work would have my home number. That's a reasonable effort on my part to be available. Just because all these technologies (wireless, pagers, broadband, cell phones) exist doesn't make it my responsibility to enslave myself to my employer 24x7.

      • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rizzo420 ( 136707 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:48PM (#9635596) Homepage Journal
        is it reasonable to expect someone to pay for their own broadband service, for their own personal computer at home, for their own cell phone, for their own pager, for whatever?

        i think you are missing the point regardless of being paid salary. you aren't expected to have any of that stuff, and if they do expect that, then they need to at least increase your salary so you can afford the extra expenses they expect you to pick up. your salary is meant to compensate you for your time, you give them a service, they pay you for it. that salary is not meant to pay for work-related expenses. so while a bit more would be expected of someone on salary, it's also not within reason to expect that person to pay for all these work-related items if they normally wouldn't have them anyways.

        the only way i'd work for a company that expected me to provide my own cell phone, computer, and broadband connection was if i knew they were paying me a fair amount higher than the average salary for my position.
      • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by m.h.2 ( 617891 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:05PM (#9635821) Journal
        OK, Here's where we technology (and plenty of other salaried) workers screwed ourselves and need to make amends. During the 1990's we put in extra hours because of the incentives that came with those hours. I personally never worked fewer than 12 hours per day and was on call for 24 for 12 years. Ultimately, what did it get me? Unemployment for a year. I started a new job (salaried, management) in January of this year and set the bar from the onset. I work 8.5 hours per day. No cell phone, no pager. On the weekend, I'm on my time. When I take a vacation day, I'm on my time. No calls, no email. Plain and simple. If you are valuable enough to your company for the 40 hours that you are actually paid to be there, then there is no reason for them to replace you because you're not available to work when you're not being paid to do so. "Salaried Employee" does not mean "Indentured Servant." The whole "a bit more is expected" line is bullshit. The "bit more" is the experience and knowledge that I bring to the table, not the sacrifice of my personal life. In the end, it's still just a job and could be gone tomorrow. Why should I let it suck my life dry today?
        • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @06:57PM (#9636988)
          I agree. Here's how I look at it:

          At my company I frequently hear comments from management about how working extra hours makes you a more "valuable" employee. Keep in mind that I'm a salaried software engineer and get no compensation for overtime. At a meeting I once pointed out that my salary was based upon a fixed 40-hour week, as agreed upon in my employment contract. I further noted that by working overtime, I was, actually reducing my effective hourly wage, thereby making myself less valuable to the company. This view proved popular among the engineering staff (who began leaving on-time more often than they used to) and rather unpopular among management. I also mentioned that I had spent about fifteen years running my own consulting business full-time before I came to work there, and that I had decided to go full time to get away from crazy hours and having no social life. More blank stares. Oh well.
    • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by wyseguy ( 513173 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:37PM (#9635409) Homepage

      You don't work from home, you don't carry a pager, and you don't give them your cell phone number. If they don't want to pay for the means of contacting you, they can try your answering machine and hope for the best.

      I pretty much have that arrangement with my employer. Fortunately, my boss and I have the same opinions about that level of 24x7 support, that if you aren't willing to provide the means to contact the employee and provide them the access to the systems at work from home, then you can't expect them to be on call all the time. Since our IT head won't even allow FTP access to our webservers, I won't be working from home any time soon.

    • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kannibal_klown ( 531544 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:41PM (#9635492)
      It depends...

      If you're a Unix admin or Oracle admin, and your job is to keep those things running 24 / 7 / 365, you better be reachable or you won't be working.

      Sure, if your a Systems Analyst or Software developer, it's not big deal. I doubt it would be an issue.

      But many companies stipulate you MUST keep the servers running all day, period. So, if a server goes down or something goes wrong, it's either get out of bed or get into the unemployment line.

      I knew a DBA that would get calls at 3 or 4 AM. She hated it, REALLY hated it, but she knew she had to do it.

      Sure, some companies won't care so much if Oracle crashes at 9PM or an intranet site is up. But some need / want them running all day, everyday.
      • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vegetablespork ( 575101 ) <vegetablespork@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:46PM (#9635571) Homepage
        I think part of this has to do with the terms of employment to start with--if you're told up front, "We need to get you 24x7, and you'll be expected to carry a pager, and no, we won't pay for it" and you still take the job, that's one thing (and an unreimbursed employee business expense that's deductible after a certain threshold, but IANATA (tax advisor) and I digress).

        But it's another thing entirely for an employer to provide those devices with the expectation that you'll be reachable, then to say "you're now responsible for paying for this stuff. And, oh, by the way, you still need to be reachable 24x7." At that point, it's time to question why they've suddenly become so tightfisted and to look for employment at someplace more financially stable, more considerate of their staff, or, ideally, both.

        • Re:Easy one. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by thenextpresident ( 559469 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:38PM (#9636216) Homepage Journal
          As an employer of sysadmins, it's rather easy in my book. I pay for cell phones. Not a problem. But I am not going to pay for internet connections. It becomes a liability. Consider if it's a "company paid connection", it suffers under the same rules as the at work connection (no downloading music, bittorrent now allowed, etc). Obviously, this won't work out for a connection at home.

          But then, I don't demand that my sys admins work from home. I expect that they work from the office.

          However, keeping the servers up 24/7 is part of the job description. If the servers go down, it's the sysadmin's job to get it back up. If the sys admin tells me he doens't have an internet connection, fine, that doesn't mean he is going to lose his job.

          However, our servers being down and the sys admin saying "Well, I am only paid to do this 9-5, call me in the morning" isn't going to cut it. The servers being down will cause the sys admin to lose his job.

          Now, all this being said, I am not that cruel. I expect certain things from my sys admins, just as much as I let them get away with certain things (as sys admins should do). I don't complain if I catch them playing a little bit of quake. God forbid one of the sale or support staff is caught, but the sys admin, it's all good.

          When they need to leave early, go ahead. A little longer on the lunch, fine.

          It's reall a give an take relationship. I respect their freedom, I respect their abilities, and I respect that because at time we need them late at night, if they come in an hour later, so be it.

          But that doesn't mean I am going to start paying for their Iternet connection, or computer, or chair, or desk, or electricity. The servers need to stay up. That's basically what I pay them for.
    • Which is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Roadkills-R-Us ( 122219 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:45PM (#9635555) Homepage
      Is the company in dire trouble now (that being the reason for the cutbacks), or are they going to be in dire trouble soon because of such cutbacks?

      It's almost certainly one or the other. If the company is hurting, an dthis is a part of across-the-board, temporary cost-cutting measures, they should say so, and you can decide how to react.

      Otherwise, there's a clueless twit loose, and s/he needs to be dealt with, or your group (if not the company) is dead, dead, dead unless something changes.

      As for the details in the meantime, I agree with the "Easy one" poster. It woiuld be one thing if you'd hired in under those terms. But just yanking them because the new guy has his own definition of reality? Maybe you should explain that a real CIO provides his people with the best tools for their job.
    • by potus98 ( 741836 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:16PM (#9635940) Journal

      You don't work from home, you don't carry a pager, and you don't give them your cell phone number.

      Instead, your replacement will take care of all those pesky "issues" like decorating your cube and picking up your paycheck. If you really are an integral part of keeping a company running 24x7, then your salary probably already reflects it. Let's be honest: most folks have 1+Mb Internet connections and cell phones anyways. It's not like the co. is asking you to maintain a DS3 into your basement.

      It's easy to sound-off on /. posts, but you're facing a reality of today's business world. Try negotiating an in-between solution. Discuss with management that you recognize most folks have Internet connections and cell phones anyways. (Now, they'll recognize you live in the real world with them.) Then explain you are committed to the company, cite examples, etc... (Yea, basically kiss-up a little). Then explain that you'd like to expense a portion of your business-related expenses. If 50% of your cell calls are work related and a fourth of your Internet time is resolving work issues, then you'd like to expense those percentages of those bills. Explain how this arrangement would help you adjust your budget during this transition period that the co. is going through.

      After a while, you can push those numbers up a little since no-one will actually look at every in/out-bound number on your cell phone bill. ;-) And as for the so-called transition period, how many "temporary fixes" are still in place years later? ;-) Don't take any big stands on this issue. Don't bring it up in the weekly staff meeting. Let this negotiation occur quietly between you and whoever approves your expenses. It's the real world, population: us.

  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:30PM (#9635284)
    In my experience, it's been assumed that IT pros would have home Internet access because, well, what IT pro wouldn't have at least a consumer dial-up account if not broadband.

    Paying for those things is a company's way of passing the employee some cash-value compensation without it being considered taxable income. So, add 20%-30% (depending on your personal tax rate) to the cost and consider that as have been subtracted from your pay package... consider yourself insulted.
  • Easy one (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Skyshadow ( 508 ) * on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:30PM (#9635288) Homepage
    Anything I pay for doesn't get used for business. Period.

    Aside from that, this might be a good sign that it's time to start looking around for another job. This isn't 2002 anymore -- employers who still think they can get away with this sort of shit are wrong, wrong, wrong.

    • Re:Easy one (Score:5, Funny)

      by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:34PM (#9635360) Homepage
      Anything I pay for doesn't get used for business. Period.

      • Re:Easy one (Score:5, Funny)

        by Gzip Christ ( 683175 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:04PM (#9635817) Homepage
        Anything I pay for doesn't get used for business. Period.
        Especially clothes. You should show up to work with progressively less clothing on each day until your boss figures out why clothing your work-nerds is a very necessary business expense. If they threaten to fire you, tell them that you are no longer able to find clothing large enough to fit you because you are so large as to be disabled and then they will get in a panic about firing a disabled person and decide to instead buy you a mumu or a tent to cover your shame.
      • Re:Easy one (Score:5, Funny)

        by mdielmann ( 514750 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:13PM (#9635904) Homepage Journal
        >>Anything I pay for doesn't get used for business. Period.


        Something tells me that if the average slashdotter arrives at work unclothed, they will not only pay for him to get clothes, they'll pay him to do it immediately. Flip side, they may also bill him for therapy.
    • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:45PM (#9635561) Journal
      Plumbers, carpenters, mechanics, or pretty much any tradesman, are expected to have their own tools.

      Hell, McDonalds' employees pay for their uniforms.

      Is it really that unreasonable to expect computer professionals to have a computer and internet access?
    • Re:Easy one (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mangino ( 1588 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:48PM (#9635590) Homepage
      So according to your thinking, anything they pay for shouldn't be used for personal use, right? That means that the broadband is only used for company business and the cellphone is never used to call a friend?

      My employer doesn't pay for broadband, since it is just a convenience that allows us to not have to come into the office. We are paid to be on call, which means doing whatever is necessary for access to the systems. They also do not pay for cellphones. That said, if you use your cellphone for work purposes, you can expense that portion of the bill. They do pay for the pagers we are required to carry. I didn't like this at first, but it does make sense. It is a good compromise that lets my employer pay for what they benefit from, and I pay for the rest.
  • yech (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dml6 ( 96785 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:30PM (#9635295) Homepage
    My opinion and stance has always been "if you want me to have it, then you (the company) will pay for it." I've told employers that if they want me to have a cellphone then they had better pay for it themselves, 'cuz I won't have one if it's my choice.
    • Re:yech (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LostCluster ( 625375 ) *
      I'd rather carry my own personal cell phone because I don't want to have two devices in my pocket and I want to be able to make personal calls on my own dime.

      However, if they're calling, I wanna be on the overtime clock. Sure, I'm not gonna bother if all they're asking for is a "Where'd the X wind up? or How do I?..." kind of question, but if things are crashing on the weekend then that's usually there fault for not buying the upgrade that woulda kept the system from doing that. You want to make sure that
  • Trust me... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Volatile_Memory ( 140227 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:31PM (#9635300)
    You DON'T want a pager anyway. In my experience, when they give you one, you are expected to respond if it beeps.
  • CIO is a doofus? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JCMay ( 158033 ) <JeffMayNO@SPAMearthlink.net> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:31PM (#9635303) Homepage
    If you're stuck paying for your own broadband, can you write it off on your taxes like auto milage?
  • by asdfasdfasdfasdf ( 211581 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:31PM (#9635308)
    I consistently insisted that my cell phone not be listed in the company employee directory. I threatened to change the number when once it was listed. If someone needed me over a weekend, they could call my home, and if I didn't answer, then tough. If the company wanted to pay for my cell phone service, THEN they could reach me after hours.

    Don't give in on this issue. Do you really want your employer to have you at their beck and call 24/7 on your dime?
    • Depending on state laws and the size of a company, there comes a point where a company can't even publish an employee directory that contains home landline numbers, nevermind cell phone numbers.

      If your company is subject to such laws, then the only way they can publish an after-hours contact number for you is to be paying for a cell phone that they gave you. Otherwise, your number can only be given out by yourself.
    • by AxemRed ( 755470 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:38PM (#9635444)
      Always respond to unexpected after-hours calls with, "I have been drinking, and I can't drive."
      • Back when I was doing support, I needed to get in touch with the developer to check a thing. It was in the evening and he'd had some wine (more than some, probably) when he answered the phone. It was great fun, especially as he recalled an exact software setting he'd coded six months earlier. While half drunk (the recalling, not the coding). He was a bit of a genius. I kinda miss him. :-)
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:00PM (#9635770)
        As a developer, the one time I got a support call I answered with "I drunk, but whadehell I'll try" then proceeded to screw up the system into "must recover from backup" state. They never called me after hours again, strange that...

  • by digitalvengeance ( 722523 ) * on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:31PM (#9635314)
    Yes, my company does pay for my home broadband access..and they are remarkably liberal about it. They don't care what servers I run or how I use the bandwidth (3 Mb/1Mb), just so long as I can still effectively do my job. Of course, I work from home full time, so the situation is a bit different than that of many in our profession. Josh.
  • Who needs all three? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:32PM (#9635320)
    Nobody really needs to carry a blackbery, a cell phone, and a pager in this day and age. The three devices are so close tech they all fit in one shell with your choice of form factors ranging from the T-Mobile Sidekick to the standard Nokia models.

    Business calls should only be a few minutes a month anyway, nothing you should lose money over. If you're being called regularly on the weekends, then the business has more serious issues about staffing...
  • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:32PM (#9635321) Homepage Journal
    whether the ISDN lines were really being used enough to justify the expense to the company. Or were they being mainly used for other purposes.

    In my experience, a dialup connection works just as good for a plain text/shell connection - IMHO ISDN lines were overkill (ofcourse this depends on the actual environment context).

  • by sixteenraisins ( 67316 ) <william.purpleandblack@com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:32PM (#9635325) Homepage
    My company doesn't expect me to pay for broadband at home, but my job doesn't really require me to have it. If I choose to do some after hours stuff from home, and I would rather do it via a broadband connection, then that's on my checkbook as far as they're concerned.

    Curiously enough, I can remember when companies furnished cell phones to the appropriate personnel and actually picked up the tab. These days, we're expected to have a cell, but we have to pay for it on our own. Go figure. *shrug*

  • Mine pays for it all (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Supp0rtLinux ( 594509 ) <Supp0rtLinux@yahoo.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:33PM (#9635329)
    I have DSL at home ($50/month), a pager ($20/month), a cell phone (+/- $80/month), and cellular internet ($80/month). My company pays for my pager, my cellular internet (gets internet access via PCMCIA anywhere I get a cell signal), half my DSL, and half my cell bill. I'm also a 1-man IT shop supporting 30+ users and 20+ servers including clusters, so even on vacation, I have to be available and reachable. Of course, we're not hurting for money either.
  • Typical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by retinaburn ( 218226 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:33PM (#9635330)
    Yes you should be happy to do it, if you were a happy employee. Simply outline that while they want you to innovate, to give your all for the company, to make them better than their competitors, then they should be willing to do the same for you.

    Tell them that if they treat you 'competitively' to what other companies are doing, then you will either work as hard as other employees or find a company that treats you better than they do.

    We are going through the same thing here, and there is nothing worse than cutting back on employee benefits, pay, and perks and justifying it by saying 'we are doing what everyone else is doing'.
  • My experiences (Score:3, Interesting)

    by beavis88 ( 25983 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:33PM (#9635335)
    Typically, if a company really needs me to be available 24x7 (or even just the occasional after-hours job), they have paid for my internet access, as well as either a pager or cellphone. Some have been employer-provided, some have been the "buy and expense" variety. Either is acceptable IMHO.

    I think it would be reasonable as a cost-cutting measure to provide a monthly internet connection allowance suitable for dial-up (if that's all you really need to be connected), and allow you to apply that to whatever connection you choose.

    But if your CIO really thinks you should "do what it takes" to be a good little corporobot, I'd suggest that (s)he is an asshat, and you'd probably do best in the long run finding another place to work.
  • by OS24Ever ( 245667 ) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:33PM (#9635338) Homepage Journal
    It'd probably help if everyone did it, but if they won't pay for it I don't use it for business. Not that I'd ever get rid of my broadband at home but that's another matter.

    My employer will pay for broadband, cell phone but not pager (what's the point? text messages cover paging) for employees it considers mobile which is almost everyone outside of our main sites. Some areas even get better broadband rates because of deals negotiated due to the amount of employees we have.
  • several things (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:33PM (#9635341) Journal
    1. Are you working? Many are not or will shortly not be. What is the cost of keeping you vs. from elsewhere.
    2. Has the same things been cut for management? In some companies, management must provide a cellphone and their own broadband. If yours has cut all theirs, you can bet that you will pay for yours as well.
  • What a crock. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:34PM (#9635348)
    Now our new CIO has elected to stop that benefit using the argument that we should be dedicated staff who desire to be responsive and should do what it takes to make that happen.

    Your CIO sounds like an asshole. "Dedicated" means dedicated to the work, not dedicated to spending money for your own company. (Hint to CIO: People work to get paid money. Not to spend money for their employers.) If the company needs you to have internet access to do your job, they should pay for it.

    Any company which demands you restructure your own personal finances in order to be able to afford an internet connection that they require you to have had their head up their ass. Your personal finances are none of their fucking business. I realize it's much easier said than done, but if I were in your position and had such demands placed on me, I'd quit.

    Put this arrogant prick in his place. All of you should collectively refuse to pay for broadband yourselves, and let him see how "productive" you are without his help. It is not your reponsiblity to spend your own money for "the good of the company."

    What a crock of shit.

    • Re:What a crock. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ralf1 ( 718128 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:44PM (#9635535)
      Yep - The guys a cheap bastard The first time you are trying to support a VP on an issue from the house, and its taking forever, make sure you tell him "This would be a lot quicker if I had broadband, but the CIO took it away from all the support staff" See how quick you get it back.
  • by DamienMcKenna ( 181101 ) <damien@nOSPam.mc-kenna.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:34PM (#9635356)
    What next, you have to buy your own desktop to use at their location, or you have to pay for the electricity used to power the servers? If you are using something because they _require_ it to do your job then they should be paying for it. If they insist in not paying, drop back to dialup for a while. The only reason to do what they're doing is to save money, a grand or two per year per person probably, and this thing if you having to be a dedicated employee is a coverup.

    Personally, I'd suggest polishing up your resume.

  • by lintocs ( 723324 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:34PM (#9635363)
    The place you're working for is a sinking ship ... they've run out of cash, and they're trying to download the costs of doing business on to their employees. Having lived through the dot.com bomb, I've seen this thing a half dozen times. If you don't play ball, you'll get bad reviews, and you'll eventually be dismissed for your "poor attitude". Better start looking for a new gig. S
  • Make it happen! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xTown ( 94562 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:35PM (#9635374)
    When you're in the office, that is. Tell him you are absolutely, positively dedicated to providing your company the best possible service during working hours.

    When you're at home, your time is your own, unless they're paying you extra. If your job is not like that, it's time to find a new job. "It's your job, suck it up," is not an appropriate response here; you're a human being, not a disposable resource to be used up.

    Your CIO needs to show YOU that he's dedicated to having the best possible service available, and that he's willing to dedicate the resources to ensure it. If he wants 24-hour cell phone availability, he better be paying for the phone. If they're going to require you to use your own resources to perform your job, then they should at the VERY least reimburse you on a prorated schedule for the amount of time you spend using your net connection from home. Even if it's only a couple of bucks a month--hell, especially if it's only a couple of bucks a month.

    As it is, all he's showing you is that you're not worth a goddamn unless they can squeeze every last drop out of you that they possibly can.
  • by secolactico ( 519805 ) * on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:35PM (#9635376) Journal
    Now our new CIO has elected to stop that benefit using the argument that we should be dedicated staff who desire to be responsive and should do what it takes to make that happen. The rumor now is that we should also pay for blackberries, cell phones and pagers.

    What your new CIO is not telling you is that your department budget has been cut back and they are no longer able to pay for your broadband. If they won't let you itemize your broadband connection, ask if you can itemize dialup connection and phone costs for every call you have to make for business reasons.

    If you have to be on-call, then they should at least reimburse you for cell phone/pagers costs. I'm not sure about blackberries, tho.

    My company pays for my broadband and whenever I'm on-call, they pay for my cell phone costs and they provide the pagers. They also pay overtime for on-call related work, but my personal policy is, if I don't have to leave my house, I don't charge them. Also, they usually understand that if I stay up half the night soving a problem (from home or at the office), I'll probably be late for work in the morning and tend to look the other way.

    How is your company's overall situation? Are finances suffering? Read between the lines on what your boss told you and figure out wether it's safe to protest or you should simply start thinking about employment elsewhere.

    Disclaimer: IANAL, YMMV, caveat emptor, boni anima teuri amen, and all that.
  • Yeah. Right... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:35PM (#9635380)
    My fellow administrators and I used to have company provided ISDN lines in our homes so that we could respond quickly to issues after hours.

    *AHEM* Not that I'm saying your ISDN line wasn't a good tool to "respond quickly to issues after hours" but...

    In reality, your fellow administrators and your used to have a company-provided ISDN line in our home, pretending to need it to respond quickly to issues after hours, so you could get free internet in reality. Trouble is, your company wisened up to the fact that you shafted them, and decided that a a regular dial-up account, an automated phone call, SMS or Blackberry messages work just as well to "solve issues after hours".

    Been there, done that. The bubble is finished, get over it...
  • Safe Auto internet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by secondsun ( 195377 ) <secondsun@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:35PM (#9635383) Journal
    Essentially institute a "safe auto" contact policy. You have an answering machine on your home phone number that they can call when they need you. You have, as far as they are concerend, no cellphone, pager, blackberry, or non corporate internet. If they send you an email you will get it when you are at work. I can not think of a single profession where there is a similar situation. Do construction works have a BYOB policy (Bring your own Backhoe)? No then why should 24/7 IT guys (which is what your company wants) have a BYOB (Bring your own broadband) expectation?
  • by grunt107 ( 739510 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:36PM (#9635394)
    Blackberry device and pagers should definitely be company paid. You should have a phone yourself, and some internet access, so they would normally be personal expenses. All connectvity software (VPN, etc.) that the company would require for remote connection should also be the corporate $. If a CIO was trying to wring this amount of savings it would signal to me that the end was near, and I would look to jump ship.
  • I personally find non-reimbursement incredibly insulting, but let's not forget that the employer must be aware that these are deductible business expenses. At the very least, they should be willing to accept that they are getting the money back from your business expenses. There's nothing worse than an employer telling you to get certified or to fly to see client xyz but refusing to pay for the flight or training. I have had to contend with that on a number of occasions, and it's only with small companies. Any fortune .5k company will not only reimburse you, but force you to use the process. They don't want any audit screwing up their investors' opinions!
  • Work-related only (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jim Hall ( 2985 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:37PM (#9635420) Homepage

    ... staff who desire to be responsive and should do what it takes to make that happen. The rumor now is that we should also pay for blackberries, cell phones and pagers.

    Where I work (a university) the attitude is that if it's work related then work should pay for it. That applies immediately to pagers and cell phones that are distributed to staff. If you already have a cell phone and don't want to carry around another phone, the university will pay for any overage charges that are work related (downside: you probably had work calls in there that brought you over the limit, but you still pay for personal calls in your overage - alternative is to carry a second phone that work pays for.)

    This was also extended to in-home broadband access to those who could justify it. For example, if you are a systems administrator and you need to be able to respond to down systems during off-hours (i.e. you carry a pager or cell phone) or if you are a DBA who needs to respond to database problems, work will pay for broadband access. People like the financial support staff, most of the developers, and the web designers are not able to justify home internet access, since they don't need to respond to system problems. (Note I said "most of the developers".)

    You have to re-apply every year, and your supervisor and the CIO need to sign off on it. You need to submit your bills monthly, and it only covers broadband internet. For example, if you have cable TV + internet, you only get reimbursed for the internet service. It's a fair system.

  • by cybrthng ( 22291 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:38PM (#9635427) Journal
    Last time i checked the IRS 1040 forms had a section specifically to un reimbursed work related expenses.

    Sure, its only a tax break but what the hey. Electronic leases suck anyway. Sounds like your employeer is a real dweeb anyhow
  • This could be OK (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jdehnert ( 84375 ) * <jdehnert@@@dehnert...com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:39PM (#9635465) Homepage
    The broadband piece may be because most people don't just use it for work, but for their own use as well, and there is no reason work should pay for that.

    Having an on-call pager or cell phone is not an unreasonable way to go. I have used worked that out with my staffs in the past and it works pretty well. If you aren't on-call you never get the call because some manager HAS to use the printer right outside his/her cube, and not the one 10 feet further down the hall.

    Ride it out, but make it clear (if this is really the case) that you don't have room in your personal budget for high speed internet access, and that if you get the call it will take you X minutes to get into work.

    Personally I don't take work calls on my personal cell (sometimes my wife takes it, or my kids) so it's not a reliable way to contact me. I do have a company provided pager.

  • by JohnnyComeLately ( 725958 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:40PM (#9635468) Homepage Journal
    I came from Sprint, where they provided ISDN lines. I did end up telling them to turn it off, and used my own cable to VPN in. However, it was my choice. I had co-workers that expensed it, and that worked great for everyone.

    But getting to my Subject Line - Throw this at the VP (or whomever)... How can you ever expect to have an accurate Income / Expense sheet when you are shifting business costs to the workers? You're actually doing a disservice to the shareholders, because they're going to look at the bottom line. They will see smaller (or marginally decreasing) expenses related to reoccurring expenses, and think management is getting more effcient. This works great until the expenses get uncovered somehow (people quit, get a union involved, contact congressional representatives who then ask questions, etc).

    To be very frank, bosses like this bury a company. It shows leadership is willing to be unethical to increase margins. As a MBA with 10+ years of network & telecom and military leadership training, I'd say the ship is sinking and it's time for you to get out.

  • by jim_deane ( 63059 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:40PM (#9635472) Journal
    If work does not pay for it, and I do (i.e. it isn't a free service), then work does not get to benefit from it for vital job-related functions. Incidentals, such as driving to/from work or calling in sick with my phone, don't apply to this rule.

    You don't get to call my cell phone for regular work-related business unless you pay for it. You don't get to use my car unless you pay for it. You don't get to host dinner parties in my house unless you pay for it. And you don't get to benefit from me having broadband access unless you pay for it.

    The only other option is that work documents that they require me to have such-and-such (broadband, cell phone, whatever) and then I write it off on taxes. I will also look at these work expenses I have been asked to pick up, and be thinking of those when salary negotiations come up the following year.

  • Make them pay (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drteknikal ( 67280 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:40PM (#9635476) Homepage
    If you are required to use it for work, it's a business expense that should be paid by your employer. If they won't pay, you may be able to deduct some of these expenses as unreimbursed business expenses at tax time. IANAL. IANATA. YMMV.

    In my previous job, I finally started refusing to pay for things that the company required me to have to do my job. You want me to have a pager, provide it. You want me to have a cell phone, provide it. You want me to have a home computer, provide it. You want me to have an Internet connection, provide it. My boss had a breakdown, and his boss was livid, but Human Resources came to my rescue and told them bluntly they had to pay for what I needed to do my job, and that I couldn't be disciplined for refusing to subsidize my employer.

    If you love your job, talk to your personnel department and see if someone can talk sense into your bosses. Otherwise, I'd look for a job where they treat you fairly.

  • pagers, cell... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by br00tus ( 528477 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:43PM (#9635516)
    If my company didn't buy me a pager or cell phone I wouldn't carry one. I once worked at a company that wanted my credit card number for the cell phone. I told them I didn't have a credit card, which was true. They got one for me anyhow.

    There is a collective struggle between workers and owners (and their proxies, bosses). This series of events shows the subjective weakening power of the workers side here. They want you to pay for the privilege of being a 24/7 on-call wage slave. There's not much you can do as an individual, although if your company gets worse than industry average you can split.

    What you can do is band together with other IT workers and educate and organize. You may remember recently there was a desire to retract the FLSA laws from even moe people. Most IT people legally have no right to overtime anyhow, despite the 19th century battles for an eight hour day. In fact, your time is now around-the-clock, and at your expense. Communicating and organizing with organizations like TechsUnite, the Programmers Guild, Washtech and whatnot will keep you appraised of these things. The ITAA, the IT owners lobbying group, has been lobbying in Washington DC for years, and was flooding newspapers with stories of IT labor shortages in the late 1990s. This has been a common industry tactic - industries used to flood newspapers with stories of labor shortages in the early 20th century, which newspapers like the Industrial Worker used to mock.

    The two big factors in the struggle are hours worked and pay per hour. Employers always are trying to expand hours worked, workers if they have any power are trying to reduce the number of required hours. In terms of pay per hour, the fight is over how much of the wealth you create, and workers create all the wealth, goes to you in wages, and what percentage goes to the owner in profit.

    Something people say is companies are getting tighter due to the economy, as if political economy was something completely alien from people like the weather. On the contrary, employers felt their expected rate of profit was falling in 2000 so they stopped capital spending, thereby creating unemployment, which drives down wages. They do this until their expected profit rate comes into their expectation range again.

  • Happened to me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by merlin_jim ( 302773 ) <James@McCracken.stratapult@com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:56PM (#9635710)
    Work paid for my cell phone for years.

    Then they decide to stop paying for cell phones. I bitch about it being a short sighted penny-wise pound-foolish policy. Said bitching falls on deaf ears and they cut funding anyways.

    Fine. My out of office message now specifies contacting my boss, not calling my cell phone. If work calls outside of my "free" hours timeslots, they pay for that portion of my monthly bill. If I use 300 minutes of the 500 plan minutes in a month, and 30 of those are for work use, then work pays for 1/10th of my bill.

    If its the weekend and work calls my cell phone I do not feel an urgent need to pick up. If they leave a voice mail I feel just fine not responding until I'm in the office on Monday.

    To put it short, if my employer feels that it is not important for them to be able to reach me when I am not in the building, then I'm going to act like it's not important for them to be able to reach me when I am not in the building.

    And you can take your team-player should-be-willing-to-pitch-in speech and stick it where the sun don't shine. You're taking advantage of an expensive resource that I'm paying for out of pocket, if you're not willing to help mitigate that cost then I'm not willing to let you use that resource.

    Saying that I should be willing to use my broadband, which incurs a usage fee, for work just because I already pay for it is like saying I should be willing to drive people around in my car just because I already pay for it.

    There's a law against forcing someone to use their private vehicle for work related tasks without compensating for fuel and wear and tear... I see no reason that same principle shouldn't apply to any resource.
  • unionize (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mr_burns ( 13129 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:20PM (#9636005)
    CIO's wouldn't be able to pull this kind of shit if we were a union trade. We could demand better pay for having to subsidize company architcture or they would have to pay for it themselves. Otherwise we walk while the windows worm of the week burrows unopposed.

    If half the CIO's of the fortune 500 were giving evil eyes to your CIO because of a sympathy strike on your behalf, this would be an entirely different story. Such a CIO could be endangering their carreer if they turn the screws too tight on their staff.
  • by Rary ( 566291 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:59PM (#9636441)
    "...we should be dedicated staff who desire to be responsive and should do what it takes to make that happen. The rumor now is that we should also pay for blackberries, cell phones and pagers."


    At the company I run, not only are my employees dedicated enough that they're willing to go the extra mile to ensure availability in the off hours, but they do the same during workdays as well. They work in a cubicle that they rent, with a desktop PC that they purchase from the company (at a more than reasonable rate, due to the volume discount that we get and generously pass on to them), use office supplies that they provide, and even pitch in for their share of the electric bill.

    Some would call it "wage slavery". I call it "smart business".

    Of course, this is only theoretical, since I haven't actually hired anyone yet. In fact, no one has even sent me a resume. I'm sure it's because everyone's such loyal and dedicated employees that they just don't want to leave the companies they're already working for.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva