Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Just when I was sulking over a full work week starting Sep 5 after an extended, festive weekend; the blues I was battling seemed indomitable. Almost in an involuntary fashion, my hands lazily clicked on the Internet Explorer icon after I logged onto my work PC. In all merry making, during the weekend spent partly in Bangalore and in Chennai, I hadn't checked my emails or accessed Internet. GMAIL worked ... no interesting emails except for some promotional offers, online shopping discounts, credit card offers, details of phone bills etc. Sitting a little upright now in my chair, I pulled out Facebook from my set of favorites onto the explorer bar. 
Access to this site is restricted during office work hours - 8.30 am to 5.30 pm - it said. 

I lost my little upright posture in one slump. 

I could roughly gauge the amount of bandwidth Facebook consumed in our office, am sure it is a HUGE figure. A casual walk across my floor or any floor in my office revealed the social networking site always open alongside a Linux terminal or a Visual Studio C/C++ or .pdf files of specifications. The ban on excessive social connectivity during office hours was understood, even appreciated, despite the fact that I was still battling against my Monday blues. 

No !! .. I heard the exclamation from a nearby cubicle and I stood up to look at an anguished face, is not opening, ICICI is not opening. The face conveyed to me immense pain and frustration, all plans to retrieve the money spent during festival shopping through short term gains in stocks went in vain. Plans to buy at 52 weeks low and sell when Sensex gained 100-200 points were washed away. Adding further, the effect can be stated as so profound that imagine Hurricane Irene crossing seven seas to ruin monetary plans carefully laid out by my fellow colleague in Bangalore, India. 

Somebody cribbed in the afternoon that is not working, but they appeared convincible  given the slipshod performance of Indians against England in cricket, in all formats of the game. They said,   "Anyways, India is not going to win, we can afford to wait until 6 pm or head back home and then watch how they get battered".

Completing the survey of nearby cubicles around me, listening to many concerns and cribs, with a heavy heart, I sank in my chair coming to terms with the sudden multiple ban imposed.

I got up in a flash and entered in my explorer bar. The website took a whale of time to open and I waited eagerly and patiently. When it opened, I was flabbergasted. It was not the Flipkart site I knew or I had always seen and admired. In basic HTML format, without options to login, buy or add to wishlist etc, the sight of the rudimentary webpage on my monitor irked me. 

My post lunch routine involved surfing "books" section on Flipkart portal. I affixed a monthly quota of purchase of at most two books from the website. I have exceeded the limit many a times, so it is fair to amend the rule as at least two books per month allowance. Shattered, angered and frustrated at the lifeless version of Flipkart, I realized my blues were giving way to "red".

I was fuming and wanted to rebel against this ban. Soon popped an email from the left most bottom corner of my screen - it was from the team of network administrators and stated that the official ban on many websites was put to effect to save Internet bandwidth and cooperation of employees was sought. 

Emotions were suppressed or repressed, call it whatever. It turned out to be the worst Monday at work, a Monday without Flipkart, and the ban is here to stay.


CK said...

That is really pathetic. The employers need to show some basic trust in their employees. Pity is not much can be done to beat these bans.

I spent 6 years in a place with such bans and one thing I can tell saps people of their creativity and makes them frustrated. Time for a change :)

MBN said...

Hahahaha. This is one thing that surprised many of my American co-workers when they went to Bangalore to conduct some training sessions for the folks to whom some of our work was out-sourced. They couldn't believe that the Internet was off-limits considering how much we consult the internet when we get stuck on problems.

I can understand banning sites like Facebook which does not contribute to the work day (it does contribute to morale but this a different battle for a different discussion). But just imposing a blanket ban on everything is the equivalent of asking people to work in single office rooms and not being allowed to talk each other. And don't most Indian tales talk about how knowledge grows when its shared?

Haddock said...

Come to think of it.... I think the ban is justified considering that office space is now acting like a Cyber Cafe.
Some have a permenant window open for shares..... and his one eye is always on that small window.
But I always find sites that are not under the "Ban List" :-)