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Network Administrator or Personal Task Monkey?

By haileyan ·
I am a network administrator for a large law firm. I am salaried. I have worked long and hard to get to a high level of performance and knowledge. I create technology plans, create technology budgets, plan and supervise projects, in addition to all those other thing we do as Administrators. It has not been uncommon for me to work over 48 hours straight with no sleep in order to resolve problems with our business systems (not that that happens alot!) I am willing to do whatever it takes to keep this business runnint smoothly.

Recently, a partner in the firm asked if I would come to his home and fix his home computer(s). I said I do not do work like that anymore and that I would be happy to recommend someone. I also said that if he brings his CPU into the office I would be happy to take a look at it during slow points.

Apparently he went to management committee where the partners decided that they would all benefit from my services at their homes. I am told that it is their right to have me do this because I am salaried.

Well that makes me feel like a monkey. I do not like the idea of being responsible for peoples home computers. I can picture it now... Angry wives and kids of partners calling me after 5 and on the weekends because the wife can't print an email or the kids can't play their favorite game. Horrifying! The only good news is that I convinced them that I would only do this during business hours. But eventually the calls will come because they will begin to view me as being responsible for their home systems.

In the office I have a controlled environment with all sorts of security, standardized systems and policies to keep systems stable. Home computers have no such controls. Every new home is a different system all together.

Has anyone else experienced this kind of problem? How did you deal with it? Is it legal o have me do personal tasks as a salaried employee?

These people can more than afford to have someone fix their computers.

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Somethings are just wrong...

by InfoSecEng In reply to The World is Your Oyster!

I agree with some of DamiantheX's comments. You can get some perks. But I have to take issue with this statement:

Getting the opportunity to peek into the Execs' personal lives (which can give you more insight on how to approach that raise you've been wanting)

That's is wrong. If you don't like the job, get out. The job sector is not so bad anymore. If you get bonuses, perks (legal and ethical), etc. from doing this, fine. But don't fall into this trap of using it for personal gain in the way described here.

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Degree of wrongness

by cranss In reply to Somethings are just wrong ...

I agree, something on the verge of blackmail is definitely wrong (finding p 0rn on the PC for example), but if you happen to see some golf trophies, fishing trophies, etc. around the house, it gives you something to make small talk about at that next big meeting.

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Blackmail is Wrong

by josemurr In reply to Degree of wrongness

I agree, blackmail is wrong but what do you do if you have to go to the company president's house to fix his corporate pc and catch his son red handed using his father's corporate pc to surf porno sites.

Such was my case, I explained this to my supervisor and believe it or not he blew it off & told me never to talk about it again.

This presented a major security issue here because the pc is directly connected to the corporate network thru a wireless vpn via a cable modem.

Using blackmail is definitley wrong but if it violates security of the corporate network then it should be reported, but reported to the right person.



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Job Market? Are you insane?

by 69552901 In reply to Somethings are just wrong ...

I'm noticing a lot of comments suggesting the job market 'isn't so bad'. However, I live in Canada and I really must disagree. I have been out of an IT position for nearly two years, not for lack of trying. When I applied to one job, they literally laughed me out of the office. Perhaps it's because I'm a woman, or perhaps it's because I look very young, but that really isn't the issue here.

What the issue really is, by all standards, is how our original poster is being mistreated. I am currently working on a 'helpdesk' for a computer related company. We do ecommerce and such. They have also been changing my duties to include things I should not be doing, such as telemarketing. When I told them how I felt about this I was basically told 'too bad for you'.

I must agree with those that suggest you do exactly what they want. Make sure you document everything and take more time than that sort of job would normally take. If questioned, blame it on the fact that these are personal computers, not company computers. Then suggest they hire someone just to take care of them.

In the meatime, hang in there! Hopefully we'll be seeing you post soon to say something has changed.

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by nyuk-nyuk-nyuk In reply to Home Monkey

Someone of the same sex at home with you is very sound advice. Never be alone with the attorney's children. Never be alone period, so you won't be accused of rape, child molestation, theft, malicious damage, leaking confidential data, etc.

Be very uncomfortable about it. Tell the attorney's you fear liability issues. It's one thing to goof on a company computer system and lose your job, its another thing altogether to goof on a computer you have no control over and lose your job.

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Legal issues?

by IS Girl In reply to Personal monkey

Being laywers, these guys may respond to the prospect of legal reprecussions.

Since most home computers have unlicensed software on it, you could start budgeting for bringing these computer up to spec and into compliance.

After all...if these computers are now your responsibility, you need to manage them the same way you do the corporate computers. This means they have to meet certain specs and only have legally licensed software installed? Doesn't it?

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OOH I like that!

by rigmarol In reply to Legal issues?

That's a great idea.
I can see it now,
"Lawyers fire Computer professional for refusing to install and support illegal software."

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liability insurance

by irritatedsquirrell In reply to OOH I like that!

get your lawyer to draft a letter requesting sight of an extended employers liability insurance policy covering all employees homes prior to any visits. The costs of this and insurance implications should put them off!!

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Personal monkey or Porch monkey??

by luiggi In reply to Personal monkey

I was employed at this company and they started doing this personal computer repair six months after I was there. First and formost These managers making six figure income tried to get computer repair or support for free. I had female managers tried to entice me to a home cook dinner for my services. I had other employees invite me to their home for drinks then escort me to their home office. I felt like I was some kind of "BOY" especially when I was around these good old boys here in Florida. I started to resent their "friendship". I never started this come to my house and check out my computer BS. I just told them I was very tired and my eyes hurt from being on the computer all day. After awhile they stop asking me and I heard comments that I was not a team player. I knew it was time to find another job. I did and I feel alot better.

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Personal monkey

by snolette In reply to Network Administrator or ...

I'm not sure that it is completely legal.

If the computers at home are their personal property, I'm not sure that you can be required to fix them as part of your job. Your job description should cover company assets, not personal property.

You may have to support them for connection via a VPN or dial-up connection.

With that being said, if you wanted to do it out of the goodness of your heart....

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