General discussion


PC maintenance of personal computer during work hours.

By fbaisch ·
The CEO?s admin. assistant brought her personal computer into the office this morning and wants me "clean up" the system so she can give it away to her son and his wife later this month.

Here is a copy of the text of her email:

"Between your desk and filing cabinet, I placed my old computer hard drive from home. This was replaced by the Dell laptop. What I would like to do is have the hard drive ?sanitized.? In essence, ALL files, etc. deleted. When it is ?empty,? I have included all the software for the programs I would like to have installed. This is being given to my son and his wife when they come out this month for a visit. They will not be arriving until the 20th. As this is obviously not work-related, there is no rush, but I was hoping to have it ready for them when they arrive."

Now if my boss decides that I should do this, I don't think he should but he is not the most "forceful" of managers and I think he will have me do it. What I want is to address this situation in an email letting them know that I do not think this is an appropriate use of not only my time, but the parent company's money. We are a small company under a major worldwide company's umbrella and I am sure that they would not appreciate this too. Also, I have no idea of the software she gave me is for this computer or another one, like her new laptop. She does not completely understand the copyright laws regarding software. I know this from past experiences with her and software installs and having worked as a private consultant in the past, I will not load illegal software onto any computer.

How would you handle this?


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Simply check with the boss

by MagicTom In reply to PC maintenance of persona ...

I would simply check with the boss, if he allows me to do it.
If he says "yes", I would execute.
I am not the police.


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my rates are:

by nettaroni In reply to PC maintenance of persona ...

I would tell her that since the job is not job related, it would have to be done on my own time and then I'd tell her my rate of payment. Being a tech myself I often have folk trying to obtain free services without considering the cost of my time and knowledge. Also, I'd give her a free lesson on the ethics and legalities of software infringement.

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Don't be such a pansy...

by Wartickler In reply to PC maintenance of persona ...

Do the work and shut it. This is for the CEO. Brownie points anyone? Ask for compensation if you can't see the political gain from doing this.

You also make it sound like they just thrust this on you. If someone Told me to work on their computer it's different from Asking me to. But since you're a pansy and wanted to bring this online then you deserve a minor flame: Butt.

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by RickCaird In reply to Don't be such a pansy...

Yeah, I always prefer making enemies rather than friends. It just seems to work out so well.

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Wow........A flame is a flame bro!!!!

by sully In reply to Don't be such a pansy...

With the nations economy in focus, one would not fixate upon misappropriating corporate funds and think it to be a valuable move. Furthermore, not all posters here are seasoned IT pros and they take the time to sort out the questions that their companies can't answer. This user needs some clarity not abuse. I can't find one piece of valuable advice in your post. This site has great value for all kinds of IT pros, new and old alike, and to think that any of us have total confidence in making "difficult" decisions when in a new environment would be wrong. We all question what we do or we are subject to sociopathic labeling. I am glad to see this conversation being had, it's important for business, politics, economy, and personal worthiness. I find this user to have a great deal of courage to face this complex idea and I'm confident that if more of these "types" of conversations are had and resolved then companies will function better and IT folks will be better prepared and more effective.

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Don't Do It

by trsnell In reply to PC maintenance of persona ...

Leave it to your manager to make the decision. At least you have that buffer. I have to take these directly back to the boss of the requestor if they do not back off. This is beyond inappropriate. Do you have written policies that deal with support of home PCs?

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Your Time is Money!

by Fredz In reply to PC maintenance of persona ...

I would explain to her that this is not part of your job. You are not getting paid to do this and you could get fired. However, you would be happy to help her for a small fee and do it away from work. She shouldn't even be asking you in the first place. But, don't give your time away without a benefit. It cheapens your talents.

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Face the same situation daily

by sparker In reply to PC maintenance of persona ...

I am in a large law firm in Dallas and almost daily I am asked to work on personal computers.The partners, and associate lawyers, pay my salary so if they want to pay me to do their personal work as well on "company time", that's their business. I have never asked for additional pay for work done during normal hours,but they often offer to pay me extra and I have gotten free sports tickets, dinners, and other things. I also offer a home service at my normal on-site hourly rate, and have been in many of their homes.

I make it clear that I will not load illegal software or copy firm owned software and most are more than willing to buy operating systems, etc. Just be honest with them and as long as your boss permits it, do the work. The good will and customer service skills will pay off. I have gotten many referrals outside of the firm.

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Sparkler makes good points

by Tig2 In reply to Face the same situation d ...

A couple of key points-

You must communicate the use of time to your manager. It is his budget, he is responsible for how you use your time. That communication should be written- you both get a clear understnding of expectations that way.

Scrub the drive- easy enough to do. Once teh drive is clean however, the Admin Asst must understand that you will not load any software for her that she does not provide an original disk (and often keys) for. Let her know that this is not your rule, it is the law. If you wish, you may choose to point out some alternatives to her but that additional service is up to you.

If that point is escalated, you have grounds for your position- your management cannot force you to violate the law.

The customer service aspect of the request is key- you may find yourself growing a sideline as a result. You will certainly show your management two things- wilingness to help in a situation "above and beyond" and integrity (not willing to violate the law, willing to explain the limitations).

I agree that no one should assume that you will give your services but in this case, it is an opportunity to show yourself well and maintain your integrity.

Good luck to you!

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Was it used for work?

by tsteele In reply to PC maintenance of persona ...

Being the CEO's admin assistant, it is possible that she used the laptop for work-related purposes and thus, could have confidential company data on it. In such a case, it would certainly be a valid request to have it "sanitized" by the company IT department.

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