Dear Employee,

It’s not about you.

Okay, it’s true that without you, nothing around here would get done, and by nothing, I mean we couldn’t exist as a company. You are the blood in our veins and the muscle that moves our corporate body. We stay awake at night thinking about you and what would happen if you left.

But that doesn’t mean that you’re special.

Sorry, that was just mean. You are special. It’s why we hired you in the first place. But you make me crazy when we start talking about this employee monitoring software. I mean, it’s not like we don’t love you, it’s just that well … there’s this thing called the law, and that means there are lawyers, and all of these really complicated rules about how we manage our data and privacy and then there’s the GOVERNMENT and all of this regulatory stuff that we have to comply with. It’s enough to make all of us crazy.

Listen, I know you’re worried that we’re going to use this stuff to monitor how much time you spend on Facebook, or you think we’re trying to read your private conversations on Slack. It’s just not like that. You get your work done. You’re always contributing and being positive while you’re here. We know you’re productive. Plus, we’d never have met if it hadn’t had been for Jeff in Marketing introducing us on LinkedIn. We know that everyone needs some downtime—we get it. Seriously, it’s not like we don’t all burn a little bandwidth on Twitter or looking at Good Bois on Reddit now and then.

But that’s not what this is about. I mean, sure it can keep track of all that, but sometimes there’s a reason for it. You remember Cliff? The guy in Product Management who always wore the red Chuck Taylors? He wasn’t just surfing at work, he was uploading our 2019 product release calendars to a competitor’s share site. Can you believe they paid him to dish on as much of our intellectual property as he could get his hands on? He says the only reason he did it was because he needed the money, I guess he had a gambling problem. But stuff like this can end us as a company, and the costs are huge. 

That’s real money—and real jobs.

It could be your job.

And we’d hate that. You know we’re crazy about you.

Then there’s Judy in Accounts Receivable. You know her, the one with the poofy blue hair and all the cats. If we didn’t have this monitoring software keeping track of executables, the IT guys never would have seen that ransomware she downloaded when opening supposed supplier invoices. It never had a chance to run because we shut down the PowerShell execution immediately. And a good thing, too, since Judy’s connected to like four different file shares, including one on the Finance server. All of those could have been affected if it weren’t for us keeping track of what people are running on their desktops.

So don’t you see? This is about you—but it’s not about you. This stuff helps us protect our IT infrastructure. It helps us keep data secure and ensure that the wrong people aren’t sharing the wrong documents. It’s not always about productivity or getting into your business. We like our privacy just as much as you do, and this software is on our PCs too. But let’s face it, if we don’t keep our data secure, our customers could leave us. Or auditors could shut us down. Heck, even the government could fine us into oblivion or take away the licenses that allow us to work in some of the fields we do. All of these are real things that have happened to businesses just like us.

It protects us from bad players for sure—but honestly—it helps us protect us from ourselves as much as anything else, and we need that too.

So listen. We think you’re great—and we want a lasting relationship. But this monitoring stuff is there for all of us. It’s bigger than you and me—and it’s not about me worrying about your productivity. Trust me—I’ll tell you if you’re slacking. You know that, right? This software doesn’t take the place of our relationship. It’s just a tool. One that protects us both and makes sure we can be together for a long, long time.

Signed,

Your Employer

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