Employee savages boss who used workplace surveillance to call him lazy
As working patterns are rearranged and the demand for flexibility increases after the pandemic, it’s no surprise that some employers push back.
In some cases, businesses are turning to workplace surveillance to keep an eye on how their staff perform.
While the practice may be newer for office workers, those people employed in warehouses have been well aware of the creeping advancement of surveillance technology.
But one worker wasn’t having any of it – and responded in the most brilliant way when his boss tried to accuse him of being lazy.
Taking to Reddit, the unnamed worker shared a text conversation between him and his superior.
The haughty employer starts of by dropping a text in the evening explaining that he had been watching the employee remotely, and wasn’t happy with one aspect in particular.
The boss wrote: ‘I was reviewing the cameras from our shift today and noticed that you were sitting on a stool for the majority of your shift. This is completely unacceptable behavior and we will be discussing it tomorrow before shift.’
The employee, who uses the handle /hestolemysmile on Reddit, wasn’t having any of it.
He wrote back: ‘I cleared it with [Lead’s name]. I have 2 broken bones in my left foot (doctor documented).’
Not only that, but the employee proceeded to explain that his efforts during that particular shift saw him placed first when it came to the warehouse’s public packing rankings.
‘So just to be clear,’ he replied. ‘My impressive performance was overshadowed by the fact that I wasn’t uncomfortable enough doing it?’
Amazingly, the boss doubled down with ‘I’m really not appreciating your attitude.’ Then added: ‘This type of behavior isn’t going to get you anywhere here.’
Unsurprisingly, the employee made the wise decision to give his boss the proverbial middle finger and depart the business:
‘I’m not concered with going ‘anywhere’ there. It’s a toxic environment with ignorant people at the helm. I won’t be in tomorrow or ever again.’
Bravo. And what makes it all the sweeter is his boss finally backpeddles and pleads with him not to leave.
The exchange set Reddit alight and landed on the front page with over 250k upvotes.
He titled the post: ‘Quit my job last night, it was nice to be home to make the kids breakfast and take them to school today! Off to hunt for a new opportunity, wish me luck :)’
We do indeed wish him luck.
The likelihood of employers using technology to spy on their workers has increased due to the coronavirus.
One in five companies has admitted either installing technology to snoop on staff or planning to. The software can log how long workers take to read and reply to messages, check attendance at meetings — or even secretly film them from their screen.
Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: ‘Worker surveillance tech has taken off during this pandemic as more people have been forced to work from home.
‘We know many employers are investing in tech to micro-manage workers and automate decisions about who to hire, and who to let go. Staff must be properly consulted on the use of surveillance at work and protected from unfair management by algorithm.
‘As we emerge from this crisis, technology must be used to make working lives better — not to rob people of their dignity.’
In a YouGov/Skillcast poll of 2,009 companies, 12% said they had brought in remote monitoring, with that number growing to 16% at larger firms, and 8% said they were thinking of doing so.
A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport told Metro.co.uk: ‘The UK has world-leading data protection laws and strict rules around digital monitoring of employees.
‘The information commissioner has tough powers to investigate and fine companies which breach an employee’s right to privacy.’