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By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson - September
The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

John Updike, September
Learn English in September

Monday Night Owls - 2 September 2019 - Surveillance at work

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,231 Teacher
We read about the increasing surveillance measures that workplaces are implementing and how this could increase in the future:


Vocabulary Top 10:

proliferate - to increase in number or amount quickly

appraisal - the act of judging the value, condition, or importance of something : the act of appraising something

till - cash register; a drawer for keeping money in a store or bank

glean - to gather or collect (something) in a gradual way

zero-hour contract - a type of contract between an employer and a worker, where the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours, while the worker is not obliged to accept any work offered

polarise - to cause (people, opinions, etc.) to separate into opposing groups

dispiriting - causing a loss of hope or enthusiasm

funnel - to guide or channel (something) through or as if through a funnel (a device shaped like a hollow cone with a tube extending from the point)

brain drain - a situation in which many educated or professional people leave a particular place or profession and move to another one that gives them better pay or living conditions

disconcerting - upsetting or embarrassing

Have you ever experienced this type of surveillance at work?
Do you think it is ok for companies to monitor their workers? To what extent?

@Shiny03 @Linneus @Just-Learn @mahmoudox


  • BassaBassa Posts: 115 ✭✭✭
    Hi @NatashaT , I’ve not experienced a work with a so strictly surveillance anyway I think that where don’t arrive softwares and spy cams always arrive colleagues ;)... surveillance is in our DNA , Usually older colleagues want to know what we do, when , why and our boss too...it’s like a mania control...
    Evolution is just changing human control and making it as adopted surveillance system for companies...
    Honestly I’m not agree... I would like the utopian world where people is responsible for his work and is judged at the end for the result raised...
    But human being is suspicious.... and fortunately or unfortunately leading companies you will find always humans so...my suspicious :) is that we’ll became more used to be supervised in the next future...
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,053 ✭✭✭✭✭
    After reading this article, I think the most upsetting aspect of hypersurveillance isn't so much the mushrooming technology allowing to that, as the fact many workers might surprisingly welcome it.

    Many gig economy workers, I read, mostly younger, don't mind so much their privacy being violated: that's my major concern.

    It's, maybe, because they are gig economy native so they don't care so much ending up being fired, due to underperformance and consequent employer's punishing measures ?

    Or is it because they are already accustomed to a chronic lack of privacy, whose settings are so commonly skipped over when starting using new softwares and apps ?

    Whatever the reason, I just hope they don't think, by allowing any kind of surveillance being adopted by their employers, they can unveil and report the slower pace of their closest colleague, this way climbing the company's ladder to the latter disadvantage.

    I really don't think employers are willing to award you higher pay and better career, based on the records of their monitoring cameras or other surveillance devices.

    I suspect that's just a dangerous misinterpretation.

    By using the surveillance, they just want you to keep pace with their arbitrary performance requirements.

    However, you could easily fall into the trap: raise to and take the bait, after long being dangled before your eyes, the prospect of better pay, career and star rating employee's award.

    Furthermore, your employer could also give you the unhoped for chance to report your colleague for laziness.

    Maybe, ( what a lucky circumstance ! ) they even happen to be the same colleagues with whom, perhaps, you've even been having some grudge of late, this way adding pleasure to pleasure.

    Most likely your employers could award you so much just for a short period: the time it takes for them to increase and, eventually level upwards the performance of all the workforce, no exception left, thanks to your contribution too.

    At this point you have definitely lost: you have ' hung ' yourself and your colleagues as well, to bad conditions once and for all.

    Your employer's intent, most probably, hadn't been really to award you, but just to raise everyone's performance, as saying their own overall profit.

    Wearable monitoring devices, the so-called Internet of things, can be even more insidious to the freedom, dignity, workplace's wellbeing and mutual trust between employer and employees.

    They are subtly implemented, sometimes pretending they are being adopted just to safeguard your safety and security.

    In reality, they are just a means of hypersurveillance, intended to enhance efficiency and increase your productivity or else being punished.

    In my town, the Unions were protesting over the introduction of an invasive wearable intended to be fastened to the waste collectors' labourers' uniform.

    It is a GPS device, which can send real time data about the ' vertical standing ' of the workers.

    According to the human resources' executive, it was just a safety measure intended to monitor when the worker were sitting down or even lying on the ground, meaning they were suffering a sudden illness or injury.

    This way, the company could promptly activate to provide assistance and first aid.

    In reality the device could surveillance the extra time spent resting or sitting onto their vehicles when they were supposed to be standing.

    They just wanted ' to optimise their resources ' and increase efficiency.

    In my opinion, the time spent standing or staring at a screen while sitting at your desk, don't account for your productivity, but just for your slavery.

    People should be allowed to manage their own working time how best suit them, as long as an acceptable amount of work is carried out during their shift.

    Hypersurveillance is a totally arbitrary vexing tool meant just to thin to an unacceptable alienating extreme the already vanishing line separating gig economy employment from 21st century's slavery.

    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
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