Sunday, September 30, 2018

Who does the work when someone takes paid paternity leave? Should childless coworkers pick up the slack by working for free?

Here’s an important column on page 8 of the New York Times Sunday Business, p. 8, “Left Behind, when a colleague goes on leave”, on the Workologist, by Rob Walker. 

“There’s a lot of conversation about paternity and maternity leave, and the person who’s taking it. But there isn’t a lot of dialogue about those who cover for that person while he or she is out.”
That’s especially true with paid family leave.

Back in 1993, there was already the Family Medical Leave Act.  At work, we had a “night programmers” who fixed the abends in the night cycle.  She went on maternity leave. The on-call programmers simply handled the abends on their own time and expense.  I spent a weekend there at my own expense.  I was childless.  I simply did the work someone else would be paid for.
But of course I was a willing participant in the deliberate lowballing.  The NYT column never quite gets there. 

Picture: that's a dog on the airplane. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

How well do Facebook's family leave policies work?

Facebook is not as family-friendly with parents, especially working mothers, as it has claimed, at least according to a USA Today story by Jessica Guynn. 

 There are stories of mothers not allowed to work from home when they want to do child care at the same time.

The story sounds interesting since Facebook has hired many people to monitor content for fake sources in conjunction with the 2018 mid terms.  It’s not clear if these people are all over the country and could work from home.

Facebook also has probably had to hire more people to verify the eligibility of persons to run political ads (must prove residency in the country with which the ad refers to, for openers).

How would Facebook’s policies affect childless workers?

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

USB vulnerabilities

If you plug a device backward into a USB port on my HP Envy (like a Sandisk reader) you get a “power surge fault”.  It’s a little bit tricky because the plug on the cord is hard to see.

The port won’t work again in Windows 10 until you restart the computer.
But the idea is significant for another reason.  In extreme security-sensitive environments, it is possible to hack computers across air gaps through USB ports, I am told.   It may be that Microsoft’s requiring a restart is simply a security protection against this possibility.