Friday, February 07, 2003

There's nothing so refreshing as a bicycle ride on a cold and rainy morning.

You might think I'm complaining, but I'm not. I ride my bike to work every day, and I relish confronting the elements. It does wonders for my mental health. I enjoy seeing my neighborhood, especially in the morning. Children are going to school; work crews are arriving to continue the never-ending project of fixing the city streets. I like the open sky over my head, and I get a good view of the New Orleans skyline along the way.

(It's also good for my physical health, so long as I can avoid being hit by any cars. Oh yes, it saves me money too, and I'm doing my part to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.)

This morning, I thought to myself, "It's 43 degrees. It's raining. I hate cold weather, and I hate being wet. Yet I'm happy. I certainly am lucky -- one might even say blessed. I am really enjoying my time on earth."

In no small part, my sense of enjoyment derives from a feeling that this is, after all, my time. As a free human being, no one owns my time but me.

Then I arrived on campus and clocked in with Kronos. A subtle but profound transition here: My time ended; the university's time began. Clocking in punctuates the day with full stops and separates me from my own time.

Perhaps that seems overly dramatic. But I challenge you, dear reader, to explain the act of "clocking in" using other terms. I can't find a better way to describe it.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

It's time to bring out the big guns, or at least one big gun.

Perhaps the most serious criticism I can make is that Kronos encourages a sharp mental demarcation between my time and the university's time.

That's not how I see my job. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

I will write more on this theme over the next few weeks.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

A member of the faculty has recommended Pride Before Kronos to the Faculty Association Executive Committee, as "interesting and insightful" reading.

This reminds me of another gripe against Kronos. As it's currently implemented, it increases the divide between staff and faculty.

Faculty don't use Kronos; staff must. With one notable exception.

There are a number of non-teaching faculty who work in my building. The university has decided to make these faculty use Kronos too -- despite the strident opposition of the Faculty Association.

Of course, I understand and sympathize with faculty who don't want to use Kronos. Their concerns are manifold and legitimate. They are, in fact, precisely my own concerns as a staff member, which I have been trying to articulate for the past year.

If I have to use Kronos, shouldn't faculty be required to do so as well? If faculty don't have to use Kronos, then neither should I. As I see it, we stand or fall together.

A professor of mathematics should not have to punch a timeclock. Neither should a multimedia artist.

Monday, February 03, 2003

A co-worker from another office on campus just called me. I don't believe I'd ever spoken with her before. But she called because she's read this weblog. She just wanted to say "thank you." She was happy to know that she and her officemates were not alone.

So we see that "Pride Before Kronos" is providing a valuable morale-booster for employees who feel degraded by the Kronos system.

Vindicated at last!