Friday, February 21, 2003

The accuracy of this journal has been impugned by a theologian here at the university.

He doesn't give any credence to my assertion that the image of the Grim Reaper was derived directly from Kronos.

I haven't found any scholarly evidence to back me up, just Web pages like this one. At the very least, there certainly seem to be a lot of similarities between Kronos, the Grim Reaper and Father Time.

This makes perfect sense to me. As the God of Time, Kronos counts the hours and minutes of my life, each one of which brings me closer to my own death.

Kronos reminds me that my days are numbered -- literally.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Kronos has a voice, as anyone who's clocked in or out on the phone interface knows.

But the voice of Kronos is not what I expected. I thought he'd have a deep, gravelly growl.

No, the voice of Kronos is cool, synthetic -- and feminine. A surprising choice for the macho God of Time.

At the end of each transaction, Kronos chirps, "Thank you for using the system."

My co-worker P.J. Christie has been bold enough to question the sincerity of this utterance. He has a point. Is Kronos really grateful for our daily invocations?

To me, the most frustrating thing about the mechanical voice of Kronos is simply this:

I can't talk back.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

I've discoverred a deeper purpose to this journal.

Sure, I'd like to see a few policy changes regarding Kronos. But more importantly, I'd like my pride back.

As I've mentioned time and again, I find the daily ritual of clocking in and out with Kronos to be degrading, disappointing, aggravating and generally irksome. It deflates the sense of pride that I've had ever since I started working here.

That's unacceptable. I can advocate for policy change, but that is a slow process. In the meantime, I still have to wrestle with Kronos for my sense of pride on a daily basis.

I've come to realize that this is the higher purpose of this journal: to help me maintain my sense of dignity and pride before Kronos.

It's a spiritual thing.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

I recently invited the good folks in our Human Resources department to take a look at this journal. I hope that they find the thoughts recorded here useful.

The implementation of Kronos on campus has been a success. By that, I simply mean that the system seems to be working and that the transition from the old system has been seamless, as far as I can tell.

That's no small feat, and it didn't happen overnight. HR has worked on this for over a year, maybe two years, maybe longer. Kudos to them for a job well done.

My only criticism, and it is a serious one, is that HR did not consult with the university community before bringing Kronos on-line. It would have been a good idea, I think, to talk to staff and administrators, to listen to their concerns, and to respect those concerns when implementing the new system.

But it's not too late for that. I remain hopeful that HR will review the Kronos policy, soliciting input from everyone in the university community who is affected by Kronos, and making whatever changes are deemed appropriate.

And I hope to participate in that process, because I have one or two thoughts on the matter.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Kronos encourages us to focus on hours rather than tasks.

Perhaps that's good for some folks, but it's not good for me. My work is task-oriented. What matters is getting the task done, not working a set number of hours.

That's a point of pride and satisfaction for me.

But every time I clock in or out with Kronos, I feel as though I'm simply filling in time.

Of course, my work is still task-oriented. I still take pride and satisfaction in a task well done. But it takes an extra effort to maintain that perspective while punching a timeclock.