Australian government upholds dismissal of sneaky golfer who shielded his employer-issued tracking device in a chip-bag


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/01/faraday-carbs.html


#2

Employer makes you carry a tracking device while you are on the clock = kind of dickish, but employees trying to go golfing while getting paid is the reason they do this. In the end, not a horribly terrible imposition.

Employer wants you to carry a tracking device when NOT being paid? Now that is some crazy-ass shit that you shouldn’t have to put up with.


#3

The tracking device thing is pretty noxious. But he was sacked for skipping work repeatedly. There doesn’t seem to be much doubt that this happened if you read the document.

He seemingly wasn’t sacked for defeating the GPS capability of his PDA. That was just a piece of the puzzle that led to the sacking being upheld. It would perhaps have been easier to sack him if he had NOT defeated the GPS capability. I guess the question might be that of he was able to get his job done for 20 years, and play golf on wednesdays, then what’s wrong with that? Answers to that are complex.

I’m lucky enough to be in a job where, if I’m “making my numbers”, people really don’t care where I physically am for a fair % of the time, or even (within reason) how many hours “making my numbers” takes. But if I’m not, I damn-well better be at my desk or otherwise demonstrably working and trying to make those numbers.


#4

“Employee uses chip bag as a Faraday cage to confuse the company issued PDA…”

Yay, Science! It’s like Breaking Bad. He’s my hero!

“…to play golf”.

Bah. I’ve gone right off him. Take him away, officer.


#5

A chip bag. Hmmm.

I’ll have to remember this little tip.

But the glass on my iPhone is greasy enough already.


#6

Yeah, that’s pretty sneaky. See, I’m salaried, which means I get paid for ~40 a week regardless of when or where I put those hours in. I’m also on call 24/7 in the event stuff I’m the admin for breaks outside of normal hours. (I’ve been issued a laptop and a cell phone with a hotspot for that purpose.)

current boss doesn’t really care if I spend time surfing the internet, as long as my work gets done.


#7

turn the bag inside out! (and get that grease everywhere!)
or lick the bag clean (mmmmmmm)


#8

If he put the device inside a bag to prevent his employer from tracking him, he wouldn’t be taking it out of the bag while he was out and about – because then they would be able to track him.

And wouldn’t the employer’s tracking system fire off an alert when it couldn’t get a tracking signal from the device?

Point being, why not just leave the device in his office, or at his home, or wherever he was supposed to be?


#9

Probably not, because they would get tons of false alerts. GPS signals are often not available inside buildings, for example. Also, I don’t think there was any active “alerting” (which would require they system to have information about where the person should be), it just offered the potential to look up a location history. If you have an android phone, Google offers the same “service”.

Its probably his job to be out driving around to client sites doing sales or maintenance.


#10

Those bags are washable with soap & water. Just spritz a little dishsoap in, add water, hold neck of bag shut, shake & rinse. The big question has been how to upcycle them instead of sending them to a great plastic vortex in the oceans. This definitely opens up possibilities.
Think that ANY mylar bag would function as a faraday cage? How about those mylar-lined soymilk boxes?
Would this work on a phone? On a RFID device?


#11

Golf is simply the worst sport. Even some dudes that I know who play say they only play to make business connections.


#12

A freezer works very well, too.

I know this for no particular reason.


#13

My pop’s hardly the most progressive guy around (nor am I) but at a couple of companies he ran in the 1980s/1990s, he had an absolute blanket rule that official company outings were not be golf-center events because, by and large, women didn’t play nearly as much golf and it was necessarily exclusive. I always liked that rule, even then. I think he also did it to annoy my Mom’s Dad, who thought golf was just the end-all be-all of the road to success, and golf the very reason to strive for it.

(That said, if a sales guy wanted to take a potential client out golfing – medical business and all – knock yourself out).


#14

Hard to hide from your boss for very long in a freezer though.


#15

Not to mention golf. I can only imagine you can work on your short game in there.


#16

#17

Not any mylar bag, it has to be metallised.

Its the metallic layer applied to the plastic that makes it a Faraday cage, not the mylar itself.


#18

My tollway eTag came in a foil lined mailer bag. Presumably because a mail truck could be carrying thousands of the things while driving on the tollway. I have thrown mine away but its possible those same bags are available off the shelf.


#19

I played semi-regularly a couple decades ago. Only friends and family would play with me because I refused to ride the stupid little cart. For me the enjoyment was going to a links with low traffic and getting a nice hike in while whacking a tiny ball a few hundred miles an hour down the fairway.

I stopped because of the environmental cost. Now I just go for regular hikes.


#20

A bit more info, especially on the technical aspects: