Junk-Mail Firm Straps GPS Devices To People Handing Out Pamphlets

from the how-low-can-you-go? dept

Down in Australia, a firm that hires teens to deliver junk-mail pamphlets to houses has decided to make their processes a bit more efficient by forcing the kids to wear a GPS device that records all their moves -- making sure they visit the houses they were assigned and do so in the order prescribed by the company. Some of the kids aren't particularly happy about being spied on this way, and apparently the company expected that. With the information pack about the GPS devices, they included a simple resignation form for those who weren't happy about the idea. Again, it seems like this is a modern attempt to bring back Taylorism, the idea that all workplace activities can be scientifically monitored and made more efficient -- as if people were machines. There's nothing wrong with working on ways to make employees more productive, but it needs to occur with the recognition that they're human beings and constantly spying on them and making them feel inadequate tends to hurt productivity more than it helps. It certainly doesn't make for particularly loyal employees. Perhaps that's fine for a business such as a junk-mail pamphleteer, but there is still a cost involved in hiring and training new people, while being able to fill in for those who quit. It's one of those things that sounds good to management (oooh, efficiency! productivity!) but whose consequences aren't carefully thought out. Of course, the firm responds to such charges by including the standard line that no one who is actually a good worker should be upset about being tracked, since it's only designed to spot the bad workers.

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  1. identicon
    Rainer, 31 Oct 2006 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Not Taylorism...

    I agree with the original statement that this is not for productivity. Spot checks are not likely to be cheaper since that's another person you have to hire, train, and make sure they're doing the job!

    As far as pissing them off, are you sure they're pissed? This quote is from the actual article TechDirt referrenced: ""We've cut the amount of time it takes to do their job by 40 per cent and we are still paying the same rate," he said." (he is the managing director of the firm) Who would be pissed about that!? The only worker the article quoted quit without even trying it! If you don't like something, go somewhere else, or if you have the experience, start your own show. Don't try to force everyone else to be like you. That WILL piss everyone else off.

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