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Does all this monitoring and second-guessing have an effect on employees? Personal trust is something we rate highly. Talk with someone whose spouse has cheated on them and you will find that emotional pain has little to do with sex but everything to do with loss of trust and doubt that a relationship can ever really survive such a loss. Although secondary to intimate relationships, we would like our coworkers and supervisors to trust us also, as a mark of respect if nothing else.
On other hand, we are aware that world is full of cheaters, those who would break any moral, legal, or ethical code if it gave them an advantage in race for success and financial independence. We want to be trusted to act responsibly and do right thing but we are just a little reluctant to trust others to quite same degree.
Close oversight of everyone gives us a certain sense of security - it levels playing field for us all by rooting out those who would bend rules to get what they want. We tell ourselves that we have nothing to fear because we are innocent and that will protect us.
Then we read about long-convicted prisoners whose innocence has been belatedly proved by newly developed scientific forensics. We miss a familiar face at our favorite casino and finally learn that individual left town after an error-inspired accusation of misconduct resulted in termination and blacklisting from industry.
Where there is cash floating around in generous amounts, there will always be temptations, overzealous suspiciousness, justice and injustice on all sides because truth is not amenable to scientific analysis and every event has multiple explanations and perspectives.
So we keep on watching ourselves and each other. Those of us who loathe concept of big brother and snitching on friends, draw back in disgust as we see need for security invade our lives. We can stay out of gaming world with its cameras and minutely regulated transactions but how do we avoid monitoring threatened with every call for customer service or cookies embedded in our computers to track our wanderings through Internet?
The cheaters, scam artists, swindlers and frauds have won. It is we, innocent, who must dwell in prison cells of continuous third degree scrutiny.
Virginia Bola operated a rehabilitation company for 20 years, developing innovative job search techniques for disabled workers, while serving as a Vocational Expert in Administrative, Civil and Workers' Compensation Courts. Author of an interactive and supportive workbook, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge, she can be reached at http://www.unemploymentblues.com