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Does Your Company Pay For Broadband?

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the cost-of-doing-business dept.

Businesses 1125

masq57 writes "My fellow administrators and I used to have company provided ISDN lines in our homes so that we could respond quickly to issues after hours. That was changed in the last few years to letting us expense our broadband service. Now our new CIO has elected to stop that benefit using the argument that we should be dedicated staff who desire to be responsive and should do what it takes to make that happen. The rumor now is that we should also pay for blackberries, cell phones and pagers. What sort of experiences do the rest of slashdotters have along these lines?"

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Yes ! (-1, Troll)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635271)

hence i got this first post ;)

Re:Yes ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635309)

yaeh n plz vst http://www.fpsgamedesign.com/ if u r a l33t g4y gam0x0r like we!

I write whores off on my taxes. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635277)

Company won't pay for it, fuck 'em. Uncle Sam to the rescue!

Re:I write whores off on my taxes. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635352)

George W? But your company is Uncle Sam.

Easy one. (5, Insightful)

vegetablespork (575101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635278)

You don't work from home, you don't carry a pager, and you don't give them your cell phone number. If they don't want to pay for the means of contacting you, they can try your answering machine and hope for the best.

Next thing's to work on finding an employer that isn't run by such cheap bastards.

Re:Easy one. (1)

smkndrkn (3654) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635327)

This is exactly what I did and they haven't bought me any of those devices....and I also don't put as many hours in at night. Its wonderful :)

Re:Easy one. (5, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635337)

I can't add much, but I don't have mod points, but this is such a good FP, I just had to chime in with a "me too" post.

What the company used to give you was, to some extent, a benefit to partially compensate you for your availability. They have chosen to reduce your benfits. You make the call.

Re:Easy one. (5, Interesting)

rindeee (530084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635346)

I agree. You'll find out how important it is when you don't have any of them...for work purposes anyway. Sounds like management is a little out of touch with reality.

Re:Easy one. (5, Insightful)

keybsnbits (711259) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635351)

I totally agree, but your solution isn't a realistic one. That's only a great way to LOSE your job. The best thing for companies to do is to pay for any cell phone charges that were caused by after hours work. If they are really generous, they could also pay for a percentage of your internet cost if you use it from home. Either that, or just write it off as "needed for work" for tax purposes ;)

Re:Easy one. (4, Informative)

koa (95614) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635362)

I agree with the parent here. If the company you work for doesnt pay for the means for you to be contacted or work outside the confines of the business hours (or business facility) they should not expect you to be on call or do any work under those curcumstances.

Period.

I know from experience that if a company starts looking for ways to shave that extra inch off their expenses in that way; that the company is in deeper trouble than they let on. You'll be looking for work elswhere shortly wether you like it or not. heh.

Re:Easy one. (5, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635377)

Ahh the words of an hourly worker.

How I miss those days... walking towards the time clock, thinking of what I'd do the next day, punching out and moving onto personal things for the evening and not having work come to mind until the next morning just after I punched in.

When one is a salary man, a bit more is expected, within reason (which is the key).

Re:Easy one. (5, Interesting)

wyseguy (513173) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635409)

You don't work from home, you don't carry a pager, and you don't give them your cell phone number. If they don't want to pay for the means of contacting you, they can try your answering machine and hope for the best.

I pretty much have that arrangement with my employer. Fortunately, my boss and I have the same opinions about that level of 24x7 support, that if you aren't willing to provide the means to contact the employee and provide them the access to the systems at work from home, then you can't expect them to be on call all the time. Since our IT head won't even allow FTP access to our webservers, I won't be working from home any time soon.

Re:Easy one. (2, Insightful)

||Plazm|| (76138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635415)

I agree. When I first started my current job, I used my personal cell phone for work with the promise that I would be furnished a phone eventually. It wasn't costing me anything to do this. However, when the time came, my boss requested a company cell phone for me and that request was denied.

Easy solution: Quit using personal equipment for work. Its actually nice not being able to be reached 24/7. The other Engineers wish they could turn in their phones.

--Eck

Easy for you to say. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635430)

It's really easy to say this while working. If you ever loose your job and out of work for 1/2 to a 2/2 part of a year; i bet that the cost of a cell phone or even broadband connection won't stop you from having a job. I see a lot of people that get arrogant and say that wont do this and have never been out of work in the 99 years they have worked; you have to remember that competition gets younger each year and the younger ones are hungrier than you. Eventually, you'll be out of a job if you don't support as much as your replacement does.

My benefits.. (1)

ScytheBlade1 (772156) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635280)

..consist of a cell phone. However, I'm "the" IT guy, so if I wanted to hook up my own dial-up service I could. That's about it, though.

Consider it a pay cut... (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635284)

In my experience, it's been assumed that IT pros would have home Internet access because, well, what IT pro wouldn't have at least a consumer dial-up account if not broadband.

Paying for those things is a company's way of passing the employee some cash-value compensation without it being considered taxable income. So, add 20%-30% (depending on your personal tax rate) to the cost and consider that as have been subtracted from your pay package... consider yourself insulted.

SmartKlamp: Single-Use, Automatic Circumcisions (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635285)

I'm all for the future. I mean, look at where you're at, who you're talking to. I like the future so much that I even like the past's futures, futures that were planted with love but never quite formed into a fully blossoming flying cars or whatever. But in the future, as I'm lounging around with my dome open, instructing technicians to lift my brain onto a substrate of pure electrical joy, I will never, ever, ever let a robot cut my dick. I might have sex with a robot, that's fine; looking forward to it, actually. But at no point will I be placing my penis into a tube filled with knives.

Full blown hysterics after the jump.

I'm a penis slicer luddite, I know, but no, for real, no. So why do the people that make SmartKlamp think that -- when I wouldn't let a robot, which can maneuver with mathematical precision, touch me -- I would use a Bris-O-Matic on my or my progeny's spurters? Is there a market need here? Are scapel-wielding doctors and rabbis not fast enough to get the job done? Is there a worldwide circumcision shortage?

Fine, I'm overreacting, but look at the pictures on the SmartKlamp page (warning, bloody boy genitals ahoy!) and think about the possibility of malfunction.

Easy one (5, Interesting)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635288)

Anything I pay for doesn't get used for business. Period.

Aside from that, this might be a good sign that it's time to start looking around for another job. This isn't 2002 anymore -- employers who still think they can get away with this sort of shit are wrong, wrong, wrong.

Amen to that (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635302)

Why should they profit off your expense ?

Re:Easy one (5, Funny)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635360)

Anything I pay for doesn't get used for business. Period.

Clothes?

Some yes and some no (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635294)

No for broadband connection and no for Palms, cell phones, etc. Yes for Blackberries since they are part of the disaster recovery plan. If you do have broadband and you can justify needing VPN access they will hook you up with the necessary equipment and software.

yech (3, Insightful)

dml6 (96785) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635295)

My opinion and stance has always been "if you want me to have it, then you (the company) will pay for it." I've told employers that if they want me to have a cellphone then they had better pay for it themselves, 'cuz I won't have one if it's my choice.

Lucky you... (1)

stuntedpunk (791255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635298)

if I could get my company to pay for anything outside of the watercooler I'd be stoked...

Re:Lucky you... (1)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635332)

We don't even get a watercooler....

Re:Lucky you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635381)

Same here. We actually chip in to support our water cooler. Only VP's and above get bottled water delivered to their fridges once a week. We do have lovely water fountains with genuine NY city water and they eliminated the sewerage smell that was coming from right next to the fountain.

Re:Lucky you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635405)

We even get a water heater to make us use less water.

Re:Lucky you... (1)

nearlygod (641860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635432)

We just got our first watercooler last month. Now I finally have a place where I can talk about last night's episode of the Sopranos.

necessary expenses (2, Informative)

beni1207 (603012) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635299)

If it's something you spend any time doing work with, the company should fund that fairly it seems to me. The job market sucks now but asking you to pay for broadband service (or at least the portion you really do use for work) is akin to making you buy your workstation to bring in to work. In the worst-case scenario at least you can deduct it from your taxes though. Your CEO sounds like a real turd for making a comment like that though.

Re:necessary expenses (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635406)

But you can only deduct it from your taxes if it exceeds 2% of you AGI. Now, you may be getting paid poorly, but I'm guessing that your broadband connection, cell phone, blackberry, and other gizmos don't add up to 2%, even if they were exclusively used for work.

Trust me... (4, Funny)

Volatile_Memory (140227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635300)

You DON'T want a pager anyway. In my experience, when they give you one, you are expected to respond if it beeps.

yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635301)

Don't be an idiot, just let it drop, and if you get fired, collect unemployment and find a new job. Enjoy the free time in the evenings since they can't reach you. I work from home, so I pay for my own broadband, but no way would I pay for it for after hours support. Besides, they pay for my cellphone.

CIO is a doofus? (3, Insightful)

JCMay (158033) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635303)

If you're stuck paying for your own broadband, can you write it off on your taxes like auto milage?

Re:CIO is a doofus? (4, Informative)

big-giant-head (148077) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635386)

Yes if it is an 'unrembursed' business expense broadband, cell phone and pager you can write them off on your taxes.

Just be thankful that you can at least do that.

Re:CIO is a doofus? (1)

Blindman (36862) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635388)

Probably not. You would have to show that the expense or a part thereof is for benefit of the employer, and I believe that the portion that you could show would be limited to the amount over 2% of adjusted gross as a miscellaneous expense.

NOTE: This is not official tax advice, and I don't have the IRC in front of me right now.

Re:CIO is a doofus? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635392)

Yes, but just like auto milage you can only write off things that can be itemized towards work-related use. Since most people pay for broadband on an "unmetered" basis, those extra 20 MB for work usage didn't cost you anything more than you would have paid for all your personal use of the connection which of course is not tax deductable. Therefore, you get to deduct a big fat ZERO.

Re:CIO is a doofus? (1)

sixteenraisins (67316) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635393)

Mind you, I'm not a tax accountant, but in a nutshell, yes you can.

It's just like any other expense you may have at home but use for work: you can deduct a portion of the expense. It's based on how much of the use is strictly for business and how much is strictly personal. You can't write off the entire expense if you use it for personal use as well.

Re:CIO is a doofus? (1)

dfn_deux (535506) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635422)

The tax write off on 3 or 4 hundred dollars is hardly equivalent to recieving 3 or 4 hundred dollars worth of free services... See the proof below

100300 :)

Company won't pay (1)

cybertechcafe (695518) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635307)

My company just laughed when I asked about being reimbursed for broadband. They also laughed when I asked about being reimbursed for my cell phone. I do have broadband (at my own expense), and I do use it for work (it's a lot nicer to do patches from the house, rather than driving 45 miles or staying late), but they don't have my cell phone number.

Cell phone unlisted. (4, Insightful)

asdfasdfasdfasdf (211581) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635308)

I consistently insisted that my cell phone not be listed in the company employee directory. I threatened to change the number when once it was listed. If someone needed me over a weekend, they could call my home, and if I didn't answer, then tough. If the company wanted to pay for my cell phone service, THEN they could reach me after hours.

Don't give in on this issue. Do you really want your employer to have you at their beck and call 24/7 on your dime?

Re:Cell phone unlisted. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635414)

"I consistently insisted that my cell phone not be listed in the company employee directory."

Why did you give it to your employment in the first place. When asked for my cell number, I told them I didn't have one. They can email me or phone my useless land line.

Re:Cell phone unlisted. (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635431)

Depending on state laws and the size of a company, there comes a point where a company can't even publish an employee directory that contains home landline numbers, nevermind cell phone numbers.

If your company is subject to such laws, then the only way they can publish an after-hours contact number for you is to be paying for a cell phone that they gave you. Otherwise, your number can only be given out by yourself.

Yes and No (1)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635311)

My company will pay for broadband if it's expected as part of the job. However, this means that you are a SOHO worker. If you have a space to work in an office, we give you internet at your desk.

If there is an after-hours issue, we will pay milage to come in and take care of it. But that's pretty much it.

Once upon a time I also had an ISDN line in my home, but the company at the time stopped that when VPN services became available.

Re:Yes and No (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635372)

It's about the same here, though I have the option of dialing in to a client from home after hours. I can do pretty much any sort of support (short of downloading a 3 gig database file) this way.

When the bill comes I expense out any long distance calls I've made for the company.

Dont know why so many slashdotters have such shitty jobs. Sheesh, I'd switch careers if that's the best I could find.

Here's what you do (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635313)

Let's say Broadband is $40 a month, x 12 months a year, that's $480. Ask for a $500 year raise ($.25 per hour assuming a 2000 hour work year).

Yes, and they are quite liberal about it. (4, Interesting)

digitalvengeance (722523) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635314)

Yes, my company does pay for my home broadband access..and they are remarkably liberal about it. They don't care what servers I run or how I use the bandwidth (3 Mb/1Mb), just so long as I can still effectively do my job. Of course, I work from home full time, so the situation is a bit different than that of many in our profession. Josh.

Suck it up and do your job (1)

Botunda (621804) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635316)

While you still have one!

I know that's a pretty bleak statement, but it's reality.

No way! (2, Insightful)

MrMojado (786565) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635318)

If your employer wants to be that strict about TOOLS to do you job, they care nothing of you as a person. I would suggest running when they want you to pay for pagers, cell phones, and broadband at home (if its part of your job function). Next they will expect you to work for free!

Here at my company... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635319)

They pay for our phone lines, broadband, company pagers, and the higher ranking individuals are starting to get blackberries. I think your company really screwed up by forcing you to pay for your connection to the company after hours.

Just use this excuse not to do any work after you go home :-P

Who needs all three? (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635320)

Nobody really needs to carry a blackbery, a cell phone, and a pager in this day and age. The three devices are so close tech they all fit in one shell with your choice of form factors ranging from the T-Mobile Sidekick to the standard Nokia models.

Business calls should only be a few minutes a month anyway, nothing you should lose money over. If you're being called regularly on the weekends, then the business has more serious issues about staffing...

The real question is... (2, Insightful)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635321)

whether the ISDN lines were really being used enough to justify the expense to the company. Or were they being mainly used for other purposes.

In my experience, a dialup connection works just as good for a plain text/shell connection - IMHO ISDN lines were overkill (ofcourse this depends on the actual environment context).

If the company is going to force me to have it.. (2, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635322)

They're going to pay for it.

Of course, if it's their resource, then they can dictate how it's to be used (ie; running Kazaa? Yer fired!)

I had this discussion with my bosses. For me to VPN under Comcasts EULA, I need the commercial edition for twice what I pay. If they want me to have it, I'll wind up with two cablemodems, one mine, one theirs.

They don't pay for the broadband - there's been no need to, but they do pay for the cellphone which I promptly turn off as soon as I leave the office. (Hey, they only had me promise to carry it with me, not answer it)

End of story.

A little of this, a little of that (2, Interesting)

sixteenraisins (67316) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635325)

My company doesn't expect me to pay for broadband at home, but my job doesn't really require me to have it. If I choose to do some after hours stuff from home, and I would rather do it via a broadband connection, then that's on my checkbook as far as they're concerned.

Curiously enough, I can remember when companies furnished cell phones to the appropriate personnel and actually picked up the tab. These days, we're expected to have a cell, but we have to pay for it on our own. Go figure. *shrug*

Helpful sites... (1)

SnowDeath (157414) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635326)

DICE [dice.com] and Monster [monster.com] . After enough of you leave, this idiot CIO will get the idea.

Mine pays for it all (4, Interesting)

Supp0rtLinux (594509) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635329)

I have DSL at home ($50/month), a pager ($20/month), a cell phone (+/- $80/month), and cellular internet ($80/month). My company pays for my pager, my cellular internet (gets internet access via PCMCIA anywhere I get a cell signal), half my DSL, and half my cell bill. I'm also a 1-man IT shop supporting 30+ users and 20+ servers including clusters, so even on vacation, I have to be available and reachable. Of course, we're not hurting for money either.

Typical (5, Insightful)

retinaburn (218226) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635330)

Yes you should be happy to do it, if you were a happy employee. Simply outline that while they want you to innovate, to give your all for the company, to make them better than their competitors, then they should be willing to do the same for you.

Tell them that if they treat you 'competitively' to what other companies are doing, then you will either work as hard as other employees or find a company that treats you better than they do.

We are going through the same thing here, and there is nothing worse than cutting back on employee benefits, pay, and perks and justifying it by saying 'we are doing what everyone else is doing'.

it shouldn't be black or white (1)

kjba (679108) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635334)

My employer (a government funded research institute) has the general rule that half of the staff's internet costs are refunded, up to a certain maximum (provided you promise that you sometimes use it for work).

I think this is a fair deal, since on one side I really do use it for work, on the other side I don't expect my boss to pay for private use.

My experiences (2, Interesting)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635335)

Typically, if a company really needs me to be available 24x7 (or even just the occasional after-hours job), they have paid for my internet access, as well as either a pager or cellphone. Some have been employer-provided, some have been the "buy and expense" variety. Either is acceptable IMHO.

I think it would be reasonable as a cost-cutting measure to provide a monthly internet connection allowance suitable for dial-up (if that's all you really need to be connected), and allow you to apply that to whatever connection you choose.

But if your CIO really thinks you should "do what it takes" to be a good little corporobot, I'd suggest that (s)he is an asshat, and you'd probably do best in the long run finding another place to work.

Cancel all of it then. (5, Insightful)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635338)

It'd probably help if everyone did it, but if they won't pay for it I don't use it for business. Not that I'd ever get rid of my broadband at home but that's another matter.

My employer will pay for broadband, cell phone but not pager (what's the point? text messages cover paging) for employees it considers mobile which is almost everyone outside of our main sites. Some areas even get better broadband rates because of deals negotiated due to the amount of employees we have.

several things (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635341)

  1. Are you working? Many are not or will shortly not be. What is the cost of keeping you vs. from elsewhere.
  2. Has the same things been cut for management? In some companies, management must provide a cellphone and their own broadband. If yours has cut all theirs, you can bet that you will pay for yours as well.

Comeback for CIO (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635344)

Now our new CIO has elected to stop that benefit using the argument that we should be dedicated staff who desire to be responsive and should do what it takes to make that happen.


"You should be a dedicated Officer of the company who desires to give us much deserved raises, so that we can be responsive, and do whatever else it takes to make us happy."

Basically throw their own corporate speak back at them, and see how it works on them.

Work is not personal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635347)

I think the CIO is right if I understand it correctly:

No cable / DSL / pager / cell = not reachable outside normal work hours and physical presence at the site. On training? Have no cell phone? Expense calls from the hotel room when you check voicemail (in the evenings and mornings only I'd expect)

Blurring things is bad. It's bad for the employer who has to pay for it all, and it's bad for the employee because he has to tolerate the invasion. I have a cell phone, my employer does not have the number. And if he wants to reach me on a cell, he can buy me one and I will use it when he needs to reach me.

In the end, all is well and no one is hassling me at home. And I never have to use a personal resource for work. The line is clear and protects both sides equally.

What a crock. (5, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635348)

Now our new CIO has elected to stop that benefit using the argument that we should be dedicated staff who desire to be responsive and should do what it takes to make that happen.

Your CIO sounds like an asshole. "Dedicated" means dedicated to the work, not dedicated to spending money for your own company. (Hint to CIO: People work to get paid money. Not to spend money for their employers.) If the company needs you to have internet access to do your job, they should pay for it.

Any company which demands you restructure your own personal finances in order to be able to afford an internet connection that they require you to have had their head up their ass. Your personal finances are none of their fucking business. I realize it's much easier said than done, but if I were in your position and had such demands placed on me, I'd quit.

Put this arrogant prick in his place. All of you should collectively refuse to pay for broadband yourselves, and let him see how "productive" you are without his help. It is not your reponsiblity to spend your own money for "the good of the company."

What a crock of shit.

Is there a legal issue? (2, Interesting)

Cownonymous Blowhard (784645) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635350)

IANAL but years ago worked in a non-tech field (social services) in CA and as an employer we were required to pay for certain things for employees that were requirements for the job. For example each employee who worked in direct contact with our clients (in this case troubled teens) was required to have CPR certification and a TB test. While the employee was required to provide these (and cover the cost) at initial hire, because we required it as a condition of employment (i.e., it was necessary for them to do their job) we the company had to pay for renewals of CPR training/certification and TB tests (every 2 years if memory serves).

I would think that if something is clearly defined in your job description as a requirement, that it would be your employers responsibility to cover the costs/provide the needed equipment.

Work tools = work pays for them (2, Insightful)

DamienMcKenna (181101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635356)

What next, you have to buy your own desktop to use at their location, or you have to pay for the electricity used to power the servers? If you are using something because they _require_ it to do your job then they should be paying for it. If they insist in not paying, drop back to dialup for a while. The only reason to do what they're doing is to save money, a grand or two per year per person probably, and this thing if you having to be a dedicated employee is a coverup.

Personally, I'd suggest polishing up your resume.

Damien

Compensation (1)

Newskyarena (643521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635358)

I certainly hope, that as dedicated employees that desire to be responsive, that you also get some sort of monetary remuneration for your faithfulness. Continued employment should never be considered compensation.

Your CIO is a dick (0)

Teckla (630646) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635359)

The subject says it all.

That being said, supplying your own broadband is one thing (you're probably a geek that would have it anyway), but all the rest is your CIO crossing a line (s)he shouldn't be crossing.

Not anymore (1)

aaamr (203460) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635361)

I used to be able to expense broadband, but that last few companies I've worked for didn't even consider it.

Still, my current company does pay for the Blackberry, but that's only because they want to suck every possible moment of time out of us... no matter where we may be.

At this point, I'd pay *not* to have the Blackberry!

Company won't pay ... (5, Insightful)

lintocs (723324) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635363)

The place you're working for is a sinking ship ... they've run out of cash, and they're trying to download the costs of doing business on to their employees. Having lived through the dot.com bomb, I've seen this thing a half dozen times. If you don't play ball, you'll get bad reviews, and you'll eventually be dismissed for your "poor attitude". Better start looking for a new gig. S

Try military service (1)

IgD (232964) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635364)

The poster should try serving in the military. There is a saying in the Navy, if it didn't come in your seabag you don't need it. Basically, you'd be expected to provide the same job with no resources.

Johnson & Johnson is nice (1)

Azrael Newtype (688138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635366)

My father (I'm still in college, and though I work at the same company, it's a much more temporary position) was given a router and was allowed to expense our cable internet charges to do occasional VPN work. Now, he was too moral to take them up on it since he didn't work from home nearly often enough in his opinion, but it was fully legal stuff. Maybe Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development (a mouthful to be sure) is just nicer than the average company these days.

Use your cell phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635369)

... and make a bunch of calls... then when you go over your minutes make a copy of your itemized bill and give them the bill.

That should be enough to quiety convince them of your point.

It depends... (1)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635370)

If they expect you to be on-call after hours (it's officially in your job description, etc.), then it is reasonable for them to provide the means for you to handle that (be it network / Internet connectivity, hardware, software, etc). I've gone as far as requiring them to provide hardware (and I've gotten this for other employees as well).

As far as cell phones and pagers go, rates have dropped significantly, and personal use has increased to the point where it's like asking your company to provide you with a home phone so they can call you - it's probably asking a bit much. However, if you can show that your work-related cellular useage is hitting you in the pocketbook, then you should have the company provide you with a dedicated (business-stuff-only) phone that they can audit to their heart's content.

Knowing only the skimpy details provided in the story description, it sounds like your boss is a cheap asshole who needs to be set straight.

We Offer Some (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635373)

I've been a contractor at a pharmacutical company for over 3 years now.

My company still offers: cell phones and blackberries to full-time employees (non-contractors). However, I'm pretty sure you're responsible for your bill (or only reponsible if you go over the amount), and you have to have to a good reason to have a blackberry (like, a server admin).

They used to offer ISDN lines, but I don't think they do that anymore (the old adopters are grandfathered in though). I do know that they don't pay for any of the current broadband offerings (cable, dsl, etc), otherwise I know a lot of people would try to get it.

For a server admin or webmaster, these things would be very important. But to an in-house developer or something along those lines, it's not necessary.

Make it happen! (5, Interesting)

xTown (94562) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635374)

When you're in the office, that is. Tell him you are absolutely, positively dedicated to providing your company the best possible service during working hours.

When you're at home, your time is your own, unless they're paying you extra. If your job is not like that, it's time to find a new job. "It's your job, suck it up," is not an appropriate response here; you're a human being, not a disposable resource to be used up.

Your CIO needs to show YOU that he's dedicated to having the best possible service available, and that he's willing to dedicate the resources to ensure it. If he wants 24-hour cell phone availability, he better be paying for the phone. If they're going to require you to use your own resources to perform your job, then they should at the VERY least reimburse you on a prorated schedule for the amount of time you spend using your net connection from home. Even if it's only a couple of bucks a month--hell, especially if it's only a couple of bucks a month.

As it is, all he's showing you is that you're not worth a goddamn unless they can squeeze every last drop out of you that they possibly can.

Trolling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635375)

Okay, maybe not a troll. Just my honest opinion:

Just add up the time you spend at work browsing the web for personal enjoyment. Then subtract the amount of time spent at home on work related stuff.
(Maybe discount reading slashdot, maybe not).

It's better to have a decent internet subscription and figure out a way to pay for it. At least when you're fired, you'll still have an internet connection!

Reading between the lines (5, Insightful)

secolactico (519805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635376)

Now our new CIO has elected to stop that benefit using the argument that we should be dedicated staff who desire to be responsive and should do what it takes to make that happen. The rumor now is that we should also pay for blackberries, cell phones and pagers.

What your new CIO is not telling you is that your department budget has been cut back and they are no longer able to pay for your broadband. If they won't let you itemize your broadband connection, ask if you can itemize dialup connection and phone costs for every call you have to make for business reasons.

If you have to be on-call, then they should at least reimburse you for cell phone/pagers costs. I'm not sure about blackberries, tho.

My company pays for my broadband and whenever I'm on-call, they pay for my cell phone costs and they provide the pagers. They also pay overtime for on-call related work, but my personal policy is, if I don't have to leave my house, I don't charge them. Also, they usually understand that if I stay up half the night soving a problem (from home or at the office), I'll probably be late for work in the morning and tend to look the other way.

How is your company's overall situation? Are finances suffering? Read between the lines on what your boss told you and figure out wether it's safe to protest or you should simply start thinking about employment elsewhere.

Disclaimer: IANAL, YMMV, caveat emptor, boni anima teuri amen, and all that.

the company is doing this because they can (1)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635379)

They suspect that they can get away with it. I'm assuming that you've logged a politely worded, reasonable constructive complaint with HR and your management, and that it was ignored or provided with lip service.

You have two options:
1. Take a principled stand, and refuse to provide after-hours service unless you are compensated (e.g. free internet, or cellphone, or overtime). The risk here is that you'll be fired...probably for specious reasons unrelated to this issue, supposedly.
2. You suck it up and take it. There's no honour in losing your job and collecting unemployment. However, if you take this position (which most people would), remember when the economy bounces back that YOU show as much loyalty to the company as THEY showed to you.

Personally, I'd start looking for work elsewhere now.

Yeah. Right... (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635380)

My fellow administrators and I used to have company provided ISDN lines in our homes so that we could respond quickly to issues after hours.

*AHEM* Not that I'm saying your ISDN line wasn't a good tool to "respond quickly to issues after hours" but...

In reality, your fellow administrators and your used to have a company-provided ISDN line in our home, pretending to need it to respond quickly to issues after hours, so you could get free internet in reality. Trouble is, your company wisened up to the fact that you shafted them, and decided that a a regular dial-up account, an automated phone call, SMS or Blackberry messages work just as well to "solve issues after hours".

Been there, done that. The bubble is finished, get over it...

Safe Auto internet (5, Insightful)

secondsun (195377) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635383)

Essentially institute a "safe auto" contact policy. You have an answering machine on your home phone number that they can call when they need you. You have, as far as they are concerend, no cellphone, pager, blackberry, or non corporate internet. If they send you an email you will get it when you are at work. I can not think of a single profession where there is a similar situation. Do construction works have a BYOB policy (Bring your own Backhoe)? No then why should 24/7 IT guys (which is what your company wants) have a BYOB (Bring your own broadband) expectation?

Complete Access... (1)

MoeMoe (659154) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635384)

I wish my company paid for my internet service. However said company is owned by a cheap penny pincher....

I do have total access to our servers using VNC since no one else in this entire company understands what VNC stands for, let alone does. Just my personal experience...

Been there, done that... (1)

Gildogg (631041) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635389)

I was in the same situation about 3 years ago...and I worked for an ISP at the time.

They provided free dial-up accounts to all employees but that's it. As an administrator I required a little more than a dial-up.

The way I dealt with it is whenever we had a problem that I had to remote in for I would use the free dial-up account. When the owner asked why it took so long to resolve the problem I'd let him know that it could have been resolved a lot quicker with a higher speed connection, but I would not use my personal cable connection for work unless they paid for it. I even offered to bill them for the time I used my own resources for work.

After about 2 months and hundreds of angry customers (companies and home users) I got a free high speed account, a pager, and a cell phone.

Either don't use your personal resources or bill your employer for time using those personal resources for work.

Some the company should pay for (2, Insightful)

grunt107 (739510) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635394)

Blackberry device and pagers should definitely be company paid. You should have a phone yourself, and some internet access, so they would normally be personal expenses. All connectvity software (VPN, etc.) that the company would require for remote connection should also be the corporate $. If a CIO was trying to wring this amount of savings it would signal to me that the end was near, and I would look to jump ship.

(C)hief (I)diot (O)n-Duty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635395)

I'm a CIO and common decency wouldn't allow me to suggest such measures much less implement them!

company pays the whole gamut for me (1)

nomad63 (686331) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635396)

Company provides laptop
Company provides 2 way alphanumeric pager
Company reimburses for Cable modem
Company reimburses for Cell Phone upto $50/mo

It looks like the CIO in the original message, dumping everything on the shoulders of the employees cost-wise is a pretty short sighted and wsounds like he/she won't last any longer than his/her sight.

Yes the IT personnel should be dedicated but in the face of contracting rate cuts, salary reductions and layoffs we suffered, if they expect me to foot the bill for things that that may end up as a responsibility to me (think about 2 year cell phone contracts) should I get laid off, does not make much sense.

As the wisemen at one time said, you harvest what you sow earlier. If they do not provide facilities for support they have to suffice with longer response times.

Non-reimbursement is insulting and quasi-illegal (4, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635397)

I personally find non-reimbursement incredibly insulting, but let's not forget that the employer must be aware that these are deductible business expenses. At the very least, they should be willing to accept that they are getting the money back from your business expenses. There's nothing worse than an employer telling you to get certified or to fly to see client xyz but refusing to pay for the flight or training. I have had to contend with that on a number of occasions, and it's only with small companies. Any fortune .5k company will not only reimburse you, but force you to use the process. They don't want any audit screwing up their investors' opinions!

ISDN is better for the company (0, Offtopic)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635398)

Broadband usually has lousy SLAs (97% availability and things like that). For remote maintainance of decent systems, ISDN is a much better choice.

Why not? (1, Funny)

numakris (684589) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635400)

I pay for my own broadband, cell phone, home phone, and laptop. Guess what, EACH one of those I use as a resource in making my life/work better. Clients can't get through on the business line, they nextel me, GREAT. Good, I wish EVERY employee here was as dedicated, we would get more done. All that matters is GETTING THE JOB DONe, who gives a shit who pays for the cell phone, it's only $50 a month, and my pay is a shit ton more than that. My car, yep, if for whatever reason some other employee, or a boss needed one of my 3 cars, go for it. That's why we make THE BIG BUCKS, because it's WHATEVER IT TAKES.

My experience: (2, Funny)

gik (256327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635402)

My. Company. Doesn't. Pay. For. Shit.
Never have.
Never will.

Boss: "Help! Our App just crashed!"
Me: "Will you bill my toilet paper usage?"
Boss: "Umm... no... why?"
Me: "Because seeing as how I'M ON THE SHITTER AND YOU DON'T HAVE A DR PLAN, I can't help
you at the moment"
Boss: "...But..."
Me: [Click]

Not on my dime (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635403)

The company does not get to use my private resources. You want to reach me after hours then you better recompense me and provide for the cell phone. If you want me to connect to servers at work, either pay for the faster connection or be limited by the bandwith I choose to pay for. ( And if the company pulled this on me after paying for bandwith, I would throttle my connection to a 28.8 regardless of what I might have.)

Fortunately my company has not got that cheap yet.

Try and get a Dime out of my CheapAss Boss (1)

wifitek (675392) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635407)

My Boss is a Cheap Fuk, There I said it!

They should pay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9635408)

If they want that kind of response from you, then they should pay for it. I have separate cell phones, one for personal and one for business. I have two broadband networks at the house, DSL for personal use and Cable Modem for work. I have two toilets, one for personal use and one for work.. :)

all paid for (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635417)


I work from home, work pays for :
{
home telephone
dsl
cabletv
} > all on one package

plus my mobile telephone

seeing as these things would be provided if my office were in the same building, it is to be expected that they cough up

"Other duties as required" (1)

Grrr (16449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635418)

My employer pays for a dedicated ISDN line for some employees (and checks the logs scrupulously for banned, non-work related use).

Since they're already excruciatingly strict about OT, most of my unit could have no better inducement to turn their pagers off and refuse to answer their cell phones altogether, than some nimrod trying to charge us for being contacted off-hours about work stuff. We're not salaried or contracted, 24/7 coverage was not a condition of employment when we were hired - and it's annoying enough to do things on our own time without getting anything for it. Having to pay for our "leashes" would be near to the last straw.

<grrr>

Work-related only (2, Informative)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635420)

... staff who desire to be responsive and should do what it takes to make that happen. The rumor now is that we should also pay for blackberries, cell phones and pagers.

Where I work (a university) the attitude is that if it's work related then work should pay for it. That applies immediately to pagers and cell phones that are distributed to staff. If you already have a cell phone and don't want to carry around another phone, the university will pay for any overage charges that are work related (downside: you probably had work calls in there that brought you over the limit, but you still pay for personal calls in your overage - alternative is to carry a second phone that work pays for.)

This was also extended to in-home broadband access to those who could justify it. For example, if you are a systems administrator and you need to be able to respond to down systems during off-hours (i.e. you carry a pager or cell phone) or if you are a DBA who needs to respond to database problems, work will pay for broadband access. People like the financial support staff, most of the developers, and the web designers are not able to justify home internet access, since they don't need to respond to system problems. (Note I said "most of the developers".)

You have to re-apply every year, and your supervisor and the CIO need to sign off on it. You need to submit your bills monthly, and it only covers broadband internet. For example, if you have cable TV + internet, you only get reimbursed for the internet service. It's a fair system.

paying = you get first dibs (1)

cecille (583022) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635423)

Hey, if you're paying for it, that means that you and your fam get first dibs on the internet. If they're paying for it, it kinda means you have to use it for work. Now, it's your and you you're letting work have the privilige of accessing you after hours.
It still really sucks though 'cause really, you'll probably end up using it just as much for work anyway.

Some Pay Some don't...but you still get paid (1)

virgil2795 (222273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635426)

I worked at 4 IT jobs over the last eight years before my latest 'big corporate job' that required after hours support. They all paid for my DSL/internet access. In my latest role I work many a night and many a weekend, and now as a manager, so does my staff. We have not been reimbursed for Broadband since I started here almost three years ago, but we are expected to always be on call. Our phones and pagers are paid for, but not the broadband. Most of us feel happy to have a job that pays well(we may be just lucky to be paid well, I know others aren't). If you don't have financial reasons to keep your job, or you think you can easily pick a new job for equal pay, I would fight it. If you are happy with other aspects of your job, and are willing to suck up the cost, then just deal with it. Money is an evil, but a necessary one.

Expense it yourself... (2, Informative)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635427)

Last time i checked the IRS 1040 forms had a section specifically to un reimbursed work related expenses.

Sure, its only a tax break but what the hey. Electronic leases suck anyway. Sounds like your employeer is a real dweeb anyhow

No broadband, no cell phone, no working from home (1)

tuomasr (721846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635433)

I had company-sponsored broadband for two yearrs, along with a cell phone and a cell phone bill being paid for the company. I don't anymore and I'm very happy. Having a company-paid broadband line or a cell phone makes it easier for the company to require you to do tidbits of work during your free time.

With no company phone or 'net access it needs to be something major for me to even respond to a request. Previously with a company phone I've had people call me at 1) 7AM 2) Sunday's at 10PM... and I'm a software developer, not tech support.

Update those Resumes (1)

Kefaa (76147) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635435)

It sounds like your CIO thinks the economy is going to continue to tank. Or worse, is letting you know the company is in such financial straights that $500 month can make or break it.

Update your resume, start looking and when you start getting offers, you can decide if he is right. My bet is you will be wishing him a fond farewell. If you can find an opportunity as a group so much the better.

The ploy of administering guilt to ensure you "join the team" is just another emotional play. It begs the question, why won't he take a $500/month pay cut to keep the troops happy?

Move on soldier business is business.

No soup for you! (1)

unclejeb (669260) | more than 10 years ago | (#9635436)

Well, where I work the management attitude got more like what the poster decsribes during the last couple of years of downsizing. We stopped receiving on-call pay for after hours support but were expected to be available, sober and within two hours reach of the facility of course (if we wanted to keep our jobs). Luckily we don't have to pay for the cell phones/pagers we use but never say never.
In staying on topic we do not get reimbursed for broadband connections that we use from home to do work as the company views this as a convenience for us. I'm torn on that because I don't know that the company should be paying for my personal line but on the other hand what is convenient for me is also convenient for the firm since I can turn something around in minutes from home rather than driving all the way in which reduces downtime considerably.

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