Friday, September 28, 2007

Needles

So, I have had the Knit Picks Options Harmony Needles for a bit now, so I feel ready to talk about them.
The Look
The colors are more muted, as others have pointed out. I prefer them as they are, but really, since once you are knitting you are looking at the kitting and not the needles so much, I didn't have a strong preference.
I knew going in that the needles do not have the size marked, which clearly puts them below every other needle I own on that front. Knit Picks does offer a sizer and also some danglies you can put on the cord, but, I think those are not the greatest solutions. The card, with the sizes marked, does fit in the case that comes with the Harmony needles, so that helps. I am also thinking of marking mine up with a a Sharpie. Because I know this will be a problem once I have all these needles engaged in projects.
The Feel
They are very smooth. The wood is laminated and shiny (although not in a distracting way). The Clover needles and the Skacel are my other wood needles, while these look smoother, in the end I think it's probably a wash. But they are very smooth.
They are pointy. I use the Denise's all the time which others have complained are not so pointy, so clearly pointy is not a big thing for me, but they are pointier than Denise or Clovers. The Skacel's I have are fours, so they are pretty pointy.
Needle Tips
I have never found the memory on Denise's to be a problem for me, and it seems to disappear after a round, but the Options clearly have no memory (for good or bad).
I have not yet had any issues with the Options needles coming undone. I did once have that happen with the Denise's - it was early on before I figured out how to twist them until they locked. The Options needles started to untwist a few times, on one project, but I used the cable key (comes in the package) and that seemed to take care of it. The Options needles come with a cable key. It's basically a thingie that you stick in the hole at the join to give you leverage to twist better. (Kind of like the extension thing on a car jack.)
I have heard from others that you can also make use of the hole to thread a lifeline through so that it is magically set up as you knit. I may need to make use of this for the Mystery Stole.
Both the Denise and the Options set come with little caps that let you turn the cable into a stitch holder which is great for victims of starter-itis (although you'll need more cables) and for projects where the knitting is started in the round and then split.
The Denise set also comes with connectors that let you attach cables together, thereby increasing the number of sizes you can achieve with the same set of cables. I have used this a lot for big projects or projects that expand. The Options cables do not currently have any cable connectors.
Even though they are wood, I think for air travel, I would pack the Options needles and take the Denise's on the plane. While I think most wood needles look pretty innocuous, somehow I feel that the Options set looks a little less so. (Who knows what the TSA might make of the cable key.)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Customer is Not Presumed Innocent

I heard the story about the guy who took the sticker off of a low priced item, stuck it on the box for a flat screen TV, and went through self check out. So, I understand that these things do happen. And most, when caught will say it was accidental. And I do recognize that stores lose giant amounts of merchandise each year to shoplifting and retail shrinking (getting a lower price incorrectly).
And I understand that often the big box stores maintain those low, low prices by not carrying a lot of staff to assist customers, monitor them, or keep the stock in order.
My mother and I were shopping in a discount store and we were looking at golf bags, since she wanted to buy one for my brother. We noticed that one of the golf bags had been marked (by the store - this was an attached price tag) at a lower price than the others. So understandably, we bought that one. When the cashier rang it up, he was surprised and called for a price check. My mother politely pointed out that the price was marked clearly on the item. The cashier called for a manager. The manager looked at the price tag, agreed that that was how it had been marked, and had the cashier ring it up at that price. He also, very nicely, asked us if we had noticed any other bags marked with that price. (We had not.)
Errors happen. Things end up mis-marked, or in the wrong box or what have you. But, it seems to me the solution is to assume that while the customer wants a great deal, the customer is not necessarily trying to screw over the store.
This is why I am so saddened to read the story of the Wall Street Journal editor who was detained in Kmart after she placed a pair of flip flops in the wrong box. Now, I understand that by placing the flip flops in the box, it gave the appearance of retail shrinkage. And, the store didn't break any laws and apparently acted within its standards. But, it would seem to me that for a scenario where we are detaining someone who just bought $800 worth of stuff, that for the $8 difference it might be worthwhile to assume human error. But maybe I am naive. Perhaps they assume that the $8 of retail shrinkage is part of a pattern of behavior and that they are better off losing this customer (since they told her never to return) than taking the risk.
I think perhaps if the shelves were not so often in disarray, then it would be easier to spot customers who really are trying to ticket switch, but I guess it costs less money to get rid of your current customers than to hire more staff.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Book Update

Since I whined about it, I went to my favorite Border's and they had the Crazy Aunt Purl book (Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair, which on the price tag is hilariously shortened to Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk Divorce) and it's not October yet so, ha!
And I have already finished it, and it was wonderful. If you have read the blog, the voice is the same. I really enjoyed it. Even if you haven't had your husband tell you at the dinner table that he is leaving you, I still think there is something everyone can relate to in having your plans crumble and having to come up with new ones. And there are 14 patterns in the book too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Not That Old

Somewhere around twenty four it seems, the signs started. Things that indicated I was old. Not decrepit or ancient, but not so young either. After you pass twenty one and possibly twenty five - the age of car rentals and car insurance discounts - most of the age marks seem to be about being old. Um, yay?
But really, the twenties were fun, but I happily moved on from them, because thirty was wise and mature but not old, right? But then there was the fifteen year high school reunion, making me a whole high schooler worth of time away from high school, and the ten year college reunion and then they started having special re-releases of movies from my teen years, like "Dirty Dancing". How is "Dirty Dancing" twenty years old? How am I old enough that people my age have somehow found time to make millions, get married, have kids, get divorced, and/or travel the world? Huh? And it doesn't help that by UU sub-divisions I age out of young adult-hood in a little over a year. But I'm still feel young. Really. (And I do know that all of these things are arbitrary and in many ways meaningless, but, still.)
And now the freaking American Girls are in on it. Apparently the latest doll is from the historic 1970's. (I heard about this here.)
The 1970's are in the past, and okay, it's apparently far back enough that there's been a sitcom about it for a while. But for some reason that didn't bug me. I was just a tiny thing in the 70's, so a story about teens in the 70's is a story about people older than me (yes, it is twisted logic, I am quite proud of it.) And, I know that this really means they ran out of decades although it seems they have some gaps - might I suggest the 20's, the 50s and the 60s. But my life is now historical. What? Just because I remember the Berlin Wall coming down doesn't make me historical. I am young. Stop trying to make me think otherwise.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The SKINny

I am a bit sad over the Redskins loss. The first home game, I was traveling back from Maryland's Eastern Shore, so listened on the radio. This means that I missed the awful new light uniforms. Look, I understand wanting to integrate more color into the light uniform - I'm sure the Skins laundry service in particular is grateful. Yellow is a very nice color, but there are many many shades of it, and many many ways we could could have added yellow without making the Skins look as is they had been caught in a mustard storm of some sort.
I don't care if they are retro, that doesn't make it any less ugly. Also, just because 75 years ago someone thought this looked good, doesn't make them any more correct.
For much of the game I had better things to pay attention to, but then there was the second half. I know 2-1 certainly isn't the end of the world, but being undefeated was such a nice thing while it lasted.

Friday, September 21, 2007

In the Presence of the Harlot

So I traveled across the great river into the wilds of Virginia to see the Yarn Harlot last night.* (Warning: Long post ahead!)
Despite internet chatter suggesting people had taken whole days off to stake out the Borders in question, I went renegade and left work at approximately my normal time and headed there.
I walked in and the first thing I saw was a staffer at a table with Harlot gear. He handed me my post it and my number (97). I told him I had been to Nora signings and author conventions, 97 was fine.
I then tried to find the craft section (accosting a lovely lady looking for the restroom since she had a gorgeous knitting bag, so I thought she might have scoped it out) to try and find the newly released Crazy Aunt Purl book.
I found the section, but not the book. I found other knitters. I spread the word of Knitting Daily and the Modern Quilt Wrap that has seduced me.
I found a staffer to ask about the book, and after taking me to the section I had just been to, she looked it up and told me that their computer was telling me that it was not available until October. I apologize to the young staffer for arguing (although politely with her). My frustration came from the fact that while I knew the original release date was October, I also knew the book had been released early and had in fact confirmed that morning on the Borders website that the book was in stock at that very store. Sadly, the computer that still said 10/15 won the day. Especially since, with a house-full of book reading knitters, an opportunity was lost.
It was great being in a room with so many knitters. Looking around, peaking at what people were working on and wearing. I confess, I got very few names, and remember even less of them (sorry). But there were lovely people everywhere. I sat between someone who had only recently began yarning again when her daughter asked her to teach her crochet and another woman who just started knitting a few weeks ago and was working on her very first project: a pink garter stitch scarf. (I told her that was my first project and my first UFO.)
There were men, there were babies, there were folks of all ages. I saw someone with a finished Mystery Stole (I really need to get going on mine). There were sweaters and socks and gloves and scarves and, of course, hats.
The Cafe was a little unprepared for hungry knitters, but worked valiantly. There were many, many chairs.
And then Stephanie came.
The Harlot Speaks
I will not even pretend I can do justice to the ninety minutes or so that she spoke. But there were lists. There was talk of knitter prejudice. There was talk of how when she tried Knitters Without Borders this past fall she was told by experts that she was setting herself up for failure because fundraising is one thing when there is a disaster but it is very difficult outside such an event and you shouldn't hope for too much.
Well, the knitters, as they often do, exceeded the expectations of the experts and now they are asking Stephanie how they can get everyone else to be like that. (Her answer, it's going to take a lot of yarn.)
Stephanie talked of knitting and it's wonders, wool and it's wonders. She gave suggestions for handling folks who glimpse your stash and don't immediately say - Wow, is that hand-painted merino?. One bold one included petting it and saying, "These are my kittens!" I may never use it, but I love having it in the arsenal.
When Stephanie wrapped up, they moved folks upstairs in blocks. There was knitter chat as we waited. I showed off my Harmony Options needles and worked on something that may go to a swap partner.
Knitting near the Harlot
It was great being with people who - even if they didn't have their own knitting - thought it perfectly normal that I did. Even understood why my bag held a second project. There was a woman who knit a whole scarf on 35's while we were there, and then felt bereft for the remainder of her wait.
I saw Stephanie speak to a young lady and tell her that once she could write her own name and read, she would be ready to start knitting. (The young lady is halfway there.)
Harlot signing
And the line moved forward and it was my turn. And Stephanie graciously smiled and signed my book and asked about my knitting. And I turned into a teenager. You know, I was polite, I smiled, I answered her question, but I didn't engage. (All due respect to teens, I know you have fabulous moments, but you do know that sometimes you clam up.) So, Stephanie, hopefully the rest of the folks in line were a bit more engaging. And the irony of the fact that I talked to strangers all night long and then apparently lost the art of conversation when speaking to the person I had come to see, is not lost on me.
I had a grand old time. I got the hang with knitters, see the Yarn Harlot, and get my book signed.



*Yes, we folks in this area find it funny to talk about crossing borders like it requires a passport. It is for most of us in jest.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Knitting is Dangerous

Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently in my discussions of knitting bringing people together, I overlooked an important piece. But Tangelled Angel has the link to give you the full scoop on why knitting has been deemed dangerous by a hospital in Cheshire.

Paperback Swap

I've talked about Paperback Swap before. Well, as of October 5th, they are going to reduce the initial credits you get just for signing up from three to two. It's still two books just for joining, but less than you would get if you signed up now. So, if you were on the fence about joining, go do it now and get the three credits.
Great for avid readers, readers on a budget, or readers looking for stuff that's out of print.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pandora

I went to a town hall type deal with Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora. It was very interesting listening to him talk about how the Music Genome Project came out of working as a film composer, and finding that the biggest part of that was figuring out what kind of music the director liked. So the Music Genome Project was hatched to break down the components of songs and match up songs with similar characteristics.
I first heard about it from a list member who had set up a station and rated some songs and then looked at what it told her were the common elements. I have a few stations set up, but tend to listen in Quickmix, which bunches all my stations together.
Pandora gives me the chance to start with the stuff I already know I like, and expand out from there. In my car, I tend to listen to news radio, but at work, I found it had to be really loud for me to follow. Plus as I would get into a groove, I would lose what they were talking about. So music is a better background for me, but regular radio was sometimes fuzzy and filled with commercials and DJs. (Some of the DJs are lovely.) So, Pandora worked great. It was also a great solution for someone who appreciates world music, pop, country and musicals.
Also, you can skip stuff, scroll back to find out what that great song was, and so on. And, as Tim pointed out, their catalog is huge compared to what even the most eclectic station tends to play.
Now, I just need a new phone so I can carry it with me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Look What I Have!



Cheating is Bad

Michael Wilbon has a great article (from last week, before the punishment was announced) detailing why spying on other teams should carry a harsh penalty. I had a co-worker who was convinced that only serious conspiracy could have gotten the New England Patriots to the SuperBowl after the 2001-2002 season, so certainly the subsequent success has put the Patriots in a position where many love to hate them. And sure, post-dogfighting the league is trying to demonstrate that they are not just tough on players, they hold everyone to higher standards.
But, here's the thing. It's like speeding, everyone may do it but it doesn't stop making it wrong. So, if I get pulled over or caught by a speed camera I hate it. It annoys the crap out of me. But, I was speeding and I know that speeding carries risks, one of which is tickets.
Barry Bonds has faced all manner of ire for something no one has been able to prove he even did. Sure, speeding and taking illegal drugs are actually against the law, while my understanding of the spying that has taken place is that it may not violate any laws, but it clearly violates league policy. And when you work for the league, those are the rules.
So, is the punishment big? Yes. But, I think that's fair. Even if everyone else is doing it. I'm not trying to suggest that that's what you get for getting caught, but as people have pointed out. This is not one rogue team member. This is not one person doing something on their own time. This is clearly institutional behavior. So, the whole team gets to feel the brunt. And maybe other teams will think twice about enhancing their advantages.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Practice

I was reading Alison Kent's entry on Practice, and I don't know if it's something about the terminology, but it seems that we associate practice with children and with sports and music. But other professions and pursuits, while we often allow for beginner issues, we don't properly appreciate practice. If we look at incomplete reports, ill-fitting knits or unfinished stories as practice that seems to appropriately frame the reality that these things will not always turn out as planned. And professional athletes still practice almost every day. There is no assumption that just because one is a virtuoso that one does not need to rehearse pieces. Academy, Emmy and Tony award winning actors rehearse all the time, and that is considered part of their job. My day job involves testing cycles. So, failures, misses or just errors are not signs of failure, they are indicators of practice. Practice is not a bad word.
I don't think it will make me love swatching, but certainly viewing unfinished knits or stories as practice sounds so much nicer than failures.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Power of Knitting

I was reading Lacey Sugarman's article on subway knitting in the new Knitty, and was struck by this:
Although knitting needles occasionally constitute weapons in airports, on the train, they disarm. They instantly made me more approachable and other passengers less creepy for approaching me. It turned out that knitting did, indeed, reduce stress.
I have talked with many about how knitting soothes the multitasker in me, allowing me to find joy in conference calls, bus waits, commutes (where I am not driving) and slow movies.
But this is a fascinating point, knitting, rather than isolating you from the group as some other solitary pursuits can, creates a conversation point. People can ask what you are doing, talk to you about crafty things, or just watch.
One Knit in Public Day I sat in Starbucks and knit and had lovely conversations with two women - both started with them asking about knitting and then moved on to subjects like dating and movies. But knitting was the thing that made it not weird to start talking to a stranger.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Look, Knitting!

I have fallen prey to the easy charms of the Hemlock Ring Blanket. (In between working on some stuff I can't talk about and some stuff that I can, but since my progress is not visible from the last time, we'll save that.)
Knitting from the inside out like this makes the progress very visible and while I know charts give you a better visual clue to where you are going, I like instructions better I can read them faster, even if I sometimes a read the wrong row. YMMV.
Anyhoo, I used some Elann Sonata I had lying around since I have large amounts, which means I can go until I want to stop, or until the idea of casting off that many stitches makes me ill. I do like the way it looks with nubbier yarn, so may try this again with something else later but that's putting the knitting ahead of the other knitting. (Do you see why I need so many needles?).
Ring Blanket
(Pay no attention to the little frayed bit, I haven't woven that in yet.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dear Folks #13

Dear Actor People With a Fear of Looking Pale,
Your constant use of spray tan is wearing out my television. See, when you appear all orange-like on my screen, I assume my color settings must be off and try to fix it. And then I realize that other channels seem to look fine, in fact the people you are standing next to seem to look fine. And then, I become mesmerized with your coloring, wondering what special mirrors you must have in your house that you think this looks better or desirable or like something you shouldn't be suing for. So, please, for the sake of us all, stop.
Sincerely,
An Avid Television Viewer

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Resistance May Be Futile

I know that the idea behind the interchangeable needle kits is that you should never have to buy more needles. Except, they only come with a few cords. And should you, you know, be a victim of starteritis, that might not work for you. So, instead of futzing around buying more cords, you might, just, you know, buy another set. And then, they might come up with a pink kit, and donate part of the proceeds to breast cancer research. And who doesn't want to support breast cancer research? And you may have bought that, promising that of course you would sell or donate one of your other kits because really, three kits, plus various and sundry lone needles, is a bit nutty. Except that all the pieces from the kits (or most of them) seem to be in use somewhere. But as soon as they turn up, you'll do something.
So, you have resisted tales of the other interchangeable needles, because they are metal, and metal hurts your hands, so it's not tempting. Even if that other set has fours - because really, you knit so rarely in fours. (Well, there was a teddy bear, and the mystery stole, but really rare in the grand scheme of things.)
But then an evil person* blogs that they are now offering the set with wooden needles. And you peak.
And they are so pretty - it's not just wood, it's multi-colored, laminated birch. So, if I you bought it - it would be like research. Birch knitting research. Right?

*Kisses, Melanie!
Updated to add: I have officially caved.

No Good Words

I both want to acknowledge the day, and yet not add to the somber. Reflect appropriately, and yet not add to all the voices telling everyone how to feel today. So, there we go.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My Madeliene L'Engle Story

In Fourth Grade, our class read A Wrinkle In Time. I adored it. I was already an avid reader, and was always excited and thrilled to find more stories. Then a classmate told me there were more. I remember being a little jealous that she already knew what happened to Meg and Calvin and Charles Wallace. I quickly got the rest of the books from the library and read them.
I'm not sure if it was the same year, but certainly still elementary school, our librarian arranged for us to have a call with Ms. L'Engle. We had a phone set up at the front of the room on speaker, and each of us was allowed to ask a question. Having read The Young Unicorns I asked her how much of the laser work on eyes was made up. She responded that while she had fast forwarded the successes a bit, that there were people working on using laser technology to correct eyesight. In the early 1980's - to me that seemed magical, although it is fairly simple now.
During my scavenging of the L section in the library, I found the Austin series. (There is some character swapping from the series, Zach ends up meeting Meg and Calvin's daughter, and Adam, Calvin's assistant, meets Vickie Austin.) The summer I was sixteen, I read Ring of Endless Light.
In Ring Vickie is sixteen, so I felt a special kinship. My grandfathers were each ailing, although their afflictions were different than Vickie's grandfather. (My summer did not involve dolphins or two very different guys vying for my attention.) I adored this story such that I often stopped reading so I could explain the latest part to anyone who would listen. So, several of my friends, ended up vicariously reading the story.
It was fourteen years before L'Engle published the next installment of Vickie's journey, but my mother and I both devoured the story quickly. And now, with her death, that is where that journey will end.
But it is a wonderful legacy, over 60 books, including a sci-fi novel, considered unconventional because it was told through the eyes of a girl, that still appeals to people today.

Quotes:
You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.

I do not think that I will ever reach a stage when I will say, "This is what I believe. Finished." What I believe is alive ... and open to growth.

The great thing about getting older is that You don't lose all the other ages you've been.

When we fall as we always do, we pick ourselves up and start again. And when our trust is betrayed the only response that is not destructive is to trust again. Not stupidly you understand, but fully aware of the facts, we still have to trust. The Young Unicorns

You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you. A Wrinkle in Time

For the things that are seen are temporal, but things that are unseen are eternal. A Wrinkle in Time

Maybe you have to know darkness before you can appreciate the light. A Ring of Endless Light

What I think is that if we're still around after we die, it will be more like those moments when we let go, than the way we are most of the time. It'll be--it'll be the self beyond the self we know. A Ring of Endless Light

Friday, September 07, 2007

Madeliene L'Engle

Madeleine L'Engle has passed away. I will have more coherent thoughts on that later.

Not so Bionic

Apparently I am not that bionic. Warning: This requires sound and the first part is a bit loud. It may also make you want to prove you are more bionic, but taking the test repeatedly. Maybe. I was 37% on the first test, 42 after some mild recalibration.
Thanks to EW.com for the link

Book Rant #15: Free College

I realize that in the US, college is very rarely free. But the military academies are - you pay off your tuition debt by agreeing to serve in the appropriate service for at least four years after your graduation. Now, sure, not everyone would know this. But, if your character lives in Annapolis and has a dad who works as a professor there, I'm figuring this would be fairly common knowledge. Especially if you dad is pressuring you to attend. My parents offered me a car if I went anywhere where my tuition was free - one way or another. (I did not. I know. What was I thinking?)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Scarlet Boa

So, in preparation for NaNoWriMo, I thought I'd break out my writing skills that have lain dormant as I experience the dreaded computer=work loathing. So, I heard tell of the Scarlet Boa competition which required 500 words (my first attempt was 1500, oh, the irony). This year's theme is a paranormal encounter which seemed a reachable genre for me. (In comparison to a Regency historical, which I enjoy reading but am nowhere close to ready to write one.)
The entries have now been posted. Check it out.

Crafty and Linky Notes

I am knitting, but a combo of tired, and a sore shoulder has me going slow. The shoulder does not hurt when I knit, but it does hurt if I carry the knitting around on that shoulder.
Football season starts soon! Tomorrow in fact! Through the Football Along, I have a fantasy team again and I got some good players, so we'll see how it goes.
My Knit 1 Tea 2 Swap-ee doesn't know it, but I had to buy a lot of tea, and it's all her fault. I was at [tea place] getting some stuff for her, and a little for me while I was there when they told me I was mere ounces away from a discount. And like the sale junkie that I am, I said, oh sure, I'll take more of that. Good thing I'm holding off a bit on the yarn shopping.
I'm not the only one puzzled by Amazon reviews.
And my swap-ee for Knitters Virtual Vacation Swap, is offering up three handmade items, a sort of Craft it Forward deal.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Gonna Hold It

I was over at the Chaliceblog reading about Senator Craig, and I think there are some interesting points in both CC's post and the comments. However, the one thing I came away with is that should I be in Minnesota (and possibly elsewhere as well), I will try not to use public restrooms. Let's put to the side the discussion of is Mr. Craig gay, and if so does that make his political policies hypocritical, or call into question his morality. If tapping your foot and brushing your hand into the neighboring stall gets you arrested for lewd conduct, think of the trouble I could get in. I am not faulting the officer, as far as I am aware, was working well within the law. I am just astounded that such behavior, which I would classify as creepy but was unaware could be considered illegal, could lead to jail or - depending on the charge and the jurisdiction - having to register as a sex offender.
Don't get me wrong, I think people should be able to use public bathrooms without other people sticking their hands in their stalls. Interestingly, I find the term "invasion of privacy" - which was dropped, much more appropriate, but I recognize I am approaching this from a terminology standpoint rather than a legal standpoint.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I Was There

Okay, most of us who have a work provided emails and/or internet access got some sort of boilerplate notification that your company reserves the right to monitor your activities, blah, blah, blah. I go back and forth on this. Yes, I understand that if I use my work account to download kiddie porn or set up an illegal gambling site that the company is potentially at legal risk (I imagine) and also subject to embarrassment for allowing such behavior to occur. And that, even if I don't get caught, they are paying for this stuff so I can work, not so I can shop.
But, on the other hand, where does my right to privacy start (or end)? Because one could argue that they hired me to do job, and as long as I do my job, everything else is my business. It is not the same as if I use my company phone to rack up long-distance, they have already paid for my email account and internet access, my usage does not affect their bottom line. My quality of work does.
But, anyhoo, with the use of GPS to assist drivers and RFID tags to track merchandise, and GPS in phones, the possibilities for monitoring are even greater. Having worked in a call center, I am familiar with the idea of my day being very specifically monitored - number of calls, length of calls, amount of time not on a call, and so on. So perhaps my righteous indignation is worn down.
A construction worker was caught when his company issued phone (with GPS tracker) was compared to his time sheet. It turns out he left early, 83 times (over five months). Now, in the suit, he argued that he had never been made aware that he could be tracked, and apparently his state does not require it, although one story mentioned the the phone booklet did mention that even if you turned off the feature, some information would still be available. And you know, once or twice or even once a month, while not great, is one thing. But eighty three times?
Apparently, it was pointed out that he did often show up early, so I don't know if part of it was that he was giving himself unsanctioned flex time. The thing is, as much as it sucks, you kind of can't do that. And he also had time cards that were stamped with hours that were not what he worked. Since the articles I read did not indicate that he had cleared this with someone, I assume falsifying the time cards was probably enough cause for firing, the GPS data was how they proved the falsification.