At the time, this was rare behavior from 'the management'. That no longer appears to be the case as I read more and more horror stories atop adding my own to the pile.
Flash forward over a decade. My gestapo for the last 4.5 years has routinely stated that I am not important enough for a company cell phone, yet has complained for 4.25 years that I do not have a cell phone (I know, this is already retarded, but wait! There's more.). Three months ago, I was completely fed up of finding myself in these situations where, I was waiting for someone, or just waiting at a bus stop in the rain for far longer than I should have, or even just needing to get some quick bit of information from somebody but realizing I lacked change, or a phone booth anywhere within range of visible acuity (Phone Booth? do they still make those?). So I finally get myself a cell phone... I bought it, and I pay the plan, MY phone.
3 months go by and it is not mentioned. I do use it to jot down notes during my day, or photograph some computer screen, to remind myself of later. So I have not been hiding it and have found ways to assist myself in my job and/or memory, but I am not really using it as a phone while at work. I do not answer it when it rings, I reply to texts during breaks because I know that I should not be on my personal cell phone at all hours while at work... Besides, it's been at least 5 years that nobody could reach me 'right now' so most folks are used to me calling back when I get the message. Things are going well, I can augment my professionalism and not detract from work hours (by stealing time), so I have found the perfect balance.
Until last week.
Last week, my gestapo asked for my cell number. I withheld that information until I realized the argument was going to be fruitless (because: in order to argue with an idiot, you must sink to their level where they will beat you with their experience), so I gave up my cell number then went about my day. I did not get more than 20 steps from his office, when my cell phone rang. I did exactly what I had been doing for the past 3 months: taking it out of my pocket, and sending the call to voicemail, then going back to whatever I had just been doing. My phone then proceeded to ring every 15 minutes for the next hour until my gestapo left the office. The following day (Tuesday) another 6 ignored calls with no voicemail from the gestapo's company cell phone number. Wednesday: 3 more. Finally, Wednesday afternoon he decided he'd had enough. I was lambasted in front of half of the office and told "When you see my name on your phone you answer it!"... Half an hour later and in front of a witness to that event, I pulled out my ringing phone, showed it to the other party, and asked who's name was on the phone. The answer was "unknown caller with phone number ###-###-####", so I sent it to voicemail.
In three days I ignored 15 calls from the same number... In three months prior, I ignored 6 calls during work hours, and I am fairly certain they were telemarketers because I hadn't yet added my number to the do not call list. Gestapo has tried to argue that 'he would not waste all my minutes', and I replied: 'no, you will waste none of my minutes because that is how many you have graciously paid for. Besides, I am not important enough to have a company cell phone, remember?'. I also installed a call blocking software on my phone by Thursday, so his cell number does not actually ring anymore.
Is this argument worth losing my job? I would say yes, but I don't think he believes that, otherwise, I am sure I would have already been suspended or have some written notice to sign for my insubordinate behaviour. To be honest, I am fairly sure there are no grounds to fire me for not answering my personal cell phone during my work day while I am at work, but I am sure there are grounds to fire me if I do.
Besides, it is the principle of the matter. IT'S MY PHONE NOT THEIRS. If I am not worthy of a company cell phone, especially when it is me who gets to configure them for people who just started working here, and fix them when they stop working, then I am not worthy of answering a cell phone while I am working. I did not sign anything when I started this job which obliged me to answer any cell phone, and after this little outburst, I will refuse to sign anything obliging me to do it now.
Corporations are running rampant all over our rights because WE LET THEM. And now our government feels they can do it too. By asking how many sexual partners we've had, or if we've ever paid a prostitute, or to friend us on facebook or worse still: give out our facebook passwords. They will continue to do so for as long as we are complacent because we're complacent.
So the next time you are asked some stupid question during a job interview, employee review, or even a meeting, come right back with "how many of the president of the corporation's nannys has had an abortion?", or, "how many satanic rituals has the comptroller been involved in?", or, "have you ever had inappropriate sexual relations with a minor?", or, "who shaves your back?"... Make the question as vulgar and inappropriate as you are comfortable with and insist you require the answer before you will answer their inappropriate questions, as it will help you determine whether or not you trust such personal information in the hands of this corporate entity. Turn the mirror on the douchebag controlfreaks, and you'll begin to see many of them turn to stone.
Edit: October 15th 2012
The latest douchebagery came today in written warning format because I did not shave this morning:
|Click to enlarge|