Sunday, April 27, 2008


A friend of mine was nearly sacked last week for having his wife phone him at work to say she was stuck in traffic.

"Huh?" I hear you ask - "how does that work?"

Well, you need a few particular circumstances. First you have to work for an American company. Second, said company needs to have a system where phone calls to your works phone are automatically run through speech recognition software which turns them into e-mails and sends them out to you, and thirdly your wife needs to have an accent which causes American speech recognition software to think "stuck in" is really "fucking"... i.e. no particular accent whatsoever.

Add to that mix a company policy where emails containing swearwords get flagged up and sent to all and sundry and you're, um, fu... in the deep, ah, well, you're completely, um. Whatever.

The part I find most amazing is not that the software fu-umbled the words, but that they think he's responsible for the language used (or not as it happens) by someone who called him... And that's from people who appear to have declared war on the wrong country because they can't tell the difference between Iran and Iraq.



  1. I've been unemployed for a long time and was offered an interview with a US country last week.

    Well I say interview they wanted me to do an hours online testing before I go and then 3 hours testing when I get there.

    All this after reading a books worth of policy which says they don't employ users of "tobacco Products" which unless snuff has made a comeback means smokers in the UK.

    After reading all the gumph I was so disheartened that any self respecting geek would want to work for such a facist regime I was tempted not to go at all.

    What really got to me was the total lack of any disability policy. Any large UK company that would expect you to read a book sized pile of crap before you take the tests that tell them you are worth talking to would include their disability policy but this one didn't. So here I am with aspsergers which comes out as an extreme personality type expected to trust them to do the right thing by me after I invest 4 hours into their total crap.

    I emailed them and asked a few questions about their policy so I could be sure I wouldn't be illegally prejudiced against and also to ask about their policy of not allowing mobile phones on site (they don't do anything secret it's just corporate software and if I was going to steal it a phone wouldn't be my chosen method) and got told if I don't like their policy don't attempt.

    The swines wanted me to sign a form as soon as I get on site to say they can pass whatever personal information they like about me across the atlantic. I can't trust my government to look after my details and they expect me to trust another one that has no respect at all for privacy.

  2. But of course you can trust them, they say you can and they should know, after all.

    Gah. Sympathy; I'd hate to have to work for a living - I mean work for anyone else for a living...