Secretaries at the Canadian affiliate of UK giant DAC Beachcroft are fuming after the law firm brought in a draconian security regime that requires them to have their finger prints taken – then clock in and out of the office with a finger swipe.
McCague Borlack’s lawyers are exempt from the scheme, which has been likened by a blog apparently set up by the secretaries to Hitler’s “IBM punch-card technology”.
Perhaps overstating the secretaries’ case somewhat, one post on the blog, which is called ‘Finger Campaign’, explains:
“The tracking hardware for this program has been arriving at the firm lately. And that is having a very chilling effect on the secretaries’ psyche. Hitler used IBM punch-card technology in the 1930s to monitor the whereabouts of people he deemed undesirable. What if he had been somehow prevented from doing so? Maybe a few lives would have been able to avoid the horrors of the holocaust? Maybe. Of course, Hitler also claimed he needed the punch card computers for population census and economic management! What if the Nazis possessed today’s fingerprinting technology: tyranny and terror.”
In another post, Finger Campaign equates the secretaries’ position with leading historical figures ranging from Aristotle to “the late Mr. Patrick Swayze, Dirty Dancing”.
For its part, McCague Borlack insists that fingerprinting its secretaries is necessary.
Founding partner (and Mr Burns look-a-like) Howard Borlack – a picture of whom smiling creepily alongside his new fingerprinting technology can be found here – told the Toronto Star:
“Some people were abusing the system. We had people taking two to three hours for lunch and we had no way of knowing.”
He added: “I know we have people who probably work less than 35 hours a week and if I listen to all the griping about certain people, I’m sure it’s well less than that.”