It was a very regular work day when it happened. I came to work as usual, sat on my desk, and fired up my desktop computer. I was working on a few graphics for a little event I was planning for my team; someone was celebrating her birthday and I was in charge of all the buntings and niceties we were planning to surprise her with. I launched the Photoshop CS4 installed on my computer and remembered that I had a few more fonts to install which I downloaded the other day. I proceeded to unzip the font folder, dragged the file into the Fonts folder on Drive C:, and waited a few seconds. Alas, I was welcomed with something that went like, “Cannot install XYZ.ttf. The file ‘XYZ.ttf’ does not appear to be a valid font.”
After checking if the file download was broken (it wasn’t) and trying out several other workarounds to carry out the installation, I came to the conclusion that I was stripped off of my administrative privileges on my own work computer.
It has happened to many employees before. In a quest to improve security, IT admins tend to remove administrator rights for endpoint devices like desktop computers and laptops. This kind of move, of course, makes local users (employees) suffer for several reasons.
I don’t want to call on IT staff every time I need to install software.
It is plain inefficient and frustrating. There was one time when I needed to have my Adobe Flash player updated to play a something I needed for my workflow, but I couldn’t, just because I don’t have the privileges to do so. Same thing happened when we made the switch to a RingCentral phone system – I wasn’t able to use the service on my desktop right away because I had to get in touch with the IT department to have the Call Controller installed. Now I don’t have my own phone unit in the office (hence, the need for RingCentral), and it was such a pity that the time I should have spent working was instead spent on the unnecessary task of walking down two floors just to reach the IT personnel. Creating an email ticket for my issue was out of the question as it would take those weeks to resolve such problems coursed through emails. What a waste of time!
The business environment I thrive in involves only a few computer privileges.
I remember my superior reminding me the day before to leave my computer turned on before I leave. Of course I obeyed him, believing that there was just new software or some configurations that needed to be modified. But I never thought it was going to be about the user privileges on my computer (I’m now hell bent on proving that he had a hand on this). Now, I do understand that minimal privileges are enough for me to complete my job scope, but I believe that the same goes for my superiors and the rest of the people here in the office (I belong to a team which only needs a working internet connection, a browser for research, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel). Plus, if they’re going to limit privileges, they should do it in every computer, not just for a select few. I don’t want to be in a workplace where I get to see someone play Minecraft all day while I stare at my Word docs all day. That’s just plain injustice.
If it was a part of the so-called ‘growing pains’ this company is having, then maybe I should brace myself for more. I won’t be surprised if one day I wake up and find that I don’t have Internet access in this cube anymore. To me, the amount of administrative rights I have is paramount to how much I am valued as an employee, and how much the company values the work that I do for it. Undermining my ability to control what I do to my computer speaks a lot about how this company places its trust and respect upon its employees.