Today’s post will be a quickie about rich Bay Street Lawyers and the test of human dignity. Yesterday I came across at pretty neat story in Toronto Star called, ‘Bay Street law firm uses fingerprint technology to monitor employees’ comings and goings‘ and needless to say after reading the article, it caught my attention to say the least. Seriously, it caught my attention, so I decided to do a quick followup, share my opinion and more importantly get your two cents in return.
Sounds like the days of sneaking out for longer lunches and leaving early on Friday afternoons could be a thing of past at one of Toronto’s Bay Street law firms. McCague Borlack LLP has decided to revamp the security at it’s office by installing top notch security – finger swipe tracking. This will require the staff to clock in and out of the office with a finger swipe, and in turn hopefully eliminate morning late-comers, long lunch goers, and those who take off early on Friday afternoons.
Personally I think this a pretty interesting concept and the maximum use of technology. It’s certainly the first time I’m ever hearing about anything like this. However, what struck a nerve with me was that this new system that’s about to be installed at McCague Borlack LLP only applies to the secretaries and the copy-room staff, and excludes the lawyers and legal assistants. Why not just institute the same rules for everyone? Instead it seems that rules don’t apply to those who charge their clients upwards of $400 per hour.
Is this Nepotism or Favoritism?
Time will tell, and this won’t go down easily for the law firm as the secretaries have launched a blog that updates the happenings and shares their thoughts on this matter. If you’d like to read the very interesting blog, check out the Fingerprint Campaign and why the lawyers and managing partners at McCague Borlack LLP deserve the finger.
My Two Cents
I really think the technology aspect of this story is pretty cool, and it’s the first time I’m hearing about it and seeing this technology outside of watching it on Criminal Minds on TV. I could also see how technology like this would eliminate a lot of lateness, long lunches, and early departures, so I can see where the law firm is going with the idea. However, what irks me about this story is that there are two sets of rules aimed at two sets of people, therefore creating a divide within a place that employs roughly 200 people.
Furthermore, it also creates a sense of unfairness between the lawyers and their legal assistants, and those who are paper pushers at the bottom of the chain as looked at by most lawyers, yet secretaries are the ones who push a fair amount of work in a given day. I personally don’t know any lawyers firsthand, but have dated a few secretaries and legal assistants in my lifetime, who’ve shared stories, opinions and thoughts on what it’s like to work for a law firm. We all know lawyers can be nasty, and for the most part think that their shit don’t stink, so I’m certain you can imagine some rudeness towards the secretarial employees. Also, who looks after the time lawyers spend on any given case for a client? Nobody! That’s why clients are served with invoices for “x amount of hours”, yet nobody can question the hours or the lawyers or how much time they’ve actually spent on a given case. I’m certain that lawyers wouldn’t be fond of having to finger in-and-out for every case they work on, so they can truthfully show the actual hours that are spent working on a case and not having a 5-star lunch.
Finally, fingerprinting your way in-and-out, so someone else can track your whereabouts sounds freakish. Whatever happened to the basic principles of privacy and basic humanity? I guess they’re gone out the window in this case. In every job, there needs leeway and room for error. I’m a firm believer that the stronger the constraints are on employees, the more counterproductive employees become. Good companies are built on trust, and allowing it’s employees to be creative in their own way. You don’t have to look very far to see the success of companies Google, Apple, Delta Hotels, Cisco Systems, TD Bank, and many others.
What About You?
Thanks for reading my two cents, but as I mentioned at the beginning of the article I’d love to know your two cents, and the view you share on the above story and issue. Furthermore, if you’d like to read more and know get to know the issue in depth, check out the two links below:
Finger Campaign – Which Finger to Give to Bay Street
Readers, what are your two cents? How do you feel about this? What would you do if you were McCague Borlack LLP?
Thanks for stopping by!