Is Minesweeper really killing that much productivity?

Apparently the Montana state government thinks so. The latest controversy at the Child Support Enforcement Division is about whether or not Solitaire and Minesweeper should be on employee computers.

From the Helena Independent Record:

Some union and non-union employees complained that the games weren’t on the new machines, said Lonnie Olson, division administrator. They said some other divisions in the same department had games on their computers.

“I said if they want them, we’ll put them on,” Olson said, adding that he wanted to make sure division employees were treated the same as others in the department.

An anonymous tipster who said he worked in the private sector criticized Olson’s decision.

“If state employees have time to play computer games, then there are too many state employees,” the tipster said in an e-mail to the Independent Record. “As an employee in the private sector, I would run the risk of losing my job if my boss caught me playing games on my computer.”


I think there's a little Luddite-ism and general resentment of state workers here.


Anonymous said...

I have never played either one while at work... but I have downloaded Bejeweled which I know a few other co-workers have as well. They might want to look into that game :)

Haley H said...

I can see where a company might uninstall the games on company computers because they don't want to encourage their employees to play during work time. What I can't see is the employee actually complaining that the games have been removed. That's just too ballsy. :)

Anonymous said...

Your comment at the end of the quoted article seems to imply disapproval of this action. I'm not particularly in favor of Draconian management practices, but this seems pretty reasonable to me. Minesweeper and Solitaire are not tools required for state workers, or almost any workers, for that matter, to do their jobs.

I agree with haleyhughes, the surprise here is people complaining that their games have been taken away.

Anonymous said...

If there is a job where I can get paid to play really simple computer games, please, Please, PLEASE tell me where to apply.

Nessa said...

When other mother's such as myself come here and they see this post. They're going to say " Ohhhhhhhh so that's why you can't find my ex husband or get him to pay child support, or get him served at the address *I* provided you. Makes me wonder a bit if Child Protection Workers in some states have this game as well. It's all becoming clearer lol.

I do agree with the others. I work from home so i play games all freakin day if i want BUT in an actual workplace, no way i'd be brave enough to complain.

Cromely said...

There are some fascinating and surprising (to me) comments in here. I thought this whole issue was just pure silliness. What struck me as blog worthy was the whole kerfluffle this stirred up and the meetings, discussions, and proposal that probably had to be written about mine sweeper.

But it seem to have struck a nerve. In giving this matter some deeper thought, it occurs to me that this whole thing touches on matters like salaried vs hourly pay, type of work, working styles, perceived benefits, and what people are actually being paid for.

I'll have to explore these issues in a much longer post in the coming weeks.

But this has been an eye opening experience for me.

Thank you.