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The American Management Association conducted its first surveillance survey in 1997. The result was that 35 percent of the companies monitored had recorded and tracked employee work activities. The AMA’s most recent survey revealed that the percentage has more than doubled to 75 percent of the companies conducting surveillance.

Here are the most important statistics:
37% of companies have video surveillance for security
7.8% of companies store & review employee voicemails
43% monitor employee’s telephone calls, e-mails, log time and numbers called

Forget about the mystical eye in the sky watching you. The reality is that when you are at work, the eye is on your desk. Companies are operating within their legal rights. Instead of protesting, accept the changes and learn how to cope and protect yourself.


    Be aware and assume that others will see your messages. The network administrator is monitoring your e-mails. Computers can monitor all calls, placed and received and the call length.
    Passwords, paychecks, purchases, phone calls—do not use a company credit card, use your personal card to keep it secure and private. Do not do any online shopping at work. Do not pay personal bills using your company computer.
    Do not surf the net. Stay away from questionable sites. Your on-line history can be viewed while you are at lunch. Simply clicking on “go” and it tells what you have been viewing. Accidentally visiting a porn or gambling site will be tricky to explain.
  4. LOCK UP
    Lock your desk and computer passwords. Oreo’s are the only cookies left at your desk. Stay off the internet. Don’t fudge your arrival time. Your parking lot security key card will reveal the time you entered the building. E-mails are not private communication. Is your neighbor going through your desk after hours?
  5. COMPANY POLICY Does your company view that it is just good business to monitor? Ask your boss or ask HR, what the company’s position is on surveillance. Understand the guidelines and expectations. Don’t get caught not knowing the company rules.

Dear Headhunter,

My sad background: I was supposed to start work with a major beverage company on July 5. I was offered the job on June 4 and quickly proceeded to quit my job to take some time off. On July 2, I received a FedEx rescinding their offer over a discrepancy in my education. You see, I finished my course work in 1991. Several months after graduation and after moving from Ohio, I find out I am short ONE credit. One thing led to another and my career got in the way and I finished the one credit independent study class in 2001 and received my diploma. In my heart, I graduated in 1991 and have never had an issue with any of my other positions. I'm quite sure there was more going on than just this one credit issue but, sadly, I had to pay the price. What do you think? Is one credit the real reason?
Thanks, D.A.

Dear D.A.,

You story does not indicate if your job offer was verbal or written form. If verbal, you should never quit until you get it in writing. If written, most offer letters contain a wiggle clause that states: “This offer is contingent on successful medical exam, drug test (if required) and verification of employment, education, criminal and credit checks. Some offer letters state directly: DO NOT RESIGN FROM YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER until notified by us that all background and medical checks are successfully completed.
My opinion is that they thought you falsified your education. Your statement “in your heart” doesn’t validate your graduation date. There may be more to it…like a bad reference, but you’ll never know it because the company has given you a valid reason for rescinding their offer.
Good luck on your job search.


  1. Sloppy application, questions not answered or left blank
  2. Arrived late to the interview without an explanation
  3. Did not do homework or research the company
  4. Poor personal appearance or hygiene
  5. Inability to express oneself in depth
  6. Cocky, overbearing or aggressive manner and body language
  7. Lack of enthusiasm or interest in the opportunity
  8. Negative attitude about past employers or bosses
  9. Limited questions asked about the job or company
  10. Money seems to be the highest priority
  11. Wanting to start at the top, expecting too much too soon
  12. No clear-cut goals, poor planning
  13. Canned and rehearsed answers
  14. Rude or condescending attitude toward other employees
  15. Did not commit and ask for the job

PLEASE NOTE: emails received become the property of "Dear Headhunter" and may be published unless otherwise requested. Questions may be edited for content and length. All questions will be reviewed, some without a reply.

George Gurney has been a leader in the employment industry since 1976. He founded an executive search firm that conducts domestic and international assignments.  He has won numerous awards for recruiting excellence.  He has been a guest speaker at national conventions and seminars.