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back to article They want me to install CCTV to see what YOU did in the TOILET

I have just come out of a boardroom presentation in which a fibre network installer bored us all shitless speaking in initials and acronyms for an hour and a half. The one time we woke up was when he used the expression “SLA”, being the only abbreviation that everyone in the room was familiar with – including the accountant. …

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Pint

SLA definition

SLA = Service Level Agreement ( That what the IT Directors like to think will save them when the shit hits the fan, oh how wrong).

SLA = Shit level awareness ( The guy watching the toilet CCTV might be able to avoid the risk of overflow if he is aware of this SLA).

SLA = Silly little acronyms ( We all use them all day long, it's part of our industry- helps keep the dumb dumber).

SLA = So Long Alistair ( When your not hip, you are out on your arse)...

Beer o'clock is in proximity.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SLA definition

Last time I was in a meeting like that a colleague leant over and confided to me that he was a paid-up member of the AAL.

The Anti-Acronym League.

The presenter wasn't pleased by the muffled spluttering at the back...

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Re: SLA definition

I believe I recall the AAAA - the Association for the Abolition of Asinine Acronymns. FTW!

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Re: SLA definition

To me it says "Sealed Lead/Acid"... years of fiddling with alarm panels

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Silver badge

Re: SLA definition

>paid-up member of the AAL.

Or even HAT

Humans Against TLAs

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Anonymous Coward

"big corporations"

As much as I hate corporatism, that's you showing your right-on leftie credentials right there!

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Bronze badge

Hang on a second

A blonde female came up and .....spoke to you?!?

and we're supposed to believe this all happened....in a Pub?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hang on a second

When I worked in Shoreditch I was always bemused by the excitable, friendly and chatty nature of quite a few of the trendy looking people in the nearby bars. Then a colleague explained why they have those strange UV lights and chest height stalls with no flat surfaces in most of the bar toilets. So chances are that Alastair's friendly blonde was just a coke addled creative looking for anyone to talk to.

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Stop

Re: Hang on a second

I don't believe there was any mention of gender...

think about the guy waking from a drunken stupor to be told about the show he and the big blonde swede put on last night and then being introduced to "Erik"

;)

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Re: Hang on a second

Yes there was a mention of gender. He wrote "blonde".

Erik would have been "blond".

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Re: Hang on a second

"A blonde female came up and .....spoke to you?!?

and we're supposed to believe this all happened....in a Pub?"

Happened to me once. Only once :(

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Re: Hang on a second

Yes, Lovely shiny blonde hair - but all she said was "sausages"

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Paris Hilton

Happened to me too.

And I can still remember the sexy way she looked deep into my eyes and said, "You've had enough, love. Drink up and get out before I call the bouncer."

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Cameras for monitoring attendance ...

... imply a PHB who cannot measure achievement.

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Re: Cameras for monitoring attendance ...

Just wait until BOFH gets his hands on those cameras!

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Re: Cameras for monitoring <s>attendance ...</s> PRIVATE employee activity

Just wait until BOFH gets his hands on those cameras!

No, silly, just wait until he (the BOFH) does The Right Thing(tm) and turn in his (now EX-) boss into the cops:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/suspect-faces-123-video-voyeurism-counts-in-tampa-case/2171292

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Anonymous Coward

Sie sind ein echter hipster Herr Dabbs

Mentioning the "happy days" of friends freely using gaydar definitely qualifies you as one :-)

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Bronze badge

Re: Sie sind ein echter hipster Herr Dabbs

I have a good story about Gaydar but it'll have to wait for another occasion. It involves Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail. Piqued anyone's interest?

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Pint

Re: Sie sind ein echter hipster Herr Dabbs

"Piqued anyone's interest?"

You mean you've got some genuine, reputation-destroying dirt on the editor of the Daily Heil that has the potential to completely ruin his life while having nothing to do with the public interest? Excellent. Publish it forthwith; after all, it's what he'd do.

InquiringPrurient minds want to know the details! Have a pint and tell all.

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Re: Sie sind ein echter hipster Herr Dabbs

Please let it be verification for this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=bfV3OuN57Bk

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Silver badge

Re: Sie sind ein echter hipster Herr Dabbs

I have a good story about Gaydar but it'll have to wait for another occasion. It involves Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail. Piqued anyone's interest?

Um, no, Paul Dacre is pretty much the exact opposite of my idea of interesting.

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Anonymous Coward

the whole field of digital curtain-twitching that has been inaccurately sold to us as “social media”

That is a so epically good a sentence that I'm going to borrow it.

I'll hop in one day to admire your floor - last time I saw it it still had glue on and you were building a fort out of boxes in the corner :).

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Anonymous Coward

“Ah, so you are der hipster!”

I tend to read Mr. Dabbs articles in a relaxed mode when streams of conciousness collide, and as I read that I was transported back to a Spitting Image (who saw arena last night ?) sketch with Sting and David Bowie congratulating each other that they had been recognised as exponents of a particular school of acting ("Clap acting") by a Japanese director

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Pint

Better use for CCTV at work

Monitoring the coffee pot, to see who drained it and left it, instead of making a new one.

// sadly, pretty much everybody...

// TGIF

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Happy

Re: Better use for CCTV at work

Don't bother with a camera. That's too much effort, leads to confrontation, and is unsatisfying. Negative re-inforcement is a far better motivator.

The answer (as so often) is explosives. You need a switch that works on weight. If the coffee pot is put back empty, then kaboom! Word will soon get around...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Better use for CCTV at work

I'd hate to think what would happen if the coffee pot suffered a fault and just broke of its own accord. Now only would you have a massive coffee spill, but in your system the explosion would mean glass shards flying around the office. Hate to be the secretary that happens to walk in to check the pot just as the timer goes off...

Sometimes, explosives aren't the best option, especially if there's too much potential for collateral damage. Perhaps it's time to switch to a dispensing carafe. It's a lot easier to measure the coffee level with one, plus it can sense when it runs out or times out and can resort to less damaging but still effective methods (a loud buzzer comes to mind).

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404
Bronze badge

Explosives are *always* the answer...

... the applications are always the question. As in when and how.

;)

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Coat

Re: Better use for CCTV at work

CCTV?

Surely this could be a chace to develope a camera which you could use via a Web page to see if the coffee machine or vending machine was empty before you set off on the long walk.

Then everyone could use it?

Yeah - you could call it a Web Cam, perhaps?

Mine is the one with the Web history book in the pockrt.

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FAIL

Re: Better use for CCTV at work

Surely with the internet of everything, you just make the coffee machine a 4square check-in point which feeds off BT4 ultra-low power signals and/or NFC proximity signals to work out who put the pot back empty and then adds it to a twitter feed and updates its facebook status which is fed back into the abomination which is outlook-social media integration, to let the whole office know who didn't refill the water tank.

People wonder why the PC market is dying...

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Silver badge

"Besides, the proliferation of CCTV tends to encourage vandalism: specifically, people will try to vandalise the CCTV cameras. This means you’d need a second CCTV system with cameras pointing at the first CCTV system, and a second set of bored security guards to watch live video feeds of motionless video cameras."

I always thought that was part of the art of CCTV arrangement.You tried to position cameras with two ideas in mind:

1. The cameras are out of arm's reach (since spray paint isn't effective much beyond that). That way, any attempt to paint the camera involved a climb or other endeavor which inevitably meant significant face time (defeating the purpose of painting the camera).

2. The cameras had overlapping coverage, meaning as well as covering various complementary areas, the cameras also covered each other's danger zones: places where another camera could be attacked, perhaps even from a distance (using say a paintball gun). That way, any attempt to attack a camera puts you in the view of another one. I know the quote mentions this, but I'm saying this "watch the watcher" doesn't necessarily have to mean you cover just that camera. A good field of view means you can see plenty else besides that camera.

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Alert

Except ...

a well aimed laser pointer (->)

can knock a camera out well beyond the resolution to make out a face.

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TRT
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Our local Tesco store seems to think that positioning the CCTV that covers the outdoor cashpoint portakabin directly underneath the outflow from the artistically challenging roof shape guttering is a good idea. I suppose it's only rained once this year though; January to February.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Except ...

1. Only temporarily.

2. Anything permanent should put you in view of another camera. Like I said, the art of the arrangement.

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Bronze badge

The cameras are out of arm's reach

Vandals are good at throwing things. Arm's reach is irrelevant.

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Re: The cameras are out of arm's reach

Vandals are good at throwing things. Arm's reach is irrelevant.

It still is relevant since how else do you blind the camera without getting yourself in its eye? Laser pointers only work temporarily, plus you normally have to get in the camera's eye to get a good line of sight. Throwing things only work on exposed cameras. How do you blind a shielded/domed camera without getting in its eye? Plus like I said, good camera arrangement covers the blind spots so that in trying to avoid one camera, you usually end up in another camera's view.

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Black Helicopters

Just a thought: use a quadcopter to lower a hood over the CCTV camera. Hehe.

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RE: Only temporarily.

1) It only has to be temporary. One scrote blinds the camera, whilst another takes it out with a tin of spray paint. As said, you can blind it from such a distance where it can't make out features. Which in my experience of CCTV footage (3 break ins, and it's been useless) is about 20cm.

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Silver badge

Re: RE: Only temporarily.

Can we use those laser pointers that pilots go on about?

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Re: RE: Only temporarily.

Assuming everything is actually working properly, a regular cheap CCTV camera as fitted to most places isn't worth a damn beyond 20 metres and generally is only of use after the fact, so the employees and boys can see what happened and when, and perhaps laugh as the hated photocopier gets lugged away.

High end stuff, though? You can get multi mega pixel camera units that cleverly output multiple streams as if different cameras, with motion tracking built in so the virtual camera (s) follow everything moving in real time. And allow you to read the numberplate and even logos on shoes. And you can put them up a tall pole so well out of reach of the unprepared.

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Bronze badge
Coat

TLAs or SLAs Whatever. Its friday, its finally spring, the sun is out.

Still kinda cold out there, but I'm eating my lunch on the porch thanks.

Sales and TLA's go hand in glove with management. One needs several espresso's for those meetings.

Alistair, you have to take the lead at these moments. When the sales droid is firing off TLA's left right and centre during the presentation, you need to come back with an even larger array of them in your questions. In reality I think one really wants to fire back with NLA's to see just how confused the SD can be made. Its quite entertaining.

Peter S:

I don't have to monitor the coffee pot. I just take it back to my desk. Anyone touches it they die.

( IAS, I've found explosives handy protecting the chocolate stash, but I take a hands on approach with my coffee)

Charles:

quadcopter. Nuff said.

Its Friday Folks, go out and enjoy.

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Virgin

Go into a train station owned by Virgin trains (for example Wolverhampton) and they do indeed have CCTV in the toilets. And I do mean "in", like as in pointing at the urinals. When I complained they just told me politely where to take my concerns.

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Childcatcher

Re: Virgin

I'm sure a brief letter to your local news provider might provoke some action ->

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Re: Virgin

No change then? Most the ancient toilets around some train stations face into a cold wind and sunshine.

Though ours do have an open fire and a sun roof.

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Re: Virgin

My previous employer installed CCTV in the toilet. They also had them installed in the office to protect us, even though you couldn't get in without a keycard and registered fingerprint. They didn't mention CCTV on their DPA entry though.

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404
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Funny timing

I'm involved with doing this stuff right now. Weird.

Working with a fabricator now for a security shield of some sort - from birds and BB guns - diminishing returns from designing a bullet-proof case that costs more than the camera, ya know?

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Coat

I beg your pardon!!

' in and out of the restroom? '

Oi Dabbs, panderin' to the other half of the English language now are we, whats wrong with Bogs man.

Bogs Bogs Bogs! mutter, mutter, mutter...

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Coat

Who has time to watch it all?

Use motion detection to capture the activity of interest.

Then your guard just has to go through the motions…

OK, I'm going. No, I'm leaving.

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Anonymous Coward

Toilet CCTV

..For one thing, who the heck wants to sit around watching staff go in and out of the restroom? OK, I suppose some people get off on that kind of thing, but in general?

For another thing, who has the time to watch it all? The cost of hiring a bored security guard to watch the recordings of your company’s toilet comings and (ahem) goings would surely negate any benefit an employer might enjoy from being able to tick off an underling who over-indulged at the curry house last night.

Ask a Certain University in London...

many many moons ago they had cameras in the toilets in certain areas..I really wish to hell I had a copy of the tape showing the then head of the Student Union getting the blow jobs from a couple of nubile young things (ISTR he's moved on a bit now..)

The security camera 'mix-tapes' were the stuff of Christmas party legend...

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