Sunday, February 25, 2007

Privacy 101

From Wiki: Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to keep their lives and personal affairs out of public view, or to control the flow of information about themselves”

But it’s more than that.

Privacy is when you don’t interfere into other people’s life, way of life, decision making, private life, emotional life and professional, social and financial life.

Privacy is when you don’t sneak and try to catch a glimpse of someone’s details, be it physical or moral

Privacy is when you stand correctly in a line up; keep a distance between yourself and the person in front of you, especially when that person is being served

Privacy is when you mind your own business

Privacy is when you talk quietly in a public place or among a crowd

Privacy is upheld when you receive an application, be it for a passport, a loan or a registration, and you do not share its details with anyone else, except trusted people that are involved in the process.

Privacy is when you keep a secret, a record of someone you know, someone who had a mishap in his/her life, went to prison, declares love to you or decides to shares his/her sexual orientation

Privacy is when you meet someone, discuss confidential or personal details and you keep them for yourself, and forever

Privacy is golden when the holder knows the boundary between public and private

Privacy is void when the holder claims to know the virtue of privacy, yet acts otherwise

Privacy starts with you and not with the others

Privacy is a cornerstone of relationship, which in turn is the founding element of a society

Privacy is a measure of civilization think again about your entourage before you talk.

Monday, February 05, 2007

And the Temperature Today is...

Accross Eastern Canada and the North-East.
Actually, it's tracking at -24 C, with the windchill factor feels like -37 C
(picture taken from, all rights reserved to the author)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Tunisia Inc. (revised)

With input from Naddou, Swifty, Snawsi, Samsoum, and others he’s a rephrased and augmented list of articles that can potentially make Tunisia Inc. Please note these articles are not cast in stone, they still need to be run by a counsel for validation, and they may be be further adjusted, detailed or obfuscated.

Feel free to comment. I really find this exercise most interesting, because it takes blogging to a totally new dimension, as in collaborative blogging, where talented people contribute effectively to a good cause.

1) English will be the language of the workplace, spoken and written. Tunisian Arabic will be the common language, French supported but not recommended [No change]

2) The company will be run by a Tunisian CEO reporting directly to the board, which is made of Americans, Canadians or Asians [No Change]

3) Employees will be Tunisians only
[Changed to: employees will have to hold a Tunisian nationality]

4) Employees will be hired through referrals only, no posting on any job boards [No change]

5) Employees will work for free the first month, and then get compensated onward [Dropped]

6) Employees will earn shares of the parent company, as they gain seniority, their shares[Changed to: Employees will earn shares of the parent company, after 2 years of seniority and depending on feasibility from a taxation standpoint]

7) Employees will have to sign non-disclosure agreement and agree to pay penalties (deducted from salary in an escrow account) should they be proven guilty of breach of trust in a Tunisian court of law [Changed to: Employees will have to sign non-disclosure agreement and accept full liabilities for damage to the company should they be proven guilty of a breach of trust or damages in a Tunisian court of law or after a board review]

8) Termination for cause or without cause is permitted, as long as it’s not abusive, there will be no job security [Changed to: Employees can be termined for cause or without cause with , 2 weeks notice or a pay in lieu]

9) All employees will be granted a paid 4 days leisure travel once per year to any European city of their choosing, granted that ¾ of them over-achieve [Dropped all together]

10) Training is at the own time and expense of the employee [Changed to: Company may provides training per need basis]

11) 2 major mistakes are allowed per year, termination thereafter, to the sole discretion of the manager with review from the Board [Dropped all together]

12) The Tunisian office can shutdown anytime and relocate somewhere else, at the sole discretion of the board. All employees will be fired with 2 weeks notice [Changed to: There will be no guaranteed continued operation. This will depend on the competitiveness of Tunisian Inc. in a global market]

13) The office will feature an open concept cubicle setting, a boardroom, with a game room equipped with a state of the art sound and video system, and a WII console.[No change]

14) Internet connection will be handled by a satellite link. [No change, subject to technical feasibility]

15) Work hours will be flexible, minimum 6 hours per day, maximum at the discretion of the employee [Change to: Work hours will be flexible, minimum 6 hours per day, maximum at the discretion of the employee, to a weekly maximum of 48 hours per week (including over-time), there will be no compensation for over-time, except in special cases]

16) There will be no maternity benefits, but 1 over 4 employee must be female [Changed to: There will be no maternity benefits, but maternity leave up to 3 months will be allowed]

17) Working from home will be allowed [No change]

18) There will be 3 weeks vacation per year, and 1 week sick leave [Changed to: There will be 10 business days vacation days per year, and 5 sick days (including family sick days) ]

19) There will be whistleblower policy in place. I.e. it is the responsibility of every employee to report unacceptable behavior of another employee or manager. Abuse of this rule will lead to immediate termination [Changed to: There will be a whistleblower policy in place in case of major breach of trust. It is the responsibility of every employee to report unacceptable behavior of another employee or manager]

20) There will be no business travel overseas [Dropped]

21) The office will not be located in the Capital [No change]

22) There will be 3 special days. One family day where employees bring their spouses and kids, one Civic day where employees debate and discuss their community issues and one cleanup job day, where they pick a location and clean it up! [Dropped all together]

23) There will be 360 degree review of immediate managers per year [No change]

24) Security will be handed to a strong private security company [No change]

25) Dress code will be 'dress down', that is shorts in the summer, and jeans in the winter, except when there are visitors, dress code will move up to be formal neck and tie for managers, skirts and heels for the ladies, and business casual for the rest.[No change]

26) Last but not the least; i will not look after this company :) [No change]

Now the new rules:

27) Compensation will range from 2000 US$ for starters to 3000 US$ for experienced per month (Gross numbers). Increases will be compounded by the inflation, as long as the operations of Tunisian Inc remain ‘competitive'

28) Benefits will include comprehensive full medical and dental coverage to a maximum of 1500US$ for the medical coverage and 500US$ for the dental per calendar year. STD and LTD are optional and payable by the employee. Life insurance payable by the employer, in compliance with the TN law. All of this is contingent to tax incentives, social security payment exemptions and and assistance provided by the gov.

29) A guaranteed bonus ranging from 1000US$ to 5000US$ (taxable income) per year will be granted to the top 1 or 2 or 3 performers (depending on corporate finance), available for rank and file employees only (mangers get a different type of bonus).

30) Brown bags or Lunch and Learn (an Accenture concept) will be held bi-weekly, where employees perform research on hot topics on their own time, and share findings with their peers, as a learning exercise. Company will pay for software licenses and hardware if need be, at the discretion of Senior Management.

31) Performance expectations will be set, debated, agreed upon mutually by the employee and his supervisor on a yearly basis, with quarterly reviews. Warnings & Probation will be used for failing employees leading to possible termination.

32) Referral bonus will amount to 1000 US$ and will be given to whoever refers an A-player, if the latter stays 1 year on the job and meets or exceed his expectations.

35) Tunisia Inc will not discriminate against religion, race, color, gender, dress code (as long at it’s decent). United States employment fairness act will apply in Tunisia Inc, in harmony with the Tunisian Labor (and decency) laws; the only exception is stated in article 3.

36) Working hours: Monday to Friday.
Regular time: 9am-5pm, with half-an-hour lunch break.
Ramadhan time: 7am-3pm, un-interrupted.
Summer time: Same as regular time, there will be no special accommodation during the summer whatsoever.
There will be a night shift from 6pm to 12pm for 1-2 employees (mostly managers) during peak period to cover US EST schedule.

37) Stat holidays. Tunisian Holidays per TN schedule.

38) Hiring will require police certficate and credit file check.

That's it