SHOPPING ON COMPANY TIME

It’s been no real surprise to discover that folks that still work in traditional office spaces where the technology and the systems that go with it all belonging to somebody else i.e the employer, people that use office based computing systems and its access to the ‘net have been using such same sources for personal business and consumption.

Ever since the 1990’s when offices and other business that maintain office space started to install computing systems, either connected to an inter-office server or those that were able to get online to that place called cyberspace, employees that use such devices to get their job done for the source that gives them their paychecks have been using these same machines for business that has no connection to work related applications. These people were first using word processing programs (and its printers) to type letters for their own use, later moving toward using company e-mail systems to type messages addressed to family, friends, and others that otherwise hold no business with the company, and to get access on the ‘net to surf on sites that are far removed from what they are suppose to do between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM–give or take an hour or two.

This was done because these companies would use computing systems that were far better than what the employee had at their dwelling place–assuming they actually did have a computer machine, or if they had internet access. After the turn of the 21st century, high(er) speed internet became the norm for these firms where the employee would otherwise just have a dial-up service that was very slow, or none at all! This is where folks would take advantage in doing on-line stuff, ranging from shopping, visiting websites that were not for business reasons, or other notions that they though they could get away with while getting paid!

Many business started to use security systems that would allow the company to track every user of their computing systems, meaning that a log would be created either from a physical company server or one that exists in a “cloud”, that shows who was, let’s say, surfing ESPN.com or People.com on a given day, time of day, and for how long. Ditto for emails, tracking every email coming and going no matter from who or for what. So for many, the jig was up! No more messing around on the company’s systems on company time. Their boss(es) can find out, and give the unauthorized user a warning, or in many cases, threaten to can them! (Many of them actually did!!)

When smartphones became the rage from being a novelty to becoming a way of life, people working in office spaces that were company owned and/or operated were now able to use their phones to do what they should be normally doing while still on the clock. This time, the company would not gain access to what these people on “slack time” did while on their phones.

Recently, the IT security firm Mimecast conducted a research report where it asked those on how often they conducted cyber business for themselves while on company time. The report noted that some 69% of those stated that they use devices provided by their employers to do non-work stuff, while one third (33%) check and send personal messages via email, either through traditional email services such as Gmail, Yahoo.com, or the source that’s been there since the beginning, AOL. Many of these folks even do their shopping online through the many portals that exist out there, from sites via Esty.com, or perhaps from the “biggie”, Amazon.

In this day and age, more folks are working outside of traditional office spaces that are anything but Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. They work where they can, when they can, and how they can. Just as long as the job can be completed, time and space isn’t the issue. So the joy of watching cat antics videos on YouTube or watching porn on PornHub when they should be typing up the Figbee report doesn’t matter too much. The Figbee report will get eventually done. It may not be completed while sitting in a stuffy and bland office space on a weekday during daylight hours, but it will be completed. Then again, if one really desires to watch a pussy in action on a streaming site is their own business! ‘Nuff said!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Hudson Theatre Mainstage presents the world premier of Grafton Doyle’s DOPE QUEENS, a drama about three lost souls living in a city changing under them, and how they attempt to redeem themselves through their trades and personal lifestyles.

The setting is San Francisco, a city that is undergoing a major adjustment. High tech is taking over in terms of reforming communities as high class and far from reach except for one lone holdout: The Tenderloin district where the down and out still dwell. Living in a seedy single room occupancy hotel space on Polk Street are Blake (Michael Antosy) and Goldie (Donzell Lewis). Blake is a drug addict that’s attempting to recover from his vices. Goldie serves as his lover as she is a transgender woman who hustles the streets for financial support. Both were just released from a medium security state prison serving under protective custody. Goldie brings in another T-girl hustler that she knew from her stint in prison: Angel (Malaya), an albino skinned working girl. These two serve as a slanted love triangle of sorts as they are just getting themselves out from the fix they got themselves into. Based on their lifestyles and their place in society, they are always looking over their shoulders not knowing what to expect from each other, if not out for themselves.

This drama, written and directed by Grafton Doyle, was inspired from actual people and episodes that take place in San Francisco’s misforgotten spot of the urban landscape, populated by those of transgender status, working class people of color, those that dwell within the alleyways, and those that hustle the same streets for a hard earned buck–no matter how! In this play, that dark side of the city carries through. The players that appear in this production is Michael Antosy as Blake, serving as the pretty boy that did himself wrong but could be willing to get himself off his knees and on his feet. Donzell Lewis is the T-girl of color that holds enough sass to keep her sprits in check, if not out blowing a “job” to a client of hers. Malaya (single name) as Angel is the albino T-girl that serves as the “third wheel” toward Blake and Goldie’s jagged relationship. She isn’t as spicy nor sassy as Goldie, but she knows what she wants, and the time spend behind bars gave her the smarts to get her desires. These elements bring this play as one that is hard hitting and won’t take any form of “no” as an answer!

And to set the scene for the trio is the living space where these two/three call “home”. Tom Buderwitz’s scenic design shows their SRO hotel room as one consisting of a few pieces of furnishings scattered about consisting of a bed, a chest of drawers, with two lounge chairs surrounded around a table top radio. These furnishings are placed within a room where the carpet is dirty and worn, the walls just as dingy and shabby, with a lone sink affixed to a wall space to provide any method of a clean up job–something that is within reach of this group, but never attempted nor kept figuratively speaking!

In addition to the cast, the voice of Rob Callaway is featured as a DJ of a local radio station playing 1950s/1960’s-era rock ‘n roll–the type of music that serves as a theme this play presents.

In spite of the characters and placement these souls lie, DOPE QUEENS is a very well conceived piece of stage work. The dialogue is hard hitting, its characters are real, and the city it all takes place in are for those that either have everything, or for those that must find that everything someplace else! Before long, the historic Tenderloin district will have those living in the shadows pushed out while the dot com-ers will take over thanks to their money, power, and fame! (Not necessarily in that order!) This play is indeed worth its good and hard look!

DOPE QUEENS, presented by Tommorowland Productions & Pop Up Theatre, performs at The Hudson Mainstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. (off Wilcox), Hollywood, until September 22nd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more information, call (323) 960-7738, or via online at http://www.DopeQueensPlay.com
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GOOD BOYS (Universal) features Jacob Tremblay, Keith Williams, and Brady Noon as Max, Lucas, and Thor, a trio of middle school-aged boys living in a suburban bedroom community. These guys call themselves “The Bean Bag Boys” as they do nearly everything as a group. As kids of the “tweener” generation, they face the usual challenges that boys of their ilk tend to brush up to, from peer pressure, encountering bullies, and of course, sex! Their misadventures begin when one of the girls that they know will be hosting a house party where all of the popular kids will be attending. Rumor has it that this party will be one of a “kissing” nature. If this is the case, they better brush up on their kissing abilities! So in order to get their lessons in check, they decide to spy on a neighbor where two teen girls live, Hanna and Lily. (Molly Gordon and Midori Francis). So Max borrows (without his permission, ‘natch), his dad’s remote controlled flying drone that has a video camera attached. When Molly has her boyfriend over and when they start making out, all they would do is to fly the drone over the kissing couple and image capture in what they are doing! However, the two girls discover the drone, grab it, and place the device up for ransom. This little episode expands to more dilemmas for the Bean Bag Gang, getting in (and out) of one scrap into another!

This movie plays out as a sitcom as seen on the kidvid video portals Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel. However, this flick is more of a raunchy version of a show catering to the tweener market–the demographic better known as “Gen Z”, where hand held technology was always around since the world began. (Their world, anyway!)

Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky’s screenplay covers all the bases when it comes to post-modern adolescence antics. However, unlike the shows seen on Nick or Disney, there are plenty of raunchy scenes depicted. These kids cuss like sailors, they get access to sex toys (never mind the fact that they don’t know what to do with them), and will soon discover alcohol! (As to drugs? They are kind of on the fence for those yet!) Some of the gags depicted in this feature are more of the slapstick variety, and some of the one-liners told hold some wit! (As spoken from a kid, anyway!)

Because the cast of players are not necessarily big name stars (many appeared in TV fodder more than anything else), what drives this movie to its appeal are the comical episodes that move from one antic to the next. It somewhat evolves in a ADHD fashion. This movement is very well noted for a feature where its protagonists are a bunch of ragtag eleven year olds!

Directed by Gene Stupnitsky, GOOD BOYS is a refreshing departure to all of those summertime movies that has been playing since late April. This time, it doesn’t feature anything of a tentpole nature. There are no explosions, no gunfire, and nobody is running around in a super hero costume. However, there is a scene where one of the boys blows chunks! It’s depicted here for comic relief.

As expected, GOOD BOYS is rated “R” for the above noted idiosyncrasies. Now playing at the usual mix of multiplexes nationwide.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2019 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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