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There is a big difference between what people should be doing at work and what they are really doing at work. Sure, there are good people out there who diligently show up for work every day and then proceed to do work all day. But let’s be honest, at some point everyone is doing something they probably shouldn’t be doing and just to be clear, if you’re sending an email with the word ‘sexy’ in it from your work email account, you are definitely doing something you shouldn’t be doing.
This isn’t a new idea that I have just thought of and since the boom of social networking your average work place has had to come up with ways of shutting out the distractions and keeping us on track. Why? Because looking at photos of baby fur seals playing with kittens probably has nothing to do with being an accountant and cyber stalking your ex’s Facebook definitely has nothing to do with being a tax attorney.
Most of the time there is no good reason why you should be anywhere near Facebook at work and if you get caught you know you’re going to have to come up with some lame nonsensical excuse like ‘OH! I was uh, just checking that our company portfolio was well received by the new age of information wave riders in Alaska or…. whatever. It’s work related OKAY’.
Without question there is a silent war raging between the average employee and the company they work for. Unless of course you work for yourself, in which case I imagine a scene similar to Fight Club where Edward Norton is fighting himself in the car park. You see, while you’re doing your best to sneak a peek at a status update or buy tickets to the Bruce Springsteen concert before it sells out your employer is doing their best to squeeze as much work out of you as humanly possible. These are conflicting objectives.
Employers have wised up to our discreet ALT + TAB and minimised screen tricks. They wised up so much they even had the IT team turn against us by enabling website blocks. Before anyone really knew what Facebook was you could happily log in and do a quick check here and there but most workplaces now have it blocked and you’re forced to squint at your iPhone screen using peripheral vision while holding it under the ledge of your desk, trying not to move your head so it appears you’re still looking at your monitor…. ‘Fiona Millburn checked in at Chino’s Bar & Smorgasbord AGAIN?? Come on! You said you were on a diet girlfriend’.
Does everyone in the world experience this same problem or is it just the minions? Is Donald Trump sitting in Trump Tower peeved that he can’t watch the latest ‘Epic Fail’ compilation on Youtube? Maybe Ellen DeGeneres is substituting key letters in ‘naughty words’ for symbols like $, * or @ to bypass her work email filter, for example ‘littlegreybox is the most b1tch1n blog around, hollaaaaa’, because that is definitely how she talks.
Better yet, was this work dodging/man vs employer business going on in the stone age? “Crung! What are you doing over there? Because it kinda looks like you’re carving an image of a scantily clad cavewoman into that wooly mammoth tusk to put on ‘rockstagram’ and somehow I don’t think that has anything to do with making hunting spear tips for next weeks whale hunt”.
When starting at a new workplace it takes weeks of trust building activities and character assessment with new colleagues before broaching the subject of blocked websites, “So Frank, we’ve been having lunch together for the past 11 weeks and you seem like my king of guy, with your love of lolcats and coldplay. There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you though, what is the company’s stance on accessing ebay at work because I’ve had my eye on a chip that looks like Jimmy Fallon for 2 weeks and the auction ends in an hour. I cannot and will not miss out on this again”.
Probably the most important aspect of office life is desk positioning. Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants to sit at a desk with their monitor facing outward. I have witnessed and been part of near fisticuffs over prime desk real estate. In fact on his first day at a new job Matt will always come home and immediately report on the location and positioning of his desk, “How was your first day honey?” I will ask, “Terrible. Just terrible. I’m sitting right in the middle of the office, there is a walk way and my boss’s office right behind me and I face into a wall. How the hell am I supposed to look at the highlights from the Victoria’s Secret show now?”. I doubt his employer gives a rats.
The workplace is a mine field of potential work, blocked websites and email filters and I tell you what, if they keep this up I may just be forced to start actually doing some work one day soon as opposed to stapling post-its together and highlighting old meeting agenda’s while scouring the pages of wordpress.