I was minding my own business this afternoon at the office, working my way through some annual (and horrific) spreadsheet reports and listening to some Pixies tunes off Youtube. I heard the ‘ding’ of a new email come through and happily tabbed between Excel and Lotus – and there it was, an email bomb.
Sender: (InsertCompanyName)Learning Network
Subject: Assignment – ‘Proper Use of Email and the Internet’
Dear Nancy Francis:
You have been assigned the “Proper Use of Email and the Internet” online course. Please complete this course within the next thirty (30) days.
We welcome your feedback on all training. Select “Evaluate” on your transcript to access the course evaluation.
I immediately assume that this has been manually assigned to me because someone has been eyeballing my internet usage. Panic sets in:
- Facebook – Not only is it fairly public knowledge that I’m a Facebook whore (I have a completely public profile), but I routinely have Facebook open all day at work and use the Chat feature shamelessly.
- Gmail – Similar to Facebook, I leave a Gmail window open all day to keep an eye on my personal emails (the ones that aren’t directed at my biz address, which most are) as well access to their chat service.
- Search History – We all know I’m a hypochondriac and am constantly googling, and thanks to situation that lead to my near infamous experience at Shopper’s Drug Mart I would just die if a coworker (or worse, a superior) had access to my cache
- Youtube – Possible culprit. Why burn the battery on my ipod when I can just listen to music online? Although I imagine there is probably a better source for doing so.
- Obsessive Internet Use – Just in general. Banking, Travel Reviews, Booking Travel, Wikipedia, Discount Websites, Maps, Twitter, Menus, Research…
- Blogging – Reading & Writing. Enough said.
Of course, I start thinking that if my usage was flagged because of some new policy about streaming video I would have a clear excuse – everybody knows I go bonkers and zone out for the month of October because of these reports. But then my brain goes into overdrive – Will they look into my past usage? How much detail can they actually get? Who exactly looks at this information? Does my Boss know? Is this like a formal write-up or just a warning? Panic. Panic. Panic.
Just as I’m about to shut everything down, clear my cache and vow never to Facebook at work again, my coworker sputters out a nervous ‘Did anyone else get assigned some course?” The chatter then erupts around the office.
I guess it wasn’t just me. Crisis averted, back to my regularly scheduled programming.