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but I’m not offended! June 24, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Management, Observations, Seen Elsewhere, Technology Trouble.
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I read the following on one of the many blogs I follow:

So my boss just came over again and he was all like “what are you doing now?” and I was like “I’m having my lunch, what does it look like?” and he said “I can see that but are you looking at pornographic websites?” so I sighed and put down my kipperdine* sandwich, pulled out the employee standards of practice from my vest and showed him the section that said “Employees are allowed to use the internet for personal reasons during designated break time.” He started turning red and grabbed the S of P and flicked to the page that had a list of stuff we can’t look at on the web and was all like, “That doesn’t include offensive material” and I was like “But I’m not offended”.

Would she be offended? (Photo by myDearDelilah)

Would she be offended? (Photo by myDearDelilah)

Dealing with offensive stuff at work is always tricky. It’s completely subjective, too.

One of the companies I worked at explained their internet policy thusly: “if it’s not something you’d show your grandmother, don’t view it on a work computer”. Well, (a) they’ve never met my grandmother and (b) sometimes you have to view offensive things. At one of my old jobs, we did some work with Disney, and when the Vanessa Hudgens nude photo* scandal happened, viewing the photo was part of my job**. I personally wasn’t offended, but I’m pretty sure someone walking past my cubicle who saw Vanessa Hudgens naked*** would have been.

No, I'm not going to show the picture of her naked. I'm crass, but not that crass.

No, I'm not going to show the picture of her naked. I'm crass, but not that crass.

Not everyone. Not the pervs I worked with, certainly.

So who do you side with? The manager, who’s worried about getting in trouble for having offensive stuff on a work computer, or the employee, who’s just looking at stuff he wants to look at on time that the company says he can use however he wants? I wish I had the answer.

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* Now watch my Google hits shoot up as a result of that. No pun intended.

** Yes, it was for PR purposes.

*** Holistic SEM, party of one!

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