My Kind of Surfing

Although I love the beach as my as the rest of my family and my daughter is excited about going to surf camp this summer, when I talk about surfing I mean surfing the internet rather than surfing ocean waves. I’ve been surfing the web since the 1980’s and have welcomed the online experience every step of the way.

At work they have a policy of not using the internet connection at your desk for personal use. Let me tell you, absolutely no one obeys that policy. I know that every one of my co-workers does at least check their personal emails once or twice a day, and often spend the time at their desk to reply to or forward personal emails. Some co-workers go way beyond that, using the internet to read the news, shop for clothing or shoes, and I’m pretty sure that the night shift security guard used the internet to look at porn in the middle of the night. I suspect this because when I worked late one night and had to sign out at the lobby security desk, he had stepped away from the desk for a moment and I could see what was on the computer screen – it was not . . . let’s say, “wholesome.”

Well, I have mixed feelings about the whole subject. I think that employers should forgive employees who want to check on their emails and do a few simple internet searches, particularly if they do it at lunch or at break. I don’t see this as anything different than calling home to check on the kids or touching base with your spouse to confirm plans for dinner. They are little moments that everyone needs to ensure a quality of life in their modern world.

However, some people evidently will abuse these types of small privileges, so the company has put this policy into place. But we aren’t a school or a big government agency – we are just a mid sized firm that watches every penny and tightly regulates our employee’s time and activities. Can you imagine the humiliation of getting fired for using company resources for personal use? That sure wouldn’t look very good on the resume. S

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