“Can I have a word with you?”
These are not the words anyone wants to hear from their supervisor at 9:00am. I’d come in late this morning (again), so I thought that maybe I was about to get a talking-to about my tendency to tardiness. My supervisor looked around for a private place to talk, then gestured me into the copy room.
Incidentally, most people seem to think that the copy room affords them some measure of privacy. As my cube is right next to the copy room, I can assert that it does not. Just because you can’t see anyone else doesn’t mean that your conversation isn’t carrying out into the hallway.
In the copy room, my supervisor told me that there’s a person or department who checks the internet for references to our company, and that I had blogged about it by name. At this point, my brain started whirling — I didn’t talk smack about work, did I? — and I know that my eyes had to have been giant saucers of Oh-Shit-ness, because she kept a very amiable tone and tried to be reassuring and factual. She explained that the person who monitors the spider or search or proprietary whatever-it-is that finds mention of our company online noticed that a Toledo employee had written about the company.
(In my mind, the SWAT team from The Blues Brothers movie comes swarming down the sides of the pointy pink building I work in, as IS Security blares an alarm: WE HAVE A BLOGGER ON THE PREMISES.)
The problem was not that I had written about the company — I did not, in fact, talk any smack about my employer, as I value my job and know that the internet is a very visible and accessible place. The problem was that I posted my del.icio.us link about the company at 2:46 PM on a weekday. During work hours.
I was incredibly flustered. I explained to my supervisor that it was just one of those online bookmark sites, and I saw the article and posted it, and it automatically posted to my blog later, and I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I’m sure I ran off at the mouth and sounded excessively nervous, because she calmly and kindly assured me that she didn’t see it as a problem, but that I should keep in mind that blogging during office hours is against company policy.
That pretty much wrecked my flow for the rest of the day.
After I retired to my cube and got my heart out of my throat and back where it belonged, I started to wonder how they knew I had blogged during work hours. After all, my del.icio.us links don’t display a timestamp, and the timestamp on my blog is 11:00pm, when the del.icio.us feed posts my daily links. All day, I was convinced that Security must have actually sought out my blog (hi, guys! *waves*) to see if I made any other references to the company, then found my Twitter posts throughout the day, and busted me on that. As it turns out, though, the timestamp for my del.icio.us link is right there in the RSS feed. So, nothing vindictive or borderline unfair was going on in Security. Just that one post.
Still, though, I’m going to lay low for a while, as far as internet at work is concerned.