I’m going to take this in a different direction, but this was a fun read:
So if you can’t get any work done because you can’t stop checking your Twitter, Facebook, texts, e-mail and Tumblr: It could be worse. Nevertheless, the stress of constant and infinite connectivity — we’re all RAM and no hard drive, all present and no history, all one-liners and no reflection — will continue to have consequences.
via The texting dead – NYPOST.com.
Much of my work is field-based, although I occasionally go into an office. One of the things I silently note as I walk through any office is how many computer screens have Facebook open (most people in my company have two screens at their desks now, and I’m convinced one of those screens is dedicated to Facebook). I’m not management and I’m not vindictive, so this isn’t a situation where I’m making mental notes of who’s actually working and who’s not, it’s just something I notice.
I recently got a very, very good promotion at my job. It will mean a higher pay grade – important at bonus time – a lot more money, a lot more travel (which I love) etc. I am good at my job, but by the metrics we’re graded on, I’m an average employee, with one exception: I work my ever-loving ass off. I don’t say that to make myself sound good, it’s literally what I’ve built my reputation on and it’s how I – a man who has zero political skill and comes off as intimidating to a great many people – I have managed to survive and flourish in an environment I’m not naturally suited for.
I have had some very low personal moments over the last 7 years, yet my company has given me the time I need to get my life in order in part because of how hard I work and the “sacrifices” I’ve made over the years for work. Everyone has their thing – work is mine, and I prefer it that way.
On my current team, for example, there are two exemplary employees who are amazing at what they do – they also have families, so their day starts at some point after 7 and ends at some point between 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. It’s all they can give to the job, and it’s all they should have to.
I’ve always worked hard. I am the typical “live to work” person – I don’t have a family to come home to (don’t want one, mind you), and I don’t deal well with idle time. So I work as much as I can. When my unit needs someone to work Saturday or Sunday or holidays or what have you, I always volunteer. I have no interest in management, it’s just something I enjoy. My management team likes this about me, but that’s not why I do it. I don’t ever ask off around the big holidays (July 4th is the only major holiday I’ve ever scheduled vacation around), and I usually request big vacation at times when no one else wants it – October and February.
What’s this have to do with Smith’s piece?
I don’t think that people who work in cubicle farms understand how bad it looks to have Facebook – and it’s always Facebook – open all the time. My company has a very liberal policy on such things, and I’ve never heard of anyone getting in trouble for it. But to me, it just *looks bad*. At the same rate, maybe the only people who have a poor opinion of this practice are psycho work-first people like myself.
My personal maxim has always been simple: Work like you’re not owed a job, and avoid people who avoid working. It’s served me well, even if I’m doing well in a career I’m not naturally suited for. I’d like to think if more people understood what kind of message having Facebook open during work hours on a work computer on work property, more people might begin to understand why they’re not getting ahead. That sounds passive aggressive, but it’s not. Having a social network open while your’e surrounded by people you spend nearly a fourth of your year with is just strange – there is nothing on Facebook that’s that interesting.
This makes me sound like a grumpy old man, which I’m not, so I’ll stop now.