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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.


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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A Word From The Boss

I was going to write a post about blogger's guilt but here's as good a launch point for that topic as any...
I know a few bloggers (like myself) who feel rather guilty about blogging on company time even if they are still accomplishing the work expected of them.
I'm sure some (like me as well) have even let blogging cut in to the quality of their work here and there. On the other side some bloggers seem to feel no guilt whatsoever about their blogging habit perhaps because they still manage to get their work done, they are underpaid or bored, or they just don't care...
For a little perspective on the boss's side of things here is a post from "Brutus" a self-described
boss/business owner on the subject of blogging at work:

"Once we're on the subject of work: I'm willing to bet that all the big bloggers from godol to dovbear and others are all employees with too much free time on their hands. (Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy their posts and the ensuing discussions.)As a small business owner I have no time to post and very little time to read and comment.I'd like to know how much guilt the bloggers carry or have they been moreh heter (justified) their actions.As their boss I would be quite pissed off."

So bloggers, now that you know how at least ONE boss feels- do you feel differently about blogging at work?

26 Comments:

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

My boss wants to fire me because of my blogging. Then again, he wants me to lose 12 pounds and floss more often, too.

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

SW- Do you work for your mom?

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger Air Time said...

I am a contract writer, which makes my employment status tenuous.

But my work is high-quality, on time, and my boss is quite pleased with the results she gets.

At a previous job, where there were downtime issues, my boss would encourage us to look busy so that the department would not face personnel cuts. At the previous job, there was plenty of work to go around, but due to production schedules, there would be large gaps of time with little to do.

I think as long as the work gets done, is of a satisfactory quality, and there are no issues with helping out in other areas, there is nothing wrong with blogging.

 
At 12:00 PM, Blogger Eliyahu said...

blogging. company time. jewish. guilt. (therapy?) these could go together in different ways. are we getting paid to accomplish something or just for our time? if we accomplish more, will we be compensated? in most cases, that is unlikely. in the small business, there is often little or no free time for anyone. larger organizations are sometimes disfunctional, and much time is wasted anyway. maybe blogging has some redeeming value under these conditions. in my work for pay, i can't blog and work at the same time. maybe it's time to take a job where i can be paid for blogging!

 
At 12:10 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"SW- Do you work for your mom?"

That would be easy. i'm easily my own worst critic--and boss.

 
At 12:19 PM, Blogger Safranit said...

I find down time at work to be tricky...I'd rather take my knitting and do that, but that seems to be more problematic than spending my time reading the net or playing http://www.websudoku.com

 
At 1:06 PM, Blogger Little Wolf said...

I think this is an issue of work flow as others have said. It depends on what I am working on and what I have to get accomplished. There are times when blogging would be rather difficult. There are other times when I have had very little to do.

This time of year, short of a spurt of information, there is very little to do, but very soon that can, and probably will change.

I also use blogging and internet reading as a 'brain break' there are times when I need to clear my head to continue doing what I am working on and I will usually do some surfing at those times.

 
At 3:12 PM, Anonymous A BIG BLOGGER said...

Brutus is a small buisness owner, and like many smnall business owners, he's being petty.

In the real world, no one cares what you do as long as you get your work done. If nothing is left undone, the boss has no reason to complain.

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Brutus is a small buisness owner, and like many smnall business owners, he's being petty."

And "A BIG BLOGGER" is obviously a useless freewheeler who sees nothing wrong with taking a paycheck in exchange for a subpar product produced with little to no care or consideration for the person who signs the checks.

I'm one of those small business owners and there is nothing more disheartening/frustrating to leave the office for a day to meet clients and to return to discover that your employees did NOTHING in your absence.

If you don't see that, there's obviously something wrong with you. Don't make it the business owner's fault.

 
At 5:44 PM, Anonymous A BIG BLOGGER said...

Still wonderin' can't read:

I said:

"In the real world, no one cares what you do as long as you get your work done. If nothing is left undone, the boss has no reason to complain."

So wht did SW do? He complained about a situtaiton where the word didn't get done:

"there is nothing more disheartening/frustrating to leave the office for a day to meet clients and to return to discover that your employees did NOTHING in your absence."

Hello, Moron McFly: We're not talking about the same thing. If nothing gets done, the boss can complain, kapeesh. But if AS I WROTE nothing is left undone, the boss should shut up. It doesn't matter how or when the work gets done, as long as it gets done. Idiot.

 
At 5:52 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

Big Blogger-
It's OK to point out inconsistancies or contradict someone but name calling really weakens your argument.

Please play nice.

SW-what do you think- if the work gets done do you care who is filing their nails or playing tetris after that?

 
At 6:07 PM, Anonymous brutus said...

I guess it depends on the "unwritten" job desription of the employee. Is the employee expected to accomplish specific tasks, or is the employee expected to add real value to the company.

As a small business owner I make sacrifices for my employees (i.e. low cash flow means no pay for me, yes pay for employees, although they don't know that). I therefore expect of them to do more than simply accomplish tasks. I expect them to sacrifice their blog time and think how to grow the business and act on it.

This frame of mind is probably very hard for middle management and down in a corp, because nobody cares enough. Although I would imagine that it is those with said frame of mind that aren't let go during downsizing, offered promotions, and feel greater sense of self satisfaction.

Big Blogger - Where do you work?

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Big Blogger. use your big brain, please: If the boss is out getting new work and the old work didn't get done, the whole office slows down. AND, if the old work isn't done because employees are wasting time, the boss stays up all night working to pick up the slack.

Are you sure you never worked for me?

 
At 6:42 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"SW-what do you think- if the work gets done do you care who is filing their nails or playing tetris after that?"

No such thing in a small business. There is always something to be done.

And if the worker is motivated to learn and add value, they can voice their desire to do more and learn more...any small business owner would be quite able to gratefully fulfill their request.

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

Ah now we see the real difference between working for a small company and a big one.

Where I work no one wants to hear my ideas. I just do my work (and ONLY my work) then I go home.

It's pretty miserable.
On the other hand the only thing my good ideas will contribute to is a couple guys at the top getting rich(er) so why even bother...

I need a new job- something I can actually care about.

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

IM BLAMMING IT ALL ON YOU


http://amshinover.blogspot.com/2005/08/it-was-shiffys-idea.html

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

LOL!
Thanks for the link Amshi.

 
At 10:29 AM, Blogger Godol Hador said...

"Once we're on the subject of work: I'm willing to bet that all the big bloggers from godol to dovbear and others are all employees with too much free time on their hands. "

Of course. However in my defence I have repeatedly gone to my boss over the past six months and complained to him that I have nothing to do. My status report each week reflects that. Not only has he not been able to get me busy, he actually refusde to let me participate in an ooportunity that I identified because 'it was not our team's responsibility'. Ridiculous. I agree that spending time blogging while you have work to do is not correct, but I simply have no work to do. Its either blogging or sitting here in a trance.

 
At 12:16 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Doesn't that put you in line for being downsized the next time your company's stock value dips?

 
At 11:38 AM, Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

As a small business owner I make sacrifices for my employees (i.e. low cash flow means no pay for me, yes pay for employees, although they don't know that).

Excuse me, I hear this line from almost every small business owner (friends and family), and they stil seem to have enough cash on hand to spend quite lavishly on their personal consumption. They certainly spend more than I do, and I have an above-average salary.

I'll believe this line when the business owner lets me and my accoutant do a deep audit of their books. (The real books, not the cooked ones they show to the IRS.)


I therefore expect of them to do more than simply accomplish tasks. I expect them to sacrifice their blog time and think how to grow the business and act on it.

Why the hell should your employees care about "growing" your business? Are you offering them a partnership? And even if you are, they might have a different vision of what the business should be. The only reasonable thing you should expect from employees is that they perform the tasks you instruct them to do. And if they can do that, and still blog "on company time," you have no moral cause for complaint.

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

Actually, I now avoid blogging (or posting anything on any internet forum) from company computers networks, even on my own time.

This is becuase I operate on the principle that it's lways possible for a suffiicently motivated person to trace back the source of any internet post. Thus, if I post from my employer's IP address, and I annoy someone enough, it could come back to the attention of my employer, who I believe has the capability to find out who in his network posted the offending message.

Even if I personally stand by the content of my message, I respect the right of my employer to control what is being done with company property. There may be legal reamifications for my employer, and while I don't believe I owe my employer unlimited loyalty, I do believe I owe them some loyalty, aside from the fact that I wouldn't want a lawsuit to bankrupt the source of my livelihood.

My opinions are my own, and I wouldn't want an uninvolved outside person to get mixed up in a pointless argument.

But I still think my boss's visions for the organization are bullshit, and I'm only doing the (legal) tesks he tells me to do; if he wants a partner who will give his all, he needs to give up some (a lot) of the ownership and control.

Despite that "bad attitude," my boss cannot complain that I blog at work.

 
At 8:53 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

CA reinforces the conventional wisdom that "good help is hard to find." Ugh!

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

CA reinforces the conventional wisdom that "good help is hard to find." Ugh!

"Good help is hard to find" if yopur idea of "good help" is a docile slave who will nonetheless "go the extra mile" to "grow" the business (that isn't theirs to begin with) and thus make their master rich.

Get a clue, Mr. Entrepeneur. People don't work for you because they share whatver perverse vision you have about your business. They work for you because they have a family to feed.

"A fair day's work for a fair day's wage." You have no right to expect anything else.

You might be able to get more out of the help if you give them a serious ownership stake in the enterprise, but that means giving up some (a good deal) of control. And you run the risk that your new partners might have a different vision about what they want the enterprise to become.

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

AND ONCE AGAIN...CA reinforces the conventional wisdom that "good help is hard to find." Make that a double Ugh!.

 
At 12:37 PM, Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

AND ONCE AGAIN...CA reinforces the conventional wisdom that "good help is hard to find." Make that a double Ugh!.

AND ONCE AGAIN, Stillwonderin reinforces the conventional wisdom that all bosses are evil and really want to see the Constitution amended to the restoration of slavery.

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

CA, if it makes you feel better to blame your career problems on others, feel free to use my name. Anything to help an employee in need!

 

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