Almost everyday we hear of some politician’s unethical practices when it comes to abusing power, whether it’s failing to pay taxes or using a jet for personal pleasure. We shake our heads, critical of their behavior. But do we really have the right to judge?
Because I am self employed, I must be responsible to myself and, of course, to my clients. If I don’t invest the appropriate time to do a satisfactory job, I will be the one who suffers. However, if I decide I want to goof off and not give my client what he or she deserves, then it will be my business that suffers; I cannot hide behind others who might pick up my slack.
With that in mind, I often receive emails during the work week from friends using their company address. It’s not as though the missive was important; instead, it’s a joke or You Tube link.
Sometimes these emails are tolerable, but most often they are just distractions that steal company time. The Office, which is one of my favorite shows, had an episode about ethics in the workplace; stealing company time was addressed. Naturally, it was tackled humorously, but had it been in the real world, jobs would have been lost and rightfully so.
Obviously my friends aren’t doing anything as egregious as taking a company jet for a vacation, and quite likely they justify the few minutes it takes to send a personal email by saying it was during their break.
Still, I have a feeling if people were actually to clock themselves as Jim Halpert did to Dwight Schrute in that funny Office episode, they’d realize that while their peers had to pick up their slack, they were indeed stealing time.