One of the things that always amuses me about working for the council is the internet diaries and the amount of information we will willingly give up about ourselves in what is basically an open record of our movements.

For those who are not aware of this phenomenon every outlook diary in the council is open to every other member of staff. I can find out what my boss is doing and who he’s doing it with. I can find out where my colleague is having her lunch or where the latest parks meeting will be taking place.

This open diary leads to two practices:

1) The irresistable urge to know what everyone is doing. When getting into the office in the morning it’s just so easy to click on your team’s diary and find out where everyone is… Leading to conversations that go something like this:

So where’s Steve?

Oh, he’s having a lunch meeting with xxx and then moving down to xxx for a seminar before coming back here at 4 and then heading out to Fandangos with the guys in Planning…


I was just returning his notes; he asked me to leave them on his desk…


Simply put, it’s not healthy knowing that much about anyone’s life; especially not your boss… Some would say it’s basically stalking.

2) The amusing practice of misnaming what you’re up to.

For example:

Drinks after work with friends from the PCT became: ‘Cross departmental and organisational information sharing session’

Lunch at the local cafe became: ‘Local economy supporting strategy’ or ‘credit munch’

And a quick pint became: ‘Situational brainstorming’

By far my favourite though is: ‘Waste education tool construction workshop’ … And I can’t divulge what that was all about as, yes, you’ve guessed it, it was in someone elses diary!

Explore posts in the same categories: We love the Council

2 Comments on “Espionage”

  1. localgov Says:

    I have to say, there is nothing I like more than pencilling in a window for some face time, throwing a few thought grenades into the melting pot in a situational brainstorm during a cross departmental and organisational information sharing session – simples.

  2. […] Once upon a time, this was a really good idea.  A simple whiteboard was displayed which laid out the names of your team, and then you simply filled in the space next to your name to say where you were and when you would be in the office.  In fact, it was such a good idea that Microsoft and other software manufacturers developed tools like Outlook and shared calendars, allowing you to fill out your daily comings and goings as required as well as seeing those of your colleagues. […]

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