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.
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!