Office Decorum

7AD06333-3AC4-42D4-AD42-901B062FCDE1“Thank you for coming, Alan,” Mike said. “Have a seat. I promise this won’t take long.”

“You’re very welcome,”Alan said. “This is my first performance review and I hope you think I’m doing a good job. By the way,” he said, placing a cardboard tray on Mike’s desk, “I picked up a couple of blueberry muffins and some coffee at the bakery around the corner. They’re delicious, in case you haven’t already tried them.”

“I appreciate that, Alan, but I’m on a gluten-free diet,” Mike said. “Now let’s discuss your strong points. You’ve shown that you’re quite nimble and have demonstrated incredible tenacity when it comes to attacking your work assignment. In that respect, you leave many of your coworkers in the dust.”

“Thank you, Mike,” Alan said. “I love my job and I’m really trying to stand out.”

“There are a few things that we need to discuss, though,” Mike said. “We try to maintain a certain decorum at our firm, and you have shown a bit of a lack in that area.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Alan said. “Can you give me an example?”

“Well, as you know, we have a dress code here Alan,” Mike said, “and those Izod knit shirts with the alligator symbol sewn on them is not really appropriate for the office.”

“I didn’t realize there was an official office uniform,” Alan said. “But if you need me to, I can start wearing dress shirts to the office. Anything else?”

Mike got a serious look on his face. “Yes, the other matter is a little more delicate, Alan,” he said. “Our IT group monitors internal web browsing histories of company-provided computers and they’ve reported to me that you’re spending an average of an hour and a half a day visiting porn sites.”

Alan turned red and stated to sweat a little. “I didn’t realize that my browsing history was monitored.”

“You should have read the employment agreement when you started, Alan,” Mike said. “The company reserves the right to monitor the use of company-issued equipment. I’m afraid that this breach of decorum is quite serious and we’re going to have to let you go.”

“Even if I cut it back to half hour a day?” Alan asked.

Mike just shook his head.

Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “dust,” “uniform,” and “alligator.” Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (welcome), Daily Addictions (delicious), Your Daily Word Prompt (nimble), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (tenacity), The Daily Spur (lack), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (web).

23 thoughts on “Office Decorum

      • Lisa Coleman August 27, 2019 / 8:22 pm

        Maybe if he had offered the boss some team participation, he would still have his job. Team building exercises. Naked lunch! Lol

        Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 27, 2019 / 9:59 pm

      Most companies I worked for since the late-90s had restrictions on what websites or apps could be used on company-provided electronics. Many had blocked sites, and not just porn, but Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and in some cases, personal email accounts.


  1. Melanie B Cee August 28, 2019 / 11:59 am

    I admit to startling a little. Once upon a time, in a place far away,there was a girl. She worked with her boyfriend, who was named Alan. She was obsessed, he was indifferent, she never picked up on it for years and years. They happened to work at the same company for a small amount of time, and Alan quickly rose in the ranks and became an executive. It was not heard of a lot in those ancient times, but I’d bet good money that a lot of porn ‘browsing’ went on behind closed doors in Alan’s office. Since he was an early version of an IT guy, I have come to the conclusion that’s why he was never caught nor fired for the violation. He’d certainly be in line for sexual harassment suits in today’s workplace. It’s really strange how sometimes art imitates life instead of the other way ’round.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 28, 2019 / 1:41 pm

      Lots of bosses back in the day would have been in line for sexual harassment accusations.


    • Fandango August 30, 2019 / 7:38 am

      I guess maybe my post wasn’t pure fiction. 😱


  2. Marleen August 30, 2019 / 11:37 am

    Of course not.

    Most of my sons keep themselves very busy, but one of them thinks the “adult work” world is weird in that there is a significant amount of time on one’s hands while at work. He majored in economics (but also has done other types of work previously). (One of the others hasn’t gone to college and is in management, the others have majored in other things — one of those is definitely involved in economics, but he double-majored in math and psychology, with something like a minor in a computer-intensive subject. The youngest is involved in the Army [enlisted but then switched over to ROTC] while he is still attending college as well.) The one to which I was referring does look at youtube a lot at work, but not porn. He competes all his work and makes his employer happy. I think it would be pretty cruel to block YouTube there. As for facebook, a lot of places require their employees to have an account. Bizzare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 30, 2019 / 5:34 pm

      In my last job, where I served as a sales consultant, I was encouraged to have a Facebook and a Twitter account in order to function as an “influencer” on behalf of the company. Once I retired, I closed my Twitter account and my Facebook account is dormant.


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