Can You Really Justify Getting Paid To Play Farmville?

I often act as Interim CIO or Interim Technology Director for clients in transition that are also implementing lots of new technology or applications.  In those roles, I often oversee the network and security teams.  These teams spend much of their time troubleshooting why “the network is slow” or “the network doesn’t work”, sometimes as much as 50% of their time.  I have stopped being surprised that those teams spend a tremendous amount of time interacting with the HR department.  Why is that you ask?  Consider this real e-mail that I have modified to protect the innocent (servers) and the not so innocent (employee) …

“Attached are screen shots of an enduser that caused other users in the Citrix environment to have a slow session. I was notified by the Citrix farm that a server’s CPU spiked. When I looked at <servername> it’s cpu utilization was 100%. I started to look at all users that were connected to <servername>. The server logs identified <nurse’s name> was the culprit that was using all the cpu cycles and when I shadowed her session she was playing Farmville on Facebook and had been for over 2 hours.”

Guess what?  The technical team is watching!  Not because they want to catch you and get you fired, but because they are responsible for making sure that the technology works well for users that are trying to do their job.

Many of you know that I occasionally get on a soap box so you are not surprised that I am about to do so again.

Playing Farmville or updating Facebook on company time is stealing, I call it stealing a paycheck.  Play on your own time on resources (PC, network, etc) that you pay for.   If you are on a break at work and want to access the Internet for purposes other than work, be aware that you are being watched… closely.  I recommend against using company assets for personal purposes in general.  I have my own iPad and I pay AT&T for my own bandwidth.  When I want to take 5 minutes to do some personal business at work I whip out my iPad.  I recommend a similar strategy.

These may seem like tough words from a career coach, but somebody has to say it.  These behaviors are far too common and I believe that many people somehow justify using company assets and time for personal use.  Want a big change of heart?  Start your own company… Would you still think it’s alright for someone making $25/hour (or more) of your money to be playing Farmville?

Ok, dismounting my soap box…  let’s all get back to work!

About the author


Joe Lavelle

Joe Lavelle is the Co-Founder of intrepidNow. Prior to that Joe was an accomplished healthcare IT executive and career coach with a record of successfully meeting the business and technology challenges of diverse organizations including health plans, health delivery networks, health care companies, and several Fortune 500 companies.

Joe is also the author of Act As If It Were Impossible To Fail, available on Amazon.