I sit in a communal office area, and while I do have my own desk, most of the time, I’m sitting at a row of open computers with my back facing the comings and goings of coworkers and other random people who walk past me. This means that what’s on my computer screen is usually on full display. ……Get your head out of the gutter, people! It’s nothing salacious, but considering that in a 10-hour day, I spend approximately 45 minutes of it doing actual work, I have lots of downtime for online shopping, job-hunting, trip planning, real estate browsing, recipe hunting, boot shopping, haircut researching, general Wikipedia queries etc etc ETCETERA.
Regardless of the fact that my computer is in a public place, that doesn’t mean the information on it is for public comment. But at least once a day, someone stops behind me to read over my shoulder and make a comment about what I’m looking at. “Oh, I wouldn’t go to Paris in the summer, it’s too hot.” “Looks like someone got paid today, huh?” “ARE YOU MOVING?” are all things that people have asked me, before they’re then met with my dead eyes and fast reflexes to snap back to the NYTimes homepage. Um, MIND YOUR OWN BEESWAX.
I get that people have an insatiable curiosity, and I myself am a naturally nosy person. (See here, here…here…). But when I laugh at something I’m reading and suddenly someone is right behind me asking what’s so funny, I suddenly long for my first job, where I also worked at a communal table but was at least given a computer privacy screen! (Side note–Who would have thought that six years after the fact, I would finally find something positive about that work situation?!) I guess I should just accept that the people I work with ascribe to the tenant that “what’s yours is mine….” to comment on.
What’s My Age: 8, in elementary school, when you would use your entire body to cover your paper so no one would see your answers.