Not so fast.
A few months ago an article came out in one of my company’s internal newsletters. The gist was that any time you’re on the clock and you go online to check baseball scores, coo over baby photos on Facebook, find apple pie recipes on Pinterest, or hammer out a love note via gmail chat, you’re stealing from the company. You don’t even have to be online to steal. Texting your spouse on your phone, about picking up soy milk and wild-caught salmon, is also stealing, as is calling the airline to book your Alaskan cruise (“I just want to see some fucking Orcas attacking something, anything! Make it happen”).
That means it’s also stealing when one of my old bosses spent all afternoon editing video of her husband playing golf, wanting to capture that power swing with the high-tech $500 driver. And that thirty-minute call you overheard about someone elbowing her kid’s way into a summer art camp? That’s stealing too.
And those mornings when I walked the long way around the block and grabbed an Americano coffee while wondering how I blew it with that one soccer girl in college, and how we’d parked the car overlooking the city of Santa Fe that summer night, and how she’d just been telling me how she’d dated the son of a general in Spain. And then how she’d asked me if I was going to kiss her. Then I did. Then it was over. It wasn’t right, she’d said. She was still getting over the fling with the son of the general. And then I saw that same girl (who is now definitely a woman) when I was in Seattle in March this year and how she now works as an ER doctor who treats meth heads who wind up in her hospital after they plow their cars into soggy, Olympic Peninsula trees. All of that - that’s stealing too.
How do I hand that back to the company?
I’m digging this TV On the Radio song
Congratulations on the mess you’ve made of things
I’m trying to reconstruct the air and all that brings