Episode 168: Self-snooping and work from home jeopardy


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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Hey there.

    I don’t program I administrate in IT but you’re my favorite podcast, awesome job, never stop.

    I ran into a crazy situation that is WAY above my soft skills ability to deal with so I am seeking wisdom.

    I was working with someone from HR on a OneNote syncing problem. I asked someone to log in and let me look at the notebook in question that was causing an issue. I saw what I needed and then randomly clicked on another notebook so the problem notebook wasn’t open as I was trying to fix it.

    Later I approached the HR person to show me how they do something in OneNote. They opened OneNote and the page that opened up was MY employee records! OneNote syncs which page was opened last, which means the page I randomly clicked on when they were logged in on my computer was my employee record, and they knew it!

    They confronted me about it (not making too huge a deal about it). I tried to explain how I just clicked randomly and I wasn’t snooping, but it felt like everything I said only dug me deeper. I’m having trouble staying in the same room with them because of the shame (entirely internal) and I’m worried if I ever need to look at their PC again they will want full visibility to make sure I’m not snooping (not ideal). I want to make this right, but all I can come up with is honor based suicide rituals. What do I do?

    Your faithful listener,

    Stefan

  2. I’m an engineer in a small start-up. I work half of each week remotely, half in-person, as do the other engys. One of the other engineers is exceptionally skilled and experienced, way more so than I, but they are not very communicative when working remotely. The leader (understandably) becomes quite nervous as a result, especially since minor health issues have kept this engineer from working full throttle for a couple of weeks.

    What, if anything, can I do to help the leader trust this engy who doesn’t like to chatter on slack? I think they whole-heartedly deserve trust, and their work is already the backbone of this product.

    Part of the reason this matters to me is that the leader has expressed wanting to reduce work from home days to alleviate this issue. I love my wfh days, and I have been told that I communicate plenty well when working remote.

    How can I help alleviate the leader’s fears to protect another engineer’s independence and protect my precious precious remote time?

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