Everyone knows that you don’t use the computer at work for personal use. I know this. I have worked a few years as a swing shift security officer. I have had a lot on my mind the last few years. I wrote a book about it. Most of that book was written from the computer at work. I knew enough to not leave any evidence of this on the computer. I would write and take what I had written home on my thumb drive, which is also a violation. I knew enough not to tell my supervisor that I use the computer at work. I have too much respect for her and would not want her to be in the sort of position I had been put in when I found words like “B*tchGl*tch” and “BadAssAssasins,” in the internet search history, and felt the need to tattle. My first lie was a sin of omission. If I did not hide my wrong doing I would not have been allowed to continue what I was doing. I justified it. What I was doing was important and necessary. There’s more to it than that.
Why did I do it? My mind is constantly moving. I need to interact with the world in some way. I believe that those who work swing shift and graveyard security positions are faced with a task that is counter to human nature. No one can sit and stare at cameras with still life pictures for 6 hours at a time. We are told we cannot have personal computers at work. The reason for this is that it distracts us from our duties. This is a sort of catch 22. What are our duties? Our duties include watching the cameras, when nothing else is going on. My understanding of this certainly encourages empathy for the coworker I have named “Night Shift.” It’s not really that he was using the company computers that provoked my interest in tattling. Reading a good book is still an option. I have one I can recommend, but watching the cameras is still required, so don’t get distracted. Our minds are constantly moving.
Why I did what I did does not excuse it. It merely explains what I did. My lying streak did not end there. Once you lie, even a little white lie in the form of omission, the next step in the slope is the covering of your wrong doing once you have been caught. When the excerpts from my blog were found on the company computer and I was asked, “Have you ever broken the computer usage policy?” I panicked. I denied it, and even as I did my stomach turned. This is not me. “I don’t lie!” My first lie was the day I used the computer for personal use though, wasn’t it?
I could have avoided being caught in my first lie. My sin of omission was discovered when a file was found on the computer in my file. In my “1984” file a coworker found a document that was used in my blog. I wrote “No Alibi” from home and posted it from home. I created the folder 1984 and placed No Alibi in the folder along with a copy of the computer usage policy. My 1984 file has only been on the computer within the last couple of weeks. What was I thinking? I wanted these documents to be discovered. I have never left anything personal on the computer in the years that I have worked there. I know better. I wanted it to be discovered that I had written a great deal from the company computer and broken the policy. I placed documents in that file that would surely expose that fact. The real question is, so why did I deny it?
Now for the consequences, whatever they may be. I believe I need a job where I am aloud to occupy my thoughts with something more than watching cameras, not that watching cameras could not be among the many things that occupy my mind in the hours I spend in a day. Day shift does this, but it’s a bit late for that, isn’t it? My need to write the book I wrote outweighed my need to be true to the perception I have of myself, therefore, I cannot promise that I would not be tempted to arrange the sacrifice of higher Self for what I feel to be a higher cause. I know this acknowledgement may not bode well in any resume. I would have preferred it if I had discussed this need with my employer and arrangements approved as a sort of modification to the rule. Would it have been approved? Now, is there a job opening for a position that requires a busy mind, in a company that might consider one with a tainted history?
There are social consequences to lying, but there are consequences that run deeper than that. Lies do something to your sense of self. Whatever that something is, I don’t like it.