There are few things that generate a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach as fast as when a coworker randomly decides to pick my phone up off the desk and start poking around. Sure, there’s nothing technically illegal on there, but you’re just going to have to believe me when I say that there are images, files, bookmarks, and texts that would probably make their overly-sensitive eyes bug out of their heads. I’m not particularly easy to embarrass, but there are most assuredly some conversations that I don’t particularly want to have with my colleagues. That’s more to save them from mortification than anything else.
Unfortunately, some people just aren’t as good at picking up on subtlety as they are at picking things up off your desk… Which means you have to look them directly in the eye and tell them to be careful because they are going to end up seeing way more than they bargained for. It’s always fun to see the light slowly flicker on as it dawns on them what you’re talking about. It’s like suddenly your phone heated up to 300 degrees and they can’t get rid of it fast enough. For a minute, I actually thought the nosy coworker in question was actually going to drop it on the spot.
It would probably cost me a new phone at least, but maybe I’ll just let the next one get a good look at the ol’ photo archive. It might just be worth the replacement price and the week long trip to sensitivity training it would be sure to cause.
Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of posts previously available on a now defunct website. They are appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.