Day after day, we sit at the same terminal behind the same guarded doors, inside a secure compound. Aside from the usual path to the coffee bar or to tend to nature’s call, our professional world is mostly made up of what’s happening in one or two rooms and whatever happens to make it across our computer screens. Other than what’s immediately in front of us, we’re remarkably insulated even though we’re “trusted agents.” Personally, I’m fine with that. The less I know in detail, the less I may have to testify about at some point in the future. I’m happy to leave the firewalls right where they are.
It occurs to me, though, that the people who have the best eyes and ears for what’s going on probably aren’t the ones manning the computer terminals. They’re the ones emptying our garbage. Every day they make their rounds through the building. Into and out of every office on every floor and able to hear whatever conversations are taking place and what everyone has on their monitor. 250-odd days a year. I wonder if they pay attention or if it all become background noise at some point. Since there’s no solitaire, I wonder how many times a day they see Facebook and USAjobs. The voyeuristic part of me would love to walk the rounds just once out of sheer curiosity at seeing how the rest of the cubicle dwellers spend their time.
The way I’ve got it figured, the janitorial staff holds the keys to the kingdom somewhere in their trash cart. Just think on that the next time they wander by to gather up your recycling or run the vacuum.