At my job, I have free reign to use the guest cubicles as a place to log on to the internet for a bit of e-mail and newsreading.
While I appreciate the facilities being placed at my disposal, they have gone a long way towards reminding me why I hate working in cube farms.
The guest cubes are not really cubes, per se, they are more like cubbyholes equipped with enough space for a laptop and notepad. They have outlets and ethernet cables placed conveniently within reach of the computer ports, and padded, if not reclinable, chairs. They also have no back wall, and hence, no privacy.
Not that I need a ton of privacy for checking my e-mail. But I also like to blog from work, when I have the chance, and to study via the kanji site while at work. As I said, none of these need a lot of privacy.
They should, however, have some.
For some reason, some trick of the culture of which I am, as yet, unaware, makes it perfectly acceptable for people to constantly read over my shoulder. It sometimes seems as if I am, unbeknownst to me, running some sort of game where perfect strangers are encouraged to read the words I am typing to see if they have the English skills to follow my writings and musings.
Realizing this, I save more questionable writings and the reading of racier blogs for home.
What galls me, is that, most of the time, when I am using the public terminals at work, I am actually working. While this may be some sort of benign activity like making lesson plans or reviewing my notes or choosing a textbook, it may also be when I am trying to finish my individual student or class reports. Students do not need to, nor have they any right to see any other student’s reports. However, when I mention this, students often get offended as if I should not be typing anything that they cannot see on at a public station. As though I were not using both my own computer and my time (the time I have to use the public stations is my own prepatory time, not my paid, in-class time) to accomplish these tasks.
In the past couple of instances, I have had to resort to shutting down my computer and taking myself off campus in order to get any sort of screen privacy and I find that very, very irritating.
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