Maybe It’s Because I Am OLD?

One of the challenges facing workers in the 21st century is defining what is work product and what is personal. For me, the line began blurring when I was in high school. It was that lesson that helped me to define the borders and not bend them. The easiest way to prevent any question about whether what is on my phone or personally owned device is mine or theirs, don’t put their stuff on my personal device. To me, this is a no brainer. To others, not so much.

Good heavens, I am trying to understand this new millennial workforce, but sometimes it is killing me!

First – value your time. We are not in a truly mission-critical role. No one is going to die if one call goes to voicemail. Been there, done that. No thank you very much. The stress of 24×7 on call, mission-critical roles is why I spend so much on beauty treatments to keep my “11’s” at bay! If you are in a role that someone might die if you don’t answer the phone, then ignore my advice. You are a much better person than I.

Second – that is my personally owned device. I bought and paid for it. What happens if someone who is sending you work information is violating a law somewhere? They could take my machinery. No thank you. What happens if somewhere up the food chain someone is making bad decisions and you just happen to be the dope working in the office across the way? I would be lost if my phone, my laptop, my ipad, my anything wound up in bankruptcy court or any court for any reason. This could happen. For me, not worth the risk. I can get the information I need without having to use my phone to constantly read my email! Now if the company is providing a device and paying for the service, well then that is an entirely different story. I have and will carry multiple devices to keep the break between what is mine and what is theirs very clear. If the company’s crap gets caught up in the minutiae that can be brought by the courts, well no skin off my nose. I just can’t be productive. Chances are if that happens, I am already looking anyway.

This core principle comes from my childhood. As a girl I adored spending time in an office, so I sought out an internship in a large corporate office. I sat at the desk, scheduled appointments, answered the phone, greeted visitors, made coffee, etc., etc. Imagine my shock when years later I was served with a subpoena for my blotter calendar. Because it was my first business job, I had kept it, mostly as a keepsake. I had to turn it over just in case I may have doodled something important. All they found were stupid things a teenage girl might write down, but this adventure has guided my decisions from that day forward. What is mine is mine. What is theirs is theirs and keep nothing. Makes for a cleaner house anyway.

Finally, pay me.  This is my device.  It is a nice device, but without the connectivity, electricity and my time on it, it is just a boat anchor.  If I am spending my resources on it and to make it work, then I should be reimbursed.  The old consultant’s line – ‘F#$% It – Pay Me!’ fits here.

I keep going back to it has to be because I am old and what I have experienced. I can’t help but think that one day these folks who are arguing about the increased security so they can use their personal devices for work will have changed their minds a bit by the time they are my age. One can only hope.

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