I had a very interesting chat today with a colleague who objects to the fact that we recently installed poster holders on the back of every toilet door in the building, strategically positioned to catch the attention of anyone seated therein.
He accepts quite happily that when he is out on the lash he expects to see toilet advertising. He’s fine with that; that’s quite legitimate and makes commercial sense. He does not accept however that his employer should use similar tactics to try to grab his attention when he is in a state of temporary captivity and at his most vulnerable, with his trousers wrapped around his ankles.
And he wasn’t getting precious about us intruding on his ‘me time’ in trap two. Investigating his stance further it became clear that he just doesn’t want to be ‘spammed’ when it’s not on his terms. “Don’t bother me while I’m at work” he said, “send me an email so I can delete it if the subject does not interest me”.
The content carried over the last few weeks on ‘Loo Media’ promoted a company donation of £100 to every member of staff to give to a charity of their choice when they sign up for payroll giving, and a reminder that any member of staff who introduces a graduate to the company’s graduate programme would win a bounty of £500 if subsequently selected.
It’s hardly propaganda is it? It’s not like we are trying to ram our core values down his throat.
What struck me most though was the ‘don’t bother me while I’m at work’ line. Would he prefer to be ‘bothered’ when not at work? Of course not.
He seemed oblivious to the fact that ‘bothering’ him while he was at work is precisely what any reasonable employer would seek to do in an effort to make his work experience more fulfilling and rewarding. His attitude was you pay me to do a job, I do my job, that’s it. I don’t ask for you to communicate with me, so you have no right to communicate with me.
What next I wonder. Maybe an opt out clause in every new starter’s contract, giving them the option not to receive any form of internal communication? Perhaps an unsubscribe button on every corporate email? I know – how about a 15 yard exclusion zone preventing any manager from violating his personal space?
I guess it’s just been one of those days…..