Proper Facebook Etiquette

#948 open plans

Friday 8th April, 2011

Dear Mariann,
An issue for you. I work in an open plan office and so it is easy to see what others are doing on their computers. We Facebook a lot (boring job selling advertising space but we are in the media). I’ve noticed that one colleague spends a lot of time writing what I think are sexy notes to this man who is not her live in partner. We are friends on Facebook but I cant see this on there. I happened to pass by her desk and there was his photo. I know him as he is a rep for an agency and very married to a woman who is senior to me and works here. She is on maternity leave but my question is should I do anything?

From Ad Annia in reply to post #342 it is Mother’s Day.

You might well have hoped that the spread of decorum had extended into public decency and public places. It has not. As served by the example above and my experience on the platform at York just the other morning: Me, about to board a train, Him a Steven Fry looks-like-it-could-be hoovering on the platform. She an old lady standing down from the train. BEFORE her feet arrive on the platform Mr Fry-Double launches himself into the carriage AND closes the door! Bl**dy cheek.

Anyway quite enough of being Fried on the platform, back to selling advertising. Must you? How incredibly dull, unless the medium really is the message and you have time to craft this into a fine art.

A few ‘easy’ (and over-easy on the easy’s here) exchanges over Facebook and you’d have thought that Mr Hubby would have had the foresight to switch to light flirting rather than down right crude in an office setting. Sadly, this is not to be. Perhaps a new form of PDA? (that’s public displays of adultousness btw).

You and I know Ad Annia, that it is only a matter of time and wrongly stroked keyboard and He is going to end up another Jeremy Clarkson, unable to leave (so far unfounded) affairs at the digital door.

For a few easy laughs you might leave a note on His Wall. Then on Her wall and watch the cross-pollenation of comments as they arise from an enquiry based ‘what the?!’ to a more outraged ‘You did not?!’

This should buy you some time, as you’re most likely going to want to be looking for a new job come any such action. Real foresight requires you to de/unfriend both on Facebook and go down to the pub. I suppose that it is a matter of taste. His actions ARE tasteless, equally you do not know for certain who She (as your higher-ranked exec) is doing on Facebook. Perhaps they have an open relationship. Check immediately what their mutual status reveal: ‘Married’; ‘it’s complicated’; ‘divorced’; ‘single’… All telling in their own ways.

Perhaps a subtle message to Her via the staff intranet system – not Facebook. Then you can arrange a works meeting and suggest that she reduce the relationship side of things with Him to avoiding mouldy bread in the reduced aisle at Asda. As in, do not even go there!

As She is on maternity – does this fool know now bounds?! (and you should read #345 posting my supervisor is fat for men on the verge of having babies dilemmas) – decide to take over Her Facebook account for her. Post pictures of him in his underwear, tag him at his least ill-suited, most unscrupulous and best left alone.

Otherwise enjoy it, it’s not like there’s much fun to be had in actually doing work and selling advertising.

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