Lol I left my computer unlocked like an idiot

2019-09-23

If you’ve ever worked in an office, at some point you’ve probably walked away from your computer without locking it and had someone send an embarrassing message to everyone. Supposedly people do this to encourage each other to remember to lock their computers when they stand up and walk away.

I question whether humiliating someone is a good way to encourage any behaviour, but let’s set that aside for the moment. People still shouldn’t do it, and here’s why: every time it happens, it reinforces the idea that you can’t trust your coworkers.

Every time I find that I’ve walked away from my computer and left it unlocked, I say to myself “Wow! I’m so caught up thinking about something that I didn’t even remember to lock my computer. That was a big mistake, so it’s a good thing I trust everyone here to respect my stuff and watch my back.”

Having to worry about corporate espionage by nefarious assholes is bad enough without having to worry about whether the nefarious assholes are actually your coworkers. A workplace without this kind of social trust is at least a little toxic.