August 24, 2006

Private Eyes Are Watching You

Posted in Office Hijinks at 9:34 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

Does anyone remember Spy Tech? It wasn’t really a toy, but it was sold at toy stores and it was a whole line of real working spy equipment marketed towards pre-teens. I recall specifically there was a fingerprint dusting kit and maybe a listening device. But somehow that seems unrealistic.

Anyway, my brother didn’t own Spy Tech, but he did develop a game by the same name where he would spy on me, or neighbors or family members. It became part of my family’s vernacular. For example:

Sister (clutching her Swatch phone to her chest): “Hey Spy Tech, I can see your shadow, I know you’re listening, now go away before I get Dad. (screaming) DAD!”

Now, my desk is by no means neat; however everything does have its place. On occasion I have come in and found a pile of papers shifted or my little penguin facing north instead of south. Sometimes I blame the cleaning lady. Other times my boss will admit that he grabbed a red well off the top of a pile just before the file sprawled across my desk blotter. Never did I suspect anyone had been snooping. That is until I came in and found a picture of my family completely out of place.

It is a favorite picture of mine; my brother, sister, father and I with our surfboards taken by my mother early on in the vacation when everyone is still getting along and all the smiles aren’t forced. It reminds me of sun and vacation and all the reasons why I continue to slave away and someone, during the night, had picked it up and put it back in the wrong spot and the whole episode left a bad taste in my mouth.

And it’s not just about the content of the picture. If I was really worried about people in my office seeing me in a bikini, I wouldn’t wear one every Friday during the summer. No I felt icky because my privacy had been invaded.

Now I am not stupid enough to leave anything personal or confidential out on my desk where anyone could pick it up and read it (instead I choose to post all that material on the World Wide Web). Still, it makes you wonder – what would drive such a person to snoop around someone else’s desk. It is like that person in an elevator that stands right next to you and doesn’t move despite the fact that the rest of the elevator is empty. That person is missing some essential synapse or twelve.

Still before I jumped to any conclusions my boss came around with my morning assignments. I asked him if he moved my picture. He said no and tried to go on with the morning’s business. However, I wanted to solve this crime against humanity and interrupted him to ask if he had seen anyone around my desk the prior evening. Again, he said no, told me to relax and then handed me two dictation tapes.

I sat down in a huff. I then grabbed the photo and tossed it in my bag.

As word got out about my morning other people from around the office came to me with stories of their own. A missing file here, mysterious filing there, stolen staple removers and lights left on when they swore they had turned them off. The beauty of most Spy Techs is that they are awful at it; ours was proving to be no exception. And while there were theories we had no proof.

That is until a member of the editorial committee caught Spy Tech, dead to rights, in her office searching through her things. My favorite part is when she asked him what the “h” he was doing he said looking for her Philadelphia Rules of Civil Procedure Book.

As she relayed the story, over a celebratory lunch, I imagined her leaning forward, reaching over his shoulder, pulling down the book that was on her shelf just behind Spy Tech’s head (and no where near where he was looking) and handing it to him with a smile.

Let this be a lesson to all you creeps out there – you will get caught. And when you do, I will write about it. And for goodness sake, as the elevator empties, shift people, there is no reason to remain glued to that spot.

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3 Comments »

  1. Legal Annie said,

    Great column! I would have to agree….nobody likes an office creeper…

  2. theprgayboys said,

    “And for goodness sake, as the elevator empties, shift people, there is no reason to remain glued to that spot.”

    ROFL. That is soooo true. Love the blog!

  3. Jonh said,

    Very interesting site! Personal jet charter


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