The Perils Of The Shared Inbox

, , , , | Working | March 26, 2019

(I have a coworker who is doing his job terribly. He has a permanent contract, so getting rid of him is not easy, according to my manager. If he doesn’t like doing a chore, he only does it half. He leaves important documents laying about — we have a clean desk policy — doesn’t lock his pc, leaves a heater unattended — fire risk — and even once didn’t close the door of the office building, allowing people to get in an out. One day, I enter the office and notice things lying about once more. While I clean up, my manager enters the building.)

Me: “Good morning, [Manager]. Let me ask. [Coworker] was last to leave yesterday?”

Manager: “How did you know?”

Me: “Well, he left the heater on and these documents… Could you put these documents away for me, please?”

Manager: “Sure!”

(My manager leaves and I set up shop for the day, starting thirty minutes late due to my coworker. I then start looking at the email in a shared inbox; all team members have access to this box. Due to a coincidental misclick, I accidentally click on “sent items” and I notice the top email.)

Email: *from [Coworker] to his private email address* “I will have to decide what to do about [Employee]. She is incredibly hot and I don’t want to lose her. But why does she want me to close? I really want to.”

(What follows next is a quite graphic description of what he wants to do with her in an exotic way. I don’t think the object of his affection is in any danger, but this is really, really too much info and absolutely inappropriate text for the workplace. I call my manager.)

Me: “Hey, [Manager], could you please take a look at the sent items in [shared box]? I’m seeing a rather… personal email from [Coworker], and I don’t really know what to do with this.”

Manager: “All right, what did he send?”

(At first my manager is humming, which he often does, but then he goes silent. I can’t even hear him breathe any more.)

Manager: “All right, [My Name], thank you for bringing this to my attention. I’ll take care of this, but please, don’t mention this to anyone, not even [Coworker].”

(I don’t know if anything will be done about this. My manager deleted or moved the email from the sent box, so no one else will read about it. I don’t mind keeping this silent, since it was most likely a mistake — sent through the wrong account — and it was personal, but boy, I did not want to know all that.)

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