I work at a small company and sometimes have to share a computer with my boss, who also owns the business. Apparently, he also likes to use my cubicle after work to watch internet porn. At least once a week, I sit down in the morning and find those pages still open on my desktop. I can’t help seeing them and it bothers me that he’s using my work space to do it. Bringing porn at work up may endanger my job, but I’m not sure what else to do.
– Lost In Philadelphia
The first step in addressing your problem with your bad boss and his internet porn habit is to seek out your inner Clooney.
Channel Clooney Constitution
You’re in the wrong frame of mind. Being uptight about sex is far from George Clooney-like. That is what Ann Coulter would do. Furthermore, getting upset about the porn at work will only corrode the relationship with your boss, whether you mention the porn or not.
You being bothered by what the computer is used for after-hours is petty. Technically, it is not your “work space” that the boss is using as his personal pussycat theater. He owns the company. It’s his work space.
The reason George Clooney seems bulletproof to everyday problems is because he chooses to be. A decade ago, Clooney whined openly about the paparazzi. Now they don’t faze him unless they’re committing crimes. He realized the press comes with his job. A horny, absentminded boss comes with yours.
Imagine George Clooney sitting down at your desk for a day of work. Upon waking the computer, he sees the browser on RedTube and “Spiderman doing Catwoman” is paused halfway through. Is he offended? Of course not; he’s seen it all. This is the man who said: “Run for office? No. I’ve slept with too many women, I’ve done too many drugs, and I’ve been to too many parties.”
Although porn at work wouldn’t bother George Clooney, that doesn’t mean he would want it to continue. His first thought would be that maybe the bad boss isn’t aware that he is leaving his vices on public display. So when the situation presents itself, George would deadpan to his boss something along the lines of, “If spiders and cats can be friends, anything’s possible,” followed by his patented half-face smirk to confirm it’s a joke. This shows the boss that he is aware of his after-hour activities, but still respects him and considers him one of the guys.
Once you acknowledge the porn, your boss will likely get into the habit of closing the porn machine down for the night. If he doesn’t, find a lighthearted way to reinforce your awareness: “I’m an after-lunch porn guy myself.”
Careful! Don’t Clooney Up without first Channeling Clooney Constitution. Trying to joke about the porn at work with your bad boss when you’re still upset by it will come across as strained and weird. Your boss will feel uncomfortable and may lash out.
closing clooney thought
Think of your life as Ocean’s Eleven. Which character are you? You want to be Danny Ocean — the unflappable hero who solves problems with a smirk. Get into a panic over workplace porn and you’re more like Saul Bloom — the elderly curmudgeon who complains through most of the story.