Talking in code

If we blog about our lives, we inevitably share information about other people. Usually nothing terribly consequentially, but it is still not, technically, our information and ours alone to share. When we’re having a conversation with friends, no one blinks if we mention friends, co-workers, or relatives. “My Mom sent me a funny picture,” perhaps. Or “this guy I work with is always telling the most groan-worthy puns.”

All harmless, right?

But sometimes something that seems just amusing and/or unimportant to us may be highly embarrassing to the person we’re talking about. An off-the-cuff comment might make a few friends laugh, or it might ruin someone’s job prospects.

Corporations tend to be more cautious about that sort of thing, which is why we occassionally read stories of people being fired for something they tweeted or shared on Facebook.

Long before those services became ubiquitous, I adopted the practice of referring to my place of work by a code name. Even then leaving out details, always discussing things in generic or abstract terms. I ofent described my work load with juggling metaphors. Heavy workload with tight deadlines and/or a lot riding on the success of the projects, and I’m juggling chainsaws, one or two of which may have time bombs attached. A lull between major projects where I’m doing lots of project clean up or administrative stuff with one or two tiny things on deadline, then I’m juggling a few bowling pins, rubber balls, and a knife.

At the beginning of the week I had one chainsaw, four flaming batons, a knife, and four rubber balls. As of today, three chainsaws, eight flaming batons, three knives, four rubber balls, and three bowling pins. Those are just mine.

So, how are things with you?

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