Does it make me a bad person if I read through a coworker’s blog? She’s sent me e-mails at work via her website and I went and looked at the site. Her writing is very good – I can understand now why she feels she’s wasting her time at this job. But am I snooping? It’s on the Internet so anyone can see it…and I have a feeling that her friends here in the office read it as well. She knows that I’ve been to her site, and I really haven’t discussed the content of her blog entries with her, mainly because it seems very personal. She writes about adjusting to a new city and a serious relationship, her frustrations with the job, and other topics that interest her. I want to tell her that I think she should be compiling an essay collection and publish it, or submit it to a paper for a possible column, but I don’t want to overstep my bounds as her colleague.
In the past I’ve been guilty of absorbing the emotional experience of the people around me. At one job early in my career, I took it upon myself to talk to my supervisor about my coworkers’ issues with another supervisor. I still remember what she said: “I think Moxie should be concerned with Moxie and John should be concerned with John.” Took me a while to realize the essence of that message: butt out of stuff that has nothing to do with you. When I started this job I made a conscious decision to practice “detached compassion”, meaning that I show I care about someone’s issues/concerns, but I don’t get sucked into their drama and chaos. So far it’s been working fairly well.
But I’ve read my coworker’s blog and now I feel almost dirty–it’s as if I snuck into her room and read the diary tucked under the mattress. Again, me thinks I’m making a lot out of nothing.