I don't know where to start because I'm not even sure if this is weird or not. I started at this new job not long ago, and since the first day I've known there was a camera in my office. I don't think it's necessarily weird to have cameras in an office setting, there are cameras in all sorts of places for all kinds of reasons.
But, the camera in my office isn't any sort of built-in fixture. And MY individual office room is the only office with a camera in it. On my first day of the job, I realized my boss was too "aware" of my actions.
He said something to me that threw me off, and I knew he wouldn't have brought it up unless he had been watching me do something. It was just TOO coincidental. But it was casual at the same time, so it wasn't a direct connection to the camera he has. But, immediately after that incident, I scanned around the room, and I found a camera nestled into a cubby with a small wire that leads into his adjacent office.
My other boss has also indirectly responded to my actions in the group chat. The few times I had spent an excessive amount of time on my phone were times that the "hey guys! Let me know if you guys need anything to work on, I know things are slow" mesaages would trickle in.
Anything that seemed to hint at me being watched was also said or done ambiguously enough that they weren't revealing anything about being able to see me, as if I'm not SUPPOSED to know I'm being watched. That's what is unsettling to me. The camera is pointed directly at ME. Not the door, not the front of my desk, not anywhere else that would make sense for security.
I've looked at everyone else's offices and didn't see a single camera. The camera is pointed specifically at ME. And I don't even deal with money or anything that could be stolen. I don't know if I should bring this up. I'm not entirely mad, and I guess I understand the reasoning, like making sure I'm "on task" or some sh*t.
It just bothers me a little that I can be watched whenever, and they never even disclosed that. I feel like someone being constantly monitored has the right to know that they are. Especially since I'm the ONLY one being watched like this. I atleast use it to my advantage, because I atleast know NOT to be on my phone lol.
I wasn't expecting so many responses. I genuinely appreciate how concerned everyone is about whether or not I'm okay. It makes me feel good knowing alot of people care about a stranger's well-being. I've seen alot of comments asking for an update, so this is really the most I have of one.
Nothing has changed yet. I haven't brought it up to them, because part of me is wondering if they'll eventually remove it. I was curious to see if they would ever bring it up themselves, or if I could find a way to hint at the fact that I know. I sorta want them to stay unaware that I know, so I can see how they act in response to my actions, to potentially call it out in the future.
The top comment is pretty funny about staring into the camera. There were a few times where something ridiculous would happen with something and I'd stare into the camera for a moment as if I was breaking the fourth wall lmao. I don't think I'm going to bring it up just yet. I actually really like working here, I get along with my coworkers and they pay me decently for what I do.
For everyone asking, yes I'm a woman. I don't think this is as much of a sexual harassment case as it is just a micro-managing thing. They haven't done or said anything to me to make me feel like they were hitting on me, just genuine politeness.
My guess for the camera is that they're maybe testing my "integrity"? And seeing how much time I spend on my phone even out of the view of other people? Which I could understand, but wow I wish there was another way besides a camera on me. There's been a few other micromanagey things to happen that have irked me a little, but I still like my boss(es) in spite of that.
If something changes, like if I start getting the vibe that this is becoming creepy, I'll keep you guys updated.
Oh and also a few things I wanted to mention that alot of people had ideas about (you guys had good ideas btw!)
Due to where the camera is placed, it would be really hard to cover the camera with anything. I can't exactly reach it, so I'd have to find something like maybe a wide shelf that would block view from underneath it.
The wire runs into my boss's office. You can't see the wire from mine so I'd have to take a picture of it from INSIDE his office. So, I don't know if I'm able to "evidence collect" too easily. I'm also trying to be a bit vague with details, because I got a little paranoid about the idea of my boss somehow coming across this thread.
Anyway I appreciate you guys and I'm sorry I don't have a more thrilling update, I'll let you know if anything changes.
Any time you are finished with a task and waiting for another one, spend excessive amounts of time staring into the camera.
Yes, yes, and don’t blink at all, just stare vacantly directly into the camera.
Breathe heavily too.
Plus random twitches followed by high pitched laughs.
Is this your office? Place a nice plant/object in the way of the camera to decorate. If the decoration is moved, ask why.
Secretly filming people is illegal in a lot of countries.
Take a picture of you working from beside the camera, print it out and put it in front of the camera. LOL
The camera was removed thanks to IT. As previously stated, I still never said anything about the camera. I wasn't really comfortable with it, but I got used to being conscious of my actions so they weren't seeing anything I didn't want them to. There also isn't some sort of HR to talk to about this or anything like that.
But our IT guy came in, and he asked my boss about it. I wasn't in the room, so I didn't hear entire the conversation, but the first thing I heard was my boss saying that the camera was there before my office ever was. Something about using it to see the front door originally, I guess.
That was a weird excuse to me, though, because I've been there for atleast two months at this point and there's no way they could've "accidentally" watched me as much as it felt like they had been. Hearing the conversation out loud also confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was a camera, and that I wasn't paranoid.
The IT guy must've felt some type of way about it, because I didn't hear what HE said but I heard my boss say something about "well, it's not like I was just watching her in her office" in sort of a quieter, sheepishly defensive way.
Nobody said anything to me while they were removing it (they took it from his side, not mine) but they instead put it where it would be facing the front door. This happened just over a week ago.
I haven't posted an update until now because I was waiting to see if the camera would be put back. I really wanted to see if they were gonna put it back a few days after IT left, because THAT would've been wild. But it's been over a week now, the camera is still away from me. It'll take some time before I stop feeling like I'm being watched all the time, though.
I'm really curious what the guy said to my boss, whether he said something about it not being allowed or if he called it flat out creepy haha. But I'm glad he did say something, as it got resolved without me ever having to say anything. I'd like to think he low-key had my back. I've still just been acting as if I've never known and haven't said anything about it, and work carries on.
Also, it's so wild that this story got put in a Smosh video, holy sh*t. I heard the news back to back, first the "hey Smosh just bought their channel back" at the same time as "hey your post is in a new Smosh video."
Smosh is an American YouTube sketch comedy-improv collective, independent production company, and former social networking site founded by Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox. In 2002, Padilla created a website named "smosh.com" for making Flash animations, and he was later joined by Hecox.
I made this post mostly to vent, because I couldn't tell if I had the right to feel so weird about this situation because everyone in my personal circle says it isn't that weird, so it's so nice that so many strangers are validating how I feel. To hear people talk about my experience on a public platform was a little surreal, I won't lie.
This got so much more traction than I was ever expecting, but It makes me feel better, so thank you. Genuinely. My experience feels validated and it feels heard, and I feel better because of it.
I'm still going to stay at this job, because I still like everyone here and I enjoy my field, but now I'll be doing it under a little less surveillance, lol. If the camera comes back, I'll let you know.
Good on that IT guy for pressing the issue. Lots of people would have backed off or not even brought it up in the first place. And I really wish OP was more active about this. I find it incredibly creepy, given her age and gender. Yeah, it might just be micromanaging, but it could also be really skeevy.
I have a feeling the IT guy is on reddit. He’s an IT guy after all.
OP is far too blasé about this, her boss is a major creep.
Even if the boss' intent isn't sexual (which I'm skeptical about and think it likely is), it's still likely an gender/age thing related to how much trust and respect they give her since nobody else has a camera. But there's no way there's a legit reason because if it was she would have been notified about the camera.
The IT guy caught the boss streaming the video, that’s why he came to take out the camera, and I bet he called him out as well, hence the “wasn’t just watching her office” comment.