Sunday, January 31, 2010

Do You Play Farmville?

Are you a Farmville addict? Or are you one of those who love to update your Facebook account every hour or so? Come on now, don’t be shy.

I just came across this article where the famous Dr. Phil strongly ‘advised’ a mother to let go of her Farmville addiction because she is neglecting her real family! There’s also a video howing how the dear Dr. went about castigating the mother for failing to do her duties to her family.

And if you think this type of online gaming addiction is only present in our personal or family life, better think again. They are present even in our professional lives.

Now, I’m not a Farmville addict. I don’t really have the time to learn the ins and outs of this game. Heck, I don’t even update my Facebook account. But I have my own ‘online addictions’. And I’ve seen some of my juniors (okay not some, almost all) have their own such addictions. Plus I sometimes see them do it while working! And don’t think the busy season will deter them from doing these things (albeit the frequency will decrease), when there’s a desire to do this, there’s a will. And when there’s a will, there’s definitely a way!

Here are just some of the things they ‘do’ online:

1) Update Facebook or their other social networking site. In fact, if not for my junior, I wouldn’t have heard of Facebook or such sites! Some of them even have accounts in two or more sites!

2) Play Farmville.

3) When Farmville wasn’t around yet, play other online games (including Warcraft and the like).

4) Search for good videos and watch them during office hours.

5) Download mp3s, pictures, videos, etc., etc. from the Internet

6) Engage in online chatting

7) Write blogs or read blogs (gotcha!)

Okay, guys, if you want to do these things in your free time, it’s really up to you. But if you do it during office hours and you think the firm’s top brass is not on to you, better think again.

Firms are definitely getting savvier when it comes to knowing who is doing what online. In fact, I’ve heard of cases when the firms ban sending or receiving emails to and from outside email addresses like or Even social networking sites and downloading pictures and music are banned. The punishment? Suspension or worse, expulsion from the firm.

Of course, the juniors and even seniors who are also tech-savvy usually find a way to circumvent these bans (don’t ask me, I won’t tell LOL). But then again, pretty soon, the firm’s I. T. people will once again catch up with them. It’s a game, one that I’m sure the staff will not win.

And really, if you think about it, why do we engage in these types of activities during office hours? Boredom? Addiction? Do we hate what we’re doing (re: auditing)?

Personally, my reason (as I said I have my own ‘online addiction’) is plain and simple boredom.

For those readers who are working (or used to work) for the Big 4 and who did these things, leave me a note why you did these stuff. I’d like to hear from you. Thanks!

Note: This blog and its writers do not, in any way, endorse these activities. Sure, I engaged in one or two of these activities but that doesn’t take out the fact that they’re simply wrong. Doing any of these activities while on your job is tantamount to stealing time from the firm (time that you are being paid for) and as I said, some of these firms have already laid down sanctions for anybody caught doing any of these activities during office hours.


  1. My big 4 job leaked into my personal time....why shouldn't my personal time cross over into work time?

    Plus, you can't expect people to be "on" and perfect 100% of the time. It's a "brain break", especially in busy season.

    If you're using a work laptop, especially in the office, they can see everything and always have been able to. They can see exactly what you type even when using a personal email account. This is nothing new or shocking...

    (Umm...there is NO way people played Warcraft at work. There's extensive software to install, and no work laptop would have the hard drive space; never mind the IT controls disallowing the numerous internet downloads/patches required).

  2. If you're not charging time to the client, you're essentially on break of course - no reason to get defensive about that.

    As for "office hours", it's a quaint notion. Perhaps some companies have them, but most places I know of where you're a professional, you're essentially setting your own hours.

    Common sense rules. If you've put in a full day - or will put in a full day - then what you do on your "own time" is your own business. If you slack of and things don't get done, that's another story.

    As for installing your own games, anon, don't think that your experience is universal!

  3. sigh, "slack off", hate catching my typos after hitting post. :)