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Defining Not Suitable For Work [NSFW]
Nov 15, 2014

NSFW – Not suitable for work, what the fuck does that mean?

At my high school in central New Jersey, Lawrenceville, I had friends who were kicked out for “actions unbecoming of a Lawrentian.” I often wondered how such vague language could be used as the basis for prematurely letting students loose, a problem that has followed me into the professional world as my day time internet usage is often guided by the nebulous code of NSFW.

This post seeks to decipher the rules and regulations of material deemed NSFW. Let’s start with obvious items that are unsuitable to view at work for the same reason you hide the Mike in Brazil charges from your girlfriend when the credit card bill arrives:

  • Pornography or nudity of any kind
  • DYO bomb making instructions
  • Silk Road (or any other website that you access through the deep web)

Beyond those clear cut topics the water gets murky. In the pursuit of clarity, I made executive decisions on three items around the office, both off and online, and their suitability for the office.

Little Jon’s turn down for what music video, survey says, suitable. While loud and in your face, this video is more multicultural than Harvard’s model UN team. Additionally, while genitalia can be seen moving in assuredly unnatural ways throughout the clip, all clothing remains on the body. 

Smoking cigarettes at the outdoor tobacco Copa Cabana, not suitable. Cigarettes are no longer a guaranteed tool for the cool. Having explored multiple corporate campuses, each one offers smokers a tiki themed outdoor area for which to enjoy a cooling menthol. I could characterize the general crowd of these smoke friendly havens into three distinct people: the woman in her late twenties wearing tight jeans, a crop top, and heels. Still going out five nights a week, she may or may not change before coming to work. The beer bellied techie with Cheetos remnants littering his short sleeve button down. Dude has been on the cig train for 40 years strong and sees no sign of slowing down. Lastly, the hot shot. In and out, he likes the buzz but not the company. Pulling an e-cig out of his tweed jacket he hurriedly puffs before speed walking back in to close his next deal.

Buzzwords, extremely suitable. One of the biggest perks about consulting is the constant barrage of buzz words and catch phrases. From grabbing that low hanging fruit to time boxing activities, once you pop the fun don’t stop! 30,000 foot views, SMEs (subject matter experts), a commitment to not “reinventing the wheel.” You name it they say it, so embrace your inner Office Space and jump on the bandwagon.

I hope these guidelines will help you keep your job while enjoying the more mischievous pleasures of the World Wide Web. Join the dialogue with a comment to let me know where you stand.

  • Sage Disch
  • HumorWork

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