As I embark on my journey with this new attitude, I am quickly reminded of one of the roadblocks I face: our internet blocking software. Like many companies, the firm I work for restricts access to certain websites. I have no problem with this. I don’t need nor want to look at porn from work. And while I may be tempted to while away the day browsing humor sites and what not, I know I shouldn’t. However, the default position of our filter is to spread a wide net and only when someone complains does it possibly become revised.

Once I tried to access the Planned Parenthood site only to be told that I couldn’t because it was a an adult issues and sex site. I wrote an email to the administrator letting them know that Planned Parenthood wasn’t a sex site, but a medical site, and they removed the block. So it can be done, even for sites that aren’t specifically work related. However, there are many sites that are blocked and won’t be unblocked even if you ask nicely. Namely social media, web email or file sharing sites. No one (except for a very select few) can access Twitter, Facebook, Gmail (or any other mail platforms) or Dropbox among others. It wasn’t until recently that anyone could access LinkedIn – even the Legal/Compliance department who regularly have use of it to verify customer identities. So instead, they came to the one group who could access it: the Communications department.

Because of the nature of our jobs, we in Communications are the few who have access to some of the restricted sites. Because we tweet and update LinkedIn on behalf of the firm, we have a valid business need to access those sites. And after much wrangling and IT magic, they opened up LinkedIn to the general population, but not before turning off much of the functionality from this side of the firewall. 

But even being in Communications doesn’t stop me from being confronted by the little computer guy who is shaking his head and jotting down my digression on a notepad. And so it happened when I tried to access Slide Share. Having just heard about it and wanting to view a presentation, I eagerly clicked and was promptly denied. It is classified as a file sharing site, and they don’t want to risk the chance that I could post sensitive information. And I suppose that’s a possibility. At the same time, it does curtail my opportunity to learn.

The old me would just file this in the “this place is so stupid and there isn’t anything I can do about it” folder and leave it at that. But the new me is going to use this as an opportunity to make a business case for Slide Share and see if maybe I can make a change.