Imagine finding out that your boss was somehow listening to everything you did and said, even outside of meetings and phone calls. How fired would you be? Okay, so it’s a little over the top for most, but these are the fears of one Redditor whose boss found out they were playing video games at lunch and gave them a verbal warning to do so.
Recyyklops posted on r/antiwork after getting the warning for simply spending one of their lunch breaks relaxing, playing some video games… why not? There are usually no official rules for what you can and can’t do on your break, although reading some of the comments I may have gotten very lucky with my bosses.
Since they work for a call center, the OP says their work laptop was loaded with software called five9 – a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. “In this software, managers can hear calls even when you are on hold,” they explain. But that doesn’t explain why their boss could hear them playing at halftime.
“I’m not in the phone or chat queue, so does that tell me she’s able to hear me all the time? Being off duty, is that cool without telling me? Now I feel weird not knowing if they’re just sitting there listening to me.”
A quick search of five9 found no similar complaints about the software. In fact, he scored a 7.7 out of 10 in trustradiusalthough I’m not sure how many reviews are done by low-level employees.
Of course, there’s always the potential that the OP was swearing in the middle of the office, that someone overheard and told the boss who covered them. Or the boss could just be passing by and assuming they were playing on company time.
Here’s the problem: it looks like the OP was working from home at the time. In a later comment, they noticed that they were using their own personal PC, but with their work laptop open next to them. I can imagine the panic of wondering what if not your boss may have recordings of. And does it stop on audio?
One commenter familiar with the five9 software says, “It doesn’t record when you’re not on a call. Can you have your disposition set to enable recording?”
If the OP sees that their profile has been set to record, but has not consented to record the call in their contract, two-party consent laws can protect them. Two-party consent means that both people on the call must consent to be recorded, as opposed to one-party consent where only one person needs to be aware.
There are currently only 12 states in the US where two-party consent laws apply: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
On the other hand, if OPs every move is being recorded by other means even when they are not on duty, that is something else and could be grounds for some serious legal action.
Until they know what’s going on for sure, the consensus in the comments seems to be this: collect evidence that they’ve been reprimanded and for what, exactly. And for the love of all things holy, turn off your work laptop during break, man! You can always get another job, but you can’t regain your lost dignity if they see the other nasty things you do at your desk.