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Dear Aunty & Uncle: Star associate watches porn in office

Silk Smitha: Not just on VHS
Silk Smitha: Not just on VHS
Dear Aunty & Uncle. I just started at a reputed firm and the senior associate sitting next to me watches pornography on his work computer.

Although he tries to hide it and probably doesn't think I know, I can still see a reflection in the window of what he's doing. I feel it is inappropriate for the workplace and want to complain but I'm doubtful because if he finds out I complained he could make life difficult for me. He is also the managing partner's blue-eyed boy.

Aunty:
Beta, you are not alone and I feel sorry you have to go through this.

Find out if your firm has a policy against accessing inappropriate content using firm resources – most should. If there is a policy you have several options, but either way be bold because you are in the right here. Plain and simple, this could also be sexual harassment.

If you know him well enough, approach him directly and tell him that people in the office were gossiping about his 'internet browsing habits' and that it could get him in trouble if they find out.

Another option is to tell him that you don't mind what he does at home but it really bothers you and/or women in the office that he watches pornography in the office.

If you feel uncomfortable talking to him, you can try leaving him a signed or anonymous note on his desk when he's not around expressing some of the above, depending on your preference.

If even that does not work or is not possible, you need to take this up to a higher level, even if he is a popular rising star. Even if there is no official law firm policy about this, trust me that there is not a single law firm or managing partner who will be fine with their lawyers watching pornographic content in the office.

Take it to the office manager, head of HR or the managing partner in confidence. At my firm he would get sacked on the spot. Some other firms might let him off with a warning and he might continue, so make sure he won't link you to it later.

Uncle:
Listen. What I want to know is how he smuggles pornography onto the office computers? Maybe security needs to be more tight and more cameras must be installed in the office.

But years ago I remember I once caught a senior associate with a collection of pornography video tapes when I happened to be looking through his cabinet.

He was wasting valuable Bombay office storage space so I sacked him.

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