Do you go into other people's offices and expect to use their computers?

This has happened to me twice in the last week–Someone has come into my office who is supposed to bring me some paperwork. When I ask for it, the response is “Well, I have to go online and print it out.”

The first time I was so astonished I could not speak. I would no more go into an office expecting to use the computer than I would expect to go through their tax files! But after the second time I wonder: Is expecting to use an office’s computer reaching the same status as expecting to use their bathroom?

I would only do it with their permission.

The real question is, “Do you wear your shoes when you go in other peoples offices?” :wink:

The computer is funny.

First and foremost. . .it is the company’s property. We make them personal, but they are a work tool.

But, my desk is the company’s too, and I wouldn’t think someone should have access to the draws of my desk. But, I wouldn’t care if someone took tape or scissors off my desk.

Computer sort of occupies a middle ground. It doesn’t jump out at me as being crazy, however, that someone would do what you describe.

Ya, and what about a big ass file? say a 30 mb excel or ppt? Not like I can email it to you, and generally these days most offices have a computer, so just bring along a USB drive.

Ya, borrowing a work computer to download a file for either a presentation or to give someone is perfectly cool. Wanting to check email - that’s beyond can I use your bathroom and moving into can I use your toothbrush territory.

:confused: Why didn’t they print it out from their computer? Or just tell you where it was so you can do what you want with it?

I take it as a one person client that pulled this and not a fellow worker. I wouldn’t leave a client using a computer at work. Some people still have mommy filling out their application for employment, and I think this is about the same for acceptability.

I would ask if there was a computer on the site that I could use to access some files over the net. I’d have to be in a pinch to do so, though. If I need to bring files that cannot be emailed, I would either use my laptop or a USB drive. Preferably the latter, as I have no guarantee that they will or can let me use their network. Showing up someplace and expect to use their computers seems pretty unprofessional to me.

MY OP wasn’t clear–these were a clients, not co-workers. We have very strict rules on co-workers not using my accounting computer, which means immediate explusion, but other than that my front desk computer is up for grabs if I’m not here. I needed their mortgage papers and instead of bringing printouts, they just assumed they could do them on our computers.

ETA: The first person was a total stranger to me, someone I had never seen before in my life!

It’s like wearing someone else’s underwear. You just don’t do that! Not without permission (but preferably on your head).

We have thin clients, so an outsider wouldn’t be able to use it, not being able to log in. However, we have machines in spare rooms and conference rooms that I can stick my smart card into and get my session. When I want to show a co-worker something, I can put my card in his computer and get my session also.

So in my case the answer is yes.

That’s pretty weird and irresponsible.

If they knew they would need the document, they should have walked in the door with it. In the case of it being something totally unforeseen that came up, then maybe.

Yeah that is really weird. I mean I guess if their printer was broken or something but if it was me I would have called ahead and asked if someone could print them out or see if I could email them to you and ask if you could print them out with an explaination of my problem.

I would never assume that you could access information over the net. That is just strange with some lazy thrown in.

Your desk is an artist? :wink:

I work in a bank, and obviously we have confidential info on our computers. Recently the sister of the boss came in and wanted to use a computer to sign her child up for a class. Why she had to do it here, I don’t know. Boss wasn’t in, so she asked if she could use one of our CSR’s computer. Both were at lunch, so I said I wouldn’t be able to let her…the computers are locked when people are away, and there’s no way to access. She said it was only going to take a minute, she thought Boss would be here, and it just didn’t get through that I couldn’t let her browse around a bank’s computer…sister to the boss or not.

Some people just feel entitled.

Ick. I’d have told them that I wasn’t allowed to have a non-associate use the computer. And it’d be true, because who knows what viruses/malware/etc. they might introduce to your network accessing their “paperwork”.

The only time I’ve ever used a computer at another company was when I was buying a car and realized I’d lost my proof of insurance. They let me access the internet and a printer to print out proof of insurance so the sale could proceed. Otherwise, I’d have had to come back the next day, and I’m betting they were afraid I’d change my mind–and I might have!

Although you computer is company property, you are still responsible for it. If in doubt; do not let any one else use it. Instead, refer them to your superior. That will keep you safe.

Absolutely not. Unless it’s specifically a communal computer, it’s private. A co-worker’s computer could have E-mails from the spouse, pictures of family, personal documents written at lunchtime, copies of private correspondence with the boss, whatever.

If this is a windows machine, I highly recommend you set the screen saver to require you to log in again to restore the desktop. That way, if you get away from your machine for more than a few minutes, no one will be able to use it, period.

Your company should actually encourage this, from a security standpoint. Having a floor full of unsecured computers is always a bad idea.

There’s another issue - keyboards are one of the biggest spreaders of viruses in offices. If someone uses your keyboard, they’ve left little oily patches of whatever germs were on their hands all over your keys. So it’s definitely an ‘ask permission first’ kind of thing.

I’d raise holy hell if I came into my office and found someone sitting at my computer.