Somebody’s Watching Me

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A carpet cleaning business owner told me the story of how he showed up at a job, a repeat customer, and the homeowner met him in the driveway, emitting a somewhat antagonistic attitude.

The homeowner invited him into the back family room “to show you something!” and revealed a pretty extensive security camera system all tucked away in a large closet. The cleaner got really nervous, thinking to himself, “What did I do last time I was here? Did I pick my nose — or something worse?” It ends up the cleaner didn’t do anything wrong. The camera picked up another contractor coming into the home, doing absolutely nothing he was hired to do and leaving an invoice on the table.

The lesson? While on the job, always remember we live in an electronic world. Recordings of you may prove embarrassing if you aren’t careful. I recall this one cleaning and restoration business owner who really got into Facebook. He was posting interesting topics and getting followers to his business page and plenty of friends on his personal account. Like many, he used his business page along with his personal page to promote his business. Yet he didn’t really think about who was watching him, seeing his activity. You see, he was somewhat interested in those Victoria’s Secret-themed Facebook pages. You know, the thousands upon thousands of them that highlight scantily clad women in pictures and videos that would prompt most parents to quickly cover the eyes of their young children (and wives to do the same for their husbands).

He didn’t just view the pictures and videos — he would comment on them. Often. I bet he did some of this after having a few beers from what I was told. Little did he know that all his followers, many of them customers, could see his activity. A little embarrassing… yes; he was being watched. Never think that your online activity — no matter how private you think it may be — is really hidden. With anything you do online, you should expect it to be viewed by everyone. If you think that way, you’ll stay out of trouble. That’s it for this month. Get out there, keep busy, make some money and stay out of trouble. Because we are watching you.

Jeff Cross

Jeff Cross is the ISSA media director, with publications that include Cleaning & Maintenance Management, ISSA Today, and Cleanfax magazines. He is the previous owner of a successful cleaning and restoration firm. He also works as a trainer and consultant for business owners, managers, and front-line technicians. He can be reached at [email protected].

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