A call from Compliance - What had I done wrong ?


A strange thing happened to me this morning.

Here's the latest from our Highly Placed Professional:

I saw an internal telephone number flash across my phone screen, and a woman’s voice asked in a rather kindly fashion if it was me. She was from compliance.

My somewhat less than enthusiastic affirmative was met by a cheery: 'Don’t worry!', but the damage has been done - no-one wants to hear from the thought police, especially at the start of the week.

So what had I done wrong ? I knew there had to be something. Well it turned out I'd been chatting on an internal messaging system to a work colleague here. When the chat box threw up the instruction: 'You’re about to use a bad word. Proceed?',  I'd naturally proceeded!

It was a Friday afternoon, and I was tired. And this was a good mate, with whom I’d progressed from the paper thin work relationship to something almost akin to friendship.

Anyway, we employed some slightly colourful language, though nothing particularly salacious, and it turns out that the electronic system we use throws up an email report for Compliance detailing bad language.

The quiet word in my ear, however, was not just a polite warning - my Compliance colleague was hoping to reduce her own future workload. You see, the reports just keep piling up - and she didn’t want any more bad language reports on her desk any more than I wanted to be in one. 

Anyway, the moral is: If the computer asks you if you're sure you want to use 'a bad word', it's probably best to say 'no'. It just makes life easier - both for yourself and for Compliance.


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