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Comment Reply from OP (Score 1) 246 246

Thanks to everyone for your responses. The mean response is, frankly, what I expected: be professional & trustworthy, because it's not our job to be otherwise. This is both heartening and worrying; some of the examples above from admins who did "the right thing" set my teeth on edge. I like to think that I'm an honest, open person. However, as Feynman famously said: "The easiest person to fool is yourself". Thanks to the folks who shared the USENIX/SAGE links above. I've now got a copy of the sysadmin code posted right above my KVM/WIP stack, so I'll see it regularly. Optics was easier: photons don't concern themselves overly much with morality and ethics.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: IT Personnel as Ostriches?-> 2 2

MonOptIt writes: I'm a new IT professional, having recently switched from a different sci/tech field. My first FT gig is with a midsize (50ish) nonprofit which includes a wide variety of departments and functions. I'm the sole on-site IT support, which means that I'm working with every employee/department regularly both at HQ and off-site locations.
My questions for the seasoned (peppered? paprikaed? plum-sauced?) pros are:
Do you find yourself deliberately ignoring office politics, overheard conversations, open documents or emails, etc as you go about your work?
If not, how do you preserve the impartiality/neutrality which seems (to my novice mind) necessary to be effective in this position?
In either case: how do you deal with the possibility of accidentally learning something you're not supposed to know? E.g. troubleshooting a user's email program when they've left sensitive/eyes-only emails open on their workstation. Are there protections or policies that are standard, or is this a legal and professional gray-area?

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