Is Your Job Getting in the Way of You Reading Blogs?

What fun is the Tuesday profile, if you can’t see a photo of the luncher!

WTF is up with workplaces that block access to internet sites?  I’m getting a number of complaints today from people who can’t see the photos on Midtown Lunch because over the weekend Flickr was blocked by their IT departments.  Is this really necessary? Sites like Facebook, or apps like Instant Messenger are going to survive the workplace IT onslaught because so many different kinds of people use them throughout the day from home, etc.  But Midtown Lunch depends on the procrastination of office workers, in particular those who are looking for a way to spend their (god forbid) *entire* one hour lunch break.

If you are having issues like this, one reader suggested using this solution posted by Lifehacker (although another reader commented that his IT department has already blocked against that.) If there are any other tech savvy folks who know of ways around this, please post them in the comments.  What does your work have against you finding lunch?!? Fight the power!  Find ways around it!  Hack your office computers! Buy an iPhone! (That’s all I’ve got.)


  • I work at the same company,as one of the folks that commented about their IT issues. Think companies are clamping down, because they are in a position of power and are anal. They are using lame excuses for taking away these websites and come across as being petty.

    Ive got an iPhone, so have my way around these issues. I guess until they ban the use of an iPhone at work. Fully expecting this one in the next few months.

  • I work for myself so I only have myself to answer to (thank goodness for that!). But for those of you guys who work for other people, you’ve got to be careful. The IT guys can and will check to see what sites you’ve been on, especially if they want to build a case against you to get rid of you. I know as I know several IT guys and they have told me that they have all done this. I’m sure midtownlunch isn’t as egregious as a porn site. But in this economy with so many companies downsizing, spending time surfing the net on your employer’s dime is probably not the most prudent thing to do.

  • One word: BRIBERY

    Bribe your favorite IT guy with food to put you on the internal exclusion list. You don’t think IT guys block themselves from all you can eat porn, do you?

    Or better yet ask for “external” internet access. Most firms have access to the internet outside the company firewall – just a basic unmonitored broadband connection, sometimes wireless- for guests/laptops/auditors/that sort of thing to access the web. Usually protected by just a password.

    I believe a duck pastrami sandwich would be a sufficient bribe for this sort of thing.

  • make a mobile site!! but then i will get in trouble for being on my phone all day = (

  • proxy proxy proxy. im an it guy, and while we dont filter anything at work for anyone, alot of friends are in this position. while im not sure if its more helpful then hurtful that they do this, (studies have shown workers who can cut away from “work” to visit non work related site actually perform better) there is a way around it.

    i wont bother posting instructions for any other browser as firefox is the only one worth using


  • Many companies block proxies as well. It can be quite an adventure trying to get around the IT dept. If you get caught, I don’t imagine they’d go lightly.

  • A few weeks back, we spent over 500 manhours cleaning up after a nasty virus outbreak that kept replicating to any machine connected to the network.

    We figured out which user was the cause. At the time of infection, they were browsing the web and actively using yahoo email and facebook (no midtown lunch involved). They had a fully patched operating system. We aren’t sure which site the virus came from, but upper management demanded that something like this never happens again, since the company lost a ton of money while they were knocked offline. They wanted everything non-work related blocked and going forward, anyone who wants access to something will need to get approval from upper management.

    So I do understand why blocks get put in place. Depending on your industry, any type of downtime can cause huge losses of cash. The person who caused this was lucky that they didn’t lose their job.

    Many companies do have some sort of access outside of the corporate network that they give consultants/guests/auditors/etc access to.

  • … And if you have a good bit of clue, you can bypass corporate proxies and firewalls to have unrestricted access.

  • I’ve got to admit, I’ve found my way into the hearts of all my IT guys at all my jobs. I’ve had amazing software hook ups and not one virus ever, which made them happy too. So I guess my point is, treat your IT guys well and they will do right by you too.

  • Be careful using proxies as it can get you fired. At my previous job, the IT people found out that I and a couple of others were using proxies and reported us. My supervisor called me in and was considering suspension/firing, but then IT found out that all the junior staff on my floor was also using proxies. Since they couldn’t fire all of us, we just ended up with a warning instead.

  • Dang, I wouldn’t know what to do if I couldn’t look at foodblogs all day.

  • Seriously, I agree…
    Damn, it’s a slow commenting day huh? are people actually getting work done out there? :-P

  • Took the mini-bagels to the Zoo…they now want a pet penguin.

    Any It dept that denies Cubical workers full web access because their own security Sw isnt up to the job should be strung up by their knackers.

  • I’d like a baby polar bear.

    Just make nice nice with your IT guy. I asked for access to a particular site so I could apartment hunt and because I’m so awesome he said, “hell, I’ll just open yours up. You don’t have any restrictions.”

  • I am a retired “educator” so my time is my own.

    I am well acquainted with the joys of proxy servers.

  • Anastasia – he probably really did it because you’re so humble

    and a girl

  • Well, you know, Zach, if you actually ULed the photo into the MTL system instead of relying on Flickr to host 3rd-party, you wouldn’t be in this mess. Lesson: Do not rely on 3rd-party apps for mission-critical parts of your site.

  • …and unfortunately, DocChuck, we are well-educated in the “joys” of your blather

  • Flickr is fun! And it has enabled me to promote the site to people who wouldn’t have otherwise found it (plus it’s less strain on my server.) Not every site has the budget of the 1,000,000+ pageview a month Serious Eats!

    I regret nothing Adam Kuban!

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