CIA (Corky's Investigation Agency)
"Looks like the Joneses are having pizza for supper," I announced after spotting a familiar
delivery car. I may not be the sharpest hook in the tackle box but I know a sure sign when I see
one. Although I pondered which toppings were ordered, I stifled the urge to call and probe.
One of the great perks of small town living is the opportunity to snoop on neighbors. My favorite
character on Bewitched had to be Gladys Kravitz, the nosy lady who witnessed all sorts of
strange goings-on. With binoculars in hand, she'd shriek over these incidents to her disinterested
husband, Abner, and nag him to take a look.
Actress Sandra Gould died last year but her "Gladys" role is alive and well. People are bound to
be curious about the folks they rub picket fences with.
Just for the record, I want to assure any neighbors reading this that I don't resort to binoculars. Not when my telescope works so well. Even better, the naked eye is more readily available and requires fewer adjustments.
Of course, snooping is a two-way street. While I theorize on what's happening at the Joneses, it's
likely the Smiths are raising eyebrows over MY habits.
A few years back a handsome young man paid a call to take my picture for the local paper. After inviting him in, I promptly closed the drapes. Later I fell all over myself explaining it to a neighbor. I just didn't want the photo
overexposed, okay, Gen?!?
There's a world of difference between innocent snooping and out-and-out spying. Despite my
natural curiosity, I wouldn't CONSIDER installing a video camera. It shocked me to learn that
nearly two-thirds of the country's employers use tactics like that to spy on the hired help.
Other methods include recording phone calls and reading email. And it's perfectly legal! The resulting
data is used to evaluate employees and spot future guests for the Maury Povich show.
I'm fiercely opposed to this type of sneaky activity. Workers deserve more respect than that!
How can they give themselves a decent manicure when they're being scrutinized this way?
Instead, business owners who want to keep tabs should work alongside their employees. They'd
learn all they need to know and then some.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find out -- er -- help a neighbor of mine...
Corky is Lois Corcoran. Her column appears in the free parenting e-zine, The "M" Word.Other Corky's:
"Jest Between You and Me," is now available at Hard Shell Word Factory. For a short reading, visit the Free Gallery of Authors' Voices.
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