The Internet Excuse Database

A close imaginary friend of mine recently discovered that his company monitors and reviews its employees' internet use.

This might be a problem.

Please help me conjure up some excuses for each of the following websites, explaining how his time at each one was work-related. I tried to arrange them from "surely allowed" to "definitely forbidden".

1. the company's own website(s)
2. Fedex / UPS / USPS
3. websites of companies whose products are used at work (Adobe, Xerox, Office Max)
4. newegg
5. professional journals (Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine)
6. weather sites
7. mapquest / google maps
8. tutorials on business-related skills and products
9. toms hardware
10. carfax
11. kellybluebook
12. lending tree
13. travelocity
14. gmail hotmail yahoo mail, etc.
15. public utilities

16. banking and bill pay sites
17. government (not political) websites
18. medical and health sites
19. craigslist (not personals)
20. snopes
21. wikipedia
22. ask yahoo/ ask metafilter
23. netflix
24. fandango
25. business news
26. consumerist
27. amazon
28. cockeyed
29. boingboing
30. online photo albums

31. fantasy football sites
32. other news
33. theonion
34. defective yeti
35. song lyrics sites
36. entertainment news
37. reddit
38. digg
39. imdb
40. ebay
41. last.fm
42. fan fiction sites
43. twitter

44. television show websites
45. dating / matchmaking sites
46. facebook / myspace
47. itunes
48. youtube / google video / revver
49. cracked
50. surfthechannel / hulu
51. craigslist (personals)
52. savage love
53. erotic literature
54. still and video pornography
55. serial number/ warez sites

Comments:

Beetle

#24: Fandango is easy. I've actually used this one. I tried to get tickets to a work-related conference at Fandango, forgetting that they only had tickets for movies.



Oregon
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 2:40 am



#50 ebay can definitely be work-related. It is one of the best places to find cheap ink cartridges, etc. Also very useful for comparison shopping of industrial equipment.



New York
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 2:54 am



#42 Fan Fiction sites can be work related if the characters include: Jan from accounting, Javier from maintenance, Wanda from accounts receivable, and Harry from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.



Colorado
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 3:16 am

dd

Youtube actually has some great professional conference videos. I've used it for that purpose in the past. After looking at falling cats and emo teens...



Georgia
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 3:19 am



I love the fact that you've rated Cockeyed significantly more work-related than Defective Yeti. Matt's gonna be _pissed_ :-) Excuse for song lyrics site "I had the song stuck in my head but I couldn't remember the words. It was driving me bananas - it was getting so bad that I couldn't concentrate on work, so I had to check"



Massachusetts
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 3:22 am

Marcie

If you work for a company that develops either a web browser or web content: "I'm testing our browser and comparing our competitors' products with this site" "I want to know how to achieve this effect in CSS/JavaScript" etc



Virginia
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 4:05 am



Boing Boing has so much advertising on it, you could use the excuse that you heard that a competitor was running adverts on there and you wanted to check it out to see whether there was anything that could be done better by your company. Actually, that could cover virtually any website above #51!



Hawaii
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 7:21 am



For anything below 30 or so: You were maintaining your work-life balance.



North Carolina
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 8:05 am

zardoz

It must have been a bug in Chrome.



Hawaii
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 8:06 am



blame Canada...thatll fix all your problems...



Washington
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 8:10 am



Digg and similar sites are bookmarked on the machines at my work, as "keeping up with technology" is one of our goals. Too bad I spend most of the time on digg looking at pictures of cats with funny captions.



California
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 8:24 am



"It wasn't me..."



Hawaii
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 8:29 am



You could take the Best Buy/Geek Squad approach and blame everything on spyware...



Alabama
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 8:56 am

fred

Viewing video pornography is necessary research in preparation for drafting a sales training manual for just about anything. One must be able to communicate the utter revulsion to the competitor's products. As any good writer knows, accessing the core values necessary to communicate such sentiments can only be accomplished by experiencing something as repellent as a good fisting.



Pennsylvania
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 9:07 am



porn sites are ok. Just start jerking it, and get a personal day!



California
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 9:44 am



iTunes is fine. There is nothing wrong with having music in the background. If you download them from iTunes, you company does not have to worry about having illegal copies of music/video on its hard drives and employees reduce clutter by leaving their CD collection at home.



California
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 10:35 am



Well, OBVIOUSLY we need to know if our own software products' serial numbers are floating around on warez sites, right? Right?



Massachusetts
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 10:58 am



Hovercraft



Kentucky
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 12:17 pm



my computer is infected with malware (ack!)



Kentucky
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 1:24 pm



Reddit is easy. With all the links about the 700 billion dollar buy outs, you can just say you're trying to figure out how bad your company will be hit.



Massachusetts
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 1:42 pm

InsoOutso

#43 Say that you were thinking about using Yammer as a communication platform at work, so you decided to test-drive its brother, Twitter, before jumping in to the corporate version.



Ohio
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 2:00 pm

Steele

#28 My boss thought cockeyed was a pornographic site, and blocked it!



New Mexico
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 3:34 pm



Number 39, IMDB... when you work in the film industry, it is looked upon quite often. Or, often enough. YouTube, too, but then again that's just so we can laugh at people's videos of them doing weird monologues.



Minnesota
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 10:11 pm

RobVan

2. Fedex / UPS / USPS Its simple, I am looking to find the best deal for shipping. i HAVE TO UNLOAD 100 COPIES OF MY RESUME ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.



Michigan
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 10:20 pm

nick, from india-na

#28 cockeyed - "I was researching ways to save on cost around the office, AirMail and Refilling an Ink Catridge could save this company thousands!"



Indiana
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 11:55 pm



# 28 cockeyed - " i was looking for an excuse to why I'm on cockeyed.com"



Georgia
Thursday 25th of September 2008 8:47 am

chula

Savage love could be a little higher on the list, it's just an advice column. What about sites like ogrish and rotten? What's worse, looking at nice, harmless porn, or looking at mangled corpses?



Alaska
Thursday 25th of September 2008 9:51 am



I used to look at white supremacist message boards all the time because I find them fascinating and hilarious. I realized that if I were busted, there could really be no excuse. I probably wouldn't get fired, but I would be stigmatized worse than if I was looking at porn.



Massachusetts
Thursday 25th of September 2008 10:06 am

Dirty Hippy

16. banking and bill pay sites> you could say that you're trying to find a better bank for the company or good interest rates..



New York
Thursday 25th of September 2008 2:36 pm

bridge

i like the old "i was trying to close a pop-up add and opened the site by accident - oh, i had it open for 45 minutes you say? well it must have been behind my excel spreadsheet i was working on and i didn't realize it!"



Maine
Thursday 25th of September 2008 4:28 pm



Any porn or video or file sharing site: "testing server load." It's practically a code word these days.



Hawaii
Thursday 25th of September 2008 6:22 pm



If you work at a printer company like I do, you can claim you were at cockeyed.com to find out how much ink is in an ink cartridge. I don't know how I'm going to explain all those pictures of Brooke I saved off though! RRRRRRrrr!



Washington
Thursday 25th of September 2008 11:48 pm



I'm not even a state. I feel like such a poser.



Washington DC
Friday 26th of September 2008 12:12 am

travis finucane

Not very fair, but when I used to write porn huntin' software for SurfControl (now deceased) anything was fair game. Craigslist and Dice.com were still a little awkward until it became obvious our competitor was going to buy us out and screw all the peons...



Kentucky
Friday 26th of September 2008 2:54 am



I use wikipedia as a one-stop shop for every piece of information I need. I designed a mangosteen flavoured drink based entirely on the description of the flavour on wiki once!! mmm citrussy peach!!



Hawaii
Friday 26th of September 2008 7:52 am



Sheet! I'm in Aleebamee!



Alabama
Friday 26th of September 2008 8:46 am

Damon from Chattanooga

#5. The Lancet - "You don't pay me enough, and I needed a picture of Ben Franklin's eye to finish a sweet counterfeit $100 bill I'm printing on company stationary."



Tennessee
Friday 26th of September 2008 12:24 pm

Edwardo

#54. still and video pornography - In my last nine jobs, I have used these videos to improve my skills in communicating with office secretaries.



Georgia
Friday 26th of September 2008 12:35 pm



You know, most of us Cockeyed fans keep bitching about how there's not much new content. After all, the wife, kid, job, and home should all take a backseat to immature internet prowlers. But we can all rejoice, because in a little over a month we get a new halloween costume article. hooray!



Colorado
Friday 26th of September 2008 1:44 pm

MrX

Let's go for broke and excuse the porn site; I was clicking through a legitimate work-related site (not the companies own site) when I found that the site was hacked! Somebody had changed all the links to porn links. When I tried to close one, another just popped up in it's place! Why can't the IT department get better popup-blockers on my system?



California
Friday 26th of September 2008 2:38 pm



I am in the Army and we are actually told to keep one eye open on Snopes for new viruses and what not. Government networks are pretty strict so if we can go to Snopes, anybody should.



Colorado
Friday 26th of September 2008 4:50 pm



I've been chained to this desk, locked in this cubicle for so long that I have to use #30. online photo albums - to see what my kids look like



Ohio
Friday 26th of September 2008 5:41 pm



They could come here once every three months and see if there's anything new, won't take long



Alabama
Saturday 27th of September 2008 3:25 am



They could come here once every three months and see if there's anything new, won't take long



Alabama
Saturday 27th of September 2008 3:25 am

ph00L

I visited those warez sites to double-check that none of the serial numbers on our recently purchased software had gotten onto those naughty sites.



Idaho
Saturday 27th of September 2008 4:47 am



I look like a penis.



Florida
Saturday 27th of September 2008 10:16 pm

Sara Palin

It's very simple. "I can see Russia from my house"



Alaska
Sunday 28th of September 2008 2:34 am



I work for a media company, so I actually *have* to visit YouTube, eBay, and other regularly to check for bootlegs of our titles and pull them down. And yep, we produce porn, too.



Indiana
Sunday 28th of September 2008 2:38 pm



*Become* the person in IT who generates the Web usgae reports.



Texas
Monday 29th of September 2008 6:24 am

moose

"As long as I'm meeting my deadlines and producing top-quality work, what do you care what websites I browse?" This pretty much works, at least at my job. Or it would, if I was ever called on how I structure my work habits, which I'm not.



California
Tuesday 30th of September 2008 1:40 pm



I was making sure nobody from New Jersey was posing as Washington DC'rs



Maryland
Tuesday 30th of September 2008 7:35 pm



I was just making sure nobody from Washington DC was posing as a Marylander



New Jersey
Tuesday 30th of September 2008 7:36 pm



I was making sure nobody from Maryland was posing as a New Jerseyian



Washington DC
Tuesday 30th of September 2008 7:37 pm



Twitter is a fabulous networking tool.



Oklahoma
Tuesday 30th of September 2008 11:20 pm

Nauip

Wow - look at all the Hawaii's.



Hawaii
Wednesday 01st of October 2008 5:39 pm

Johnny B

Just man up, say you didn't know it was against company policy, but it won't happen again. Be so up front and direct that your boss loses his thunder, you can't be disciplined for anything you confess to in this manner, haven't tried murder yet but good luck!



Arizona
Wednesday 01st of October 2008 7:37 pm



Tell your boss to suck it!



Alaska
Thursday 02nd of October 2008 4:56 pm

Bassoon

Warez sites and other piracy sites could be called research into the piracy of the company's goods if the company is in the software business.



Wisconsin
Saturday 04th of October 2008 7:30 pm



45. Looking for a companion for your boss. Result: PROMOTION!



New York
Sunday 05th of October 2008 2:22 pm

girlalive

1. My old boss actually yelled at me once for visiting the company's own web site. I don't work there anymore. And I may send that boss a box of dog poop for Christmas.



Minnesota
Wednesday 08th of October 2008 12:39 pm



I just wanted Iowa to be represented.



Iowa
Friday 10th of October 2008 10:28 am



If you are caught browsing cockeyed.com, you could just say you were checking for a pulse so you could make sure the website was completely dead. (Hint: we need new content.)



Wyoming
Saturday 11th of October 2008 10:55 pm

Ben Clark

use an ssh tunnel so work doesnt know where you go.



Oregon
Tuesday 14th of October 2008 6:39 pm

Mr. Not John Smith

#54 - TRAINING - you will simply showing fellow coworkers what types of sites are considered off limits.



Michigan
Wednesday 15th of October 2008 12:37 pm



I'll add one, YTMND: Sponsoring sites with their product in them work for Razor Gator, it can work for us too!



North Carolina
Saturday 18th of October 2008 2:03 am



Oklahoma: Twitter isn't a networking tool! Now Wireshark, *that* is a good networking tool. Oh, and netcat! and Telnet can be useful too. Let's not forget SSH!



Missouri
Tuesday 21st of October 2008 7:03 pm

Spork

I love those pictures of hot chicks on the Lancet!



Oregon
Tuesday 28th of October 2008 9:36 am

hzfwpGTxMrMomH

IovWp2 pmwcteflenmn, [url=http://hebbtwkriolb.com/]hebbtwkriolb[/url], [link=http://ihatdnbfbabu.com/]ihatdnbfbabu[/link], http://grigludxhawe.com/



Texas
Wednesday 29th of October 2008 6:59 pm

baby ruth

For any of the sites, just say that you wanted to improve your company web site, and you were doing research as to its usability.



Illinois
Tuesday 04th of November 2008 8:05 am

pbfoeaeh

[URL=http://ihaihlcm.com]xssfjisa[/URL] rsgxzvai http://tfjsxsbq.com ghqizyeq vpxkdqcj sntrfzkn



Alaska
Friday 07th of November 2008 12:04 pm



#54 - As a developer I want to keep myself abreast of the new and startling developments in the Web community to ensure my full exposure to the potential of the medium



Tennessee
Friday 07th of November 2008 7:30 pm

percussionking

#14 Gmail - Sorry, I must have had my proxy turned off. It won't happen again; I promise.



Texas
Monday 10th of November 2008 3:45 pm

porkdisco

One time, I was looking on ebay for something and my boss caught me, and I told her I was looking for something special for her birthday lol



Georgia
Thursday 13th of November 2008 8:04 am

european

There are people from other parts of the world who would also like to comment here!



Alabama
Sunday 16th of November 2008 6:08 pm


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